Guess What We Brought to F’s Housewarming Party?!

We had a rather stormy start, F and I.

We’d met at work, supposed to be in the same team. But she was unbelievably hostile towards me right from the beginning.

 

The thing about me is that I’m actually A LOT more sensitive than I let on. I don’t mean that I get all sensy about things, but that I can pick up vibes and nudges and all that jazz quickly and easily. So although I could feel her very strong dislike for me, I didn’t bother much about it. I don’t need my colleagues to like me for me to feel happy.

You see, the other thing about me is that I’m chill about these things. I may pick up vibes that someone’s hostile towards me, but I usually can’t be bothered. It ain’t my lifelong mission to make everyone like me. I can live with just having a small circle of friends, and I already have that small circle of friends. I don’t need nor want to be popular.

I really don’t care.

 

So even though I’ve observed or felt certain things, I don’t usually say or do anything about it unless necessary. And I try not to let it get to me, bother me, or let it get in the way of work.

 

But strangely, over time, F‘s hostility went down a little and we started to have more meaningful exchanges. And then over somemore time, we even became more friends than colleagues.

By the time I left the team a year later, we were pretty close. In fact, she even became a part of one group of my friends. F would sometimes join us for dinner, and a small group of us even traveled to Malacca together once.

Yea, it’s funny how things pan out in life sometimes *shrugs*

 

Anyway, F and I were playing with FACE Q, an app to create avatars earlier today. We created avatars for ourselves and also for each other, and then we compared ^o^

Here, check out my FaceQ version of F!

Butter is the name of her corgi, and F hates getting caught in the rain coz it nearly-always makes her fall sick.

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And here’s her own version of herself!

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Okie, F knows her own face better. Gotta say hers really does look like her real self!

 

Now let’s check out mine!

Here’s my first try of my own face… *sheepish*

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And here’s F‘s creation of how she thinks I look like.

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Okie, looks like I suck at this FaceQ thingy ^o^

Hers is better, even for my face! My hair’s not so fluffy since I got it rebonded a month ago. And although it’s short now, people still associate me with long hair. F commented that my eyes are kindda big… hmmm, but hey, I got the red lippie, black clothes and mole down pat!

But but but F had to remind me to add the yellow crown! Aigooooo… how could I have missed out on that?! Me VIP leh! And ya, me also known as the pink princess in certain quarters, bwahwahwah!

 

So fun! Go downloand FaceQ and play!

You can choose hairstyle, hair colour, face shape, skintone, shape of eyebrows, eyes, lips, etc etc etc! The hand gestures and all are pretty cool too!

 

And… talking about F, she’s just moved into her new place and we’d gone to her housewarming party over the weekend!

Fwahwahwahwah, guess what we’d brought her?

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Yesssss! Toilet rolls!

When we brought it into the flat, F‘s mom was taken aback and asked if we were seriously giving them toilet rolls! (I hope F has explained things to her by now!)

Actually, we were only joking. You see, in Korea, the popular housewarming gifts really do include toilet rolls and laundry detergent!

 

In Korea, housewarming parties are called Jipdeuri (집들이), and people often bring toilet rolls.

Toilet rolls sorta symbolize that things will roll smoothly and good things will keep happening just like how the toilet rolls roll!

As for laundry detergent, it actually means that prosperity (wealth) will multiply, just like how the detergent can create endless suds that keep multiplying.

And hey, you don’t have to take my word for it. Just go google, or you can click HERE and HERE to read all about it.

 

Of course we prepared a ‘serious’ housewarming gift too, on top of the toilet roll, hee! Here’s hoping all will be well and happy with F and her family at their new place.

 

The Prophet on Marriage

A dear friend’s marriage reminded me of the Marriage passage from one of my forever fave books, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

And oh, I also love the CHILDREN PASSAGE.

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On Marriage

Then Almitra spoke again and said, “And what of Marriage, master?”

And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

 

And the current state of this dear friend’s love for his wife brings to mind this word.

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First Omakase Meal in Years!

I love food, and used to not bat an eyelid when paying for food I like, or food that’s good. I thought nothing of spending a hundred bucks or more even on a normal workday lunch.

I’ve since changed. While I’d bet my last dollar that my love for food is eternal, I’ve made a personal commitment to live more simply, and to do my bit in not contributing to over-consumerism. Small can be beautiful, simplicity can be liberating, and moments of joy need not be expensive.

These days, I’d actually feel guilty if I go OTT on my purchases and if i waste things, especially food. I really really wanna reduce my footprint on earth.

Haven’t had an omakase experience in a long time coz these tend to be fairly pricey. Omakase actually means ‘I’ll leave it to you’ in Japanese, and it’s a term used in Japanese restaurants when you let the chefs decide what you’ll have for your meal. I remember having omakase meals at Tatsuya helmed by rather overwhelming Chef Ronnie Chia and also at the now-defunct Kuriya Penthouse.

An omakase opportunity presented itself just a few days ago! A very dear and old friend of mine will be celebrating his birthday soon, so we decided to eat at TAMASHII ROBATAYA.

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Tamashii means ‘soul’. But what is Robataya?

The word Robataya translates literally into ‘fireside cooking’. In Japanese cuisine, robataya, often shortened to robata, refers to a method of cooking that originated from the fishermen in Hokkaido, in which food items are slow-grilled over hot charcoal.

The restaurant’s decor is not distracting, I like! There’re tables too, but I’d recommend sitting at the counter since that’s the whole point of going to a robataya, right?

Wasn’t planning to blog, so I didn’t take any pics of the place at all. Lifted a pic of the counter from IS.

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credit: is.asia-city.com

There are four chefs at the counter, and I’ve read that there’re two more inside the kitchen. I should mention that none of them are Japanese, but hey, that doesn’t mean they ain’t any good, k? In fact, one of the owners Patrick Tan has chalked up over a decade of experience at places like Tatsuya and M Hotel. Click HERE to read more about the origin and concept.

And in case it’s your first time sitting at a counter or if it’s your first time having omakase, and you’re worried about the place being intimidating, don’t. It ain’t. In fact, I actually think it helps that they’re locals, hee!

First things first… it’s Friday night, who doesn’t need a drink? The waitress said this was the best beer on the menu wor.

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Now, the food. When the chef asked if we wanted salad, P said ‘yes’ before I could stop him. Well, suffice to say there ain’t many types of greens that I like…

But the moment I took my first bite of the salad, I was soooooo glad P had OK’ed the salad! Hand to heart, that’s the most yummylicious salad I’d ever eaten (but hor, I never really ate a lot of salads lah!) The ingredients so fresh and the dressing was sooooo incredible!

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Next up… my all-time fave, sashimi..!!

Can’t name a fave, everything was beyond fabulous! And that single bite-sized abalone’s by far the tastiest I’d ever tasted!

If like me, you ain’t sure about where to begin when faced with a serving of sashimi, just remember to always try to start with the one with the lightest or most declicately-flavoured ones, and move on to the ones with stronger taste. If all else fails, just start with the lightest coloured one and work your way to the fattier and darkest coloured ones.

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Did you notice the small serving of golden paste thingy served wtih the sashimi? That’s soy sauce in foam form!! *screams in amazement*

And did you know many of us Sinagporeans are doing it wrong when we eat sashimi and sushi? Many have the tendency to mix wasabi and soya sauce into a gooey mixture and then dip.

Wrong wor… You’re supposed to add wasabi on the fish and dip the fish into the sauce, and not the rice part. You can also just add wasabi and no sauce. Or, you can just eat it without adding anything.

The more expensive your sashimi or sushi is, the more you wanna follow these rules. Coz if it’s expensive, it probably means it’s super fresh and are the best parts of the fish, so we shouldn’t and needn’t be overpowering the sweet freshness with sauce and all.

Imagine if you’re the chef and you’ve woken up in the most ungodly hours for the fish, and painstakingly prepare it for the guest… only to have the guest smear and dip in soya sauce. So wrong, ya? You can read more HERE.

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And here comes the highlight of eating at a robataya… ZZANG… Grilled sea perch!

Of course, this is not done yet lah!

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The fun part is when the chef ‘sends’ you the perfectly grilled dish with a long wooden paddle!

Actually I’d been craving for grilled fish for a couple of weeks already, but hadn’t had a chance to satisfy that craving. So the sea perch came at a wonderful timing!

The fish’s fabulously salted and yummyliciously grilled. It was so good I actually had to hold myself back from digging for scraps when almost all’s gone!

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I was surprised that I was starting to feel quite full by then. And know what? I already had the fantabulous salad, the super-fine sashimi and the oh-so-tasty grilled fish, and didn’t imagine what else could top it all off.

Ahhhh… I didn’t do my research! One of the signature dishes at Tamashii Robataya is the Saga Gyu Donburi!

It’s top-grade Saga beef grilled to perfection, with luxurious black summer truffle shavings and runny onsen egg atop fluffy japanese rice. At $45 a pop, it’s not cheap, but so so so worth it!

And oh, if you don’t take beef, they actually have a pork cheek version (cheaper than quite a bit too!)

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If you’re wondering about prices, there are actually omakase sets at different price points. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay $120-250 per head. But but but… I heard the set lunches here at great value for money, going for under $30. (Me gonna go back and try it one day soooooon!)

It was a wonderful meal and we managed to catch up on each other’s lives too. Too full for dessert, we decided to just a coffee before we went somewhere else for a drink.

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I’m quite the terrible friend. Hardly ever bother to initate contact or make effort to keep in touch. And being the painfully introverted and socially awkward person that I am, I don’t make friends very easily too. Anyway, I’m happy being on my own.

P is the complete opposite of what I’m like. To describe us as being on polar opposites of each other is an understatement! But for some reason, we get along. Maybe it’s also coz of how long we’ve known each other, and the stuff that we’d gone through together.

Anyway, am glad despite everything, we’re still in touch. And even if we haven’t met for sometime, it’s hardly ever awkward when we do try and catch up.

With his birthday coming up, I wanna wish that only good news, good people and good things go his way. Happy birthday, P!

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You can read more reviews and check photos of Tamashii Robataya (yea, I know, mine sucked…) from MISS TAMCHIAK’s BLOG, PISCINE AND RESTLESS, and also SG FOOD ON FOOT. And oh, don’t miss REVIEW BY GNINETHREE too, so humourously penned!

TAMASHII ROBATAYA
Hours: Lunch 12nn – 2:30pm Dinner 5:30pm – 10:30pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Tel: +65 6222 0316
12 North Canal Road, #02-01, Singapore 048825