Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaaccccck!

It's a good sign when a friend smsed me this- "Finally... Let's have vintage Ribena to celebrate freedom."

Freedom with a capital F. Still plenty of things to keep me busy this holidays but at least exams are over...for now. I've got to admit. This semester seems like the most challenging. The pressure's still there but it's the lack of mood to study that's worrying. Thank God for adrenalin! Oh well, I guess exams bring out the best of faith.

Between trying to study and trying to study, I was more happy planning for other stuff like the SLA November dinner, fantasizing about the League's year-end dinner at my place, ValenWine etc. And I'm still trying to sleep before 4am!! Dammit. Bloody exams upset normal cycles.

Ok folks, a recount of the freshly-concluded SLA November dinner is coming right up!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Examssss Blabber

Oh yes. Almost 1/2-way through the freaking exams now. Exams are really bad for the body. Upside-down sleeping patterns, mood swings, eating cycle disruption, adrenalin rush for 2.5-hour periods, sudden green tea infusions, midnight biscuit-chomping etc. If it's a chronic lifestyle, it'll be a sad one. No life. No Style.

Oh wells, plenty to look forward to in December!! Yay!! Mr Cow will be right back.

Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Launch of a Literally Cool Product

To stay relevant to the times and to appeal to new market segments, most products have to constantly rebrand and innovate. Cool Rhino is a good example.

It did catch my eye in a 7-Eleven store. A week later, Sean dropped me an email invitation to the launch of Cool Rhino at Eski Bar, where cool met cold.

The bottle on the left would be a familiar sight for many. "Three legs water" anyone? I remember Ah Ma and maybe even Mum who would swear by its cooling properties. But to appeal to the younger generation, the Wen Ken Group has decided to reformulate the drink and market it as Cool Rhino (bottle on the right).

According to their experts, the cooling properties of the drink is attributed to a mineral- Gypsum Fibrosum.

A new mineral, Calcitum, has been added to the new formula to give it a more 'cooling' boost.

Here you see Cool Rhino's spokesperson, Daniel Goh, promoting the product.

Eski Bar was chilly but the food that was catered were certainly not. Sambal fishballs, deep-fried fish fillets, fried chicken wings in Thai chili sauce, nachos with a hearty sauce and fried prawns with chili all had one aim- to induce heatiness. Suicidal you think?

To combat the heatiness, all guests were provided with a cool cocktail, named Rhino Jazz, and many bottles of Cool Rhino. Rhino Jazz was concocted using sour apple, a squeeze of lemon and filled up with Cool Rhino. It was very mild tasting and would appeal on a very hot day, especially to the health conscious as it wasn't sweet.

Hey I think it works. I have a rather sensitive throat (tonsils actually) and I can sense my own heatiness threshold, crossing which would usually lead to sore throat and fever. But after two glasses of Rhino Jazz and a bottle of Cool Rhino each day for the next two days, the heatiness dissipated. Cool!

The drink itself is rather neutral in taste but with a slight alkaline feel. Now I wonder how soups and cooling tea would turn out using Cool Rhino instead of normal water...

Thanks to Sean of Bang Communications for the invitation and the Wen Ken Group for the hospitality. Oh and I met Ladyironchef for the first time too. Yes folks, Ladyironchef's a he! Haha.

Cool Rhino
Available at 7Eleven and most supermarkets including NTUC.

Chew On This:

I think the back labeling is really neat! So instead of printing and labeling with two labels, it's now one! Makes good visible use of the clear bottle.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Oktoberfest @ KR-50

There always seem to be a bit of ramblings and nudging in the League come every Oktoberfest. 2008 this year, we made it.

Having received a publicity email about this particular Oktoberfest from a friend, I shot off emails, smses and msns to sound it out to the League. So those of us who could make it gathered at NUS. Yes, it's a university but it's also where the Oktoberfest was at.

Upon arriving at KR-50, hungry us went straight for the food which was laid out in a buffet setting.

Fresh spinach salad to comfort oneself that dinner is 'balanced', a rather good potato salad and an interesting but dry Laksa pasta started me off.

Being padded for alcohol, I went for my first beer. I was very happy to see the Archipelago range of beers on tap. It was my first time trying them out and I found them interesting with Asian flavours such as orange peel, ginger, lemon grass and star anise and even assam! These beers were brewed to match Asian food. My favourite was the Explorer which was smooth and rich with a bready flavour.

Then it was on to more food with the German sausages, mashed potato, sauerkraut, beef wellington, baked salmon, grilled veggies and pork ribs. Feels like something's missing? You were greatly missed, Pork Knuckles.

And what's Oktoberfest without German beer? Also available on tap were the Erdinger Weiss and Dunkel. Yum.

Tiramisu and fresh sliced fruits were the night's dessert.

It was a good night of food and beers among good friends. The cool gentle evening breeze seemed to ease away the week's stress. Or was it the beer?

Besides the pork knuckle, the other important thing that was missing was the rowdy loud festive, jovial atmosphere that I had heard all about Oktoberfest. Oh well, at $38nett for the buffet and free-flow beers I couldn't possible expect a live band from Munich can I?

Maybe next year, we'll try another Oktoberfest. Hopefully, we'll experience some of that festive magic then.

KR-50 Restuarant + Bar
University Cultural Centre
NUS Cultural Hub
50 Kent Ridge Crescent
Tel: 6778 9878

Chew On This: KR-50 is so named because of its address! 50 Kent Ridge.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Steak Lovers Association October Dinner

The SLA convened for October's dinner at the very aptly-named location- The Steakhouse. That's a no-brainer. Finding the restaurant was another thing.

A scroll listed the menu for the SLA set dinner ($60) and a Made-in-China German knife was the night's choice of weapon. Yes, globalisation hits even cutlery.

Seated at a long table and with paintings of cows wearing aprons, holding knives contrasting with those depicting raging testosterone-pumped bulls, it stirred up eerie visions.

Thankfully, I saw this.

Zibadee-zibada!! The sight made me weak in the knees. Fantasies of juicy cuts and rich, sweet beefyness began to pervade my senses, my mind.

A sense of deja vu swept me as the French Onion Soup made its appearance, bringing back memories of the previous SLA dinner. The soup was clear yet robust and sweet with tender onions. I think I tasted beef already. The single piece of toasted baguette beatifully soaked up these flavours. A great start to dinner.

My choice of side was the Baked Idaho Potato. I was expecting a giant but it was an average spud. At $5 on the ala carte menu, it was well, just an expensive tuber. Sour cream and (real!) bacon bits, which I really enjoyed for its smokey, salty taste, served to give the baked potato a boost.

Now for the all important meat of the evening- beef. 200g of grain-fed Australian Black Angus Ribeye. My heart sank when I saw its thickness thiness. For a good piece of meat such was this, the thiness was a pity. I would have enjoyed it even more if it was doubled or tripled it's thickness. Tastewise, it was faultless with the charcoal flame-licked exterior and well-marbled flesh which oozed flavourful oils upon gentle chewing. Sweet, sweeeet beef.

Here's a look at two doneness of the steaks though they look fairly similar in the above picture. The top piece was medium-rare and the piece below was bleu (thanks Mas!). It was amazing that with such a thin steak, the chef still managed to do it bleu without overcooking.

When the ribeye had been eaten away and I was still left craving for another piece (500g, please) of beef, dessert made its appearance in the form of Warm Baked Valrhona Chocolate Gateau. Warm luscious chocolate on the tongue is quite a sensuous sensation but nothing beats another round of warm beefy-sweet oils from a steak I say! Anyway, the vanilla bean-speckled vanilla ice cream was rich and sweet, contrasting nicely with the sourish berries and the slight bitterness of the chocolate.

There you have it. Old and new friends over damn good Aussie Black Angus beef and at my end of the table, dinnered was peppered with the delights of foie gras and screwing. I'm impressed that a French man would actually support screw caps. Thanks for the Cotes du Rhone, Thibault.

And the question we all want to know is...

Did you just order 1kg?

Thanks Thomas for the wonderful dinner and to fellow SLA folks for another enjoyable evening!

The Steakhouse
#01-14 Clarke Quay
The Foundry
38 River Valley Road
Tel: 6332 1010

Chew On This: What better way to keep the cuts of beef chilled than in a chiller with cow hide prints!