Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tekukor Playground and Bistro Delifrance

Last Sunday (23/4), after having her weekly reading lesson at ICR Jurong East, Inka with her brother Irza went to Jalan Tekukor to play at the playground there. They were having a great time playing there. The pictures can be found here.

In the evening, the whole family went to Ngee Ann City, Orchard Road. Our destination is the Bistro Delifrance restaurant, on basement 1. It's the restaurant version of the famous Delifrance cafe in Singapore. The food served is similar to what is served in Swensens, and the price is also similar.

The flat principal (main course) which I ordered is Jarret d’ Agneau Braisé (see right picture), which is braised lamb shank served with mashed potato. My wife ordered Pâtes Forestière, chicken and mushroom in cream sauce served on linguine. Irza chose the Friture de Poisson et Pommes Frites (see bottom left picture), which is Delifrance's version of fish and chips, golden battered fish fillet and potato wedges, served with tartar sauce.

Inka didn't order any main course because she already had dinner at home before we left. So she ordered Gauffres Croustillantes for dessert. It's Delifrance's anwer to waffle ice cream. Hot crispy waffles served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, topped with strawberry sauce. It's very nice indeed, and eventually Irza also wanted the same dessert.

The pictures can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Saturday Bus Journey

Last Saturday (22 April 2006), I took Irza for a bus ride around Singapore. Irza likes to take the public bus, especially the double decker bus. Our first destination was Paragon in Orchard Road. We left home at around 2pm, and we took bus 61 to Holland Road, after which then we took the bus 7 to Lucky Plaza bus stop along Orchard Road. Actually, there's a direct bus (174) from our home to Orchard, however the bus is very rare and sometimes it takes ages to wait for the bus to come.

We walked around Paragon for a while, before walking towards the bus stop in front of Heeren. After buying some fried snacks from Old Chang Kee, we took bus 77 towards the Marina Bay area. Our next destination was Marina Square. We alight at the bus stop in front of Pan Pacific Hotel, and use the overhead bridge to the Marina Square shopping mall.

We had our lunch at the Cavana Chicken restaurant on the 2nd floor. After lunch, we walked outside the shopping mall, and crossing the Raffles Avenue towards the Esplanade. Actually I wanted to take Irza to Esplanade, however looks like he's very tired so I decided to go to the bus stop there to look for a bus ride home. There was no direct bus home from there, so we took the bus 171 to Upper Bukit Timah Road, just opposite the Bukit Timah Plaza, and then we continue to take the bus 66 home.

Some pictures during the bus journey can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Last Sunday (17 April 2006), I and Irza took Uncle Sigit to Sentosa for a short sightseeing. We decided to go to Sentosa after taking Uncle Sigit to his new temporary home in Paya Lebar. Entering Sentosa, we needed to pay $2 per person (including Irza), plus another $2 for the car. So total we needed to pay $8 at the gate. Quite cheap, compared to several years go when we had to pay $6 per person only to enter Sentosa.

I parked my car at the Cable Car carpark, just behind the Merlion (see left picture). There are several carparks in Sentosa, and I like this carpark becaues of its close proximity to several attractions in Sentosa, including the Merlion and Sentosa Luge, our favourite attraction we intended to go. From the carpark, we walked towards the escalator, and took the escalator down to Merlion.

Kindly informed that now, there are several escalators connecting the Merlion and the Cable Car Plaza (see right picture). So you will not have to take the stairs anymore to "climb" the hill from the Merlion to Cable Car Plaza. We took several pictures in front of the Merlion, even though we didn't enter and went up to the top of the Merlion due to the hefty ticket price, which is $8 per person (for adult)! Last time, before renovation, it was only $3 per person, not too sure why it's now $5 more expensive after the renovation.

After taking pictures around the Merlion (see left picture), we went back up again, using the escalators, back to the Cable Car Plaza. Passing through the Images of Singapore and Carlsberg Sky Tower, we reached the next attraction, the Sentosa Luge. We purchased the $20 family pass which can be shared among us. Since Irza didn't have to pay since he was just a pillion rider on the toboggan, we could take 2 rides each.

As usual, Irza was having a great time riding the toboggan. This is the first time Uncle Sigit rode the toboggan. Right now, there's an automatic camera attached to a tower which will take our picture while we were riding the toboggan. So once we finished riding the toboggan, we can buy the photos from the kiosk nearby. Wow, $10 for a photo print, and $5 for the photo file to be sent to our e-mail address. Very expensive!
After the first ride, we went back up using the chairlift (see left picture). Initially, Irza didn't want to take the chairlift since we have actually taken this chairlift before and he was a bit scared, however after convincing and promising him another toboggan ride, he's taking the chairlift eventually. I noticed that there's also an automatic camera attached to the second tower while we were climbing up, so we can get the photo while we were taking the chairlift, with Singapore Straits as the background.

After the second toboggan ride, we proceeded to Siloso Beach (see right picture). Once there, we bought some ice cream from New Zealand Natural Ice Cream kiosk, before taking Irza to play on the beach. Unfortunately, the weather suddenly changed and the lifeguards there issued thunder warning and asked everyone to come out of the sea and take shelter.

After changing Irza's clothes, we took the beach tram towards Underwater World. After getting off the tram, we went to the Flying Trapeze attraction. Irza was stunned to see children his age was climbing up the stairs and swing using some ropes, just like in the circus.

From there, we walked past Delifrance, and cross the roundabout to the bus stop in front of Underwater World, for us to take the "green line" Sentosa bus back to Cable Car Plaza. Reaching the Cable Car Plaza, we alight from the bus and once we walked past the Calsberg Sky Tower, it started to rain. So I had to carry Irza, and then we walked fast through the escalator towards the carpark. Luckily, we reached the car in time 5 minutes before it really rained.

From there, we went to Paya Lebar to drop off Uncle Sigit, before heading back home. Photos while in Sentosa can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bukit Batok Nature Park

Last Saturday (8 April 2006), I took Inka to Bukit Batok Nature Park, for a bit of exercising and, for Inka, cycling. Actually I intended to bring Irza as well, but he was still asleep on that morning, and did not wake up after we waited for quite some time, so we decided to go without him.

Bukit Batok Nature Park is quite close to our home, at the corner of Bukit Batok East Avenue 2 and Bukit Batok East Avenue 6. It's actually an extension of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (separated by the Upper Bukit Timah Road), therefore its rainforest is indeed inviting. It's perfect with joggers who like uneven terrain and serene ambience.

There's only one bicycle track, though, however the track leads you to the main attraction of the park, a picturesque pond. The pond is beside a very high stone cliff (see top right picture). It's simply spectacular, perfect for photo shutters. Not far from the pond, there's a playground for children to play around (see left picture).

After Inka was having a great time playing in the playground and cycling around the park, we went to West Mall in Bukit Batok, to have our breakfast at Burger King, first floor. As usual, Inka ordered her favourite chicken ham croissant. There, we met my wife and Irza. My wife was also having appointment with some of her friends living around Bukit Batok area.

Photos while we were at the Bukit Batok Nature Park can be found here, while the photos while we were at the Burger King, West Mall can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Aunty Ambar's Birthday Party

Last Saturday (8/4), we went to Aunty Ambar's place in Tanjong Rhu, Singapore, to attend her birthday party, as well as her farewell party since she will be going back to the UK, following her husband. As usual, Inka and Irza immediately joined their friends to play and to have fun together with Kakak Fira and Adam, Kakak Aily and Algo, Q1 and Q2, Rifa, Iffah and the others.

We also all together sang the Happy Birthday song (in Bahasa Indonesia) for Aunty Ambar, as well as prayer led by Aunty Ellen. There's also tumpeng (not cake, see right picture) cutting ceremony, and some words of advice given by Aunty Mela. We had quite a lot of variety of Indonesian food dishes for dinner, including satay which is specially prepared by Aunty Wanti.

I can see that Inka is now able to socialise with her friends. Usually, she's quite difficult to socialise and mingle with other children. Perhaps it might be helped by the fact that Inka has met some of them during her birthday party at McDonalds Bukit Timah, as well as at Q1's birthday party in Pasir Ris.

Another thing which is quite interesting, I can see that Irza was a bit jealous to see his sister playing around with others. Perhaps it's because usually Irza always play with Inka at home, there's no other children or friends he can play with, not even Alex, the kid next door. And it was actually a good time for Irza to play with a lot of friends on his age, such as Adam and Rifa. Ah well, may be next time will be much better. :)

More photos during the event can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Monday, April 10, 2006

Marina Square

Last Thursday (6/4), I took half-day PM leave because in the afternoon I had to attend two important meetings: (1) parent-teacher meeting with Inka's teacher, Ms. Idayu at Bukit Timah Primary School, and (2) Irza's doctor's appointment at the KK Hospital's clinic.

I reached the Bukit Timah Primary School on Lorong Kismis at around 3pm, and met Ms. Idayu. We discussed about Inka's difficulties in spelling, and the teacher suggested that Inka is to be exposed to more books, so she can learn and be more familar with more English words. Overall, she doesn't have any issues for both English (reading and writing) and Math, except that her spelling still need to be improved.

After finished our meeting, I took Irza to KK Hospital for a follow-up check after he was discharged from the hospital due to febrile fit. Thank God, according to the doctor, there's nothing to be worried of, and there's no need for further appointment. The most important is to ensure that the fit does not come back again and to control his body's temperature should he gets fever again.

We then went to Marina Square, a big shopping mall in the heart of the city, not far from Suntec City and Esplanade. This mall has been renovated recently, and we can feel that it's more bright and lively after the renovation (see left picture).

Some of the stores include Kiddy Palace in the third floor (see right picture). A wide range of toys are available at reasonable prices, really much cheaper compared to, for example, Toys R Us or any other department stores.

After walking around the big mall, we went to Cavana restaurant on the second floor, near Giant Hypermart, for dinner. Inka and Irza really loves the Cavana chicken rice, especially the crispy chicken wing (see left picture). My wife chose the famous barbeque chicken rice, while I ordered the teriyaki chicken rice on a hotplate.

After dinner, we went to the Giant Hypermart to buy some things before heading back home. More photos at the Marina Square can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Friday, April 07, 2006

Secret Recipe

Other than Swensens, one of our favourite restaurants in Singapore is Secret Recipe. This restaurant chain is actually based in Malaysia, but it has already opened several branches in Singapore, such as IMM Building, Plaza Singapura, Suntec City, Marina Square etc. I even heard from my wife that they also have opened a branch in Jakarta's Taman Anggrek Mall, but we've never been there before. The outlet list in Singapore can be found here. They are already halal certified by MUIS.

On Wednesday (5/4) lunch time, I had lunch with my wife at Secret Recipe in IMM Building (see top left picture). It's located on the first floor, just next to the KFC restaurant. My wife ordered her favourite Irish Lamb Stew, mutton ribs stewed with an Irish special steak sauce, topped with mashed potatoes, while myself ordered the Black Pepper Chicken Steak served with rice and salad. Delicious. :)

In the evening, the whole family took Uncle Sigit to Plaza Singapura for a short sightseeing. Since Inka haven't had her dinner yet, I took Inka to Secret Recipe (again), this one is the Plaza Singapura branch, located on the third floor. Inka ordered her favourite kids burger, served with hash browns, while myself just ordered the chocolate fudge cake for dessert since I already had my dinner. Secret Recipe is also famous for its wide range of cakes available, from several types of chocolate cakes, cheese cakes and tiramisu.

Similar to Swensens, the price is moderate, with dishes between $9 and $15, while the cake is sold at $4.50 per slice. Last time, DBS credit card holders got 10% discount, unfortunately the promotion is no longer in action. Take note that if you have Worldcard issued by Genting or Suntec City Privilege Card, you can redeem your Worldcard points here.

[Indonesian version]

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tour de Sengkang

Last Sunday (2 April 2006), we went to Sengkang to visit the new home of Aidan, the son of Uncle Wisnu and Aunty Shinta. They just moved from Bedok Reservoir to Sengkang just a couple of months ago. We have not seen Uncle Wisnu, Aunty Shinta and Aidan for quite some time already. Last time we met them during Inka's birthday party last December, and also when we went to Pendas and Johor Bahru together last September.

Sengkang is a new town on the north-east side of Singapore. Together with Punggol, the town is connected to the downtown Singapore via a new subway line, the North-East Line (NEL). The train journey from Sengkang town to Dhoby Ghaut on Orchard Road will only take about 20 minutes.

We reached Aunty Shinta's apartment in Anchorvale, Sengkang, at around 11:30am. After which, we walked to Compass Point to have lunch. Compass Point is the biggest shopping mall around Sengkang. It's next to the Sengkang MRT and LRT stations, and it's only less than 10 minutes' walk from Aunty Shinta's place.

There's Banquet halal food court there on the 2nd floor, however it's very small, so we decided to go to the Kopitiam food court on the 4th floor. However, as we expected, it's also packed. So we decided to have our lunch at Sakura restaurant, a halal Chinese and Thai restaurant, with quite reasonable prices. You can find the photos here.

After lunch, we went to Kiddy Palace to buy some toys for Inka and Irza there. We also bought some home-made waffles from Prima Deli, before going back to Aunty Shinta's place. There are two playgrounds in the apartment complex, so Inka, Irza and Aidan took the opportunity to play in one of the playgrounds and have fun. You can find the photos here.

Since it was going to be raining soon, we rushed back to Aunty Shinta's place, and Inka, Irza and Aidan continued to play and have fun there. More photos of Inka, Irza and Aidan at Aunty Shinta's place can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Having Fun at the Playground

Yesterday (Saturday, 1 April 2006) evening, I took Inka and Irza to the playground within our apartment's vicinity, and coincidentally, our neighbours Ilma, Nadia and Adrian are also there with their mother, Tante Dini. As a result, they were having a great time playing around, together.

More pictures of them playing at the playground can be found here.

The Indonesian version of this post can be found here.