Sunday, November 09, 2008

Irza Playing DrumMania: "Almost Easy" and "Concertino in Blue"

In addition to his weekly drum lesson at the School of Music Clef at Suntec City, Irza also loves to play DrumMania, the drum simulation game which can be found at many arcade centres in Singapore (and Timezone in Indonesia as well). His skills in playing the drum simulation game is quite good now, even better than me when playing certain songs. When he's playing it, usually other people will normally gather and watch him play.

I managed to take some videos of him playing the simulation game. Apologise for the low quality of the videos since they were taken using my daughter's mobile phone camera. I also didn't manage to record the full songs because I needed to take the picture silently, since the arcade centre actually doesn't allow anyone to take any pictures, let alone taking videos. :)

The drum simulation equipment he's using was the latest one, DrumMania v5: Rock to Infinity.

Almost Easy:

Concertino in Blue:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tang Tea House

Last Saturday night, I took Irza out for supper, while Inka has already sleeping. Since were were not too sure where to go, I decided to go to Tang Tea House.

This MUIS-certified halal Chinese "makan" place is recommended by my friends from the IMAS community. Its specialty is the tim sum, although it also provides any other types of dishes such as chicken rice, seafood and even shark fin soup.

It was past midnight when I and Irza reached there. It's located at Simpang Bedok, along Bedok Road, opposite the Bedok Market Place. It provides a very nice and cozy alfresco seating arrangement. It's just a short 15 minutes walk from Tanah Merah MRT station, although if you don't want to walk, you can also take bus number 2 or 9 from Tanah Merah MRT station, or bus number 10 from Tampines bus interchange.

I ordered four (yes, it's FOUR) dishes of tim sum: my favourite chicken feet, siew mai (siomay in Indonesian), har kow (shrimp dumplings) and chicken pau, which is requested by Irza since it's his favourite.

However, Irza loves the chicken rice, which I specifically ordered for him. His comment is that even without the chicken and the soup, the rice itself is very nice. He also loves the har kow with the shrimp inside.

The price is, surprisingly, reasonable. A dish of siew mai (3pcs) and har kow (3pcs) costs $2.50, chicken feet costs $2.20 and chicken pau (2pcs) costs only $1.60. My longan drink only costs $1.80 while Irza's milo dinosaur costs $2.80. His chicken rice (a set of rice, chicken and soup) costs only $3.

More pictures can be found here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kastengel ala Indra and Inka-Irza

Kastengel Following last year's success in making kastengel cheese cookies, I made the same cookies last Saturday afternoon to celebrate this year's Hari Raya Idul Fitri, before we went to the KBRI's buka puasa event.

Following exactly the same recipes as last year, I mixed 200 grams of margarine and 50 grams of butter with 2 egg yolks, and then manually mixed them with 350 grams of plain flour and 200 grams of shredded edam cheese. After shaping, I put egg yolk and shredded cheddar cheese as toppings before putting them on a tray and bake them inside the oven under 170 degree Celcius temperature for about 20-30 minutes.

making-kastengel During the kastengel cookies making procees, I got help from Inka and eventually Irza who also wanted to join the fun :), while my wife helped us to bake them.

Before someone is asking :), no, I don't take orders. :) I'm only making these cookies for personal and family consumption only... :) :)

More pictures can be found here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Irza's Jam Session with Kemejas

3000-Irza To practice for his upcoming concert at his music school next month, Irza had a very fruitful jam session with my friends from Kemejas band last Sunday. Thanks to om Renatha (bass, guitar), om Audi (bass, guitar, keyboard), om eRBe (lead guitar) and tante Fika (vocal) for helping Irza in practicing his drum. :)

3010-Irza Other than Won't Go Home Without You (Maroon 5), which is the song Irza will be performing during his concert next month, we're also covering some other songs, such as Smooth (Santana), Carnival (The Cardigans) and Sweet Child O'Mine (Guns N' Roses). Other than the Maroon 5 song, the other songs were not actually planned and Irza haven't practiced them yet but fortunately he can follow and cover them quite nicely... :) Unfortunately, we didn't manage to cover Cokelat's Bendera, which was requested by tante Fika, since Irza really was not prepared to play that song.

Irza was really having a great time. He was a bit disappointed when the two hour period was over and is looking forward to the next planned jam session this coming Sunday. :) Hopefully, at that time, om Sandy and tante Detta also can join us. :)

3030-Audi 3020-Fika_Renatha 3040-eRBe

Again, thanks friends for your time and effort in having the jam session with Irza and helping him to practice. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weekend Trip to Johor

Two weekends ago, we drove up to Johor for a short weekend getaway, to celebrate our 9th anniversary as well as testing my new GPS receiver to Malaysia.

We stayed at Cinta Ayu All Suites Hotel [ note: Cinta Ayu, not Cinta Laura :P :P ], a nice apartment-type hotel located in the vicinity of Pulai Springs Resort. This resort is located on the outskirts of Johor Bahru, along the main road leading to Pontian.

Although the resort is meant more for golfers (since it's surrounded by two 18-hole golf courses), it also provides quite good facilities for families as well. Other than the hotel's swimming pool which is located on the second floor, we can also use the main resort's facilities, including the swimming pools which have nice views over the golf course and mount Pulai. One of the swimming pools is also equipped with a slide, which Irza enjoys very much.

We chose a 2-bedroom type of apartment for S$170 per night, which is booked online from AsiaTravel and includes breakfast for 4 persons. The 1-bedroom type is also available for S$128 per night. The breakfast is provided at the Cinta Terrace restaurant and the food is quite nice. There's also a spa facility at the sports centre, and the price is quite reasonable. Quite worth the value for money, in my opinion.

We were not only making use of the hotel's facilities, but also made some side trips to couple of locations in and around Johor Bahru, either for food or sightseeing.

On Saturday (12/4) afternoon, we went to AEON Tebrau City and had lunch at the JUSCO food court located on the second floor. This was our third visit to this biggest shopping mall in Johor, and other than the food court, we also went there for the amusement centre for the kids (which is located just next to the food court) and, of course, the Breadtalk bakery shop and its popular spicy chicken floss buns, which is halal in Malaysia.

In the evening, we visited Danga Bay and had dinner in one of the BBQ seafood restaurants there. The food is superbly delicious, and the price is surprisingly reasonable.

We had our dinner in an alfresco seating environment, with trains passing by giving amusement for the kids. We actually could ride the train however we were not able to find the location of the station where we could buy the ticket and board the trains. :( The kids were disappointed for not being able to ride the train. Will have to find the exact location of the station when we go there again. Anyone knows? :)

On Sunday (13/4), after checking out of the hotel, we went to Gunung Pulai and since the main recreational forest park is closed, we went to a less-visited attraction spot located south of the main park. My GPS told me that there is a waterfall on that spot as well, however when we went there we couldn't find it. Just saw some parked cars and some food stalls, and some locals having a bath in the river there.

Another thing I would like to share is that now we do not have to fill in the Malaysia immigration cards when we pass through their immigration, making trips to Malaysia much easier now.

More pictures can be found here and here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sentosa Flowers 2008

Another part of our CNY holiday itineraries in Singapore, on the first day of Chinese New Year, we went to Sentosa to visit the Sentosa Flowers 2008 event in the morning, prior to our visit to Aa Duddy and Teh Ellen's place in Tampines for a reunion lunch. Sentosa Flowers 2008 is an annual flower festival held at Sentosa, spanned from Imbiah Lookout to the Beach station.

Having visited the earlier Sentosa Flowers 2007 last year, I found that this year's festival is a bit disappointing. The "blooming" quality of the flowers is not as good as last year's event. I feel that last year's event is more blooming with more variety of beautiful flowers throughout the Imbiah hill. Nevertheless, for the first-timers, this event is quite worth for a visit.

It opens between 9am and 10pm, until 17 February 2008. The admission to the event itself is free, although of course you would still need to pay for the entrance fee into Sentosa ($2) and the transport ($1 using Sentosa Express or Sentosa bus). I would suggest you start your journey from the entrance near Imbiah station. From there, you can explore the flowers park around Imbiah Lookout before heading to the Merlion, and passing through the Merlion Walk all the way to the Beach station.

I agree with Mbak Susan that the best time to visit the event is early in the morning, not only to avoid the hot baking sun, but also to avoid the crowd as well. Different from last year, now they open until 10pm every day, so it might be a good idea to come in the evening.

More pictures can be found on my wife's Multiply site here.

Related links:

Festive Street Stalls at Chinatown

As I have mentioned here (in Indonesian), this is the first of our itineraries in enjoying Chinese New Year holiday in Singapore.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008, on Chinese New Year's eve, I got half day off from work. After picking up my kids at Clementi (my wife is attending a gathering with her friends there), we went to the Chinatown area, just to see the hustle and bustle of the street stalls around Pagoda Street and Temple Street during Chinese New Year's eve.

Since the Chinatown area would be closed to traffic in the evening, we parked our car at The Central in Clarke Quay, and we took the North-East Line MRT train to Chinatown.

Both Inka and Irza got themselves some CNY-themed souvenirs from the market.

More pictures can be found here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Housewarming Event at Om Bagus and Tante Luki's New Residence

On a nice Sunday afternoon, we went to Anchorvale in Sengkang, north-east of Singapore, to attend a "housewarming" event at om Bagus and tante Luki's new residence there. The food is all wonderfulicious, with the hosts preparing sambal goreng, fried chicken, tekwan, siomay for lunch, with all the desserts such as fruit jelly and watermelon fruit cuts thrown in.

Inka and Irza were very happy playing with all their friends there, both in the house and at the playground outside the block. Irza even took some pictures of the event, together with other photographer-kids Kanaya and Fresha. All the three little photographers were using their respective parent's cameras, and they ended up taking pictures of each other. :) :)

Irza, as well as Kanaya, were fond of and a big fan of Naurin, tante Lenny's baby daughter. That explains why Irza took quite a lot of her pictures. Irza were also taking pictures of om Yuwono who were trying to take pictures of the three little photographers. :) :)

Well, some of you might asked, why Irza prefers to play with the girls (especially pretty girls like Fresha or Kanaya :P :P) rather than with the boys? :) Because Irza always tend to fight, and not play, with the boys, hahaha... Which reminds me or another thing, sometimes Irza refers himself as a "playboy". Of course, his definition of playboy is "a boy who likes to play...."

More pictures during the event can be found here, while the pictures taken by Irza (which some of them has been cropped and edited by me for your pleasure viewing) can be found here. Other pictures can also be found here (thanks to Mbak Ati).