Coriander Leaf: Something old, something new

Nasi lemak roll.jpgNasi lemak is a Malay dish that is a staple not just for breakfast but lunch and dinner. You can find pre-packed or a la carte nasi lemak in practically all parts of Singapore.

I grew up on the pre-packed version comprising coconut rice, ikan bilis (anchovies) or small fish, and a slice of egg  topped by hot sambal belacan (prawn paste-based chilli) wrapped in banana leaf. To me, this simple meal is tasty enough for me. I can feel myself drooling just describing this as it evokes the fun times of having a packet by the beach or after sports.

The other version of nasi lemak is the kind where customers can choose their condiments such as ikan bilis (anchovies), peanuts, fish, otah (spicy fish paste), fried egg, fried chicken wing, and even squid. This is more pricey but the variety does make a difference for some.

Imagine my surprise when I saw another way that nasi lemak was presented while attending a function at Coriander Leaf. The nasi lemak roll (see top) looks like a piece of maki — that’s why I turned it down the first time the server offered me. It was only when my associate said it was a nasi lemak roll that I decided to check it out.

The restaurant has creatively wrapped the coconut rice in a slice of fried egg and topped it with ikan bilis and a dab of sambal belacan. I took it in one bite — OK, if you have a smaller mouth, you can nibble and finish in two or more bites — and it was good. In fact, it tasted like those wrapped in banana leaf.

Needless to say, the nasi lemak roll won me over and I went for a second.

Butter chicken rice.jpgThat was not the only item that Coriander Leaf adapted differently. Butter chicken rice is usually presented on a plate but the restaurant gave it a unique spin.

Housed in a handy cup, it comes with basmati rice at the bottom topped by the butter chicken. Again, this is an interesting take and the taste was good. The butter chicken was creamy and the curry gravy goes well with the basmati rice. It’s like nasi briyani minus the yellow rice.

Coriander Leaf is at 30 Victoria Street, #02-01 CHIJMES,  Singapore 187996.

A cheesecake convert

Milo dinosaur cheesecake.jpgCheesecake. Some love them. Some don’t. I used to be one of those who are not crazy — sorry, let me paraphrase, “not interested” sounds more accurate — about cheesecake.

Yes, I’ve eaten them but give me fruit cake, chocolate cake or kueh lapis (a thousand layer cake) anytime.

It was one of those days when I had finished all my work and I had time to look at the many marketing email that constantly pops up in my inbox. Qoo10 sends many each day and I don’t bother to read most. But, I happened to click one and as I was scrolling down, spotted a deal on a cheesecake that seemed too good to miss, plus my daughters love cheesecakes. The price was $23.90 instead of the regular price of $35.90. I picked the Milo Dinosaur cheesecake.

When my daughters got back, I told them about the deal and they asked which shop I had ordered from. Honestly, I had no clue. I just bought what I thought was a good deal. They figured that it could be from Cake & the Fiddle. and bingo, it was!

The cake arrived as scheduled and was placed in the freezer as I wanted the family to cut and eat together.

It was love at first bite. The cheese was rich without being smelly or overpowering. When frozen, it tastes just like a creamy ice cream cake (another of my favourites).

Cake & The Fiddle provided a pack of Milo powder to sprinkle on the cake for that dinosaur feel. Brilliant move, really! If the cake had come pre-sprinkled, the powder will be scattered everywhere.

We have since ordered online two more times. And the feeling remains. The cheesecakes are really good!

If you want to score a good deal, look out for offers on Qoo10 because the bakery does list offers regularly. Alternatively, pop over to the official site, which also has offers from time to time.

Cat and the fiddle
Over the Moon — looks like a panda, don;t you think?

When is a sale a sale?

Lazada 11 11Alibaba set a new record of US$30.8 billion in sales on November 11, aka Singles Day. The figure eclipsed the US$4 billion that Amazon brought in on Prime Day in July.

If anything, this shows that people are drawn to sales — 10/10, 11/11 and with Black Friday and Christmas coming up soon. It’s like everybody has been saving up just for these occasions.

But, is a sale really a sale or just an opportunity for sellers to sell more because of the hype?

Sometimes, we can’t really tell, especially if we’re just blindly caught up in the frenzy and thinking that most, if not all, deals are good.

Here’s where a little homework can make a world of difference:

  1. Know the usual price. Find out the usual price of the product you’re eyeing, then you’ll know if the deal is good.
  2. Search and search some more. Don’t be too trigger happy and click on the first listing, Scour through the list to compare prices for similar products.
  3. Warranty period. Do consider warranty period if you’re getting an electronic or mobile device. Some products may simply be cheaper because they are brought in by parallel importers and come without or with limited warranty.
  4. Any bundling? If the price doesn’t look discounted, find out if the listing comes with any gifts. Sometimes, new products cannot be discounted, such as the OnePlus 6T smartphone (below), which was launched end October. On November 11, the deal came with an additional adapter and cable.OnePlus 6T
  5. Shipping cost. Another deal breaker is shipping cost. Some vendors give free shipping on special sales while others may offer discounted shipping. But, take note of delivery timeline in such instances.

Doing your homework will help you make better decisions at the next sales — Black Friday!




The SXFI Amp: Creative’s 2nd coming?

By Edward Lim

Spending three days manning a booth in an IT show can take a toll on the body and mind. What more a constant repetitive blasting of sound from a booth just across the aisle. The vendor was an up and coming Singapore company called Creative Technology. The product was the Sound Blaster. Continue reading The SXFI Amp: Creative’s 2nd coming?