Medley

Paul patisserie
My husband and I checked out Paul last Friday, located on the 3rd floor of Ngee Ann City mall, next to Kinokuniya bookstore. Apparently it’s a famous patisserie and boulangerie from Paris with outlets in other parts of the world like London and Dubai. We wanted to compare the food there with Maison Kayser’s.

Paul has a much bigger dining area compared to MK, in fact it’s a full service sit down restaurant whereas you’ve to order at the counter at MK and then you’ll be served. The menu at Paul’s is also much more extensive, serving tartine, rosti, and even fish for main course. I ordered the cream of chicken soup for starter, a mushroom rosti for main course and a chocolate cake for dessert, while my husband ordered the soup as well, a mozzarella and tomato tartine, and a citron tart.

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I’m not sure whether it’s because the servers are overwhelmed by the crowd or what, but we were served the main course first. Apparently our soup was forgotten until we brought it to the attention of the server. We liked the rosti which was pretty well done. My husband was not so satisfied with his tartine, which was hard. I reminded him that the server had alerted him of this problem, but he argued that tartine is supposed to be crisp, hard tartine meant that the bread was stale. On the soup, we thought it was very well made with a lot of chicken bits in it. But at S$9, it does seem a little steep. The menu indicated that it comes with a slice of bread but ours didn’t. So we asked for it and we were given a bread basket and butter. My husband griped that the bread wasn’t warmed up and quite tough; and again he thinks it was stale bread that was left out for at least a few hours, which wouldn’t taste good in a humid environment here. I’ve to agree that the bread wasn’t up to expectation unlike what we had at Maison Kayser, and I had to dip it into the soup for it to soften. We were told that this is uniquely Paul’s 6-grain bread, though in Paris it is the 7-grain bread ‘cos Singapore authorities disallow the import of poppy seeds. But can they please heat up the bread before serving? Also please don’t leave cut bread lying around for more than 2 hours in humid condition.

We like the dessert, I was pleasantly surprised by the moistness of the cake. The citron tart has the right balance of tartness and sweetness. The total bill came up to S$77, which my husband felt didn’t seem value for money. He still thinks Maison Kayser has got the formulae right, focusing on freshly baked specialty breads which are not too expensive. He also read reviews on that Paul’s outlets in London and Dubai serve better quality food. Paul really has to up its game in Singapore.

Malaysian Food Street at Resort World Sentosa
We checked out the Malaysian hawker food for lunch last Friday. My husband has a nostalgic preference for it, especially Penang food, and so he was pretty excited about this new eatery. Apparently RWS went around Malaysia to bring all the famous hawkers under one roof. So the setting is like a food court, queue and purchase your food and find a table for your meal. If you’ve more than one person with you, it’s easier ‘cos you’ve someone to get seats for everybody.

My husband was eager to try the Penang prawn noodle soup, the KL fried kway teow (flat noodle), and Penang Lor Mee (pork with egg noodle in black sauce). Even though we were there before 12 noon, there were long lines at some of the hawker stalls. My husband gave up queuing for the KL fried kway teow, and instead went for the prawn noodle soup. He came back griping that the portion was so small. I went to get a plate of fried chicken nasi lemak (coconut rice) for myself. When I returned, he was literally slurping down the entire bowl of soup, telling me it was tasty. The coconut milk-flavored rice was pretty good, I like it that they serve it with peanuts and anchovy, but the 2 pieces of fried chicken are measly though. We also tried the squid with Kang kong vegetable, the Lor Mee (my husband had it since I don’t take pork), and the Chendol dessert. The squid portion was generous, my husband also enjoyed the egg noodle dish, but the Chendol was no biggie. Mei Heong Yuen does a better dessert. (Its snow ice chendol is the best in town.) My husband finds the taste of the food he tried is rather authentic, and also said that Malaysian hawker food has more flavor than Singapore’s. So he’s definitely returning. The only complaints he has is that there’s no Penang Laksa, and the coffee leaves much to be desired. As for me, I’m not a fan of hawker food, so I don’t have any comments.

(Update on 20 Jan)
My husband and I brought his parents to the Malaysian food street. My husband finally managed to get a bowl of the KL fried prawn noodle (which appears in a scary black mess). The in-laws tried the Lor Mee, which they dismissed as average. I had the Ampang Yong Tau Fu (YTF is a medley of vegetables or tofu stuffed with minced fish), and honestly it was also average. My husband also bought the fried Kway Teow which turned out to be a disappointment. So it appears that the food quality is not consistent.

Pregnancy
As of today, I’m 20 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I believe I just entered the 6th month. But you know those gynecology calculation which seems to have the purpose of confusing people. We thought it should be 9 months pregnancy but medical science wants to add one more month to it, starting the calculation from the first day of menstruation. Then to add on details to the confusion, there’s the weekly breakdown.

Anyway my tummy is of course bigger, but many told me it’s not obviously big like most preggie women, probably because of my petite frame. My appetite hasn’t increased much during this 2nd trimester, which I think is because my tummy is squeezed between the uterus and the lungs, so it can’t accommodate much food and also takes longer to digest. I also suffer from stomach reflux sometimes. My husband thinks it’s alright I’m not eating a lot extra, ‘cos a pediatrician on a Dr Oz’s program said that preggie woman should only increase calorie intake by 300-400 during 3rd trimester for the energy requirements of a bigger baby then. When I saw my gynae, Loh, last Friday, he looked at my detailed ultrasound scan results and commented the abdominal circumference (AC) of the baby is bigger than average at 152mm, and I asked him what he meant. He said “fat!” I looked at him again, and asked “fat?”, thinking that maybe he had a pronunciation problem. He repeated “fat”. I looked at my husband, who then commented, “fat is ok in baby, helps with brain development.” I guess what my friend, Conny, said was true, most of the food I consumed goes to the baby. Baby also has a big head/brain with head circumference (HC) of 177mm. Loh quipped that the sperm used during the IVF treatment was the right one, baby takes after my husband’s features.

Loh pointed out that I have a small tummy, and “people only realize you’re pregnant now. They probably gossiped about it earlier, scared to ask you if you’re fat.” I’ve to say I was surprised; it’s true most of my colleagues only asked me about it during these couple of weeks. But how the hell did he know that? It’s like he put a listening device on me. Anyway I now get a seat on the bus/train 70% of the time. Some people did look at me wondering if I was really pregnant and hesitated a little, and then decided I was and gave up their seats to me. Most of the people who do are women. (What can I say about most men here?) So the odds of getting a seat is higher than striking lottery.

The baby has been pretty active ever since I can feel his movement a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I should have guessed baby is a boy then and I won’t be surprised the activity continues until childbirth. When Loh was looking at the scan images last week, I also asked him if there was any mistake that baby was boy and he said he was 95% sure. When he realized I was disappointed with the gender, he looked a little concerned and asked if I have any more frozen embryos. My husband told him “a lot”, and he suggested we have another child. Both my husband and I are open to that but I want to go through either the embryo implant (or natural conception) before I turn 43. It seems like many people prefer baby girl to boy. My husband is the one who thinks that the boy will carry the family name, and I was a bit taken aback by that as I didn’t expect him to be such a traditionalist since he claims to be open-minded. I suspect it’s because he sees the boy as an extension of himself, and they can go for all the manly acitivities together. He already warned me against dolling up the baby (of course I won’t doll up a boy), but he’s ok with me dressing up the baby in a little panda suit. That will be so cute! My husband even suggested dressing up the baby as a little spartan (as in the move ‘300’ which he’s a big fan), with mini shield and spear. I grimaced at the idea; no, thank you.

So this is the dragon baby.

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Chinese Lunar New Year
A few pictures showing the new year decoration of buildings here. You can see that the repetitive theme of red color, whether in lanterns, couplets, fabrics etc, as red is an auspicious color in Chinese culture. Unlike Christmas decoration and ornaments, those for Chinese New Year are pretty boring.

Bank of China Building, with a pair of couplets hanging by the sides of the entrance, which read 'hundred years of Chinese Bank, hundred years of glory'. The stone lions are also decorated with red ribbon


Fullerton Bay Hotel (sister hotel of Fullerton Hotel across the road), has the same decoration as you can see from the picture below.


Fullerton Hotel uses smaller but numerous lanterns this time and also hung a pair of couplets


Battery Road building has at least prettier looking lanterns

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