Food Mission 2016: Kohaku Tempura

Getting more up to speed with my foodie adventures before year 2016 comes to an end in a little more than a months time ……

Authentically tasty Tendon – in short for Tempura Donburi (exactly, or close to what I had eaten before in Japan) is not so easily to come by in Singapore. Until the Keisuke Group opened up Tendon Ginza Itsuki at a Tanjong Pagar shophouse corner. Never had the opportunity to eat at Tendon Ginza Itsuki proper due to its snaking quenes (both at lunchtime and at dinnertime).

Until Kohaku Tempura came along (as part of Suntec City’s Eat At Seven Dining Belt that houses various Japanese dining concepts under one roof) …… only then I finally get to have a proper Japanese style Tendon!

Kohaku is another tendon eatery that has been getting rave reviews online. Walked passed the place once when I happened to be in Suntec and saw the snaking quenes for dinner service (there’s about 15 people in the quene and that will probably take a good 1/2 hour to 45 min to clear). And so decided that if I were ever to try it, I have to do it slightly off-peak i.e. before the main dinner crowd streams in from 630pm onwards. Managed to schedule it a evening to do so – that was around end September when I was back again in Suntec to collect my Note7 replacement.

Eat At Seven is a new Japanese dining belt (in the revamped Suntec City Mall) that houses 7 different Japanese dining establishments under one roof. Kohaku is located right after the tonkatsu restaurant (which I have also read good reviews on), with a huge cloth banner right beside the entrance.

Didn’t manage to take pictures of the interior as my phone (was still using my old Note 4) was low on battery. Fortunately, there was a power point beside my seat🙂 …… thus still able to take pictures of the tendon that I have been anticipating ……

Ordered their signature Kohaku Tendon ($15) that comes with fried vegetables, prawn, seafood (crab stick, squid) and chicken on top of hokkaido rice drizzed in a special sauce. As per my picture above, the portion looked really big until I had to segregate out some of the ingredients in order to eat and enjoy my meal properly (see below picture).

Despite all the items being FRIED (major diet killer) …… I must say it is worth killing your diet for😛

The individual items were well fried, without being overly oily/greasy. From the pictures, it does not look as crispy …… but in my opinion, this is subjective. As with all fried food,  what is more important (for myself at least) is that I can still get to taste the freshness of the ingredients (particularly the tempura prawn, chicken breast, baby corn and pumpkin) …… and at the end of meal, feeling satisfied and not hot/dry at the throat. And the rice was fluffy and easy to the taste, and went well with the ingredients and sauce.

For $15 (before GST) – considering the huge amount of ingredients (the tempura I had at Teppei for lunch didn’t even have this much stuff, Kohaku is definitely a value eat and worth the queue!

Details:

Tempura Kohaku 天丼琥珀

3 Temasek Boulevard
#03-311 Eat At Seven, Suntec City
Singapore 038983

Tel: +65 6333 4386
Opening hours: 1100 Hrs to 2200 Hrs

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kohaku.tempura/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos

1st Photo Challenge in a long long while.

Finally managed to find some photos that fit into this week’s theme – Chaos.

As documented on this blog, around this time last year (1st half of November 2015), I had my 11 day vacation to Japan. Had intended to do a summary/round-up of day trip to Karuizawa (from Tokyo) but it came to nil as I’m blogging a lot lesser these days.  And so, this will serve in part as part walk down memory lane / reminiscence of my trip last year🙂

This was on the early part of our walk/hike around the Kyu-Karuizawa Area.

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Withered trees and a-almost deserted road ……

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Deserted houses covered up by overgrown trees/autumn leaves ……

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Another ‘deserted’ house we came across later along the hike to the pond.

I would term this as peace amongst chaos. While the walking/hiking trail looked messy due to the overgrown trees …… however it felt very peaceful walking through while enjoying the crisp clean air (as Karuizawa is a mountain resort in Nagano Prefecture).

The original challenge entry here

Difficult Clients

Having some problem dealing with a difficult client …… and this problem resurfaced again mid-week, after a good 5 months of complete silence (on the client’s part).

Not picking up calls, not confirming/keeping to appointments is another. What is even WORSE than the already mentioned 2 points is giving excuses along the lines of ‘sorry I didn’t reply due to many changes in my job’ …… and even WORSE feigning ignorance on what you DID NOT DO!

How not to get infuriated with such problematic clients!!

Anyway am doing some ‘prepping’ online to get some tips on how to deal with this errant persone before I return the call (as per said person’s request, it can only be weekend …. what a prima donna!).

Good luck to me!!

This one is particularly good

http://www.sportsfinancial.org/how-to-deal-with-difficult-clients-3-keys-to-success-for-financial-advisers/

Key points summarised from the above article

1. Tell the truth.Tell the client, in a business-like and professional way, with a little humor blended in, that they are a pain in your sits-bones (to be kind). You may think this is offensive, but it’s not. The reason it’s not is because difficult people know they are difficult. It will come as no surprise to your client that you find them difficult; I guarantee that you’re not the only one they’re difficult with. They’re probably difficult at home with their family members too, and with co-workers. The client may be testing you to see how far you’ll let them go. Don’t let them get away with difficult behavior. Call them on it, from the start, by telling the truth.

2. Tell them you want to do a good job for them, but you’ll not be pushed around.Insist that they be respectful or let them know they can go elsewhere. After all, you don’t need difficulty in your life, you’ve already got enough challenges as a financial adviser, you don’t need to add pain-in-the-sits-bones clients to the list.

3. Be commanding & well documented.Talk louder than you have to with difficult clients. Be clear cut and to the point in all your communications with them. Put everything you say to them in writing and send them a note, letter or email that outlines the nature of every discussion you have with them, including steps that each party will take. Document, document, document. Difficult clients try to make trouble, but don’t get very far when you’ve got everything well documented. (Plus, compliance will love you for it, because difficult clients are just lawsuits waiting to happen.)

Remember, you don’t need difficult clients. You’re better off without them. If they continue to be difficult, fire them.

One last note, perhaps some people need to learn how to be a human being first before expecting their advisers to give the ‘best advice’ according to their inflated egos and standards.

October Milestone

After a period of procrastination, exercise inactivity (late July till now) …… I finally got moving and bought a trial pass at Yoga Inc to start yoga proper *grin*

And 1st October, being a Saturday and also the 1st day of a new month (and new quarter i.e. Q4) was the perfect day to make a new head start/beginning in my fitness/health & wellness journey, as well as to develop a new interest/hobby. And most importantly, another goal/resolution finally ticked off my list🙂

And what better than a Warm Stretch class – which is a basic level stretch class, but with a slight twist as the room is slightly heated to a temperature of 35 degrees. As per class description, it was the perfect class for me to start off with and work out those stiff muscles again (after a good 2 months of inactivity/zero exercise). Although I ended up resting and recovering from the muscle achnes (particularly at the right shin) for a few days after class.

Will be looking forward to my next planned class (Basics) soon, with the eventual goal of making it a twice a week workout (long term) with some self-practice on my own at home. Am excited to see a more flexible me …… and also how far my yoga journey will go now that I have finally taken the 1st step to start.

A Letter From March 20th, 2016

This was part of the 30DLBL program that I was doing in the earlier part of the year – where one of the tasks involved writing a letter to my future self 6 months down the road. This came into my mailbox 2 days ago on 20th September – Tuesday evening to be precise while I was having my post-work dinner.

As this exercise reflects the ideal vision that I have for myself in the future, thus it is also a good opportunity for me to look back how I have progressed this past 6 months and reflect back🙂

While not everything has gone exact to plan – with the closure of California Fitness resulting in my exercise/fitness routine going into shambles (for now), and while my time management (on daily activities) can still be improved further.

And I should be writing another letter to myself soon – to be read 6 months down the road.


Dear Wendy,

It has been a good 6 months since you have started on 30DLBL. How are you getting on?

By now, you should be living more fulfillingly, purposefully, meaningfully, and productively. You no longer procrastinate on making a client call / follow up, neither do you idle your mornings away.

You wake up nice and early everyday, raring to go. You start your work days nice and early, and by 5pm, most of the work you have set out to do for the day is completed, leaving you with a clean slate in the evenings to do your favourite things i.e. enjoy a nice dinner, read my favourite books, catch up on project work, watch your favourite dramas/variety shows.

You are also a fitter Wendy, as you can now run 1 hour non-stop comfortably. You have also become stronger and more flexible. And hopefully, slimmer and more toned.

With your routine set in the right direction through your continuous efforts and determination, and with a little bit of faith and confidence, you should be able to see the ‘fruits’ of your labour – being happier at work and actually enjoying your work again. And as a consequence, doing better, earning more, being able to save and invest more, contribute more to the household.

Also, making better relationships, and renewing existing friendships.

Last but not least, continuously growing to be a better person.

Love,
Wendy

 

10 Days Into September ….

Pretty busy month in August with work keeping me occupied enough …… while my personal time management leaves much to be desired.

Essentially, I have been gradually straying from continually building/re-building good habits and maintaining a steady morning/work/exercise routine. To the extent that I have yet to get the yoga membership done up to start proper after talking about it from end July till now *gasp*

So I guess its a testament to how FAST time really files as we are 10 days into September! Pretty eventful start to September as of all things, laptop went dead on me over the weekend …… which means another breakdown for the Lenovo for the 2nd time in less than 2 years since it was bought, sigh. And so this means having to drop almost everything and get the laptop fixed ASAP – as I use it for work/business. Very bad timing as I had intended to get some strategic/planning work and paperwork (business placement) done.

Despite, all the bad, after going down to the Lenovo Service Centre @ Paya Lebar on Monday afternoon …… and explaining my situation to the staff there (not before some argument about the warranty registration which was due to some mix up in records on Lenovo’s end), I managed to get the repairs expedited. They replaced the hard disk (as the original hard disk failed) ASAP and I managed to collect it by Tuesday afternoon. At the same time, I was also able to pop by client’s office in the East to get a renewal cheque in. So it did not turn out to be so bad after all *grateful*

Got it back, struggled with paperwork and came to a realisation that P**S’s business placement processes need to be greatly improved as everything is too manual and requirements too rigid. If not, its time to walk! Spoke a bit with C on Friday evening in the office …… and came to a realization about a problematic client that I have been dealing with. (Note to self: Will tackle this issue after much procrastinating/sitting on it asap).

Finally have the long weekend to properly catch up on some strategic/planning work, and properly review/track my work/business …… as well as to finish up the 1st round of online assessment (mandatory T&C requirement). And also to rest/relax my mind, do some enjoyable stuff before another work week beckons!

Food Mission 2016: Ah Bong’s Italian

Finally a 1st food review entry for year 2016 after more than half the year has already gone by!

In the midst of daily life and the ups and downs experienced in year 2016 so far, new food and culinary experiences has been a bright spark that has brought some cheer into my life. And finally, I got to tick off Ah Bong’s Italian as one of the must-try on my list🙂

Its not easy to find tasty pasta that is at the same time inexpensive, and this is where Ah Bong’s Italian comes in to fill the void. Ah Bong’s started off as a small coffeeshop stall @ 56 Eng Hoon Street (it was the original Two Face coffeeshop with a day and night concept before being replaced by Two Face – another set of owners).

In the daytime though, the place itself is a coffeeshop where a famous Yong Tau Foo store resides (as you can see from the huge lunchtime crowd). While Ah Bong’s takes its place at the other corner of the coffeeshop.

Overall, I would say both stalls have their own set of loyal customers.

The reason why I ended up at Tiong Bahru / Eng Hoon Street on a hot Monday afternoon for lunch was due to a craving for creamy-based pasta. Thanks to their regularly updated facebook page, I knew Crabby Mac and Cheese was on their menu …… and this fitted my intention perfectly🙂

Unlike the typical Mac and Cheese which is usually very cheesy (i.e. has lots of thick cheese sauce) …… Ah Bong’s version differs quite a fair bit as they use a cheese sauce that is a lot less thicker, tinged with a mushroom taste. A note on the mushrooms – Ah Bong’s uses fresh mushrooms that come with a very earthly flavour. Thus overall, the lighter sauce will find flavor with some who prefer their sauces (and food) with a less heavy after-taste.

And yes, another important part of the dish is the crab meat. Unlike the foodcourt/coffeshop/hawker centre and even cafe pastas, this one comes with REAL crab meat (from crab legs) and not the manufactured crabs. For $12 at a decent portion, this made for a delicious and flavorful lunch!

I see that they have done well enough for themselves building up a loyal following amongst Singaporean food lovers (and on social media itself) to proceed on further expansion. This time to a eatery unit at Tan Quee Lan Street occupying the former GastroSmiths.

Just like their Tiong Bahru coffeeshop outlet, this cafe outlet is very simple (and almost no frills) in terms of interior …. which gives off a homely and rustic vibe. In that sense, Ah Bong’s has always been about serving good, unpretentious delicious pasta using fresh ingredients anyway.

This is what I had at Tan Quee Lan – Escaargot Pomodoro. Decided to try this at the waiter’s suggestion as it was late lunch post workout, and there were not many choices/ingredients left before the last order at 2pm. Besides, its pretty rare to have escargots together with pasta, hence something different for once.

Not only it was tasty, the escargots went perfect with the tomato sauce (freshly made and not from a can), with the taste further enhanced with fresh basil leaves. So once again, it does not feel overly heavy on the palate.

In case you are wondering where did the escargots go, they were hidden underneath.

Another reason why you MUST dine at Ah Bong’s – their everchanging menu that allow for experimentation and creativity. In addition, their Tan Quee Lan outlet offers starters and desserts to further enhance the dining experience …… which I will be back to check them out in the future.

Details:

Ah Bong’s Italian – Tiong Bahru                                                                                                             56 Eng Hoon Street #01-46                                                                                                           Singapore 160056

Opening Hours                                                                                                                                              1000 Hrs to 1430 Hrs, Monday To Saturday

Ah Bong’s Italian – Tan Quee Lan Street                                                                                                103 Beach Road #01-02 (Below Marrison Hotel)                                                                                 Singapore 189704

Opening Hours                                                                                                                                                Lunch: 1200 Hrs to 1400 Hrs                                                                                                               Dinner: 1800 Hrs to 2100Hrs                                                                                                                         Daily

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