Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Eat: Super worth and good quality everyday set lunch @ North Border Bar and Grill

We had our last lunch of 2014 at North Border Bar and Grill @ Rochester Park. Chanced upon this wonderful place few weeks back when hubby brought us there for lunch after church.

*Went back again on 27 January 2015 as I crave for the yummy courses!

Set amidst trees and nature, one can choose to dine outdoor with open air.. for those who wanted to dine indoor, the option is available too. This place is quaint and quiet, perfect for those who wanted to dine in is not even packed during weekend :)

Service is good too, very friendly and clear up the table pretty efficiently :)

As for the location, one can easily reach there by car.. either park at the car park just below the restaurant or park at Rochester Hotel just opposite the road. Otherwise, can also reach by MRT (Buona Vista) or bus... need to walk a bit from MRT station. Can check their website for more information on location (Location)

Located at No 2, Rochester Park
We love their set lunch cause it is super worth it and the food quality is not compromised by the price. A 3 courses meal is at $26.90++ and there are options for 2 or 4 courses meal as well. Plus coffee or tea is complimentary with every set lunch.

Set lunch menu on 31st December 2014
Set lunch menu on 27 January 2015
It is rather kids friendly too-- have high chair, kids' menu, kids' cutlery set ... kid's menu are quite standard though-- fish and chips, nuggets, sausages, the usual stuff... order sausages on the first time round and quesadillas on second occasion..

Cheese Quesadillas
Each table will be given a complimentary starters- nicely warm nachos with homemade dip (sourish spicy). Love the warm and crispy nachos and the dip is an added yum! A little spicy for the kids but perfect for adults.

Complimentary Starter
Now, time for some starters...

Caesar Salad-- wonderfully fresh salad with great accompanied salad sauce.. served with a generous amount of grilled chicken! Thumbs up!!!

Chicken Caesar Salad
Salmon Mousse topped with Salmon Roe on Foccacia Toast--Creamy salmon mousse served on toast... accompanied by fresh salad with nuts and dried fruits. Another thumbs up!

Salmon Mousse
Ahi Tuna, jalapeños, onions, cilantro, tomatoes served with baby spinach and focaccia toast--didnt try this starter but my sister-in-law commented that it is good too!

Tuna salad on toast
Caesar salad with boiled egg, bacon bits, croutons, cheese topped with smoked salmon. Again, their caesar salad is very well done, perfect combination.

Caesar salad with egg and smoked salmon
Grilled Sea Scallop with Baby Spinach and Mango Avocado Sauce. Another well done starters- love how the juicy scallops goes with the avocado mango sauce which is slightly sweet. 

Grilled Sea Scallop with Baby Spinach and Mango Avocado Sauce
As for the main courses--

Grilled Lamb Chops with Merlot Sauce, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Vegetables--i had mine medium well and the lamb is good, with no lamb-y taste (if you know what i meant), well marinated and goes well with the merlot sauce served. Sautéed vegetables are good too, with a hint of grind black pepper. Overall, love the dish!

My medium well grilled lamb chops
Crispy Skinned Salmon, roast potatoes, sauteed vegetables and bacon horseradish sauce--had this the last time i visited. The skin is indeed crispy but salmon still preserved its juicy-ness...

Crispy Skinned Salmon
Grilled Australian Ribeye steak, celeriac waldorf salad, roasted potatoes with red wine jus--another thumb up from hubby. Served medium well as requested, the steak still juicy and nice. Well marinated too!

Australian Ribeye Steak
Chicken Cordon Blue Stuffed Mozzarella Cheese with Mashed Potatoes caramelised onions. This is served in a huge portion-one huge cordon blue with oozing cheese, a scoop of mashed potato with caramelised onions, sautéed mushrooms and sautéed vegetables. All very well done and goes very well with one another.... but I was so full towards the end that I can't finish it... (saving some space for desserts)
Cordon Blue- look at the oozing cheese
Crispy outside and cheesy inside
Lastly, we had our desserts...

Mexican Brownie with Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream--i usually doesn't like brownie cause it is always too much to be finished on my own but these brownie are warmed up to pretty crispy outside, couple with ice cream and nuts pieces... it is quite yum!

Mexican Brownie
Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Lava Torte with berries compote and vanilla ice cream--flow-y chocolate lava cake served with vanilla ice cream... it is good as well! The chocolate is not too sweet which is good :)

Chocolate Lava Cake
Linzer Tart with Raspberry Almond Filling and Vanilla Ice Cream. I was a bit skeptical about this choice of dessert but it was quite good, goes very well with the vanilla ice cream...
Linzer Tart with Raspberry Almond Filling and Vanilla Ice Cream
The complimentary coffee is surprisingly good as well...didnt manage to take photo cause busy enjoying the food!

Overall, i would say this place is definitely worth a visit... we came back here again in less than 2 weeks... plus it is good that the menu changed every 2 weeks so there would be something different to order for subsequent visit :) will definitely come back again for its set lunch!

I would also like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and have a wonderful 2015 year ahead!!!

2, Rochester Park,
Singapore 139 213.
Tel: +65 6777 6618

Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm
Sunday 11am-10pm

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Eat and Play: Phuket Family Trip November 2014 (Part 2)

28th November 2014

The next day, as usual we had pool time after breakfast... 

Boy boy is more comfortable with swimming today...Compared to yesterday where he just play a bit of water and stand around.

Girl girl crying as i pull her inside deeper water... she just wanted to sit at the side of the pool...
So happy

Got ready at 10.30am and first stop is Promthep Cape which is about 10 minutes away from where we stayed.

The sun is scorching when we reached but since we are here, of course need to explore a bit... saw lots of brides and groom taking photo for their wedding album... view is good... just a little too hot...

Group photo
We wanted to lunch at Rawai Seafood again and it only opens after 1pm, so went for elephant ride again.... This time hubby , boy boy and me didnt ride since we already went for it yesterday. My sis also couldn't ride as she is pregnant... So the rest of them went for it again...

It is free for girl girl and she loves the ride so much, so she went for it again.. this time with grandma...

The rest of us who stayed, we had ice cream and cool drinks to cool down....

Girl girl enjoying the ride
daddy and jong
Lunch is at Rawai Seafood again.. we ordered more or less the same stuff since it is so yummy.... didnt take photos cause everyone just busy eating... 

For photos of the yummy seafood: Phuket Trip Part 1

We were exhausted so went back to villa to nap.... I slept for a while then chill by eating some tidbits and watching movie on my iPad. Girl girl is very tired, she slept till almost 7.30pm...

Mummy, daddy, my second sis and her hubby went for Fantasea .. the rest of us are too tired so we just rest in the villa and went for dinner at Sala Mexicali.. OMG, the chicken fajitas is the best i have ever eaten... the meat is well marinated, soft and i don't know how to describe... just keep eating... yummy!

This is the entrance to the restaurant. Upon entering, the decor is simple yet cosy. There are already a few other tables occupied by the time we reached.

Entrance to the restaurant

Simple yet cosy decor

 Fried chicken is rather normal...
Fried chicken...
 I ordered chicken fajitas and it is the best i had ever eaten. First time the chicken meat is so tender and so well marinated. The onions, capsicum all very well cooked and taste fantastic. It is served with warm and soft fajitas and accompanied by sour cream, cheese, homemade tomatoes cubes, and homemade guacamole. It was so nice that everyone gave thumbs up! A must try if you are here.
Hubby ordered salmon and it is also nice but not as breathtaking as my fajitas. The mashed potatoes are homemade and there are minced vegetables inside which are special. The salad is well flavored too.

Salmon on mashed potatoes
My sis ordered chicken quesadillas and it is also not too bad. Nicely flavored but verdict is i still love my fajitas the most!
Quesadillas chicken

After dinner, my younger sis and her hubby went out walk walk while hubby and me slept early... the kids were tired too so slept early too...

29th November 2014

Will be flying back today... it is the last day of our holiday... Went out to get breakfast as our sausages and bread finish....

So today we will be having local food for breakfast....Found a few stalls with good food..

Some of the good ones...

These are little mini tarts with coconut milk inside.... coconut milk is still jelly-ish after cooking, and it is top with sweet potatoes or spring onion... love them!

Sweet coconut mini tart
Coconut mini tart?
The other nice one is this mini fried "you tiao" .. you can eat them on its own or dip in kaya.. very nice too!
Mini "you tiao" with kaya dip
Fried "you tiao"
We also had fried chicken with glutinous rice... fried chicken is nice. the rice is pretty normal.

Fried chicken with glutinous rice
Went for a last round of swimming after breakfast and then checked out. Electricity is not inclusive of the stay and cost 1600 baht for 3 nights stay. 

Went Patong again as my sis wanted to buy some souvenir.... We lunch at Fuji Japanese Restaurant and the food is good! Even have free dessert and coffee with each set meal ordered.. yummy! We were rushing so didnt manage to take photos.

After lunch, was pretty rush to the airport but luckily still manage to check in and board on time! Phew....

Flew back uneventfully and had a quick dinner at airport before coming home...

Great trip overall though the weather is a little too hot...

Some highlight of the trip:
I especially love the private pool and dip in it quite a few times during our short trip.
Seafood at Rawai is really nice and at a very reasonable price.
My girl love the elephant rides and went on it twice.
I also love the mexican food that we had during the last night of our trip.
Most importantly, it was a great family trip and everyone had a good time.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Play: A visit to Hay Dairies Goat's Farm

Hay Dairies, located in quaint area of Lim Chu Kang is one of the rare area in Singapore which still preserves much of the greeneries. There are a number of farms and plantation around the area and indeed a nice place to go for a half day outing around the busy Singapore area....Once you are around the area, you won't even know that you are in Singapore.

We visited the goat's farm today. It is free entrance for the farm. The kids love watching the goats and their kid lazing around in their barn and drinking water..... 

Watching goat...
Goats lazing around

After visiting the goats, we bought some fresh goat's milk to drink and some extra to bring home. There are 2 flavours to choose from.. original and chocolate... for those who can't stand the taste of goat's milk, do opt for the chocolate flavour as the chocolate does mask part of the smell. My daughter love the original flavour and had one bottle (200ml) all by herself...

We bought on-site so the 200ml cost $2.50 each and a 800ml bottle cost $8. The farm also provides cooler styrofoam case with ice so that the milk can last until you get home.

House delivery of the milk is also available but the price of the milk will be slightly more expensive and there is a minimum amount to order.. Home Delivery
2 flavours to choose from.
Apparently, the farms around the Lim Chu Kang area will be closing down soon (no exact dates yet) so if you are keen , do give them a visit before they close down and to taste fresh goat's milk :)

Hay Dairies Pte Ltd
3, Lim Chu Kang,
Agrotech Park Lane 4, 
Singapore 718859
Tel: 65 6792 0931

Closed on Tuesday.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cook: Hot and Fluffy Pancake

It was a rainy day today and I decided to make some fluffy pancake for lunch... This is a simple recipe, great for a quick bite or breakfast :)

Yummy Pancake!
Lots of "hole"
Top with your favourite topping!
(Make 5 pieces of medium sized pancake)

1. 135g of plain flour
2. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
3. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
4. 1 tablespoon of sugar
5. 130ml of fresh milk
6. 1 large egg
7. 2 tablespoon of butter, melted and allowed to cool slightly (about 5 minutes)


1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add baking powder, salt and sugar into the flour. 
2. Place the milk and egg in another bowl and give it a quick whisk. 
3. Add the milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture bowl and mix well using a fork until the batter is smooth.
4. Add butter and mix well until all melted butter is incorporate and no lumps. The mixture will be quite thick as shown in picture.

Thick batter
5. Let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes.
6. Heat up a non-stick pan and add some butter.
7.When the butter melted, add a ladle of batter onto the pan. Using the back of ladle, smooth the mixture into a round shape.
8. Turn the pancake to the other side after seeing bubble forming on top of the pancake as shown. It will take a few minutes.

Bubble forming, time to turn the pancake.
9. Once both side is browned, it is ready. Repeat until all batter is used up.
10. Serve with your favourite topping. I drizzle some maple syrup and serve with a knob of butter and a handful of dried cranberries.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Eat and Play: Phuket Family Trip November 2014 (Part 1)

After planning for many years, finally we had our first family trip to Phuket. We (8 adults and 2 kids) had a great 4 days 3 nights trip with great time bonding and chatting. Everyone in the family went except my youngest sis's daughter who is just 1 month plus.. but i am sure she will be joining for the upcoming family trip :)

26th November 2014

Our flight is at 8.30am, so we got out of our house at 6am, planning to reach the airport by 6.30am. There are no cars on the road but the cabbie driver exercise extra caution and drove super slow... we reached at 6.40am, and my mum they all already queueing to check-in and had to let a few other passengers to go before them as we haven't check in is fast since we are already first in the queue when we reached. Quickly proceed to boarding gate and after passing the immigration, we had about an hour for breakfast before boarding.

Had a quick breakfast at Bakerzin as there are not so much choices at Terminal 1....Their hot chocolate is good but a bit pricey. Meanwhile, sis, mum, BIL all walked around the airport as they already had breakfast before we arrived.

We boarded the plane at 8am and the plane is delayed for 15 minutes or so as two of their passengers lost their passport. It is quite a drama though cause the couple actually queue in front of my sis and brother in law....and they were blaming one another for misplacing the passport. They went back to look for it but i guess they couldn't find so the pilot make final decision to unload their checked-in luggage. 

Girl enjoying the company of grandpa... requesting for grandpa to draw pictures for her
Meanwhile, boy boy played with granny
Flight was uneventful and we reached Phuket at 9.30am (local time, Phuket is one hour slower than Singapore).

I was carrying little boy when i walked into the Thai Custom, looking for the shortest queue and i was approached by one of the custom officer. He asked how many of us are together and was pretty shocked when i told him that there is 10 of us... but he kindly lead us to row which is for Thai Resident and there is no queue we cleared custom within 15 minutes thanks to the little ones.... it is like an express queue for kids.. hehe! Luggage came out pretty soon as we got out and we gotten some free sim card (True Move) at one of the booth.. just need to top up at 7-11 and activate, then the sim card is good for use... It is 150 baht for 3 days of 3G use, and 200baht for 7 days use which is quite ok.

I had emailed David Car Rental before we arrived to book for car and the staff is already waiting for us outside with  my name board...This car rental place is quite reliable and they don't even ask for deposit for the car, so just need to email them with the cars that you wanted and they will be waiting outside the airport. It is the second time we booked car with them.They drove us to their office which is just opposite the airport and we collected our car for the trip... One Honda Civic (1300 baht per day) and one Toyota Altis (1200 baht per day). 

The staff in charge is really friendly and even offer to sell us Phi Phi Island Tour... we got it at a discounted rate with complimentary fetching from our Villa at Rawai. It is 2000 baht per person including pick up from Rawai and a full day tour by speedboat with lunch.

We wanted to lunch at Prantalay Seafood Restaurant as hubby and me enjoyed the food there very much on our previous trip but we can't find the place so ended up at Luk Lay Seafood Restaurant which is not nice... food is very normal and super pricey, portion is small too.

View is good as we dine next to the sea with view, and although it is outdoor seating but wasnt hot as it is covered by some big trees.

Nice outdoor seating
Dine with a view
Pineapple rice.. tasted ok....
Tom yam is ok, a bit spicy
Fried pork-- portion is really small
Kang Kung.. normal
Fried squid... 
Fish is nice.. a little sourish spicy taste
Pad Thai .. not nice
Overall food is ok as we are hungry but wouldn't recommend this restaurant unless had no choice...we spend 3410 baht for this meal and wasnt even very full or satisfied...

After lunch, we drove to our villa.. took us quite sometime to find it as the villa number doesn't go by sequence... the villa we booked is 86/81 but it is definitely not next to 86/82 or 87/81 or anything like this.... in the end, we had to call the owner who kindly came to the main road to get the trick is to drive to the main road at Soi Saiyuan 9 Road and get the owner to come and get you cause believe, no matter how many times you go in and out looking, where the villa is... there is no way we are going to find that place on our own...

After checking in and chatted with the owner, we know why the number aren't in sequence. They basically gave out the house number by sequence to the buyer but no one knows which plot of land the buyer is going to build the house, so the house next to you can be build long time ago and therefore the number will be vastly different. 

The house manager showed us around the house (pool, BBQ on rooftop, 4 bedrooms, 3 toilets, a living room, and kitchen.... while the owner bring my BIL on a motorbike ride to show him around the area.. where to get food, massage etc.

Private infinity pool
We settled in... kids played for a while, then shower as they didnt shower in the morning since we woke up pretty early.... watch Frozen for a while then nap together with daddy. Wanted to make them milk but they fall asleep before my hot water is ready....

Meanwhile, mummy, me, mei and her hubby swim and chill at the pool. After shower, we hang out at the living room and play cards while munching some biscuits.

After the kids woke up at about 7pm, it is time for dinner and we decided to eat at Rawai Seafood Market... it is definitely highly highly recommended... best meal in Phuket! We get to choose seafood at the stalls, and cook them at the restaurant just opposite them.... super fresh!

Do bargain for the seafood price as the price is not fixed!

Fresh seafood to pick
Daddy choosing crab for our meal tonight
We bought 2kg of crab, 1kg prawn, some squid, 6 oyster, 1/2 kg flowered cockles for 1550 baht. One fish at 180 baht...

Brought our seafood to Khun Pha Rawai BBQ to cook and ordered their fruit juices and vegetables... it was a super great meal!!!! Cooking, drinks and vegetable came up to 1850 baht and we really ate a lot... even went and get 2 more bunch of squid.....

Special fruit juice
Chang Local Beer
Chap Chay.. nice
Stir fry broccoli
Fresh oyster
Yellow curry crab.. my dad loves this!
Steamed lemon squid!!! This is a must!!!
Fried prawn with garlic.. this is heavenly!
Steamed red crab
Steamed fish
BBQ Cockles... oh... this is super nice!
BBQ prawn in butter and garlic... the other fried prawn version is nicer...
We had a really great meal... and their fruit juices are nice.. imagine mango juice, watermelon juice.. all freshly squeezed.. very nice!

After meal, we went to Makro (a local supermarket) to buy some snacks, drinks and breakfast for the next 2 days (croissant, bread, sausages, egg tart etc)

Went back to villa to rest....

27th November 2014

The next morning, mum, dad, bao and mei woke up earlier as they need to go for the Phi Phi Island tour... who supposedly pick them up between 7.30-8am...but they got lost finding the place and only came at 8.30pm...

Meanwhile in the morning... we grilled hotdog and salami for breakfast.... and heat up egg tart, croissant ... The hot dogs is super nice.. everyone love them!

Qin and me woke up early so we were chilling at the poolside with grandma and grandpa....

Chill-laxing by the pool in the morning

And after breakfast , time for a swim with the kids....

After swimming and shower, we got ready and leave house by 10am... Ting and Jong went shopping while hubby and me went for elephant ride with the kids.

It took us quite a while to find the place as the GPS kept bringing us to the wrong location... in the end found where we wanted to go.. Kok Chang Safari .. apparently this place is better at treating their elephants though the rates are slightly higher than the other place.. we had a good time here.

Kids less than 4 years old is free... and as the seats are not enough for 4 of us .. we got into 2 elephants...

Boy boy keep wanting to go on elephant rides, kept saying even before we left for Phuket but once got onto elephant.. started crying... i think he is scared.. on the other hand, girl girl loves the ride, kept saying it was super fun!
Rates for elephant ride
Posing with elephant
Xin and me
Nice photo
After the ride, we went for a lunch nearby.. at Baan Chow Restaurant. Great view , food is normal... price is slightly pricey but we were hungry so just settle for the food.

After lunch, we went for coffee and cakes at A Spoonful of Sugar.  It had great reviews online but were quite disappointed with their cakes.... it says nice homemade cake but very disappointed with the quality of the cake. Coffee is good, i also had Magic Mocha which is nice and special. Instead of using steamed milk for mocha, it used coconut milk so the mocha has a tinge of coconut taste... kinda special.. a bit weird in the beginning but getting nicer as i drank more... yum!

Do opt for the seats inside as there are quite a bit flies around... we had to "shoo" them while eating...

Quaint little cafe

Magic Mocha with a tinge of coconut milk.. yummy!
Chocolate cake.. disappointing 
Brownie cheese cake... also disappointed 
Even the kids can't finish the cakes
After tea time, went back to villa to nap. 

Meanwhile, mummy, daddy, Mei and Bao enjoyed their day at Phi Phi Island Tour....It was quite a good tour, plenty of water and food onboard, nice lunch... and the tour guide is nice and friendly...

They came back at 4 plus and even had another round of swim at our pool....

Kids slept till about 7pm and then we went to Patong to walk walk and dinner. Parked at Junceylon ... easier to find parking and fees aren't too expensive (10 baht per hour, and if purchased/eat 100 baht, you will get free parking for 3 hours, not a bad deal)

We just had a quick and simple dinner at McD then walk around the area... was already very late when we reached home... bout 12 plus... super tired.. quickly go sleep :)

We had 2 more days at Phuket and tomorrow we are going to Promthep Cape and more elephants rides for girl girl (as we bring grandpa, grandma for elephant ride)... read more at Phuket Trip Part 2...