Category Archives: Food

Books Actually (again) and a story of Absinthe;

I went with Etto to Books Actually again. I feel happy with the many, many intriguing titles and want to own every photobook they have on Goddard and Kurosawa. We ate at the random curry place around the corner.

There was this little cat we saw sitting on top of a car, evening-tanning. What a luxurious affair. And the old post-war homes, a different sort of architecture from what I am used to for Singapore homes.

Dined with the team in Absinthe, one of my top 3 favourite restaurants in Singapore. I love the place, every course is a delight, and to sit and patter guessing cheeses … and being entertained by the team’s critique of D’s planned marriage proposal in Mauritius (is it encouraged or discouraged for a guy to be extremely practical, discuss).

Also had the Pan-Fried Foie Gras with Warm Blinis and Morello Cherries not shown here, which was absolutely delicious.

The cheese plate is Absinthe’s medium selection of cheeses.

Discovered a new sort of camera, the Rolleiflex TLR, which is very, very cool. This is a friend of a friend’s version, he has 18 gorgeous cameras in his collection. Vintage cameras have became the boytoys of our generation again.

“Rolleiflex is the name of a long-running and diverse line of high-end cameras made by the German company Rollei. The “Rolleiflex” name is most commonly used to refer to Rollei’s premier line of medium format twin lens reflex (TLR) cameras. (A companion line intended for amateur photographers, Rolleicord, existed for several decades.) However, a variety of TLRs and SLRs in medium, 35 mm, and digital formats have also been produced under the Rolleiflex label. The Rolleiflex series is marketed primarily to professional photographers.

The Rolleiflex TLR film cameras were notable for their compact size, reduced weight, superior optics, durable and simple mechanics and bright viewfinders. They were popular and widely imitated, serving as the pattern for a whole class of mass-market cameras. An ingenious tapered mirror allowed the size of the viewing lens (the top lens) ‘internal compartment’ to be reduced, and this smaller compartment was dovetailed with the bottom taking lens ‘compartment’, which decreased the overall size and weight of the camera. The high-quality lenses, manufactured by Zeiss and Schneider, further differentiated the Rolleiflex TLR from many of its competitors. The mechanical wind mechanism was robust and clever, making film loading semi-automatic and quick. A wide range of accessories made this camera a more complete system, allowing close-ups, added filters and quick tripod attachment. Some art photographers still shoot with Rolleiflex TLR film cameras and black-and-white film, the later 2.8F and 3.5F models being very popular. Modern Rolleiflex TLRs are still being manufactured; available focal lengths include 50mm, 80mm, and 135mm. The late-model cameras are collectible, particularly in Japan.”

A frozen view from last week’s temporary office. N’s like my new best friend at work. It all started when he took the cubicle on my side and told me he had a Leica and was interested in photography. Next he told me he liked cats, and could play the guitar. Now we will be friends for life.

Etto and I made mushroom risotto and pork chops for dinner after watching Une Femme est Une Femme. We had so much fun and it was very tasty! It was so fun cooking at night with the french version of Les Miserables playing in the background.


Dogs, iced tea and oysters;

My current cravings:

Driving with a dog looking out.

A cold iced tea with lemon.

Raspberries. White macarons.

Wind tangling your hair/fur, Louis Khehela Maqhubela, mocktails and pancakes on abandoned tea plantations, arm’s length self-portraits (on film, Em’s camera), Cocoa Puff and Ghost chairs, dessert plates and oysters at Sunday brunch with Grandad on the piano, old family polaroids, sleeping pets, Limpopo sunsets, ice cream girls. Not pictured: coconut tofu curry, the local laundry, tacky red ‘I love U’ parcels from Africa, Singaporean ladies to the nines, straight girl-talk and rosé, Jägerbombs (the bad stuff), owl waltzes, candy, dynamite, Dory Previn and Skeeter Davis.

 – from m dashing

Ann Siang Hill & Club Street Revisited

I had been thinking of traipsing round the Club Street area to find Books Actually, a quaint little books hideout I have written about. However, to my surprise, they have changed homes once again, to Tiong Bahru! Ah. But I found these old photographs by timelessbeauty to reminisce a little about Ann Siang Hill & Club Street, due a visit soon, and to new beginnings in Tiong Bahru.

The “THEN NOW NEXT” exhibition at the Fred Perry Laurel Wreath Shop (23rd April – 22nd May). A visual art exhibition, this display features stories and personal items from 18 individuals – ZOUK, JUICE, :phunk, Tracy Philips, Kenny & Karen from Books Actually, etc – who have shaped the local art scene in one way or another.

And I am crazy about thrift shops. Reminds me of the little Nottings Hill markets and Brick Lane on weekend! Hippies dot the streets playing Beatles somethings with bright colours and a light spirit.

Can’t wait to bring you to Books Actually when you arrive, Irving…

I’m recently thinking of going into books on the jazz and beat generations…and actually starting on Jack Kerouac that Diego used to be so fond of.

They have a bookshop cat. One of my favourite things about the shop.

And on their facebook page, the facebook administrators are named as the bookshop lemur, the bookshop cat, bookshop hamster…I expect to meet all these exciting personalities.

Only problem, the books are always quite overpriced. And there are other ways to get them from Abebooks or Books Depository, which is what I do as I can be a Waiter (with my bow, heh). Problem is, when I do possess something, I never get round to reading it (thus the very precious collection on my shelf). I figured out its useful for when people ask me about what I will do on a desert island, one day if I retire after becoming a japanese violinist’s wife, if I am banished for comments about the state to a faroff place featured only in Joseph Conrad’s book, or simply if a kindred soul like Irving sits down to read with me.

The books not on my shelf (ie. shining and gleaming in Books Actually) always seem more tempting. But I only buy the books I know I will really, really love. Isn’t that a bit of a self contradiction? It is a bit like the way I fall in love with people/things who will never love me unconditionally back. Like my cat.

(photos all from Books Actually)

A flashback to the past…Books Actually’s old home at Club Street…

And its new roost! 


BooksActually (est. 2005) is an independent bookstore specialising in Literature. We publish and distribute books under Math Paper Press. We also hand-stitch notebooks and produce stationery under Birds & Co. BooksActually is now housed at a charming new location, in the heart of the country’s most beloved neighbourhood.

T h e  L A U N C H.
at № 9 Yong Siak Street,
in the heart of Tiong Bahru.

Operating Hours :
Weekdays  11am – 9pm
Saturday  10am – 9pm
Sunday  10am – 6pm

The Beat Generation
+ Jack Kerouac
+Allen Ginsberg
+ William S. Burroughs
+ Neal Cassady
The meowmies are named Cake and Pico. Darlings, I KNOW you both have read more books than I might have in my lifetime secretly at night. But I will keep it a secret just for you.
A shared with me the below link and told me that the girl really reminds him of me, haha!
One of my favourite scenes of all time. I picture my domestic life to be like that.
A Woman is A Woman (Une Femme est Une Femme) 

by Jean-Luc Godard
I also really want this book called The Flavour Thesaurus. So I can mess them up and confuse you, Irving.
When I was a child, I wanted to make my mother a Mothers Day lunch, but the only thing I could make at age 5 was instant noodles. So I made her a pack, added lots of soy sauce and little peanuts, and poked in several Christmas sugar canes (the red white ones) for good measure. I told her to lick the peppermint with every spoon of soup.
I will either be a very, very good wife or an extremely bad one. I don’t think I can ever stand to be banal.
But I hate rhubarb. Aargh!!

Black Alice Spring Tea Party

T and G very kindly organized a Spring tea party at Lawrys, also with the aim of sending a little something nice to the egl shops in Japan. It was very lovely seeing everyone again and we had a special guest – little Zack. L, T and Zack, a perfect and beautiful little family. Everyone got very excited and of course he is our little star!~~

The food was perfect and we had the Orchard, Grange and Scotts private dining room in Lawrys. The prime ribs dish, and macaroons + raspberry ice cream was and absolutely treat. But even more listening to Dusty share about her awesome mashed potato and pasta bolognese recipes!

It was wonderful meeting everyone and I do look forward to the next tea party!~ ^-^

Some shots I took from the party:


I love Dusty in this photograph ^-^ She sat at my table and shared nice yummy stories. Isn’t her pink camera pure love! Dusty is Liz Lisa gal~

Now Zack is awake…

Now Zack is asleep:

I love the little fripperies:

Food shots:

Sinful desserts, yes? :p

Lolis have the prettiest cameras ^-^ Awhile ago I was thinking of reselling my dslr for a pretty Leica or an Olympus pen. But I am a creature of habit and got too attached *heh

Hope you liked the pretty photographs ~~


The sun is shining longer now,
The days are getting hot:
Summer fetes are on the way,
Grand picnics we must plot.
But slaw ’n’ ribs are so last year,
It’s with mollusks we’re besot.

The bivalves from fair Island Creek
Provoke our drooling grin.
A restaurant source since ’92 —
Massachusetts for the win.
Though to eat, it has required a seat
At Per Se or Le Bernardin.

“O, Oysters, please deliver to us,”
We landlubbers do beseech.

“A pleasant slurp will not usurp
Our memories of the beach.
From bay to door in less than 24,
Should not be such a reach.”

“The time has come,” Island Creek says,

“To acquiesce to all these things:

Of fairness, shipping, and FedEx,

Of e-commerce — we are kings.
And how these morsels of the sea
Are superior to weiners or wings.”

“A lemon wedge,” the experts say,

“Is what you’ll chiefly need.

New England stout and friends beside
Are very good indeed.”
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,

We really want to feed.

Island Creek Oysters

Lucky Russian Trolley Ticket Cookies

Superstition in Russia has it that when the first three digits of your train ticket added up equal the last three digits, you should eat the ticket for good luck! Art Lebedev Studio has made this more palatable with these lucky cookie tickets.

Designed by Art Lebedev Studio for the Russian Ministry of Transport. (via Yanko Design)

Molecular Affinities

Jesse: I feel like if someone were to touch me, I’d dissolve into molecules.
Celine: So, I want to try something.
Jesse: What?
Celine: [hugs him] I want to see if you stay together or if you dissolve into molecules.
Jesse: How’m I doing?
Celine: Still here.
Jesse: Good, I like being here.

– Before Sunset

I feel happier today. It is as if I had a week which reminded me of everything that I loved, Casablanca like moments of rediscovering little mysteries of another’s soul. And I had a marvellous birthday! The colleagues did up this big outrageous banner at my desk and YY wrote for me a very financial birthday song and signed off as the MD on my birthday card. I managed to meet up with an old friend C and we had a crazy time running through rain at the fountain, singing old songs from Air Supply and whatnot and zipping around the city. Milkshakes. I finally visited the Mint Museum of Toys which I have wanted to for awhile. An unforgettable dinner at Morton’s. Pizza with WS and thinking about the romantic image of half finished violins in a little boy’s house.

It has been some time since life was such an adventure!

And presents! I feel so contented with the little presents. And flowers make me feel like the happiest girl in the world. I think I can never, never be romanced without flowers. This statement was made assuredly to change Irving’s world view on flowers.

Some photographs to share (they will go on forever)

The Cosmopolitan at Morton’s Bar, Mandarin Oriental Hotel was fabulous. And from 5pm -7pm, they gave out wagyu steak sandwiches, of which I had happy nibbles of. I was already a little tipsy before dinner, a nice way to be.

The staff at Morton’s were a joy to meet and I had confetti on my table and a self-addressed menu which was indeed a special touch. The lobster bisque was creamy and delectable, the rose wine a fruity accompaniment to the meal. Porterhouse steak was such a treat, I think it is definitely one of the best steaks I’ve had. The most marvellous cognac sauce to go with it, and creamed spinach as a side. And which birthday girl would begrudge a sundae called “The Ultimate”?

Back in the office, a happy banner!

I particularly liked the Peanuts card!! My reputation for wanting to marry Schroeder has indeed travelled far and wide.

Celebratory lunch with the office people:

Beautiful flowers to top the day upon my return.