Saturday, February 15, 2014

Good food on 4 legs

Found a new place to eat with dog. The 4 Legged on Jalan Leban.

Apart from providing food, there are also other boarding and day-care services available for dog.

This handsome fellow is one of three samoyed residents who comprise the welcome wagon upon entry. There's lots of floor space for the 4-legged ones to run, play and socialize while the people eat. Nice.

The menu items bear cutesy names, but are quite normal where it matters. There is a mix of simple western dishes like this pasta carbonara, and other local favourites as well.

While the carbonara was done with the right touch of creaminess and bacon-ness, I'm not so wild about the fish and chips. Not sure what it was, but I thought the fish had too much MSG. Don't know if that is an accurate diagnosis, but that's what it tasted like.

The pet menu looks appetizing too, with a generous mix of veggies, meat on brown rice. We ordered pork balls for the dog, but the kitchen counter-proposed pork stew instead. Good choice, and healthy too.

Brownie and ice-cream to follow. I like places like these where the food coming out of the kitchen could have come from the kitchen at home. Simple, functional fare, reasonably priced. Comfort food.

Dinner was quite a different affair. We had guests arriving from overseas so we took them to PS Cafe at Ann Siang Hill. A dignified, sit-down joint where a sign at the front door advises diners to please leave their kids elsewhere. Gutsy policy, much appreciated. Steak must be enjoyed with focus. Slow chews, releasing savory juices to dance on the surface of the tongue. And no chaotic neighbouring table issuing outbursts of random energy to distract from the experience. This particular experience was worth savoring, the meat done to the right degree of rare, so juicy and tender. The fusion elements of the kai-lan stalk and Japanese mushrooms added some interesting textures that complemented the striploin nicely.

Satisfied? Yes, very.

Friday, February 14, 2014

V-day dinner company

Valentine's Day and we're passed out on the living room carpet semi-watching yet another HK lawyer drama serial. It's been a long, busy week for both of us and to be able to just do that is luxury enough.

Now that she's working for a charity NGO, she's starting to involve me with some of her work. Earlier this evening, we took a little time out to eat a simple dinner with the old ladies boarding there. For a treat, she got me to bring over a couple of tubs of Neapolitan ice-cream for them. They seldom get ice-cream, so they were quite appreciative of her thoughtfulness.

All-in-all, this V-day has been quite special. No gifts to each other, but a small token that didn't cost much given to others from the both of us. Dinner was hardly romantic, but there was a different kind of warmth around the table for more than two. Special, indeed.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sitting on the high chair

It feels good to throw a hissy-fit once in a while. Rather than having meetings in which everyone just nods and agrees with decrees from on-high, this committee is full of queries; questions; counter-points; objections; and obtuse arguments. Sitting in on such sessions is an emotional roller-coaster, especially for the one chairing.

Since yours truly was chairing the last couple of sessions, it was quite draining. After arriving at an agreement, work got done, only to be undone at the next meeting when consensus was broken by someone who didn't say anything at the previous meeting, but felt strongly enough to voice it at this one.

On my part, I have no problem chopping and changing, and having to reinvent the wheel from scratch repeatedly. But with every revision I should feel like improvements are being made. Instead, with every new version of this plan, the wheel seemed to be getting increasingly square. Not a good sign.

Last meeting, I let my inner kid out. I became pouty, grouchy, emo and snappy -- the remaining four dwarves Snow White does not ever want to talk about. Someone else had to be the adult, I'd had enough.

With all the whinin' and bitchin' (mostly coming from the corner with the short people) an amazing thing happened. Every concerned party put their cards on the table and patiently explained their position and their concerns without reservation.

Then in a moment of clarity, a viable alternative that met everyone's objectives appeared. This time, it looks like the agreement will hold. It's back to the ol' drawing board again, but now it's for a product everyone should be happy with.

Definitely one of the most productive meetings ever attended.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Narrow line

I'd like to think that consistently writing opinion articles gives me some credibility in teaching others to write opinion articles. However, I'm currently at a stage in which I'm doubting this belief as being too simplistic. Lately, I've been doubting myself. A lot.

Perhaps a little humility would be good for the character? The line between superhero and super-villain is an extremely narrow one. Gotta figure out which side I'm on.