Music Monday (29 April 2013)

Having this new Music Monday edition forces me to blog at least once weekly, and to sort out my music library more often. With the introduction of Spotify on our shores this month, life has been so much easier because I no longer need to source high and low for my favourite mp3s to download, as I can easily stream everything on Spotify.

So here is my playlist for the week on spotify. I named it Month of May as I intend to keep this for all my favourite songs of the month. You can follow me at my user stephsiau. Simply type in spotify:user:stephsiau in your Spotify search bar.

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As you can see, there are too many stellar choices to recommend this week and I don’t know where to start. I think I’ll go with The 1975 as they made two appearances within 1 playlist. They are very ‘pop’ for an indie band and while their most popular song is Chocolate, my favourite is Sex.

Honorary mentions for songs of the week go to M83, Owl Eyes, AlunaGeorge and MS MR.

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Home Improvements

I’m currently obsessed with redoing my home bar (the only part of my home I can count as my own besides my bedroom). Though I can’t really do much about its structure, I think I might laminate the cherry wood to all white. A waste of the expensive wood, but times are a changing and I gotta switch it up. Anyway redecorating kind of got me looking at tons of home decor stuff online and I’m all pumped up now.

So obssessed with this door I found online, a perfect secret passage to a degen dungeon/ man cave/ lounge.

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This is what my dream degen dungeon would look like :-

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I want these pitchers but can’t justify paying more than $100 for them. Can already picture the perfect pool parties with these at the side.

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And hopefully one day I can extend my degen corner outdoors.

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And then, I would have lived.

Music Monday

I’m back with more gifts, thinking of making this edition a weekly. I’ve had comments on the previous post that the songs sucked, I’m sorry if you don’t like what I love but I’ve done my part in sharing.

Empire of the Sun – Alive

So this is the only song I’ve been listening to all of last week because it really gets me going. I need it, especially when I spend 9.5 hours at the computer everyday. Life’s been dull to say the least.

[MP3 download]
*Please note that I have password protected the file so as to restrict it to my readers only, and you can access it with ‘thecrazyshakes’.

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Have a good week ahead! I’m waiting for GT to finish exams so that we can finally go out to celebrate our anniversary, belatedly.

Open Door Policy @ Tiong Bahru

On my birthday weekend, I invited a few friends to dinner. I didn’t want a place that was too solemn, just somewhere casual and cool. Open Door Policy is perfect as it is a café but with an adult vibe. Adult – that’s what 22 calls for.

The menu was contemporary western, and slightly unconventional. I was intrigued at first but then I realized there was nothing I was dying to order from the menu. At last we settled for a tuna tartare that came with keropok, and a quail dish as starters. The quail tasted very Asian, like a tze char dish with sweet n sour sauce + crispy noodle. MISS. Tuna tartare was a HIT, everyone loves keropok right?

Tuna tartare hiding under kerepok

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The quail dish20130418-174654.jpg

The restaurant that night was flooded with angmohs, there were only two groups including us that were locals. This is when we figured that angmohs would be into such cuisine. Coupled with the Manhattan vibe of the bistro.

I decided to get a duck pasta and I expected slices of duck, but was presented with minced meat. It’s a very simple dish with tomato sauce, minced meat and not much else. But done very well. I think the other dishes my friends ordered were executed well too, beef was tender, fish was fresh.

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The barramunddi 20130418-174717.jpg

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The dessert was the best part though. I saw a watercress and blue cheese dish and my curiosity got the better of me. No one dared to touch it when it came. It was in no way sweet at all. It belongs on the salad page for sure. Poached peaches were unimpressive.

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Anyway the starters and mains were all really good, the food here is great but I don’t think it’s for me ~~ I will not be intruding on this ang moh land anytime soon!

(About $60 a person)
19 Yong Siak Street
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Market Grill @ Telok Ayer Street

After eating at burger & lobster in London last year, GT and I got kinda obsessed. He likes his lobsters fresh and whole, while I like mine shelled and stuffed in a bun. The £20 pricing in London is hard to beat for a whole lobster. At the cajun kings (serangoon) it is close to $100. At other places, the vibe just isn’t modern, casual and cool enough.

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So when The Market Grill opened along Telok Ayer Road earlier this year, we couldn’t be more excited. The lobsters are only $45, and are served in the same style as Burger & Lobster, if I took a picture you wouldn’t tell the difference. The meat is fresh and juicy and I love the mayo that complemented the dish so well, giving it a sweet taste.

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Besides the lobsters they have quite a wide range of food like burgers, steaks, fish, lamb, starters, and other dishes. I think the steak was just o-kay because GT didn’t really rave about it.

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The starters are good though, we ordered a mushroom salad, it was delicious. And bone marrow – quite interesting to eat over toast.

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The trio of potatoes you see below were sides that came with our mains. The mash potatoes are SO good.

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I must say though, that I hate restaurants that do not take reservations. Market Grill is a really small place, with only 2 tables that seat 4. My party of 4 arrived at 7 and those 2 tables were already occupied. We decided to wait, because four people sitting side by side at the bar is kind of retarded. Alas, at 8 we were still waiting. And behind us were two more parties of 4. And this was a random Wednesday night.

So try not to go in groups bigger than 2.

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(Abot $60 per person)
208 Telok Ayer Street
6221 3323

Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is around the corner! As with every year, I’m still going to say that I don’t need any presents because I have everything I need in my life. This “wishlist” is just a compilation of various things I’ve been thinking about lately. For my most stubborn of friends, you might find this helpful.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Majella (S$37 at Tangs Orchard)
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Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in #400 ($$50 at DFS at Scotts Road)
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A bottle of champagne, or whiskey, of your choosing (S$80 at any Cold Storage or NTUC Fairprice)
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Happy Plant by Green Inn Organic Plant – an organic idiot proof plant for me to shower with attention (S$15 to $18 at Far East Plaza atrium. The fair has been ongoing for the past week but I don’t know when it will end.)

A really fancy bottle opener – I take great pride in my home bar, and appreciate any additions that will make it more interesting
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Poker chips set (S$50-100 at Poker Maniac, located in Bugis+ #05-12) – I don’t own any poker chips and it has been quite troublesome having to use chocolates or crackers as substitutes during card games. That said, I don’t need a fancy poker chip set, just normal ones in casino style (not mahjong style).
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Drinking games/ props – I love entertaining friends at home, and games always help to break the ice. I’ve heard of circle of life card games, or this spin the shot arrow, or The Great Penguin Bookcase (board game that you can find at Tangs for S$60)
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A Pilates class – I need to be forced to do some exercise. Maybe a trial lesson at Croyez? Or a 4-week pilates trial you found off Groupon for S$20?
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That said, I really must insist that you do not spend too much money, especially if you are partying with me on my birthday. We all know it’ll be an expensive night. Tata and happy birthday to me!