Get Saucy, Salty and Wet this Songkran!

What a teaser tagline!

I like it! 😀

Saucy and Salty I meant. Wet – not quite. 😛

For the uninitiated, Songkran refers to the traditional New Year’s Day which is celebrated from 13th to 15th April in Thailand. If you are in the county, get ready to be drenched, soaked, poured, sprayed with water – a symbol of washing away all the bad. Well, if you are not in Thailand during that season, fret not. Soak up the atmosphere with sizzling spicy food at your friendly ThaiExpress or Basil!

We were kindly invited to sample the new dishes in conjunction with the Songkran festival at Basil by ThaiExpress. Basil is a contemporary casual dining restaurant with a fresh and young interpretation on Thai food. I actually prefer Basil’s fresh outlook and “hipper” feel. It’s located at Kallang Wave, Sport Hub Retail Mall if you will like to check it out.

Drinks to start off the dinner; try the Virgin Basil Mojito, Bael or Roselle Drink for a refreshing take. If you like a sweeter beverage, the Pandan drink or the traditional Thai Iced Tea will not fail. One tip here: If you can’t take spices that well, get a Thai Iced Tea. The milk will help to neutralise the “fire” in the tummy. 🙂

Without much disappointment, we tasted rich varieties of spices in traditional Thai cooking styles. Here are what’s new on the menu:

1) Phad Mee Phuket (Stir-fried Thai-Style Bee Hoon served with Tiger Prawns)

The bee-hoon had been infused with a homemade sweet and sour sauce and every bite entails a taste of fragrant coconut taste. This is right up my alley! I enjoy bee-hoon slightly wetter with sauces and the “lemak” taste make it so Singapura! Tiger Prawns are fresh and succulent; done nicely to the T. This is my favourite new dish for the evening. Share it with a few persons to allow tummy space for other dishes! 🙂

2) Songkran Wing

Now now now…. what is there not to like about deep fried chicken wings???!!!! If there is any food that you can bribe me with; it got to be fried chicken wings. We try not to deep fry too much at home and thus my indulgence got to be fulfilled when we dine out.

These wings are specially sprinkled with crispy basil leaves, fried garlic flakes, dried chilli, salt and sugar. It could do better with a longer time in marinating to give the meat more depth but otherwise, I will devour any chicken wings with crispy golden brown skins! Yes – I eat skins! Do you? 😛 (Gone with that diet-plan for now).

3) Pla Muk Khi Khem ( Thai-Style Salted Egg Calamari)

My 2 favourite ingredients doing a duet! This is something tough to duplicate at home due to the high heat needed for this dish to taste good. With a unique sweet-creamy salted egg sauce coupled with a slight tinge of basil and spice, it marries the squid pretty well. A twist to the usual salted egg dishes, try this for a twist in your usual salted egg dishes.

4) Som Tum (Papaya Salad)

I hate papaya. period. I dislike papaya to the core!

And guessed what I didn’t realise I ate papaya salad till I started writing this post and was reading the menu! Ok – granted – it’s green papaya. And it is such a refreshing appetizer that I didn’t ask further what were the ingredients! It was the dish nearest to me and I greedily gobbled it up! Enough said, order this as an alternative to the usual green mango salad.  It’s so good that you don’t know you are eating papaya (yes, papaya-loathers? Or it’s just me?!)

Some other dishes we had which are worthy a mention too:

** Grilled Beef Salad **

Chewy sliced ribeye beef tossed in chilli & lime dressing and sprinkled with roasted rice. This is a chef recommendation and I totally agree. Load up if you like your beef spicy! I enjoyed this while the hubby felt it’s a little too spicy for him.

** Fresh Prawn Omelette **

Simple as it sounds; but big on taste and crunch especially when it’s paired with fried basil and the special chilli dip on the side. One of those dishes that is tough to get it right at home as you need a deep oil wok with a big fire. Order this if you are craving for simple comfort food! 🙂

Lastly we sampled almost all the desserts!

Thai desserts are sweet and sweet! If you like your desserts sweet, you have to order one here.

Sharing with you 2 of my favourites:

** Mango Sticky Rice **

Good quality mangos on a bed of warm sticky rice served with fresh coconut cream; B.E.S.T. combination. If you have tummy space for only 1 dessert, got-to-try-this.

** Homemade Lod Chong **

Not my first time having Lod Chong but I kinda forgotten it’s name! The lod chong is freshly home-made and has a slightly herby-fresh taste (like chewing on a fresh mint). It goes well with the sweet coconut-based dessert. Good for those who might like a lighter taste for desserts.

Win a luxurious trip to Thailand

In collaboration with Bangkok Airways and Tourism Authority of Thailand, ThaiExpress will be giving away a pair f return Business Class tickets to Bangkok and Koh Samui to experience the festival of SOngkran in Thailand itelse.f!

Winners will fly off on 10th April to Koh Samui, stay 1 night in Anantara Lawana Samui Resrt & Spa –Deluxe Plunge Pool Room from 10th to 11th April followed by 3 night stay in a 1 bedroom Suite in Anantara Sathorn Bangkok from 11th to 14th April 2015. The accommodations include breakfast and a round trip airport transfer.

How?

Simply spend a minimum of $50 (before GST and service charge) to get a free mini water gun (great for waterplay!) and a unique code to enter the lucky draw for the grand prize. The unique codes will be given out till 29th March and the winner will be announced on ThaiExpress’ Facebook Page on 1st April 2015.

Pose and Win

If you at ThaiExpress/Basil outlets, you will see a “Trick-eye” museum-like standees, Pose with it and post it on Instagram with the hashtages #thaiexpresssg and #songkranthaiexpress, and stand to win $200 worth of ThaiExpress vouchers. The 3 most creative photos will be chosen as winners! We are “gunning” for it too!” 😛

More details on the Songkran promotion at http://songkran.thaiexpress.com.sg

Basil 1

Don’t miss the promotion now!

Check ThaiExpress website: www.thaiexpress.com.sg and Basil: http://basil.com.sg/ for more details and locations of outlets.

^Songkran promotional dishes will be available 9th March till 19th April 2015.

Disclaimer: We were kindly invited to sample the new dishes in line with Songkran festival. No other compensation had been received. All photos and opinions remain blogger’s own. Flabbier tummy included.

Morning with the fire engines

March holidays are here!!!

Whenever it is school holidays, I will be cracking my brains on where to bring the boys to expend their energy. The best deal will be a free-entry place and not too crowded; some educational value will be helpful.

Drum roll….if you haven’t already heard of this place as a parent, you should diarise this activity to bring your children!

Your friendly neighbourhood fire engine station

This had always been on my places-to-bring-children-list. And I am glad we made it on one sunny Sat morning!

We choose to go to Sengkang Fire Station as it is not far off from our place and gladly found out that you can park for free at the fire station premise; just don’t block the way!

I must say I am seriously impressed with this visit. The firemen on duty were real firemen and they were so patient with the little ones and inquisitive parents! They explained patiently about their work and duties and the daily running of the station.

All the stations are open to public from 9am to 11am every Saturday. You need not be a resident to visit. I saw tourists posing for photos! But you will need some form of ID for registration at the entrance.

More details on SCDF website.

These are the stations which are open:

1. Alexandra Fire Station
2. Ang Mo Kio Fire Station
3. Bishan Fire Station
4. Bukit Batok Fire Station
5. Central Fire Station
6. Changi Fire Station
7. Clementi Fire Station
8. Jurong Fire Station
9. Paya Lebar Fire Station
10. Sengkang Fire Station
11. Tuas Fire Station
12. Woodlands Fire Station
13. Yishun Fire Station
14. Tampines Fire Station

It is a systematic visit; the young firemen gave out plastic helmets freely when we entered; such greats props for taking photos ya. 🙂

Thereafter we joined a group where there were explanations on what goes into a fire engine. It is a huge warehouse-on-the-go with important equipment!

This is the part that I am really impressed with: 2 of the guys were ready with their gears to show how and what they dressed up with when they go and fight a real fire. They actually strip down and dress up again for every group. Wait, they have to pose for the children and eager parents too! 😀 Thank you firemen for your tireless efforts towards national education! 😛

And that’s not all. The favourite 2 activities of the day:

Experience with a real fireman hose with Daddy holding the fort! #FrisoMoment

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And….Riding on real fire engines!

We also had the opportunity to tour the office and control station. For our nation safety, many thoughts had been put in for such meticulous planning and execution.

I think I am probably more excited about this visit than the boys (all 3 of them). I learnt so much things! That Sengkang Fire station receive the most no. of calls for fire (they are the station which covers Pulau Ubin too!), the gears that the fireman uses, the response time and etc. In the midst of our visit, we also experienced a real fire call and the little red rhino that Eizac was sitting on sped off in seconds with 4 other crew members on board! How cool is that! I meant the real-life experience not the “fire” happening somewhere. 😛

A fire station visit top my list for national education, real-life learning and experiences with the entire family. Bring your family next Sat! 🙂

Do you have a parent-child experience to share too? From jumping in puddles to running down the hill slopes (and visiting an fire station!), do you have that special parent-child experience to share?

If you do and are keen to share your experiences, do check out the Friso Experience More Together campaign. Here is how to do so and win instant, weekly and grand prizes!

How to participate

Submit a photo of you and your child sharing a special experience on Friso Experience More Together. Include hashtag #FrisoMoment and a caption when you post the photos.

You may submit 1 experience each week.

Each photo submitted will earn you two instant rewards – A Friso Experience journal and a Friso voucher worth $5, $10 or $20.

One of the photos will also be selected and printed in 4R size with a Friso frame and mailed to you.

You will be eligible for weekly and grand prizes if you agree to display your image in the gallery to inspire other parents.

Prizes:

Instant prizes:

Friso Experiences Journal + Friso Voucher will be awarded to every entry.

Weekly Prize:

The best photos will be selected to win the weekly prize. If you didn’t win in the first week, you will still be eligible for the weekly prizes in the remaining weeks of the month.

Week 1 to 2 (7 Mar – 23 Mar) 8 x FujiFilm Instax Mini 8

Week 3: 5 x Rebel Kidz Retro Racer Balance Bike

Week 4: 5 x Annual Zoo membership – 2 adults + 1 Child

Week 5: 5 x GOPRO Hero Camera

Week 6: 3 x Port of Lost Wonders party package

Week 7: 5 x Fujifilm Instax Share Printer

Grand Prize:

A year’s supply of Friso milk.

One winner per month in March and April will be selected from the top 25 most voted entries for the month. You may vote once per day for each entry.

Period of promotion: 7th March to 30th April 2015

Have fun with parent-child bonding and win some prizes along the way! 🙂

I play favourites

They say love is multiplied not divided. I totally agree.

When I was pregnant with Number 2, I did have doubt if I would love him as much as the love I have for my first-born. But all is crystal clear when he arrived.

He is my favourite. My favourite 2nd son. 🙂

Xi En, the big brother remains my favourite first-born. He holds a special place in my heart.

Eizac, the little brother resides in my heart like no other child could.

A little ironic huh? But it’s so true as I recalled a visiting pastor sharing about his 6 or 8 children. All of them are his favourites.

And so I play favourite to both my sons. They are both my favourites. 😀

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Today, 30th January 2015, marks Eizac’s 2nd birthday! His 1st Birthday was a non-event partly because it happened to be the eve of Chinese New Year. A galore of his growing-up photos here for those who are interested.

This year, here’s a short letter to him and little nuggets to share and remember eons later:

“Dear Baby,

We need to change that. You are baby no more. You are a little boy now. And you know it. You point to yourself and said with all gusto; “No baby; Boy!”. And nodded your head with a grin.

I love that look of yours. That innocence. But it is slowly changing as you approached TWO; some say it’s terrible TWOs; but I think the terrible or terrific happen throughout childhood. Let’s just pray you keep that untainted personality for a while longer.

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Just like your brother, we prefer to call you by your Chinese name, Kai En. But somehow, you responded to “Eizac” more readily. Later on, you said you are “Zig-zac”. And so zig-zac you became. Thankfully you still walk in a straight line though.

Zac-zac (another affectionate name we called you), you have a natural boyish love for cars, trains, motorcycles, vans, tractors, wagons and anything automotive. The first 3 syllabus word you learnt is “Ac-ci-dent”. Yes, when all your toy vehicles collide, there is an accident. It’s a happy accident most of the time because your fire engine/police car always come to the rescue; no cau. 😛

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Your first long sentence was “Mummy, where are you!!!!”. That happened when Mummy was too sound asleep at night and ignored your constant crying. She woke up with a startle because that was a full sentence you uttered!

You can be totally lost in your cartoon shows just like any other children. Your favourites are Dora The Explorer, Diego and Bubble Gubbies. You probably knew Dora and Boots names before you know your ABC. And your amusing imitation of Swiper the fox, is hilarious. “Oh man” you said with all gusto!

Your biggest hero isn’t Daddy (he’s a little broken-heated but I will take care of that). Your shining knight in armor is your big Kor Kor. The first word you spoke is “Kor Kor”. You said you love Kor Kor and no one else. Though Kor Kor isn’t quite used to being the big brother, we are working on that. Then again, you didn’t care less, you just want to hold your brother’s hand and follow his footsteps.

Baby (you will always remain so in my heart), you win Mummy’s heart (and almost everyone’s else) with your dejected look whenever something is taken away from you. You made it so hard to say No. Especially when you ask for your “meh meh” (Read: MILK) umpteen times in the middle of the night.

My darling, Mummy’s heart skipped a few beats whenever you scaled the long slides and steps at the playground. You have no fear of heights just like your brother. Great, Mummy will be carrying your bags and taking photos when you boys take the roller coaster next time. Just don’t drag me up. Seriously.

Eizac 1

Zacy, you are a joy we celebrate; a playmate (fight mate sometimes) to your brother and a completion to our family! We love you as our favourite and pray you continue to grow up healthily and wisely!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Eizac!”

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