20 April 2010

K Ki once more

Yes, I'm back to K Ki! Previously didn't get to try Kinabaru as some of the ingredients were out of stock. Saw on FB that it's back so made a mental note to drop by K Ki again. Was in the vicinity on Sat and decided to drop by. Was there around 4.30pm; totally forgot that it's Sat and the shop is supposed to close at 4pm. Luckily owners Chef Kenneth and Delphine were still around and I managed to tabao the Kinabaru :)

I love the packaging of the takeaway box, elegant just like the concept of the shop and cakes :)
And I got not just Kinabaru :p Since I was going to takeaway, might as well pack more to try right :p So I got the Mona and Antoinette (for hubby to try).

Kinabaru lives up to its raves indeed. The combination of coconut mousse, passionfruit creme and chocolate sponge is surprisingly good. Thought that the coconut taste is gonna be strong but no, just very subtle. Love the tangy passionfruit which is refreshing and whets the appetite.

Mona is supposedly chocolate-banana mousse cake. The taste of banana is a tad too subtle; if not mentioned, people might not even know. I have to taste the mousse very intently just to get a slight hint of banana flavour. Nonetheless the chocolate mousse is very smooth and I can't stop eating. The pleasant twist is the chocolate praline crunch at the base, which I thought added a dimension to the cake otherwise too boring.

Well, have maxed-out my quota for sugary desserts this month... guess got to wait till next month to try the strawberry tart and strawberry shortcake then. 

18 April 2010

Pita Pizza

When I read the 15-min cheater's pizza posted by Noobcook, I was bought over immediately. It's quick and easy, just what I needed for a fulfilling breakfast or lunch these days! What a brilliant idea :)

I love the idea that anything goes and here's my attempt using very simple ingredients. The layers go like this:
Wholemeal pita bread > store-bought pasta sauce > baby spinach > shredded mozarella cheese & cheddar cheese > tuna flakes & tomatoes > shredded mozarella cheese > mixed herbs > Bake in oven for 10-15 mins at 180 degree celsius.
*Tip: lay a piece of non-stick baking paper or silpat mat under the pizza so that the cheese won't stick to the paper when melted down. (I used alumnium foil once and the cheese stuck on the foil, and the pizza was difficult to remove).

I reckon this combination is relatively healthy and nutritious, no? There's carbo (wholemeal pita bread), protein (tuna flakes), calcium (cheese), fibre and vitamins (spinach, tomatoes).

I love the melted cheese and tomatoes fresh from oven... comfort food to me I say. I can eat this for few days in a row :p

The pizza could even be put together in advance and store in the fridge. Just pop it into oven anytime when desired. Usually I'll prepare the pizza the night before and next morning, a hearty breakfast awaits. Really convenient with my busy mornings.

I'm definitely going to try other combinations such as hawaiian, mushroom, seafood, chicken and so on. Nom Nom Nom...

15 April 2010

k ki + the little dröm store

K ki ケーキSweets seems to be one of the most talked-about place selling Jap-inspired cakes and pastries recently. There are many raves on the cakes sold there and it's not hard to see why. I first came to know of K Ki from Facebook group; by looking at the photos I'm already drooling. Hence, made a vow that I must visit the store asap! Sounds so serious huh? :p

Sneaked away from baby for a few hours during a weekday to run some errands and specially visit K Ki, as I heard that the place is usually crowded during weekends and may not be possible to get a seat.

Located at Ann Xiang Hill, the place is quite easy to find with the help of the signage placed at the junction of Ann Xiang Hill and Club Street. Reminds me of Jiyougaoka in Tokyo where stores would usually display creative boards by the road junctions or roadsides as direction signages.

The shop space is not very big and houses k ki sweets as well as the little dröm store, a quaint little vintage store selling all sorts of knick knacks that remind me of the childhood days. Seating capacity is just 4 tables of 2-seaters only.

Once again, the interior display and concept reminds me of the shops at Jiyougaoka, subtle colours with minimalist look and feel. Ahh, makes me miss Japan...

The cakes are displayed neatly in the showcase, each looking like a precious piece of art.
I love the design of their namecard, so apt for the name and concept.
Love the mini display of handmade craft cakes. So cute!

Apple and carrot cake on sale, not sure if they are pound cakes as I didn't ask.
Parmesan cookies. Tempted to buy, but was overwhelmed by the cakes that I forgot.
K Ki's very own cotton tote bag. I want too, but then again I have too many bags so have to pass.

And now for the reason why Í was there. The cakes! Because I'm supposed to limit my sugar intake, I could only choose 2. Hence, read up on reviews and recommendations prior so that I know exactly what I want. I have my heart on Antoinette, followed by Kinabaru. Luckily a few slices of Antoinette were still available. Unfortunately, Kinabaru was sold out. Likewise Strawberry Tart and Strawberry Shortcake (the alternatives). The store co-owner (also wife of the pastry chef), Delphine recommended the Mont Blanc. I'm not exactly a fan of Mont Blanc but since it is highly raved by many and is supposedly one of the most sought-after cakes along with Antoinette, I should give it a try. She served me the Antoinette first so that Mont Blanc would remain in optimal temperature for tasting. Such thoughfulness :)
Oh, just look at Antoinette. Isn't she a beauty? The dainty little thing of white chocolate mousse with a surprise of mango puree in the middle. A touch of finely chopped pistachio and crystalised ginger bits complete Antoinette.

I couldn't wait to eat it and hastily snapped a few shots. This was the first time I felt such strong urge to plunge into the cake without any photos. Probably also coz I haven't eat cake cake for a long time since my pregnancy :p

Oooo... it was so good, featherlight tender and melts in the mouth, it's like once in the mouth, it's gone suddenly and made me yearn for more and yet since it's so precious I have to savour it slowly and carefully.
I thought white chocolate would be coyingly sweet but it's definitely not. And with the slightly tangy mango puree in the middle of the cake, the blend is just perfect.

And now for Mont Blanc. Ok, confession. I'm really not a fan of chestnut cream so can't say I enjoy the cake alot. But unlike some other pastry shops, the taste of chestnut cream here is definitely very pure and refine. The almond tart base is also nicely done and once again I'm not a fan of almond tart base. And probably just a tad too much cream for my liking.

Nonetheless, it's a beauty to look at as well... and I must say one of the better Mont Blanc I tried which I could finish.

Now onto the little drom store. It's so nostalgic to see some of the vintage items I'm familiar during childhood days :)

Some retro clothing as well.
Just look at these. I remember them, they were sold at my friendly primary school bookshop. The rubber with national flag, the sharpener, the glue... Those days, I would save up 10 cents everyday just to buy something from the bookshop at the end of each week. 
Didn't know that they are called kewpies. I remember I had one and I even knitted a dress for her. I think the old school bakeries also used kewpies as decor for cakes last time.
Five stones. Used to play five stones during recess :)
Glasses with different brand logos. Yep, remember drinking from such glasses before, especially during Chinese New Year, Mirinda Orange!
Cute little animals, their heads can bob up and down :)

Besides these, there are also many vintage cameras on sale, as well as note pads and photobooks. I bought a photobook on fishing for hubby since he likes fishing.

Yearn to be back for more... especially the missed Kinabaru, Strawberry Tart and Strawberry Shortcake. Hopefully can find some free time again! Till then, shall drool over the photos on k ki's Facebook group and blogs of folks who have been there.

k ki ケーキ (+ the little dröm store)
no. 7 ann siang hill
Tel: 6225 6650
Operating hours:
11am - 9pm (Mon to Wed, Fri and Sun)
11am - 7pm (Thurs)
11am - 4pm (Sat)
Close on occassional Mondays but the little dröm store remains open.
k ki website: http://www.kki-sweets.com/
k ki Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=217143653786
the little drom store website: http://thelittledromstore.com/
the little drom store Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=341223305382

Baby 3 Months

Baby is 3 months now! It seems as if time flew past in a flash and images of the past 3 months seemed so fuzzy. Yet each day has been and is still long; was and is still a challenge.

Challenges to breastfeeding, challenges to nap and sleep times, challenges to baby's fussiness and crankiness... there were so many moments of frustration. The heartaches when baby's not feeling well, incessant crying and at loss of what to do, sleep deprivation... at times, really felt like throwing the towel.

Yet seeing baby's achieving milestone developments as each day passes brings warmth to the heart. His smiles and coos in response to mummy, ability to lift up his head when on tummy...

To me, motherhood is a rollercoaster ride with explosive mixed emotions and change is the way of life. Just when I thought things have settled down, new challenges emerged or so called 'baby's pattern' change again. Steep learning curve indeed. Both mummy and baby are still learning day by day, taking one step at a time.

Personally I think no amount of mental preparation would be enough; and adjusting mindset and lifestyle take tremendous efforts and perserverance. That said, reading reference books, websites and seeking advice from friends and family really help a lot and I'm fortunate and grateful to all of them. Most of all, I'm blessed to have the support and understanding of my hubby who has to put up with my crankiness from time to time.

For now, devoting my energy to the 2 men in my life is my way of life. Happy birthday to hubby and happy 3 months to baby!

09 April 2010

Avi Spa, Avillion Port Dickson, Malaysia

As mentioned in my previous post on Avillion Port Dickson, both hubby and I tried the spa treatments at the relatively new Avi Spa. In fact, one of the reasons for giving Avillion PD a try again (after not-so-pleasant experience 5 yrs ago) was the spa.

People who know me or read my blog will know that I love spa treatments and the relaxing ambience that spas offer. I'm always on the lookout for nice spas whether in SG or overseas if I have time and in need of spa therapy.

I love the concept of the glass house with white panel exterior, giving a clean, bright and modern look.

Upon entering the spa, I'm immediately taken into the colour scheme of the interior furnishings, very pleasant and soothing pale shades of brown with white and teal.

Was ushered into the spa suite overlooking the sea. The room is divided into 3 sections, 1 section a lounge sofa and bathtub (didn't get to use the bathtub), the other the treatment bed and in the middle section steam room and shower. Once again, I love the interior furnishings and decor. Spa suite furnishings check, facilities check, ambience check, soothing pipe-in music check. Room temperature check. Now for the spa therapy.

My treatment was the 'Complete Me' for 2hr15mins with a welcome foot bath, herbal steam, followed by choice of body scrub or wrap and choice of massage. I chose the nonya pomelo scrub and aVi signature massage. For the signature massage, I could select one of the four signature aromatherapy oils. Aromatherapy and essential oils check.
So we started with a foot bath for around 10 mins, followed by 25 mins of steam bath. Next is the body scrub where I was given a full body rub down on some pomelo and ginger concoction for about 45 mins. After washing off the scrub, my skin certainly felt smoother :) And finally the massage I was looking forward to. The therapist did wonders with gentle strokes and kneaded away my tight knots especially my neck, shoulders and back. Spa treatments check.

And finally after the treatment, a pot of warm citrus ginger tea which tasted really nice! After treatment beverage check.

Went to the ladies restroom to check it out as well. Looks good too.

For hubby, he did just a Traditional Malay Massage which he said was ok. His room was smaller than mine without the lounge sofa and bathtub and he had his after massage refreshment at an open lounge area overlooking the sea. I didn't get a chance to visit the lounge.

In conclusion, we were quite satisfied with the service, ambience, facilities and treatments. Though pricey, it was still considered worth the value. Would we be back again? Probably, when we need another rest and relax holiday. 

06 April 2010

Avillion Port Dickson, Malaysia

Over the Good Friday weekend, hubby and I brought baby for his first overseas trip to Malaysia! After scouting the internet on suitable locations taking into consideration the distance and resort facilities/activities, we decided on Avillion Port Dickson as it is just a 3hr drive away and the resort fits our requirements for a rest and relax getaway.

Avillion Port Dickson is not new to us, we have been there a few times but at least 5 years ago already. The last we went, the resort looked tired and needed some refurbishing and from the revamped website, it seems that the resort has been given a fresh breath of life and there is even a swanky spa (open in 2008)! Yes, I need a massage!

We set off on Thu afternoon and would return on Saturday evening as we didn't want to be caught in jam at the causeway on Good Friday and Sunday. Nursed baby just before the journey and he managed to sleep through most part probably due to the gentle rocking of the moving car :)

Reached Port Dickson in the evening and checked into our Water Chalet. Couldn't get the Premium Water Chalet with better sea view as they were fully booked. The king size poster bed certainly looks inviting and the day bed is perfect for baby to sleep on.

The signature open-air shower which I liked a lot.

Full set of bath amenities given - toothbrush & toothpaste, body lotion, bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, soap and shower cap. House brand from Avi Spa :)

Private balcony.

View from our balcony. Can only see partial sea view.

Everything is nice, except the TV which is only 24", very poor reception and limited channels; and no internet access in the room. Hmmm, they could have upgraded the TV sets and include internet access. Then again the idea of a vacation is to relax do nothing rather then watch TV and surf net right?

After nursing baby, we drove out of the resort in search of dinner. We remembered a nice chinese seafood restaurant near the town area and decided to dine there. Alas, the food quality has dropped drastically so not really worth mentioning. After dinner, headed back to the resort, nursed baby again and settled for an early night.

Woke up bright and early the next day (actually it's always morning call by baby). After nursing him, we went to the all day dining restaurant for buffet breakfast (included in the room rate). Spread was the usual - salad & fruit bar, bread, cereals, juices, popular breakfast items like sausage, baked beans, hash brown, pancakes... porridge, nasi lemak, egg station as well as roti canai station.

After breakfast, we took a stroll in the lush gardens.

The adult-only pool. We went for a swim there the next day.

Family pool with jacuzzi. There's another kid's pool with water slide.

Private beach area. We didn't go onto the beach as there might be sandflies.

One attraction for family with kids is a mini pet farm housing kampung pets like rabbits, roasters, hens, chickens, tortoises... Kids could feed, touch or bath a pet at designated timings. For city kids, I guess it's a special treat and interesting experience to see these animals up close and personal.

There's also a peacock and peahen roaming freely in the grounds.

Dropped by the Avi Spa to book appointments for our massages later in the day. The spa is housed in a new building overlooking the sea with a modernistic feel unlike the rest of the resort which looks more rustic and traditional. Will blog more about the spa, interior furnishings and treatment in another entry.

After booking our respective appointments, we headed back to the chalet where I nursed the baby and then went for my spa treatment while hubby took care of baby.

My treatment lasted 2.5hrs and we went for a quick lunch at the Village Court (all day dining restaurant where buffet breakfast was served). Hubby ordered chicken chop and mine was beef burger. Not too bad.  

After lunch, it was hubby's turn for his massage while I took care of baby.

Soon it was evening and we weren't interested in the resort's food so decided to take a 15 minute walk to the Pasar Malam area to check out eateries there. Unfortunately, the big scale Pasar Malam only operated on Sat (think so) and only a few road side stalls were opened. So we just settled for some simple Malay beehoon soup and hor fun. The next day as we drove past the area again, we realised that there were more hawker stalls and eateries if we walk another 10 minutes more. Oh well.

After dinner, walked back to the resort, relax a bit and soon hit the bed since there was nothing much to do anyway.

The next day, woke up early as usual, went for breakfast and then went for a swim at the adult pool. By the time we were done, it was almost time for check out. We packed up, checked out and drove to the town area for KFC lunch before heading home.

All in all, it was a much needed vacation for both of us and we were glad that baby slept pretty well in the car and at the resort. In fact, I think he loves air-con! He was grumpy outdoors due to the heat but very active and happy back in the air-con room. With the experience from his maiden trip, I guess we could explore more places to travel in time to come :)