Saturday 8 January 2011

Hong Kong Sun Kee Vs Dessert Story

Recently with a few newly renovated shopping malls and the new launched of NEX and Bedok Point around matured HDB area it seems that you can easily spot one or two Asian dessert stall in any of the malls. For instant the new "Hong Kong Sun Kee Dessert" has already set their foot on NEX and Bedok Point to capture the hearts of the patrons with their unique Desserts and Wanton Noodles.


  Upon Opening Promotion Sun Kee is having a great S$2.00 deal for the well-known "Mango Pomelo Sago - 杨枝甘露" dessert at their NEX and Bedok Point outlets. So if you are a fan of Mango Pomelo you must not missed out their special promotion that is valid for both dine-in and take away in these two specify outlets.

Since last week we are at the newly open Bedok Point we decided to drop by Sun Kee and try out some of their desserts which I have read some good feedback on. The first dessert to serve is "Lemongrass Jelly with Mango and Black Pearls - 柠檬草王子". The lemongrass jelly is very smooth till can  be wobble down your throat leaving a light lemongrass scent. In the bowl you could also find generous amount of chewy black pearl and fresh mango cubes that makes different texture and taste.
Price: S$3.80 per bowl

I am sure most of you have eaten black glutinous rice with coconut milk (Pulut Hitam) which is a common dessert found in Singapore. But this "Black Glutinous Rice Ball on Coconut Milk and Mango Puree - 芒椰糯米球" found in HK Sun Kee is rather different. The black glutinous rice ball is sitting on top of the mango ice together with cubes of fresh mango and good amount of coconut milk to enhance the taste. Overall this is quite an interesting combination but we feel that the glutinous rice ball was kind of too dry and the grains is more on the hard texture side rather than soft and sticky.
Price: S$5.30 per bowl

This is their S$2.00 promotion item known as "Mango Pomelo Sago - 杨枝甘露". The combination of mango puree with small sago pearl goes well with the juicy pomelo topping which makes this a great tropical dessert during hot days or after meal.
Opening Promotion: S$2.00 per bowl (Usual Price: S$4.80 per bowl)

As for snack we are caught between the choice from Osmanthus Jelly, Custard Bun and this "Water Chestnut Cake - 马蹄糕". But guess we finally settle for this pan-fried water chestnut cake which taste great with its slightly burnt and crispy outer texture.
Price: S$2.80 per plate


  Last month Dessert Story has opened a new outlet at North Point, Yishun where patrons can either dine-in at the store area or takeaway the orders. So with its' attractive menu and clean layout concept we decided to pop-by and try out some of their dessert after our Sunday service last weekend.

After making our orders we are very surprised and kind of disappointed with the presentation of their food. With the price that we are paying for, it seems that most of the food and desserts are being served on those  party type of white paper plate and bowl which makes it look so unprofessional. And for this "Mango Snow Ice - 芒果冰", the colour of the mango look rather brown instead of those bright yellow. Overall the mango taste rather sourish instead of sweet which makes this dessert a disappointment in taste.
Price: S$3.80 per bowl

  But at least their "Durian Pengat" taste quite decent with a scoop of pure durian paste sitting on top of the shaved ice and drizzle with generous amount of coconut cream and Gula Melaka syrup (Palm Sweet Syrup).
Price: S$4.80 per bowl

I was attracted to this "Triple Colour Steamed Cake" when placing the order. According to the cashier staff each colour represents a different ingredients such as "Purple - Yam Cake". "Orange - Pumpkin Cake" and "White - Carrot Cake". After tasting we find that there are actually nothing fancy about these steamed cakes or its' sweet sauce but except for the accompany dried chili sauce which was spicy, fragrant and it did extra some points to this snack.
Price: S$2.50 per plate

  Since the varieties of dim sum at this outlet was limited we do not have other choices but to pick this "Steam Glutinous Rice". But at least the glutinous rice was well seasoned and the overall texture of the rice and meat were soft and tender to taste.
Price: S$2.50 per plate

With more and more dessert outlets sprouting out from each shopping malls I guess patrons like us would have more exposure to all kinds of new creations. But sometime I realised that different outlets seems to be serving different standard of food which it rather bad in reflecting their company imagine. Perhaps in order to maintain a good quality and standard of their food they should not consider to open too many outlets unless they can standardise and guarantee the quality of their servings.

Thursday 6 January 2011

Korea Winter Discovery 2010 - Mt Sorak National Park And Nami Island

After a good night rest and hearty breakfast our itinerary of the day would be heading towards Mount Sorak National Park to witness it beauty through granite peaks, lush green valleys, dense forest, snowy scene and etc. And due to the good weather we also have the chance to ascend to the summit by cable car and get a magnificent view of the park at the top of the mountain. After lunch we proceed to the 2nd attractions; Nami Island where some scenes from Winter Sonata are being filmed there.

Monday 3 January 2011

Warm Mixed Fruits Breakfast Oats

  December school holiday has finally come to an end and tomorrow it will be a brand new school terms for most of the students. Furthermore I am sure for those parent(s) whom has a child that goes Primary 1 this year, these few days would be a challenging days for both the kid and parents. Take me as an example, I have being worrying for my boy 1st day of school since early December so I guess tomorrow would bound to be an excited and stressful day for both of us.

Since breakfast is a very important meal to start off for the day especially for young school kids. I would like to share with you one of my boy's favourite oatmeal dish that he usually takes in the morning.Perhaps this would add-on some ideas to your usual breakfast list especially in recent cozy rainy seasons too.

Research shows that Daily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol due to its soluble fiber content. So having a bowl of this quick and easy oatmeal with your desire toppings would be definitely a great choice to start off the day.

Ingredients: (Serve 2)
1/2 Cup Quaker Quickcook Oatmeal
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Milk
1/3 Cup Dried Mixed Fruits and Nuts
2 Tablespoons Honey

1. Place oatmeal and milk in a saucepan and cook over medium low heat.
2. When the mixture comes to boil, keep stirring on and off for 1 minute or until slightly thicken and creamy.
3. Turn off the heat. Rest cooked oatmeal porridge in the saucepan for another 3 minutes to achieve a more smooth and creamy texture.
4. Divide the oatmeal porridge between bowls and top with dried mixed fruits and nuts, drizzle with honey and serve warm.


~ Banana Topping:
1. Place 2 tablespoons of honey and some chopped nuts in a small frying pan and cook it over medium heat for 1 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add banana (1 large banana cut into sliced) in the honey mixture and toss well then serve the cooked oatmeal with banana toppings.

~ Mixed Berries Topping:
1. Place 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries(thawed) and 1 teaspoon brown sugar in a small bowl and mixed well then use it as topping.

But if you prefer something more savory like minced meat or fish porridge, don't worry you could always turn this sweet dish into something unique like one of my "Savory Oatmeal Porridge - 麥片粥". If you are interested to find out more about this recipe you could click this link HERE.

Sunday 2 January 2011

Garmin-Asus A10 vs A50 Smartphones

Recently I was invited by OMY blogclub to test out these two new navigation smartphones from Garmin-Asus together with another 9 selected bloggers (details HERE). Both these Garmin-Asus A10 and A50 (link HERE), built on the Android™ platform, which is a full-featured smartphone combined with Garmin's proven GPS navigation that brings people and places together either while walking, taking public transport or driving.

Both Germin-Asus A10 and A50 do have similar features and layouts but when comes to the physical phone itself they also have some slight differences. Example:- only the front cover of A10 is glossy while the back is attached with a matte texture case, which is totally different from A50. And for my aspect, A10 seems rather similar to IPhone 3 design from a certain angle at its' front view. While A50 on the other side has a wider screen with basic black glossy design that might draws possible demand from another preference range of user(s).

This simplify specifications chat above shows a clear glance between the main functions of Garmin-Asus A10 and A50 (link HERE). From this table user(s) could make a quick choice of whether to get a speedy A10 smartphone with 5 Megapixel Auto Focus function or settle for a slightly wider screen (3.5") A50 to satisfy viewing pleasure with a minor differences in price.

Each Garmin-Asus smartphone comes with a set of Car Kit in a bundle together with purchased of the phone from any major telcos or authorised retailers. The car kit comprises a powered audio mount that magnifies the volume of the handset’s voice commands too. This car mount also automatically switches the phone (either A10 or A50) to hands-free mode when it is locked in and records the final GPS location once the phone is removed in order to enable user(s) to navigate home at their parking locations with ease.


~ The car kit use is different for both A10 and A50 phone.

During Navigating both phones are intelligent enough to automatically recalculates the routes whenever there’s a detour and also provides a street view image if the route heads towards any junctions or split roads along the highway. From the collage photos above you would also notice there is speed limit indicator beside the Arrival Time on the bottom right-side of the screen which shows the current speed limit of the car and a little “RED” circle beside it that changes constantly showing the speed limit of the road. And if the driver(s) exceed the speed limit shown in the red circle the current car speed shown will automatically changed to RED in order to alert the driver(s) for speeding.

Another on road features about this Germin-Asus A10 and A50 are:- they would dims itself down and even appears on light saving mode during longer sections of the journey but once there is a turn or junction the screen will light up and the navigation lady would alert the driver(s) with audio message that still keeps the driver(s) sight forcus on road. But this audio navigation tends to fail once there is an incoming call(s) which is automatically answered in speakerphone mode when the phone is mouted on the car kit.

Further to the above, both Germin-Asus A10 and A50 features Google Maps™ with Street View, which enables user(s) or driver(s) to take a detailed look at their destinations even with labeled landmarks and icons before embarking on navigation. These smartphones also preloaded with NAVTEQ® map of Singapore and Malaysia with standard PND (Personal Navigation Device) functions such as turn-by-turn navigation and more advance features like Lane Guidance and Junction View that enable user to have a clear look out.

Searching for destinations would be quick and easy either through the Garmin Points of Interest database or location search from the network database. Simply just enter the address, hit Go and let the Garmin navigation do the searching and planning while users relax and complete journey with clear instructions of turn-by-turn voice navigation and 3D visual maps.

Here I do a simple test base on the "Public Transportation" function if driving is not accessible during peak hours or festive seasons. I input a search location for the phone to plan and plot a shortest way to reach my destination and above collage photo shows the steps and two different display modes (map or details) for the route. The details even document the departure and arrival time to the destination, walking distance, directions (if requires), number of transfer and etc that is very useful for a 1st visit to the input destination.

These phones are preloaded with maps and data for the region or country where it is sold. It also features Points of Interest that cover Petrol Stations, ATMs, Restaurants, Airports, Travel Guide and etc. In Singapore where there are all kinds of delicious cuisines spreading around island wide, it would be great for user(s) to tag on with the “Food/Restaurant” search function that is available in the both phones. With this easy guidelines food lovers could pick their choose of dining base on either the “Nearest Location”, “Top Rate Restaurants”, “Yummer’s Review” and etc to locate the best recommending food based on reviews and voting popularity.

Other than being a navigation phone, both the A10 and A50 also preloaded with some latest Mobile Phone Apps and other useful functions such as “Twitter”, “Facebook”, “Google Browser”, “Weather Forecast”, “Movies” and etc that always keep user(s) on the move.

From the specification of the two phones above, Garmin-Asus A10 comes with a 5 Mega-pixel Auto focus camera compared to Garmin-Asus A50 which is only 3 Mega-pixel. Overall both the phones have almost similar camera function which is pretty easy to use and it also allows users to upload photos to social network applications like facebook and twitter or sending it through email and MMS. After testing the two phones, I personally feel that A50 was rather slow in speed while capturing and saving photos as well as in videos mode compared to A10 which is more speedy.

This two photos are taken using Garmin-Asus A10 (1st photo) and A50 (2nd photo). Some of you might wonder why with A10 5 Mega-pixel Auto focus camera the end-result still seems to be on the downside compared to the 2nd photo taking by A50. Perhaps that might just be some minor problem due to the weather and lighting which caused some setback.

With the built-in "Flight Status" option that is available in both phones, user(s) can even get details on the flight arrival or departure timings from the worldwide airport based on trip destination. This extra function would come in handy for those who travel frequently in order to receive latest flight scheduled updates in a more convenient way.

Finally for the conclusion, with the powerful seamless GPS navigation that are integrated in both Android 2.1 Garmin-Asus A10 and A50, user(s) can easily share current location via SMS, e-mail and other communication methods in a faster way. And after all the testing and comparison between the two phones, I personally feel that they do share a lot of similar functions and apps so with a minor differences of S$30.00 in retail price for A50 with a slight 0.3” wider torch screen, I guess most of user(s) or perhaps me would rather go for the speedy 512MB SDRAM with 5 Mega-pixel auto focus camera Germin-Asus A10 smartphone unless I am tempted with the phone design (slimer and lighter) or larger viewscreen of A50.