Posts made in November, 2010

Wagamama Restaurant

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 in Restaurant Reviews | 2 comments

Wagamama Restaurant

Being Asian, we always have serious doubts about the food quality at Asian restaurants overseas. Especially when they’re a franchise and their chefs are non-Asians. And that is what we thought when considering whether it would be good or not to try out the Wagamama Restaurant. Now, I cannot emphasize enough that I have absolutely nothing against non-Asian chefs. But it’s just like having an Asian chef cook an authentic Italian meal for me. I would rather have real Italian food by a real Italian, if you know what I mean.

So we wanted to have some lunch and went through our usual ritual of deciding whether an Asian restaurant is good enough for us to try for the first time.

  1. Look at the menu to see if the food sounds good
  2. Peer in the window to see if there are many customers and what they’re eating
  3. Do a head count to see if there are more Asians than non-Asian customers
  4. Stand about for 30 minutes debating how good the food is gonna be
  5. Walk past the restaurant 10 times then go back to look at the menu again
  6. More standing around and deciding if the food will be good
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 many more times in random order
  8. Finally decide to walk in and give it a try

After wasting much precious time, we were seated in the restaurant and looking at the menu. You would’ve thought we would know all the dishes off by heart after pondering over it a million times outside the restaurant. I was starving at this point and could eat 5 bowls of noodles. We finally ordered a portion of chicken and vegetable gyoza, miso ramen, chilli chicken ramen, peach iced tea and green tea.

Chicken and Vegetable Gyoza

The sauce that came with the gyoza was surprisingly good! And the gyoza itself was delicious.

Miso Ramen

Boy was I surprised at how HUGE the portion of noodles was. I love miso soup and this was actually really good as well. Add a little chilli oil and you’re good to go!

Chilli Chicken Ramen

The chilli chicken ramen was mine and it was delicious. It was not at all spicy to me so a dabble of chilli oil gave it a little boost. As much as I liked the food, and as hungry as I was, I could only finish half the bowl. Good thing I didn’t order 5 huh?

Our Lunch Bill

All in all, we liked the food and would probably go back again. The price was reasonable and apparently green tea is free with any meal. But because it was just noodles in soup and something I thought I could easily whip up myself, I felt it was slightly on the pricey side (plus really good noodle soup costs about £1 where I come from). But hey, it was a good lunch and not bad for an Asian franchise restaurant.

Next time though, we’ll save ourselves the time and just walk in to try it.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 in Recipes | 9 comments

Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve never ever liked eating butternut squash soup, even though I’ve never tried it. Then once when we were out for lunch, my mom ordered butternut squash soup. I thought, “Gross“. She insisted I tried some (practically forced a spoonful down my throat) and whaddya know? I liked it! I just had to make it myself so I could have some anytime I wanted. And this is the easiest soup recipe ever. Plus, it’s great for a cold winter’s day when you’re freezing your butt off!

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Lurpak butter
1 butternut squash, cut into chunks
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic chopped (as a garlic-lover, I used about 5 or 6)
1 cube chicken stock
1 litre water
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Fry garlic and onion in olive oil and butter until light brown.

    Frying garlic and onion

  2. Add squash into pot and fry until slightly cooked.

    Fry squash

  3. Add water, chicken stock, salt and pepper and boil on low fire until squash is well-cooked.
  4. Blend the soup with a hand blender.

    Blend soup

  5. Serve soup with buttered bread! (I love bread with butter)

    Butternut Squash Soup

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Blizzard Madness

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Photography | 5 comments

Blizzard Madness

Needless to say it has been blizzarding terribly for the past few days. Temperatures dropping, snow mounting and driving is like figure skating in my car. Add to that some lightning and thunder as well, and it was like a snow storm! The lightning actually fried the power and telephone line at a friend’s house nearby. There was literally smoke coming from their router! Thankfully, it didn’t affect us at all except to give me a fright that made me jump out of my skin.

It snowed so much that our cars couldn’t get out. So out came the shovels to clear the driveway. I contributed by pressing the shutter to commemorate our first snow shovelling experience ever. Quite pleased that I didn’t have to do all that manual labour. I did volunteer to help but was told to stay out of the way because I would be too slow.

Slow indeed.

Shovelling Snow

Oh well, more time to take photos. Here’s my very own wishing well, buried in snow at the moment.

I’m still waiting for it to grant my wishes.

The Wishing Well

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The Lone Tree (Take 2)

Posted on Nov 27, 2010 in Photography | 5 comments

The Lone Tree (Take 2)

After people kept telling me my picture of what I thought was a tree was actually a bush, I decided I should redeem myself for such an evident display of sheer stupidity. In my defense, it didn’t really look like bush either! So anyways, I now have here a proper picture of a solitary tree. Brown tree trunk with branches sticking out, can’t be mistaken this time.

The Winter Tree

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As Seasons Change

Posted on Nov 26, 2010 in Photography | 4 comments

As Seasons Change

Most non-evergreen trees are completely bare by now and only have naked branches to display. Then I spotted this tree covered in snow but was still holding on to the ends of autumn.

I don’t normally get all wishy-washy but it made me think of the many seasons of life, and how sometimes I try to hold on to a previous phase or past glories (or like reluctantly accepting that my student life is now over). But funny thing about life, it goes on. And while some new phases of life may seem challenging, daunting, even scary at times, having the courage to go through it may just make me a stronger and better person. I have always thought that it is important to have the strength to surpass the difficult encounters in life. But perhaps, it is more important to have the strength to step out of my comfort zone and into uncharted territories.

Far too much thought for one day.

Autumn to Winter

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