Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Summation of the year...


Very apt :D

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Tried 2 new Ramen shops recently, one curry shop, and two new dishes from Asabu Zabo!

Menya Kaiko @ ION B4 has a "localized" broth version which is lighter and the original Hokkaido broth version which is thicker and saltier. I tried their original flavor and it was pretty ok. Could not finish the broth that day, tummy condition not too good maybe. The chef is friendly though, and that adds to the factor for me visiting again one day.

Ippudou @ Mandarin Gallery is tasty. I've only tried their basic Tonkotsu Ramen (Shiromaru), next to try their Tonkotsu Miso Ramen (Akamaru). The only grouse I have is that their Cya-syuu portion, delicious though they are, is tiny. This shop is the second shop in Singapore that I know serves Kaedama (noodle top-up). This shop is now my favorite Tonkostu Ramen (Kyusyuu style) shop.

I can't remember the name of the curry shop, but it is also at ION B4, close to Menya Kaiko. This is good Japanese Curry. It is spicy (not hot), and very dark. The serving (economy size) was quite filling for me. Their Katsu was also pretty well done. Worth more visits.

As for Asabu Zabo, I tried their Miso Ramen + Seafood Curry lunch set. Verdict: disappointing. The noodle tasted like instant noodle (although broth was ok). As for their curry... well let's just say I can cook up a better one using instant curry pack. I'll only order the Tenpura Don and Desert from this shop. Their service is excellent though, and that I like. Also, green tea is free.

Future Targets:
Aoba (ION) - I think the chef already returned to Japan :3
Noodle House Ken (Cuppage)
Menya Shinchan (Robertson Quay)
Tanpopo (Liang Court/Takashimaya)
Ohsho (Cuppage) - although I heard their Cyahan is better than the ramen...
Ichiban Tei (Liang Court)

My current favorite ranking:
Noodle overall: Marutama
Tonkotsu Miso (Hokkaido): Bishamon
Tonkotsu Syoyuu (Hokkaido): Baiohken
Tonkotsu (Kyusyuu): Ippudo (更新!)
Chasyuu: Baiohken
Gyouza: Miharu (only tried at few shops)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CPF un-Life...

Found an interesting link about the incoming CPF annuity scheme.

On CPF Life

It seems that the scheme by itself is pretty good, but the caveats completely negates the advantages.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

日本料理... 爆発だ!

Since October last year, I've decided to go out and try out more Japanese Restaurants in Singapore. Coincidentally, there is an ongoing boom in Japanese Restaurants. Within the past half a year or so, there should be at least 50 new restaurants that had opened. Personally, I think I have tried about 50 restaurants myself.

Today's recall.
Ramen category:

Miharu (Gallery Hotel) - Hokkaido ramen: Tokusei (special) Tonkotsu Miso & Tonkotsu Miso flavors
Ichiban Tei (Robertson Quay) - Hokkaido ramen: Tonkotsu Miso flavor
Marutama (Central) - No idea (chicken based soup): Basic, Karashi, & Tokusen Aka (red) flavor
Santouka (Central) - Hokkaido [Asahikawa] ramen: Tonkotsu Kara (hot) Miso flavor
Bishamon (Bugis Junction) - Hokkaido ramen: Tokusei (special) Tonkotsu Miso flavor
Yoshimaru (Holland Village) - Kyuusyu ramen: Tonkotsu flavor
Baiohken (North Canal) - Hokkaido [Asahikawa] ramen: Syoyuu flavor + extra Chasyuu
Menya Manpei (Iluma) - Hokkaido ramen: Tonkotsu Miso flavor

Notice that most ramen shops in Singapore are of the Hokkaido version. I wonder why this is so. While it is true that Hokkaido is Ramen Country, I would have thought that ramen from warmer parts of Japan would be more of more easy sell to tropical tounges.

Future targets:

Shigemi Kawahara is better known in Japan as the King of Ramen: the restaurateur and chef is the only person to have won, three times in a row, a nation-wide competition testing the skills of ramen experts.

Singapore, April 18, 2009

Ippudo (Mandarin Gallery) - to open in October
Menya Kaiko (ION) - hope chef sticks around
Aoba (ION) - before the chef returns to Japan!
Noodle House Ken (Cuppage)
Menya Shinchan (Robertson Quay)
Tanpopo (Liang Court)
Ohsho (Cuppage) - although I heard their Cyahan is better than the ramen...

My current favorite ranking:
Noodle overall: Marutama (I am not really partial to Hokkaido style noodle)
Tonkotsu Miso: Bishamon
Tonkotsu Syoyuu: Baiohken
Tonkotsu: Yoshimaru
Chasyuu: Baiohken
Gyouza: Miharu (only tried at few shops)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Micro... finance!

I now know how to call "Arisan" in English.

It is called ROSCAs (Rotating Savings and Credit Association).


Thursday, March 05, 2009

To monetize or not to monetize...

Got this quote off Today Newspaper, about why HDB is only willing to assist downgraders in a "case-by-case" basis:

'There are those who are downgrading because they want to monetise their assets. They live comfortably in a 5-room flat, they sell their flat, they get substantial proceeds and they want to buy a 3-room flat. Such cases are really not the financially hardship type.'

My first thought: Huh? If I can't monetise my "asset", what is the point of its price going up? (Other than enabling the IRS to collect more tax from me that is). What is wrong with wanting to live in smaller house so that I can have more spending cash? I would have worked hard to pay my mortgage interest to the banks, and CPF would have gotten back the money that's meant for my retirement (plus the incurred interest).

My second thought: People who are "living comfortably" in 5-room flats are not likely to want to, or meet HDB's antiquated criteria for 3-room flat purchase anyway.

Given that the average household income in Singapore is approx. $6,000 in year 2008, based on prudent financial thinking, an average property in Singapore should not cost more than $216,000 (3x gross annual salary). And that's already discounting all other expenses such as agent fees, legal fees, renovation, insurance, furniture, etc. Therefore, the price of public housing should be lower than this value, not going 3 times above it! (E.g.: The $600,000+ flats at Boon Keng.)

It gets worse: 'The per capita household monthly income from work for the top 10 percent of the employed households is $7,940 and for the next 10 percent, $3,460. In other words, the per capita income of 90 percent of the households is less than Singapore's average household income.' Source: Department of Statistics' report.

So now, guess who is also at fault for people ending up with properties they can't afford? Hint: this body restricts people from buying properties that are way below their income level and only provide loans for upgrading, not the other way round. They are now turning a blind eye and deaf ears on a problem that they had helped, and still continue to, with great gusto, perpetrate.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


So, there's been a tragedy at NTU.

What I don't get is the recurrent mention about how the student was "an avid gamer".
This "info" appeared in all the articles about him so far.

I don't see why this specific "info" about the student has to be included in every article. People who read it would tend to go "ah, is that one of the reason...?"

I am Indonesian, and also am "an avid gamer" myself. So, hypothetically, if people starts giving me funny looks, then I would have a pretty good idea on who to take it out on yes? (And this is a joke, for those who don't get it.)

And they say that the newspaper is relevant...
Bah, humbug!