Friday, August 28, 2015

Jumpin' for a brunchin' // 23 Jumpin'

It has definitely been a long while since I've gone on a food hunt. Finally found the chance to do that today, hence this upcoming mouth watering post.

I apologize in advance to all those who

1) Have yet to eat anything (which should not be the case, ahem, no skipping meals),
2) Get hungry easily but moths are coming out of every corner of your wallet right now; i.e. broke (a huge majority of us......),
3) Are just too lazy to leave the house and that's why you're all camping out on this page and staring at food photographs in an attempt to calm your hunger pangs.

Welcome!
And I'm sorry......again...

Today's pit stop was a recommendation by a good girl-friend of mine, V, and surprisingly it's a stone's throw away from where we live! To be exact, 13 minutes by car. Thank goodness she drives~ For everyone else, it's two minutes walk from Tai Seng MRT!

23 Jumpin' is located right in the heart of the industrial estate of Tai Seng. Taking the bus to school and passing by the area everyday, I never suspected that there was such a gem tucked away amongst those tall buildings.

There's a warehouse building next to where 23 Jumpin' is located for all those driving and are looking for parking!

This little cafe is right in the middle of a stretch of small little eateries; two ice-cream parlors and a few healthy bistros amongst others.


That huge article on the left of the door is a showcase of the review done by renowned food blogger - LadyIronChef.

Although there was ample seating indoors, V and I chose to be seated outside. If you're all about gorgeous lighting when it comes to food photography, or you just want to be a vainpot and take selfies in amazing lighting, the outdoors is almost always a better choice.

Despite it being 32 degrees, a slight breeze was blowing, which made alfresco seating perfect.

We were handed the menus, after which we had to walk in to order and make payment. Best part? No GST or service charge!


We decided to share the entire meal and ordered:

Mushroom pizza waffle (they're known for their pizza waffles!) - $14, Honey paprika wings (yet another popular choice) - $8, Duck confit with mashed potatoes and vegetables - $16. For drinks, I decided to try the Thai Iced Milk tea - $5, and V ordered her Matcha Latte - $4.50.

Payment is accepted by both NETS and cash! Also, do remember to get your own cutlery and serviettes after ordering! They're located next to the huge jug of ice water (free-flow!).

We didn't have to wait long for our drinks to arrive; probably 5 minutes or so? The server mistook V's hot matcha for a cold one instead, but he quickly apologized and switched the wrong order even though we told him it was okay. He was really polite about it as well!




Close up of the beautiful latte art on V's matcha.

Mushroom and cheese waffle; and the huge portion of duck confit.


The colours just pop off the white plate~ Note: I'm a sucker for colourful plating. 

I could not find a knife (or maybe I just didn't look hard enough), but a spoon and a fork stuck into this huge duck leg was enough. The perfectly moist duck meat fell away from the bone with ease. The skin still crispy and yet not at all greasy. The hero of this dish was definitely the duck for me.

Mashed potato tasted like any normal mashed potato would, in my opinion. The sauce had a slight orange tang to it which cut through the richness of the mashed potato and it's gravy accompaniment.


Close up of the honey paprika wings

The wings look similar to the one's Lola's cafe are famous for. They are, however, slightly spicier in comparison to the sweeter wings found at Lola's with the generous sprinkling of paprika. No, of course we used our fingers to devour into these beauties. Cripsy skin, moist flesh, excellent balance of sweet and spice. What more could we ask for? The only thing we left behind were the clean bones.


We split the waffle right down the middle in an attempt to 'share' it. Crispy waffle topped with generous amounts of cheese and mushroom. Simplicity at its best. I always agree with the motto of 'If you're doing something simple, make sure it's perfect,'

And it was. A pity we were too stuffed beyond belief to finish this. This is definitely one for the ultimate cheese lover - yes I'm talking about all you people who open the tops of cheese bottles and just pour a mountain of it all over your pasta.

It's fine, we've all been guilty of it at least once! ;)


For a grand total of $47.50, it was totally worth it. I would say reasonable prices for it's portion size. Aside from that, it's completely accessible; just a short walk away. So you have no excuse not to drop by!

I'll make it a point to squeeze the truffle fries (it's on the menu guys), and a dessert in there somewhere the next time I visit.

For now, I shall succumb to my food coma with absolutely no regret!

23 Jumpin'
1 Irving Place
#01-25
(Nearest MRT : Tai Seng, Exit A)
Contact: 8798 2625

Opening Hours:
Tues - Sun (11:00 - 21:00)


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sun, sea, sand, sweat. Sunburn.

In all honesty, right now, I'm blogging in absolute pain. My back and shoulders are redder than cooked lobsters. I'll get through it. Slowly, and painfully.

Morning; kickboxing. And I really have to go easy on my knee. It's starting to act up again.... thank goodness for KT Tape. Rushed down for track PT with the rest at Sentosa, and then Syarm and I tanned (which explains my lobster-self). Remind me never to underestimate training by the water. Literally, sand, sun, sea. And repeat. Everything you've ever done on land, warm ups and drills that once seemed so easy, turns into something ten times more difficult in water. D;

Had a good heart to heart session with Syarm while we watched the rest of the team bury Haikal in the sand and leave him there.

And I saw a dead skinless frog. It's a bad omen. I hate frogs.





This qt 3.14 was running all over the place teehee






Khairi made me my usual caramel macchiato, and sent me off home. 

Asked for my coffee sleeve, and he said: 

K "Eh, manje eh mintak coffee sleeve."
Me "Tak salah pe. Coffee sleeve je, bukannye mintak nombor kau. " :P

Two can play at that game mister. 

But he never disappoints me with bad coffee. :')

Monday, August 24, 2015

"How do guys pick up girls sia?"

The title speaks volumes.

It's the one question I've been getting quite consistently as of late, and I've started thinking about it quite abit. Especially since I've had my fair share of awkward encounters during my time spent at Zouk.

I'm just gonna put in my two cents as to the "tips" I'd give to my bros and guy-friends out there who're really curious as to how this entire "hooking up" vs "asking them out" works.

In the first place, "hooking up" and "asking out" are two different things. As girls, we should learn to tell the difference between both and in both situations to avoid a whole bunch of emotional complications.

It also links to how a guy actually even begins to approach a girl to "get things started".

And it's important to note that:

It depends on the situation.


Photo credits: (https://mytripthisyear.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/clubs.jpg)

I'm not sure if it applies to all girls, but in my opinion, if you're in a club and a guy comes up to you and does his thing, you kinda shoulda know that it's a 'hook-up' already. 

And if you don't, then, you gotta pray.

I'm just saying.
 Guys reading this, don't hate me if the above statement isn't true and you're looking for a life partner in a club. (DO YOU SEE HOW WEIRD THAT SOUNDS?!?!)

Anyhow moving on, here's a few things that you probably should avoid. 

--

1. Respect a girl's personal space. Yes, I know you're high and all that, but sheesh, self-control won't harm you. By that, I mean, don't just go ahead and grab her in places that shouldn't be grabbed. You know what I mean. That includes the waist btw.

2. Forcing yourself on someone who's not interested and who has already told you that she's not interested is not gonna help your chances either. 

3. Don't wait too long to approach a girl if you're interested. If you're interested, chances are, someone else is interested in her too. Grab (not literally) and go like it's the Great Singapore Sale. 

4. Winking in a crowded club doesn't do you any good either. Especially on the dance floor. Like are the lights too damn bright for you or what?



--

Basically, I think the first two are the main things that are really a turn off? Note, I'm just generalizing based on my own personal experience, so, if you like the whole grabbing and forcing thing (as a girl), then go ahead.

There are other options:

  • Just go up to the girl, and ask if you can buy her a drink. Yes, that works. As simple as it sounds.
  • If you think she's attractive, then YOU walk up to her and tell her that. Don't say this "Hey, my friend thinks you're cute." Um, so where's your friend? And why are you here? I understand the whole wingman thing, but it's more sincere if you're the one asking. You get me?
  • Ask if the girl wants to dance (if she's not on the dance floor la. If she's high and in the whole "put my hands in the air" mode, don't be cray and ask her if she want's to dance with you)
  • Stupid or lame pickup lines SOMETIMES work. No guarantees. But if she laughs, you're good to go.



And it all sounds pretty simple, but I think the most sincere approaches get the most results? I think it's the hopeless romantic in me that's talking.

If she agrees, and she's already hanging out with you:

Make small talk. 
Chances are, if she can converse with you, she'll trust you enough to take her wherever. ;) ;) ;)

If all else fails,


Kidding. 

Here's another article I came across that I more or less agree to: http://www.thesmartlocal.com/read/pick-up-girls-sg

If anyone has had any unusual, positive or completely creepy experiences with picking up (or getting picked up) girls/guys/anyone and you want to share, just leave a comment below!! I'd love to hear your interesting story ;)

Even better if you've got advice to add; all the more welcome. 


Day in the life of yours truly.

I've been quite active with the whole vlogging and documenting my travels thing since I came back from my long 'AWOL' around Southeast Asia. So, last Saturday, I decided to go through an entire day in my life vlog seeing as I had so much to accomplish on that particular day anyhow.


Had the whole filming thing and we found this hidden gem of a location while we were getting lost in Suntec. The light was amazing, so Ira and I took full advantage of it. We went a little mad, and I literally took 100+++ photos of her, no keedz. I don't mind the snapping, I just don't know how to narrow them down when I'm sending photos to her HAHAHA.  #firstworldproblems

Walked over to the F1 Pit Building (which was supposed to be our initial stop....) and filmed the SIA Carnival that was ongoing. Cars and activities galore. Even bumped into Sufie who was happily roaming around since she wasn't on duty.

Finally we dragged our starving selves over to Max Brenner at Esplanade Mall to grab a bite. The crepe was to die for, I swear. Peanut butter, banana and chocolate is a never fail combination imo.

Final pit stop was the annual Nightfest - Armenian Street, to the main festival next to SMU and ending it off by watching the light show on the National Museum.

Was pretty much exhausted by that time. Ended the night with my girls at Zouk before crashing home at 4am.

Can't believe it's the final week of holidays before the mad Fall semester starts. Where did the days go?


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Graduation: What does it mean, really.

I posted the same article up on my campus blog, and decided, why not just share it on my main one as well? Here goes; my thoughts about the whole graduation shenanigans:
The most significant thing that has occurred in my college life lately has been watching the first batch of my friends finally convocate and cross the finishing line into official 'working adult' life. It makes me think about my own convocation cum graduation coming just around the corner.
It's scary. Pressurizing. Exciting. A medley of emotions.
Of course there's the whole assumption that once we graduate, our parents will stop prodding us for our college grades, and that they'll stop assuming that we're on our laptops playing computer games (?!?!?!) instead of studying hard for finals.
You ALL know that's probably not true. They'll still nag. Only cause they love us. 
There's also the excitement of receiving that degree, after working extremely hard for three, four years trying to keep up that GPA. The anxiety when you walk up the steps on stage and approach the Dean, palms sweating and trying hard to keep your eyes open in the blinding spotlight while the official photograph snaps away. (And you're secretly praying that your eyes are not shut in that photo)
Finally, you're trying so hard to hold back your tears as you watch your parents search frantically for tissues in the crowd, pride all over their faces, and you realize that you finally did them proud.
All that, and then, there's the painful realization that there's no one to plan your life schedule for you any longer.
If you think about it, your parents enrol you in primary school, so that's six years of schooling. And then, your aggregate gets you to a secondary school - four to five years of education. Junior college after that means two to three years, and then college - four years. 
And then what?
It's an infinite blank space. Your fingers frantically click away at job advertisements; applying for anything that fits what you think you're looking for. Interviews, after interviews, after interviews follow. 
If you're lucky, then congratulations! You've sealed your fate in a binder of papers called a contract for the next few years or so. 
If not, silence.
Then you turn into a couch potato for life.
Just kidding.
In short, my life ends in two semesters. Help. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fie x Hanoi: Cave climbing at Ha Long Bay

Dino stayed on with me at the hostel and brought me to breakfast the next morning. Yes, more noodles. No, I'm not complaining.

He had already booked my ticket for the tour through Ha Long Bay the day before and kept reminding me that I had to be down in time for the tour bus to fetch me. He had work, so he couldn't join me which was pretty sad. I did appreciate the alone time anyhow! The tickets (mine wasn't an overnight stay!) cost me about 600, 000 VND? Which isn't much if you convert it into SGD, around $30? Inclusive of a damn good seafood lunch on board the boat, of course.


How can something so simple be so darn good?!?!?

So, tour bus came to pick me up around 8-ish, and then we went around to various different hotels and hostels to pick other tourists up. Mostly Australians were around, and in the end, I did have a few conversations with them during my trip.

Had a short pit stop before continuing our three hour journey to the bay area. Yes, three hours. Aside from that, the tour guide kept calling my name Sophia. I just went along with it..... exhaustion mostly.







The lunch doesn't include drinks or soft drinks (which pretty much sucks), you have to pay extra for those. Thankfully, I had my own water bottle. So, take note if you're thinking of traveling on a budget!





I think I got pretty sunburnt after sitting out on the deck all day without any sunscreen. But the serenity, and the towering monumental cliffs just left me in awe and snapping away. I was literally sitting at the edge of the boat....


We finally reached the dock where the caves were. There are quite a number of them caves, but we only went into and up one!

Entering the cave, the cool atmosphere countered the excessive heat from the outside. The photographs I took don't do justice to what I really experienced during my short climb.




We finally made it out on to the top, and the view was breathtaking of course. 





The climb back down was slightly harder since the stairs were made for people with miniature feet... On top of which, they were really steep cut.

We made our three hour journey back in the bus to the city, and by the time I reached my hotel, it was almost 8pm. 

Huy came by to the hotel to fetch me and he took me out for dinner (yes I hadn't eaten anything since lunch happened), just the two of us. Noodles.

It was nice getting to know him better, and we just talked about random things. He brought me on a short tour around the area before sending me back to the hotel. I crashed pretty late, which resulted in me almost being late for my flight. Woops.

Dino was banging on my hostel room door at 10.30 and I was in a mad rush to get ready to leave. Thankfully, we made it just in time.

Even managed to get food into my system HAHA. Fat is me.

Another smooth flight back to Singapore (I felt like it took slightly longer), but I fell asleep on the flight.

Pretty much sums up my first solo trip to Vietnam. Till my next noodle hunt!

Not many videos though or vlogs, because I had a full phone memory :( 


Friday, August 14, 2015

August

I have been a horrible horrible blogger lately - not punctual with my posts and totally not making an effort to clear my backlog of travel vlogs/articles and I'm nowhere near starting on my food section.

On a side note, I am officially done with the Summer semester, and two weeks till I jump right into the hectic Fall semester. Five modules await. :/

For now, here's a quick update on what I've been up to lately!

Catching up with some old friends/classmates seem to be a thing:

1. Zouk, Attica and I caught Paper towns with Aidil. 



Pardon the horrible photo quality from my front camera.

2. Briefing and sharing session for this year's SSEAYP participants. (Plus finally had Creamier waffles with wonderful company)


(Missing Wanlin so so much. So proud of her for getting back into the program this year)



3. Regular food dates with the NTU-land locked sis (who's currently in KL enjoying her weekend.....)



That gorgeous pile of waffles with grilled mango, coconut sauce and shaved toasted coconut + glorious moist apple crumble with vanilla bean ice cream is from none other than Wild Honey.


4. One Altitude with part of my Zouk kakis :')


5. Recently celebrating Aidil's 22nd with movie and pizza




6. Lunch date with the Nutella-ian at Hanare 




And I'm finally proud to announce I've tried llao llao !!!! (I sense all the judging looks right now) Impromptu movie with my Mexithai woman - Vacation is hilarious btw you guys.


Yes, I now have my track shirt. And I'm super proud of it.

In addition to all that has been going on, I've got to give a huge shoutout to my favourite baristas down by my Starbucks hideout for tolerating my face - only cause I go over everyday for my coffee fix. We're all homies now. 

Plus, I'm gonna be saying goodbye to FF in just a few short months !!! :( Maybe hello to Evolve?? Yep, my martial arts dreams could come true? Who knows. 

Apparently taekwondo was never enough woops

The sounds of Tove Lo now playing in the background as I abruptly end this August post, and start my official two week holiday.

Did I forget to mention, I'm running on 24 hours of no sleep?