Cycling at Punggol PCN & Makan Break on 2Aug2014

bakchormee @ Blk 401 hougang Av 10

bakchormee @ Blk 401 hougang Av 10

7 of us decided to go cycling along punggol park connector (PCN).

we gathered at sengkang swimming complex & took the PCN along sungei punggol past marina country club to punggol point & past coney island (or serangoon island). 🙂 we could see across the johore straits to pasir gudang with rows of kangaroo port container cranes.

we had a mix of bikes, from the top draw brompton to montague, giant, trek & my own dahon. there’s a cycling enthusiast among us travelled to new zealand to join cycling tours. he cycled all the way from alexandra to sengkang to join us for the PCN ride & carried on for a dragon boat rowing afterwards.  rest of us mostly did very little cycling. for me it’s like the 5th time i cycled this year. i guess that’s not too bad actually! haha! 🙂

bakchormee @ Blk 401 hougang Av 10

bakchormee @ Blk 401 hougang Av 10

bakchormee @ Blk 401 hougang Av 10

bakchormee @ Blk 401 hougang Av 10

we stopped at a coffeeshop at Blk 401 hougang Av 10, which was actually facing hougang Av 8 & punggol park. the bakchormee looked good so a friend & i tried. unfortunately it was very average, the friend thought it was below par, somehow didn’t have the kick! the ingredients were quite plentiful, including lots of minced pork which i liked. the meatballs were soft & i didn’t quite like the taste. my friend though thought it was good. i thought the vinegar was not enough & somehow the taste was not quite there. we shared a black fried carrot cake. it was also average, not crispy, tasty enough. and a bit sweet. the wanton noodles also looked good but we didn’t try.

1 of us was talking about life after re & taking drawing lessons & learning about negative spaces, and showing us how his “self portrait” looked like at the start & end of the first lesson. 🙂

after makan we cycled along the pavement & returned to sengkang swimming complex quite quickly. the park connector route was about 14km & the return route was abut 5km.

it was a good fun start to our cycling activity. 1 of us who looked very stylo said it’s the non-cyclist that dressed like cyclist…lol. 🙂 anyway it interested us enough to plan for do it again at east coast lagoon the next round. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Average Food Very Good Service @Praelum Wine Bistro on 1Aug2014

1 full pint of hoegaarden

1 full pint of hoegaarden

couldn’t think of a place for dinner. looked at the palate outlets & decided to try praelum wine bistro at duxton hill. a slight put-off though thinking of the traffic & parking. anyway we decided to park at craig place carpark which charges hourly. came to S$4.50 for parking but at least no hassle.

it was actually a great watering hole, great place for a drink. praelum is latin for wine press for crushing grapes & extracting juice. but i don’t drink so that was wasted on me. haha! 🙂

prelim wine bistro

praelum wine bistro

at the counter (prelim wine bistro)

at the counter (praelum wine bistro)

old telephone

old telephone

nice ambience & crowd. it was 8pm on a friday night & all the tables were taken up so we sat at the counter.

to their credit this place served & did not charge for water. my wife ordered one full pint of hoegaarden. it tasted great, i agree. 🙂

steaming hot baguette

steaming hot baguette

the baguette was nice & warm! i guess we were hungry but this was good with the butter.

flamee tart

flamee tart

flamee tart

tarte flambe

we ordered mostly their recommendations. the young server was very helpful. the crispy crust tarte flambe was the french answer to italian pizza? very crispy dough. onions gave it sweetness & the egg some texture. wife felt the cheese was not “pang” aka flavourful enough. overall, quite edible maybe average or above cannot really c/w a good pizza.

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

the herb escargot was the best of the lot. it’s like a dozo cheese gratin escargot combined with a usual herb seasoning. quite excellent, and the bread went very well with the remaining sauces. 🙂

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

the portobello was a little strange. i liked both blue cheese & portobello but they didn’t seem to combine very well. grilled portobello with simple olive oil & sea salt is very nice & easy to do at home & someone the added blue cheese masked or reduced rather than enhanced the flavours. 😦

baby back ribs

baby back ribs

baby back ribs

baby back ribs

i was ok with the ribs. i was expecting the sweet sticky version, not my favourite but an ok dish. wife though it was below average c/w say tony roma’s.

after amex palate 50% discounts for 2pax, the bill came to S$36++ for the 4 dishes. the beer was another S$14 no discounts.

while the food was not quite what i would crave for, it was competent 7 pretty ok for the price, after palate discount that is. 🙂

& i can see that many (young & old) would enjoy the ambience, crowd & drinking here.

must say something about the truly excellent service. the young partner is a wine specialist – he said he was in the trade from 16. & all the young servers were very very friendly & helpful. 1 lady asked if we would like to shift to a vacated table but we were quite happy to sit at the counter & let others have the table.

c.h.e.f andy