Let’s go to… Gu Ma Jia (姑妈家)

Review

Just so we are clear, I am not a foodie. I make disastrous food. I don’t enjoy seeking new food experiences as a hobby simply because as a parent of 2 young children, I don’t have the time or energy to hunt down obscure places with food that may or may not be to my kid’s liking. This kind of gamble I don’t dare take because a hungry child = angry mum. We often stick to tried and tested places and only occasionally venture elsewhere. In fact, I depend on my friends to tell me what is good and new in town because I am also a mountain turtle 🙁

Among the places they have mentioned, one name kept popping up. Gu Ma Jia (姑妈家). Who? It’s a homey Chinese restaurant situated along Tai Thong Crescent which was voted one of the top 10 favourite restaurant by SPH CATS Classified Food Fest Award 2013.

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Gu Ma Jia
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Casual dining

Do not let the restaurant’s simple layout fool you. The food is fresh, scrumptious and sincere. Gu Ma, the founder, is very much like my mother because they both prefer to buy their ingredients and seafood from the market daily. This is to guarantee freshness and taste. My mother used to say better to buy today, cook today. Why buy fresh, then put into the fridge and wait until not fresh already then serve your family leh? It simply did not make any sense to my mother. Gu Ma agrees too.

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Assam Fish Head

Nah, nah! This is the famous Assam Fish Head! Sorry my photo does not do it justice. It had the right amount of tanginess. Not so sour until your toe can curl kind. This is a really appetizing dish but I still prefer the one from a kopitiam near where we stay. The little stall has since closed and my dream assam fish head is nowhere to be found. Sigh…

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Crispy Bean-jal

I don’t know how anyone can look at the spongy brinjal and think “HA! This one can make crispy!” Apparently Gu Ma can and she did it beautifully. This is a weird and wonderful dish I will definitely order again in future.

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Claypot Chicken with Ginger and Sesame Oil

The Claypot Chicken with Ginger and Sesame Oil reminded me of my confinement food. In a good way of course. Perfect dish for a cold rainy day.

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Ling Zhi Mushroom Bean Curd

This ain’t no ordinary tofu. This bean curd was made by the restaurant, not the store bought variety. Somehow even Xander who normally runs away from any kind of bean curd, gobbled it all up with the mushrooms. If the kid eats it without any protest, it is a winner in my books.

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Kyoto Pork Ribs with Yam Ring

Oh the Kyoto Pork Ribs! It was so tender and juicy! Unlike the typical Ku Lo Yuk, these pork ribs were not drowned in batter and smothered in sickeningly sweet ketchup and pineapple sauce. What’s a Chinese restaurant without a yam ring right? Everything goes well with yam ring me thinks 🙂

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Yuan Yang Kailan

I called this The Veg with the ‘Fro. The Husband said the mark of a good restaurant lies with how they cook kailan. Gu Ma took it to another level altogether. The Yuan Yang Kailan is cooked in two styles, blanched and fried. You can’t recreate this with your normal stove because the heat is not high enough. Forget it. Just go eat it at Gu Ma Jia lah. I wanted to ask Gu Ma what inspired her to invent this dish but Yvie was fussing and I left The Husband in charge of helping me do the asking. Sekali when I turned around, I heard him say “Auntie ah, you designed this dish to look like your hair izit?” OMG! Never. Ever. Compare a woman’s hair to vegetables, ok folks? Luckily Gu Ma was too stunned to realize what was happening so I fasterly changed the question. Phew.

Gu Ma said, the stems are usually stringy and to solve that, she just had to peel it and to jazz it up, she tried to fry the leaves just to see how it ends up. Voila! Yuan Yang Kailan was born! So clever ah this auntie?

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Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk. Luckily Auntie Adora took this photo because I completely forgotten about it.

The inevitable happened. I forgot to take a picture of a dish and boy was it a good dish! I strongly believe that anything fried with salted egg yolk is oh so delicious. Forget about cereal prawns! Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk is to die for! Even Yvie couldn’t take her eyes of them. Of course lah! The prawns were enormous!

Don’t forget to try the Fruity Jelly Enzyme with longans and wolfberries. *whispers* Good for losing weight!

Overall, this is the place I will bring my parents because I know they will enjoy the fresh home cooked food and the non pretentious setting.

Oh yes! They have catering service and bento box delivery too! Do pay them a visit the next time you are in the area.
Tip: Parking spaces are very limited so be prepared to make a few rounds in the neighbourhood or just take the public transport. A little bit of walking exercise after dinner is also good!
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Us, Agnes, Florinda, Gu Ma, Adora and a very excited Xander

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Address: Gu Ma Jia 45 Tai Thong Crescent Sennett Estate Singapore 347866
Telephone: 6285 2023
Fax: 6285 2023
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sg.gumajia
Website: http://gumajia.com.sg/index.php?route=common/home

Disclaimer: The fine people of Gu Ma Jia invited us hungry folks for this review but all opinions are my own.

The unromantic Valentine’s Day post aka Public Service Announcement for the Clueless

I originally had no intention to write a Valentine’s Day post because I’m really very unromantic and PDA aka Public Display of Affection is not my thing. So please note that this is not a romantic post. Think of it as a Public Service Announcement for the Clueless.

Today is Valentine’s Day and Eastern Valentine’s Day and Chap Goh Meh‚ (last day of Chinese New Year). If you love to dig into lo hei/yusheng, today will be a good day to buy the kits from the supermarkets before they are all gone. If you are married/attached/single, you might want to read on.

For the forgetful ones

I dunno how you can miss this little note.

YOU are a Forgetful One if:

1. You wonder why your loved ones put adorable “I Love You” notes on the mirror in your toilet, on your laptop screen, on your car dashboard.

2. You wonder why at 2300 hours your usually sweet and gentle angel’s face so black and scary, or why she kept slamming the door or why she is gripping the scissors so tightly in her pale pale hands.

Hello? Today is Valentine’s Day! But have no fear. There is always good old 24 hours Mustafa Centre.

For all budgets and all level of troubles you might have landed yourself into and need to get out of quick.

They are very considerate to place the “Oh-shit-I-am-in-so-much-trouble-get-me-out-of-it-quick” / “I’m Sorry Department” / The Jewellery Department strategically next to the escalator in the new wing. TWO FLOORS, for all budgets and for all levels of sorry-ness. Just hide the receipts, price tag, plastic bag and the cable ties. Please note that if you do need to go to this section, they are only open from 8.30am to 1.00am daily. If you reach there at 0101, you are shit out of luck, buddy. Better just head upstairs to the Home Department and buy yourself a pillow because someone is going to sleep outside the house tonight.

For the sad single ones

When loneliness hits you, there is always the Boyfriend/Girlfriend Pillow. If you swing both ways, BUY BOTH!

“Kurt, you gave my boyfriend pillow a sex change. That’s so sweet.”

Yes, I’m not kidding. It exists!

The Boyfriend Pillow®
Girlfriend Body Pillow

Or for the gentlemen who prefer something different…

A little creepy but I won’t judge. Whatever rocks your boat.

For the ones who need to send a special message to “The Ex”

1. Do not vandalize his/her car. Work off that energy at the gym and whack the living daylights out of your personal instructor instead.

No. Please don’t do this. You don’t want to be made famous via Stomp.

2. Do not mail your body parts to him/her.

Why would anyone ink this on their body in the 1st place?

I don’t advocate violence but this is one message this young lady’s ex will not forget. Warning: image is very graphic. Please do not be eating bak kwa when you see it unless you don’t want to eat bak kwa for a while.

For the mentally sound and folks who don’t mind reading warm fuzzy feel good posts about love

By the guys from Daddy Matters

I erm… *cough* particularly enjoyed post #8.

The need to lavish an obscene amount of money on your partner is really a product of clever marketing companies. If you really love that someone, why stop at 1 day? You should be doing it everyday right? If you “last minute hug Buddha’s leg” (trans: 临时抱佛脚) I am very sure your clever partner will see right through you and be triplely mad.

Relax folks. Go eat your regular plate of hor fun and chwee kueh at the hawker centre with pride. There is no shame in not celebrating V Day today.

 

 

Let’s play… Kinetic Sand! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review

Image Source

You must have seen this video floating around the internet quite a lot last year. The Husband and I were so amazed with it but wondered if it will ever be available in Singapore. This has to be the coolest toy we have seen. Like EVER!

You know what? IT IS AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE NOW! Pardon my excitement but yeah, I’m excited!! The Kinetic Sand is available in Singapore through the good folks of Pupsik Studio who also specializes in awesome baby and parenting products.

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Pupsik Studio was very kind to provide us with the 1kg pack to review and we (namely Mummy and Daddy) couldn’t wait to rip off the packaging to play with the cool sand. Yes, Mummy and Daddy were way more excited than our child. Hahaha!

According to Pupsik Studio’s website,

“Sand play stimulates and develops children’s fine motor and creative playing skills. Kinetic Sand is the perfect material for open-ended, non-directed play. It leaves no sand or residue on your hands and is great for sensory therapy. Kinetic Sand is also great for kids with allergies – it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.”

According to Mother of Xander,

If your kid loves the beach and you hate the sun, this might be a good compromise. He gets to play his sand, you get to lounge around in cool air-condition comfort in your house and with minimum cleanup afterwards. Win-win situation!

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At first glance, the Kinetic Sand looks like any regular fine grained sand you might find on the beach or in stores. Even though clean-up is relatively easy, the sand can still get everywhere if your kiddo is the fidgety or active sort. We found a bit of sand in his hair, on the floor and under his feet but nothing a quick vacuum couldn’t solve.

Xander loves to play at the beach and with sand. but we haven’t been able to hang out at the beach very much last year because… I don’t know why actually. We just never got round to it for some reason. When I showed him the box, he thought “Oh how nice, sand in a box! Gimmegimmegimme! Open now!” We then showed him what the Kinetic Sand could REALLY do and that got Xander even more excited. He wasted no time and immediately attacked the sand completely ignoring us for a good hour and a half. I need to mention that Xander has sensitive skin and whenever he plays with regular play-dough or sand, he will always end up with some rashes somewhere on his face or hands. I am pleased to say he had none of those at the end of the day. Phew! If your little tike accidentally gets some in their eyes or even swallowed some, don’t panic. Just grab water to flush their eyes or drink some water. Easy peasy!

Naturally, Daddy got into the action with the little one and made some masterpieces of his own as well.

My verdict of Kinetic Sand is an honest and completely unbias BUY IT! Not only was it great for my 5 year old, even my 30 something year old was thoroughly entertained by it.

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Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers! Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1kg pack of Kinetic Sand to ONE lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back to this page on Monday 20 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.

Congratulations Pavalamani! We will be in touch with you via email soon!
Thank you everybody for your support!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Kinetic Sand as well as the Bubber Smart Shape set in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.

The Kinetic Sand is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.

For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Website: http://www.pupsikstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pupsikstudio

Check out the other fun products from Wabafun at http://www.pupsikstudio.com/shop-by-brands/bubber-moon-sand/

DIY Hair raising experience

I am known among my friends and some acquaintances as That Siao Char Bor With The Super Long Hair. How long, you ask? Try tickle-ma-ass-crack kind of long. I wasn’t aiming to for a Guinness world record for the world’s creepiest hair. I’m just the lazy sort who allowed my hair take over my head. Nong nong ago, pre wedded days, I would spend money on ampules, olive oil, fancy shampoo, exotic hair brushes and the sorts for my crowning glory. Now even combing it is a luxury. Notice the receding hairline? That’s from wearing my hair up all the time because I don’t know what to do with it.

My friends loved my hair too. They loved to amuse themselves (sometimes also to impress their dates) by using my hair as a prop. Sometimes my hair can look like Dali’s mustache, caveman armpit hair, Greek Adonis worthy chest hair, toupee for follically challenged folks but most of the time in various form of this fella. There are more patterns but I’ll leave them to your imagination. My hair brought many tears of joy to my lovely friends.

November 2012

A few weeks ago, I was complaining to my friends that my hair was creeping me out. Literally creeping into my pits, clothes, bag everything. Sometimes when the wind blows, my hair will fly into my face, tickle my elbow and most of the time get stuck in my pits. Not seksi. Every time I asked my niece, my sister or my husband to cut my hair, they all looked at me like I was crazy and never really took me very seriously even when I had the scissors in my hand.

That night, after I trimmed Xan’s hair, I looked at The Husband and said I was going to cut my hair that night.

Him: Now?

Me: Yes.

Him: Tonight ah?

Me: *walks away to get my tools* Ya. Tonight. Now. Why?

Him: Come, I cut for you.

Me: *raise eyebrows* You sure? Don’t cut senget(crooked/tilted) ah? Nah, I got this thingy with a water level thingy attached you can use.

Next thing I knew, he grabbed my hair and CHOP! He presented me my hair. Ok lah, it wasn’t this dramatic. He did asked ‘Are you ready?’ several times until I got irritated and told him to CUT ALREADY!

Bye bye hair!

We are now at The Point of No Return. I wasn’t expecting to see this much hair but oh well.

It looks like the clips you use to seal your packets of Lays or muruku but this really is for DIY haircuts. You can buy this in a set (1 long one for hair at the back and 1 short one for the fringe) in any of those shops that sell professional hair cutting tools. I wouldn’t call the clips ‘professional tools’. They are more for cheapo charlies like moi.

After explaining to him how it works,  The Husband very carefully combed my hair into the clip but I kept moving around to talk to him which made him even more nervous. You know why when you get your hair cut by professionals they always like to make small talk with you? So much until it sometimes even irritates you? You think they really like you or want to talk to you ah? No lor! They talk to you because the conversation will help them focus and prevent them from saying what they were really thinking during the hair cut. Unfortunately for me, The Husband is not a professional so his internal monologue all leaked out.

Here are some gems.

  1. Shit.
  2. I’m learning a lot here.
  3. It will grow back.
  4. You can still tie up your hair if you want.
  5. Let me trim a bit here. *CHOP*
  6. Aiyah! Don’t move leh! You see lah!
The rest of the time he was mumbling stuff I couldn’t decipher. In a situation like this, I had to ask to see what was the party going on behind my head.

Can you feel my heart beating faster? Of all the angles, you could have at least straightened the hair before you take this shot right? Visions of this started to appear in my head.

While all this drama was happening, the little Zen Xan got bored.

Don’t know about you but every time I see this picture I always yawn.

I don’t understand why people get so nervous when I say I want to chop it off. The first time I cut  this much hair was when I was in Toronto years ago. My hairdresser, the hairdresser next to her AND the customer who she was serving all kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to cut it off. “But your hair is sooooo long! How could you bear it?” Why not? It always grow back! Aiyoh! After that, my hairdresser presented my hair to me very much like how my gynae presented Xan to me when he was born. With a gentle gaze and very gingerly.Then she struts off with my hair to show the entire salon who Oohed and Aahed at her prized kill. Her first big bunch of virgin (unbleached, untreated) Asian hair. Siao char bor (Hokkien for mad woman)…

Here’s how it looks at the end. Not drastic, not fancy, not horrible at all. He’s right I can still tie my hair, can still flip my hair bimbotically (if there is such a word).

So. Do you trust your husband enough to cut your hair? Washing hair is passé liao. Eh! Shaving your face, legs or trimming your nose hair don’t count. Maybe I’ll consider plucking your eyebrows and cutting toenails as High Risk so ya, those are ok. If you do, let’s share stories. Should be exciting. 🙂

Are the very unnecessary hearts helping to make the hair look better?

 

Linking with:
SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Dramatic beginnings.

ex gf
Can you imagine if this really happens to you? Neither can I. Phew!

Nong nong ago, a friend asked if I wanted to earn some extra cash designing marketing materials for the cafe she was working at. Without hesitation, I said yes and made an appointment to meet the owner to discuss about the event she was planning and what she needed from me.

He was the owner’s younger brother (Let’s call him Young Master) who helped out behind the bar whenever he could, usually weekends or when his girlfriend was busy or when he booked out of camp for the weekend. He was touted as ‘the cute dude both men and women could not resist’. When I heard that, I almost gagged. Please lor! Then I met him a few weeks later. PLEASE LOR! I think I said to my friend “Your standards either very low or your eyes something wrong. Definitely not my type. NEXT!”

Here’s the messy bit. Don’t worry if you get confused. It’s a normal reaction I get when I tell the story to new friends.

My then best friend dated a guy K for a bit, then they broke up. Much to her dismay, K and I hooked up but we didn’t last very long. Cold War #1 between my best friend and I however, lasted about 4yrs. After we started talking again, she somehow also started to work at the cafe after my assignment during school vacations. Sparks flew between her and my ex who was a regular customer. Then they broke up. Then she had a rebound with Young Master which lasted for about 2 years, then they broke up. During their relationship, I was in Canada trying to get my BA and was nursing a broken heart. In the days before Facebook, I was in close contact with my friends including Young Master via ICQ. Young Master and I were already friends to begin and we shared many interests. Naturally with time, we grew closer and became very good friends. When I came back to Singapore for good, we decided to take the next step and got married 3 years later.

Of course my best friend AND the rest of the girls in the group were upset. Never date your best friend’s ex… AGAIN! Cold war #2, 8 years. Didn’t matter to me anymore. It’s unfortunate that my bestie and I share the same taste for many things. Hey, think of it this way. I’m taking in rejects! At least now I know what friendship meant to the girls. They decided hating me was their way of showing support to my bestie. Peace to you too.

Now that we are back on talking terms, my bestie and I, she decided to slowly introduce the group back into the mix. Sure I’ll talk to you, sit next to you and even laugh with (actually, at) you. Make no mistake. Should you ever faint, kenah robbed or even stabbed right in front of me, I will do what you did to me. I’ll walk on by. You left me for dead, why would I want to save you now?

This experience has taught me that family will stick by you when the going gets tough. Sure we have screaming matches, punched some walls, bruised some knuckles and broke a few electrical appliances here and there. I think we are much closer now than we ever were while dating, Getting together was already so dramatic, the least we could do is to at least make it work for as long as we can. *cross fingers, toes and eyes*

The things The Husband says…

This morning in the car…

The Husband: What’s up with the recent rehashing of Tori Spelling shows?
Me: Huh? Where got?
The Husband: There… the 90210, Melrose Place shows lah.
Me: I think you mean Aaron Spelling.
The Husband: Oh.

Must ask for permission first

He: Why dun you write?
Me: My Ingrish no good leh. Who would read? What would i write about?
He: Anything you want lah.
Me: Can I complain about you? You won’t get angry hor?
He: Erm… ok. It’s an avenue for you to voice out your feelings.
Me: I got alot of feelings leh. Ok ah? I go ahead ah? Hehehe….