Skinny Pizza, Plaza Singapura

Was just talking about Skinny Pizza last week, and here I went to have dinner at Skinny Pizza at Plaza Singapura’s new wing last weekend! But I didn’t have any pizzas though…

Call me a noob or a mountain tortoise, but it is the first time I’m stepping foot into Plaza Singapura after its extension and as I transited from the old wing to the new wing, it was evident the stark contrast between the two. The old wing, as I entered from the basement by way of the MRT station, felt like a heartland mall and not a mall that belonged in town. Even as we progressed up the levels there was hardly a change in how I felt. The new wing was slightly better, but it still didn’t exude that downtown mall kind of experience, and my friend commented that this is typical of Capital Malls’ shopping centres. Really? I didn’t really notice who the developer is when I am in a mall.

Nevertheless, it’s great that PS now offers more options, and the Starbucks that is now at the new wing looks nice and open but as usual it was fully-occupied. The F&B outlets on the other levels above were not reflecting the same picture though, except perhaps Hoshino, where a short queue outside deterred us from checking it out. And as expected, Tin Ho Wan on the ground floor had a long queue outside, reminiscent of the Mong Kok branch I visited last year. The difference was that this queue was in an air-conditioned mall and it seemed more orderly, but still I don’t think I will ever queue that long again for their dim sum. It is good but not to that extent of hour-long queues, and my friend said this outlet’s food was horrible, which was strange because the reviews I read online about the food were generally good, although many of them were reviews based on the media preview, which of course will mean food would have been prepared to the highest of standards or at least quality-checked by the main chef in-charge.

So anyway, this isn’t about Tin Ho Wan. It is about Skinny Pizza, without their famous skinny pizzas. Haha, I didn’t want to order it because it would have been too much for me alone, even if it is so thin, and my friend doesn’t like pizzas that thin. She prefers Pizza Hut pizzas *gasp*. How can anyone like those??

So I ordered a soup for starters. The Red Pepper and Tomato soup, which was very refreshing to the palate with the slight tanginess from the pepper and a little sour flavour from the tomato.

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My friend ordered the Sweet Corn Crab, which should be not bad because she finished everything and didn’t comment otherwise.

As I wasn’t having pizza and wasn’t in the mood for pastas, I ordered a salad, and from the options it was pretty clear that my choice would be the Macadamia Crusted Pumpkin Salad!  

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I was honestly a little taken aback by its generous portion of two large slices of pumpkin, topped with some macadamia and arugula (I think these are arugula), sun-dried tomato and drizzled with a sauce. I don’t know what sauce that is but it wasn’t too bad. I actually cleaned off the entire plate, which left me very full and satisfied so if you are a pumpkin lover, this is the dish for you!

My friend ordered a pasta, the Bay Prawn Cappellini, and requested for it to be less spicy. When it came, yes the serving was also ginormous and she probably only took less than half of it. But her verdict on it was that with the request, the dish was completely tasteless; she then asked for salt and drowned her pasta with salt. Maybe that was also the reason why she didn’t finish it eventually, although she mentioned it tasted at least a little better with the salt added. I thought it looked pretty good, the cappellini, but unfortunately, perhaps without chilli it really is tasteless.

So maybe the next time I return to Skinny Pizza, I’ll pass on their pastas, and either find someone who will share the pizza with me, or order the pumpkin salad again! 🙂

happy birthday to me

And so it has come and gone. As each year passes, I feel that the birthday is just another day and I don’t feel any more special than any other day. Others would ask if I would take a day off of work because it is my birthday, but frankly over the last years I don’t think I have done that. In fact, in the recent years, I was travelling for business and on one occasion it hadn’t been pleasant. Anyhow, birthdays tend to be overrated imo, but I suppose there are those who place a lot of significance on it and would go to great lengths to ensure they do not have to go to work on their special day. To each his own.

Well, I do place some kind of meaning to it, to a certain extent, but I was playing a game of sorts and I think I kind of got an answer. You know how sometimes we get notifications in Facebook telling us that it is so-and-so’s birthday and we’d sometimes click on it, then type in a “Happy Birthday” to the person? I do that do, but I’d disabled the option, or hidden my birthday information from Public view so it doesn’t pop up on my friends’ Facebook pages. So this year, I didn’t get any birthday wishes from Facebook. That was how I knew the pervasiveness of the information that is shared via social media. It is still quite heartening though, that there are friends who remembered to wish me on the day itself, and I appreciate that I am in their thoughts, that without having to be prompted by any social media notification, they actually remembered. Some of the wishes I received surprised me, as they came from people I hadn’t kept in contact with much, while there were others whom I thought I’d got a birthday wish but didn’t. Oh well, we can’t expect too much, as always.

It was a quiet affair. I don’t have that many people around to celebrate my birthday with anymore, so it gets quieter and quieter each year. Sometimes as I thought back on how life has progressed for me, perhaps this is His will and what He is trying to tell me that I am made to be independent and strong, that without people beside me, I will still survive so long as He is with me. Ok, this is my Christian talk and for those of you who aren’t believers, just skip it.

Decided to had lunch by myself on Friday since the office in Singapore isn’t aware of my birthday and I wasn’t in the chatting mood. This was a weekend of sinful indulgence.  20130722-140349.jpg

Friday evening. Japanese dinner which turned into my sharing session of sorts. Was so hungry and ate so much that I immediately felt guilty about all the food I had.20130722-140402.jpg

It was family-bonding time on Saturday, with tom yam steamboat! Yet another feast for my stomach, and a great evening and combined birthday celebration.  20130722-140414.jpg

My sis-in-law was so sweet; she baked a flourless Nutella cake topped with 99% cocoa chocolate and generous helpings of macadamia nuts. The top layer was absolutely bitter though! Haha. I loved the Nutella base, which wasn’t too sweet and despite that I had a slice late at night, it didn’t feel that heavy. Despite that, it was still cake and the guilt from eating stung. But of course, I finished the whole slice given to me because I really appreciated her nice gesture. 🙂20130722-140427.jpg

The weekend ended with a beautiful sunset over the CBD skyline from MBS, where I enjoyed a casual dinner of pizza and truffle fries with one of my long-time friend, then took a stroll around the mall. This is actually only the second time I’d really walked around the place, the first being when it just opened, and on a Sunday evening there wasn’t that much of a crowd so you could really just take your time and walk off the fullness of a dinner.20130722-140440.jpg

As much as the shopping there isn’t what I’d really want to splurge on or could afford, it is still good to just window-shop and enjoy the cool comfort of the air-conditioning and the peace and quiet of the weekend drawing to a close.

Star Vista, Singapore

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I met my friend for dinner one evening at the Star Vista. Or maybe my memory is playing tricks on me and I am a little lazy to check. Anyway, Star Vista is a considerably new mall, located conveniently within a few minutes’ walk from Buona Vista MRT station, which is now very well-connected to many places after the Circle Line came to this part of the island. Now it takes me a much shorter time to get from home to places like Holland Village where I have the option of the Circle Line.

Although the Star Vista is relatively new, it probably is already heard-of by many because when I went there, most of the eateries or restaurants were quite full, with some even having queues outside, e.g. the Japanese eateries. I went straight to the second level where the dining establishments were located, so I didn’t get to check out the shops on the lower levels, but it seemed like the mall consists more dining choices as compared to shopping options. I liked how there is a lot of open space, just like how one of my new friend mentioned on her blog, and so the whole mall appeared to be really uncluttered and spacious. The Star Auditorium that occupies the top of the building (I assume, since I saw a pair of escalators leading to it) will be where church service will be held in future, though I am still considering if I should stick to the spill-over venues that I am going to currently.

Because we didn’t want to queue, we decided to have dinner at Morganfield’s, a restaurant that apparently serves good barbeque pork ribs. I didn’t know until I was reading about it on the website with the mall directory. Anyway, it struck me more as a place like Brotzeit (there’s one there too), Paulaners, you get the idea. My friend and I ordered a sausage platter and a portion of fries to share, and maybe we weren’t too hungry but we didn’t finish all the food. The sausages were yummy if not a little oily, and they were rather huge. I liked the cheese sausage, one of the shorter ones pictured here, and the one in the most fore of the photo, is something that had a spicy taste to it. It was nice but I think my friend didn’t like it as much.

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Morganfield’s serves alcohol too, with a variety of beer, cocktails and the likes but we ordered lemonade. The weird thing was, we thought we would order a pitcher, since both of us wanted lemonade and it would probably be more economical to order a pitcher for 2 rather than 2 separate glasses, but we were told that the item is no longer available, or it wasn’t available that night or something. Isn’t it odd? Maybe they ran out of pitchers, or maybe they realised the loophole that a pitcher makes more money-sense for the patrons. Service was a little tardy, probably because they were rather crowded indoors and even the alfresco part was full. We were rather lucky to get a table shortly and the service staff were generally polite, but they brought us the food with a plate without any cutlery, and in the end we had to ask for them. I am ok with eating fries with my hands, but sausages…?

It wasn’t too warm that evening so it was alright sitting outside, and besides being outside probably meant too that we didn’t have to raise our voices too much, as compared to if we were sitting indoors and have to battle with the rest of the boisterious crowd.

After dinner, we decided to head somewhere else for coffee. Those who only like localised coffee would be glad to know there is a Yakun too, but my friend suggested Jamaica Blue, which I also read about from bookjunkie’s blog! It’s actually a coffee chain from Australia, and the coffee wasn’t too bad from my hazy memory. I was really tempted by the small selection of confectionery items they had but since was just over… 

It is sort of a self-service cafe, where you order from the cashier but you get your drinks served to you. Service was generally good and courteous from a crew of young people who I think should be students, and it was relatively nice and cosy indoors with a low noise level. It was just a pity that the coffee I ordered wasn’t adorned with latte art. Maybe I have been pampered by all these new cafes around with their fancy latte art, but this was what my drink looked like.

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Of course it won’t stop me from visiting them again but I thought it might make a nice touch, haha. And I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last time I visit Star Vista. Church service aside, there are still plenty of other F&B options that I can go check out in future!