The Bigger Plan.

“….I believe everything happens for a reason and is all part of a bigger plan. Everything has its own time and place, and I believe I am where I should be.” – New Year’s Day 2015.

4 weeks later, I am certain that everything that has happened in my life has led me to where I am and where I am supposed to be. Along the way, I learnt many life lessons, it wasn’t an easy transition after working from home for some 8 years, in fact, I never realised that it has been so long. What have I been doing the past 8 years? What if I did things differently? What if I led a different lifestyle and I never left the F&B industry in the first place?

Questions, too many to answer but I know one thing for sure; if I had lived any differently, I probably wouldn’t have met the people I got to meet, and the one thought that makes me cringe, what if I didn’t meet Robin? Thankfully, I did.

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Us during NYE 2011

The truth is, in life you need that one person who doesn’t give up on you even when you’re close to giving up on yourself. Someone who sees your potential, someone who keeps pushing you to be a better person and doesn’t hesitate to tell you that you’re not being the best you can be. It can be hard to take in, but we need that truth.

Thank you for being that person for me, love.

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The lights at Absinthe.

All these years I took so much for granted, that I would get a job easily with my qualifications for one. It turned into a 6 month long journey before I found THE JOB I was looking for. Sure I got offers, but interview after interview, I realised those jobs wouldn’t put me in the right direction, I wouldn’t grow the way I want to, so I kept looking. I always enjoyed doing events, so I decided I would pick up where I left off. There were times when I felt lost and on the verge of falling back into complacency, but I made a decision and I was going to stick it out no matter what. I learnt not to readily accept everything that falls into my lap if it won’t help me grow, I learnt to not let people determine and tell me what I am worth. I learnt that I should never settle for comfortable, and if things get comfortable, it means that it is time for a new challenge. Today, I am in Reservations & Events for the TRE Group, handling reservations and events for Absinthe Restaurant Franςais which is located at Boat Quay.

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Absinthe’s outdoor terrace by day. It’s a lovely place to be and especially so in the evening.

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Where will this new adventure take me? Only time will tell, but I will put my best foot forward, every day. No job is easy, but having a job you enjoy waking up to and excelling at makes all the difference.

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My daily view, the office at 46 Bukit Pasoh.

Some of you may wonder, what about the store?

The store is still “operating”. Orders for in-stock items are mailed out on a daily basis since I pass a post box on the way to the office every morning. Customisations will take more time though, for custom orders please email me at jeaninegabrielle@gmail.com.

For those who may have missed the update, the store is now at http://jeanine-gabrielle.myshopify.com

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Mini Amineko in Mustard $32.90 (London bus not included)

»♥«

Q : Do you still customise wedding bouquets?

A : Yes I do, however due to the limited free time I have on weekends, it is advisable to order at least 6 months in advance.

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A previous custom bouquet of roses and peonies.

Since we’re on the topic of flowers and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, what IS everyone up to this Valentine’s? I definitely won’t be having a Valentine’s date since Robin will be out of town but if you haven’t made plans with your significant other yet, may I suggest you join me at Absinthe Restaurant Franςais?

Full details in my next post! :)

Absinthe Restaurant Franςais is located at 72 Boat Quay. Tel : 62229068

MooJaa, Singapore’s #1 Mookata!

Have you been to 25 Keong Saik Road?

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By night, amidst a dark alley of pubs, backpacker inns and little food corners, you’ll find MooJaa, Singapore’s #1 Mookata!

Wait, Moo what?

Some time ago, I was invited to MooJaa to give Mookata a shot! Mookata literally means “pork skillet”,  and if you’re wondering about MooJaa… Well, it’s actually a popular slang word that means “my lovely pig”! I may have been living under a rock when it comes to Thai food, but the concept of a bbq and steamboat at the same time is actually very new to me. Up until now, the only bbq I’m familiar with is Korean. SO, how exactly does this whole Mookata thing work?

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Let’s start with something to drink, shall we? Daddy and I had the Thai iced tea and Mummy decided to give the Lemongrass a shot. I’ve never tried Thai iced tea before so I can’t really tell you if it’s really Thai or not, I did like it though! Kinda like a Thai Teh-peng?

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Forget oil and butter, at MooJaa they do it right with pork lard! Not only does it grease the surface and aid in cooking, at the end you also get a crunchy treat, you know, what we call “la pok”. YUM.

What’s on the menu?

It’s a free choice between Mookata sets, and ala carte dishes. For $39.90, you can enjoy Set Moo or Set Gai that comfortably feeds 2-3 people, depending on how hungry you are. If you’re a meat lover, Set Meat Lover priced at $55 will well satisfy your need for meat. If you prefer to pick out your own set then the Set Buffet is definitely for you! Priced at $32++, this allows you to order anything from the ala carte menu, buffet style! With the exception of a few select items, that is.

The full menu is available for reference on MooJaa’s Facebook page.

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The meat and seafood are so fresh, any fresher and they’d still be alive. Ready to cook!

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While waiting for your food to cook, you can enjoy some fish skin. Eat it crunchy or dip it really quick into the hot soup. It’s awesome either way, but I kinda like to eat them at their crunchiest! Think fish chips! The thing is, usually I get sick of fish skin after a couple bites, but there’s just something about MooJaa’s, we emptied the whole bowl! Well, if seafood doesn’t excite you….

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This one you cannot pass on! I mean it! You cannot go to MooJaa and not try these amazing cheese balls! I’m actually hoping they retail this. I’m such a sucker for cheese stuffed anything. I know you think they look like ordinary meat balls, right? Well, looks may be deceiving…..

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One bite releases an explosion of cheese! You’ve been warned, do take that first bite with caution. Pretty neat huh? Think nacho cheese in a meat ball. :)

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Cooking in progress! Notice how there isn’t any smoke coming up? At MooJaa, Japanese white charcoal is used. This makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable, no smoke in your eyes, no oil spurting, no oil burns and you won’t leave in a sweat!

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Perfectly browned! But before you dig in, make sure you have your dipping sauces ready!

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I’m usually not a fan of sauces, at steamboats, the most I’ve used would be soy sauce but these 31 ingredient sauces are absolutely delish! So good I had a couple of refills, these sauces are home made with the freshest ingredients weekly, so you know you’re getting the very best. I heard these sauces will actually be made available for purchase!

Psstttt : The fish skins go really well with the sweet and sour seafood sauce!

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The cherry on top has got to be the soup at all steamboats. A combination of meats, veggie juices and what have you, we drank the soup dry!

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Thanks for the invitation to taste test MooJaa, Shaun! We had a great meal!

With affordable prices, a cosy ambience, quality food with a great taste, I’ll definitely be back for seconds! (And thirds?) MooJaa also has “private rooms” should you prefer a more intimate gathering with your family and friends. The only concern my parents had was the “night life” that goes around at Keong Saik since the place is littered with bars. You definitely wouldn’t want to expose the kiddies to girls clad in barely there shorts with ciggies and beers in their hands, so lunch might be a better idea if you have older folks and young tods in your party!

Make MooJaa your next go-to place with your best buds!

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Think you can eat fast? MooJaa has a challenge for you!

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Check out MooJaa on Facebook for more details! xx

Dinner with an old friend at The Pizza Place

We had to grab a quick bite before the Esquire event so Alvin suggested The Pizza Place. I’ve been to Raffles City many times, but I have never noticed this little outlet tucked away in a corner, not until now!

I would have loved to try the pizza at a pizza place but the personal sized pizzas were sold out, so I just had some sides instead. This little corner has some pretty decent bites!

For one, I was really happy they have truffle fries! A bowlful for S$6.80! I wonder if they do take out.. Hmmmmmm

Alvin had Meatball Pasta which was good apparently, but the color of the meatballs really scares me. I won’t say what I think they look like so… go figure. ^_^

I had an order of these cheesy meatballs since I wasn’t too hungry… Very yummy! Wish we weren’t in a rush to finish though, these were piping hot out of the oven and it took more than 5 minutes to cool down enough for me to bite into!

Alvin and his EXTREMELY belated birthday gift, the Mario piranha plant, which is now his favourite and uhmmm perhaps only, pet plant. Handmade by yours truly. :D

See more of my hama bead work here! >> Hama Hama <<

The entire meal consisting of 3 food items and 2 drinks costed $31! Very affordable considering the location and for the quality of food they offer. Plus, they don’t charge service or GST here. Awesommmeeee right? I’ll definitely go back for the truffle fries and maybe a pizza the next time. Definitely worth checking out! :)

The Pizza Place is located at Raffles City, #B1-16. Tel: 6336 1979

“Serving up a slice of New York City for 15 years since opening in 1996 in Singapore, The Pizza Place epitomizes the classic New York style pizza at its very best. Topped with generous portions of premium ingredients and crowned with layers of melted cheese, every bite into our freshly-baked golden-crusted gourmet pizzas will satisfy the most epicurean of cravings. Together with our ever-popular variety of pastas, baked rice, spicy Buffalo wings, fresh salads and finger foods, we have something for everyone to enjoy, every time. Visit us at our newly-renovated restaurant for a truly unforgettable gastronomic experience today!”

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations at Häagen-Dazs

On thursday I was invited to Häagen-Dazs’ Clarke Quay Cafe for a special preview and taste test of their ice cream mooncakes! We missed the first part of the event, but we surely did not miss………..

the taste test!

This is the first thing they brought us. A sampler serving of all four mooncake flavors. There are two chocolate variations, one has a creamy chocolate ice cream centre with a dark chocolate coating, the other has a vanilla centre with a milk chocolate coating. The two make a safe choice for chocolate lovers, but trust me, you would regret not trying the other two.

Apart from the sampler plate, we were also offered a whole mooncake each. Robin asked for the milk chocolate but ended up getting the dark chocolate. (He didn’t even realise it wasn’t the one he asked for. Hahaha!)

For those of you who don’t really enjoy dark chocolate and prefer white chocolate, or something sweeter, you will love the cookies & cream flavor! I know I did, and I’m guessing it would be a favorite amongst kids too.

Now this is the one I would recommend if you have a particularly sweet tooth, the strawberry flavored “mooncake”. It was a real taste bud pleaser, with the occasional bite into a piece of fruit, and a to-die-for strawberry chocolate coating. All four flavors have a crispy praline base, think…. Ferrero Rocher. The traditional salted egg yolk centre which symbolises the full moon is replaced by a mango sorbet “yolk”. Who’d have guessed? Up until then I was wondering what salted egg would taste like with ice cream! *chuckles

I can’t decide which I was more excited about, the praline base or the mango sorbet yolk, but I particularly enjoyed the combination of strawberries and mango, truly a refreshing twist on tradition!

Robin had a little problem finishing his share. Too much chocolate for the chocolate kid?

Enjoying the mooncakes…

Dining in?

The Moonlight Resonance (left) priced at S$24++ consists of one ice cream mooncake served with fresh strawberries, mango and chocolate sauce, and a dainty glass of tea! Pick from Lemon, Chamomile, Earl Grey and English Breakfast.

Autumn Celebration (right) is a trio of decadence! The ice cream mooncake is accompanied by petite servings of strawberry ice cream, mango and passion fruit ice cream, both served in miniature glasses with crunchy waffle chips, whipped cream and refreshing slices of strawberry and kiwi. Autumn Celebration is priced at S$29++.

If you’re buying just one mooncake, they go for S$24 a piece. If you’re planning to gift these, pick up the Petite Gift Set that consists of 2 mooncakes at S$48. Need more? Get one of each flavor with the Classic Gift Set at S$68. The Classic Gift Set set saves you a whopping S$28! Great for sharing amongst friends too!

Special (timed) Promotions!

  • From 1st to 31st August, enjoy 25% off the regular price with a minimum purchase of 2 boxes.
  • From 1st to 30th September, enjoy 15% off the regular price with a minimum purchase of 2 boxes, or 20% off with a minimum of 3 boxes.

Gift vouchers are also available for the two gift sets.

The mooncakes are only available until the 30th of September, so make sure you pop into a Häagen-Dazs outlet to enjoy this special treat with your loved ones! Don’t forget, a gift from Häagen-Dazs says “You’re so special you deserve only the world’s best”.

For more information, check out Häagen-Dazs on Facebook or Häagen-Dazs.

much ♥ jeanine

Food in your neighbourhood.

It’s been ages since I did a food post, so here’s a quick one! If you live around Toa Payoh, I’m pretty sure you’d have tried this already, otherwise, good food is closer than you think… First of all, a disclaimer, I did not try the porridge, and the one worth raving about is at the end of this post, but since I got these from my sister…

I’m not a huge fan of porridge, but I do enjoy the occassional bowl of century egg congee, maybe next time, Ah Chiang! Now, on to what I did like (quite a lot!)

Roast meat noodles! Everyone had porridge from Ah Chiang’s but I was in the mood for some meat! I didn’t think I’d be doing a post proper so I totally forgot to take note of the shop’s name. >__< BUT! If you can find Ah Chiang, you can find this stall, it’s at the very end of the row of stalls, on the left. It’s sooooo crowded, you won’t miss it!

The noodles I had costed $7.50 for 3 different kinds of meat, roast pork, char siew and roast duck. I haven’t had much of an appetite lately so the fact that I wiped out every last bit of this must mean something. Also, if you are a fan of “lar pok” ie. pork lard, this stall is really generous with it, and in big pieces too! How rare! You will have to wait because this stall is rather popular, but it’s definitely worth it! There are only a few tables that they will serve, so if you pick a table as far away as Ah Chiang’s, like we did, you’ll have to opt for take away instead.

These stalls are both located at HDB Hub, Block 190, Level 1, Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310190

xx

brunch @ sauce

Part 2 of Robin’s birthday celebrations! Brunch at Sauce! A great place to be at on a lazy Sunday afternoon… Or any other time of day for that matter.

Eggs Benedict. Awesome flavor but my eggs were over poached. I think I might have made a better Hollandaise the first time I tried, this one must have been left out for pretty long cos it wasn’t runny anymore. Never liked asparagus cos it’s so bitter, that still stands.

Smoked salmon. Robin had this, I haven’t tried. Don’t know why I didn’t but I will next time! Makes me want to run to the supermarket and buy a pack of smoked salmon, creme fraîche and table water crackers; I’m fine skipping the capers. Only problem is, it’s past 1am.

You cannot go to Sauce and not have Spam chips, seriously. These are addictive as hell. They’re $8 a bowl, pretty pricey for chips when a tin of spam probably only costs like what $2? Idk, but these are soooooooooo good. I’m actually craving these right now. xx

The XLB Follow Up!

remember the food porn post i did last week? well that was just us messing around with xiao long baos so i hope you weren’t expecting any constructive food reviews from the videos, but this is the real deal! it took ed awhile to put the post together but he finally did!

now i’m officially sending you foodies over to his food blog, cinnamonsin!

the blog is managed by ed and his sister, rachel. they both cook and take turns to blog. yes, ed can cook up a storm anytime. he’s way better than me. (i’m still waiting for him to cook for me. *poutssss* but… i’ll wait!)

warning: food coma ahead, click only when you’re ready. i will not be responsible for rumbling tummies!

dig innn!

♥ jean

Wild Honey!

Over a week ago it was Alvin’s birthday and since I couldn’t decide what to get for him, I bought him dinner at Wild Honey the day after!

Shawn told me about the place and I had been dying to try out the food there for the longest time! The moment we got there i fell in love with the place. Like it says, there’s no place like home, and at Wild Honey, it really does feel like home. The ambience is really warm and the layout is really cosy… Proper tables or lazy sofas with coffee tables, it’s your choice.

i found it pretty cool that they had an iPad for a menu!

Okay enough rambling… this is the real deal! I had the full English breakfast. everything is really good. the eggs are perfect, the bacon is not too oily.  Don’t underestimate this platter, I could barely finish!

Alvin had the pancakes! The berry sauce was really yummy! I don’t think he managed to finish either… lol

Price wise, if I remember correctly it was just under $70 for both of us. One dish and a drink. A tad on the higher side, but for the quality of food and the overall ambience, I’m definitely looking forward to trying more dishes soon!

Meanwhile, check out Wild Honey online :

♥ jean

Addicted to Steak.

i think i’m a steak addict. i’m perpetually craving for meat; red meat.

i don’t think it has anything to do with me being born in the year of the ox, there’s just something about steak that makes me happy.

my latest steak-fix :

steak frites with truffled fries and béarnaise sauce at Overeasy on friday…

ben had the egg skillet,

but i needed my meat!

the béarnaise sauce is to die for, i need to learn how to make it soon… the steak, it’s perfect. but $28 for that little chunk of meat is a little pricey, no? well worth it for the taste and quality (and happy factor) tho. kept me happy enough to put up with ben being glued to 2 soccer matches at Butter that night.

with the football fever raging right now, i think i might need to have steak every other day to keep myself happy.

how’s everyone dealing with football fever? it’s only day two and trust me i’m feeling the loneliness already.

…i think i should just go to bed earlier for once

Where To Eat? : The Handburger

okay this post is WAYYYYY OVERDUE. i’m sorry. i just haven’t been in a “blogging mood” lately, but i’ll leave the explanation for later…

if you like burgers like i do (so does ben) then you will absolutely LOVEEEEEEE

THE HANDBURGER at 313 @ Somerset

for starters, i love the whole ambience, the menu, the artsy fartsy everything… and gosh, they have uber cute cupcakes on the menu for all you sweet tooths… being there feels a little old school, cos of how the benches and tables are arranged, it’s almost like being back in the school tuckshop!

the beef patties are to die for! really, i’ve tried the burgers at The Ritz Carlton, and if you compare price and quality, gosh, i’ll have a handburger anyday, EVERYDAY!

look how tender the meat is! it just crumbles in your mouth, and it really tastes like how a beef patty should. i don’t know how to explain it, you’ll know what i mean when you try it for yourself… they’ve got a couple of interesting dips like sweet chilli kaffir lime aioli, herb tomato, spicy tartare just to name a few… so don’t expect anything ordinary!

the buns are really yummy, the ones we had were caramelised onion buns. and for once, i actually ate all the greens that came in the burger. becos they really are green and so fresh!

the prices are reasonable, starting at $7.80 for a basic burger. there are a couple of add-on options too, so you can build your own burger however you like! they get quite crowded during peak hours, but it’s definitely worth the wait!

in fact, we’re thinking of going there for my birthday!

if you’d like to study the menu, (it will make you hungry) go to their website by clicking on the link below! :)

…officially my favourite burger bar!