Saturday, February 06, 2016

Cocoichibanya @ Plaza Singapura

*Food Tasting Invite*

We have been up to our necks with the home reorganization as well as renovations that it's such a delight to receive an invite to have a nice family meal out of the dusty messy home. (Read: a good temporary escape for me).
Japanese food has been an all time favorite food of my family's (ahem or should I say it's my personal favorite *wink*). We usually associate Japanese food with fish and raw food but not with this world's first Japanese curry restaurant, CocoICHIBANYA. My kids and I are huge fans of Japanese curry hence we were naturally excited to check out what's in store for us here.
We arrived here at their latest outlet, Plaza Singapura, in the early evening before the dinner crowd streamed in. I was immediately taken in by their minimalist decor and clean, brightly lit shop front, definitely impressive and inviting.

We have never stepped into a CocoICHBANYA restaurant before this invite and what surprised me was that the curry served at this place came with 5 different levels of spicy-ness that patrons could opt for (what a delight), which means I don't have to compromise on my love for hot spicy food because the kids cannot take it as hot as I do and I would need to accommodate to their preference.

While on this food tasting we were given all the levels of heat of the curry to try out, ranging from Mild, Standard, Level 1 all the way to Level 5 (Crazy Hot)! You can imagine me going all gung-ho and head straight for the highest level of heat! HAH!!! The initial taste of the crazy hot curry was ok, but the heat builds up S.L.O.W.L.Y.... and you've been warned! It's interesting but not something I would take a second or third mouthful as it's simply too spicy!!!

The great thing about dining at this place is that patrons get to customize their own curry rice! Customers can choose to adjust the amount of curry, amount of rice, spicy level of curry and add any number of toppings according to their preference. Talk about customization, this is one of the first I've encountered in a restaurant.

We were offered many different dishes to try out and of the lot these were what I've enjoyed most...
Hash Beef Omelette Rice
If you do not wish to customize your meal, here's a great option as a meal, Hash Beef Omelette Rice. It's simply deliciously made with lovely red wine and beef broth that gave its sweet and savoury taste. This reminds me of Boeuf Bourguignon, so flavourful and combine that with the creamy melt in your mouth omelette and tender beef strips, delicious is an understatement.

Tofu with Fried Fish Salad
This salad has got to be the BEST salad I have ever tasted, no kidding. The sesame dressing simply brought out the best of all the ingredients. The soft tofu and crunchy anchovies gave this salad different texture that it's hard to stop at the first bite. Even Missy who's not fond of salads fought to have more it.
Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet)
Tonkatsu and Teriyak Salmon really do not need much of my further introduction. We ordered these as additional topping and love how these dishes were so fantastic when paired with the curry that was served along with them.
Teriyaki Salmon
Can't end a nice meal such as this, without something sweet. The Milk Cream Puff and the Chocolate Crepe Cake are the must have at CocoICHIBANYA.
Milk Cream Puff
This light choux pastry contained within it is sweet frozen cream combined with bitter sweet chocolate sauce, it's simply YUM! I was secretly hoping that I could have it all to myself and not share it!
Chocolate Crepe Cake
A delicately and painstakingly done crepe cake that didn't disappoint! Mildly sweet chocolate mousse in between the many layers of crepe, it's really very hard to just stop at one slice. Unlike regular sponge chocolate cakes, I love the texture in every bite of this cake.

By the end of the meal, all the four of us were very stuffed up but we had a really very enjoyable meal! It's a great place for a family meal. If you have young children you might want to check out their kids' meal menu with 4 options to pick out from.

CocoICHIBANYA - Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road #03-73
Singapore 238839
Tel: 6238 7539
Operating Hours 
Sunday - Thursday 10am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday 10pm - 11pm

Disclaimer: We have been invited by ATMC on behalf of Coco Ichibanya to a meal for the purpose of this review

Friday, December 18, 2015

Lost In Transition

It's the school holidays and we have been out and about quite a bit this season. I was often out with the kids traveling around by the public transport (ie. the bus or the train). We have been out together so often that I always thought we will not lose each other in public places. Never have we worked out  a safety plan before because we have totally taken the safety that we have enjoyed in this city country completely!

And so that fateful day of being separated from my child came as we were on our way transiting from one train line to another. Missy went ahead of Little Man, her cousin and I and boarded the train from the opposite side of where we alighted; while the 3 of us were making our way to join her, the train doors closed right in our faces! The horrified Missy burst into tears immediately while I was trying hard to tell her through the many panels of glass between us, where to wait for us. Obviously at her state of panicking she wasn't able to figure out what I was saying.
A kind samaritan witnessed all that had happened and had very kindly taken care of the situation by calling me and watched over Missy while we hopped onto the next train headed towards where she was waiting with Missy! I was truly grateful for God's watchful eyes and protective hands upon us!
This was a teaching moment and a lesson learned not just for the kids but for me as a parent. We need to work out a safety plan and guide our children how to sought for help in such a situation.

When separated from mom or dad in public places, here's what the child can do - (ensure child has memorised your mobile number)
1) Remain where they have been separated from parent. Look for a lady with children and explain what had happened; ask for help to call the parent.
2) If unable to find a lady with children at where they are, go seek help from information counter
3) If child got separated from parent during transit at the train station, always alight at the next stop at the same door where the child boarded the train from and wait for parent to come for them in the next train.

It was indeed a blessing we met a Good Samaritan that day, more importantly it has reminded me not to be careless when it comes to safety issues with the children just because Singapore is a relatively safe country to be in.

Have you worked out any safety plans together with your child or children? Please share your safety measures with me I will be really interested to learn. ��

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Reversing a Health Condition

I recently watched with great interest to this 9-part docu series on "The Truth About Cancer". In this docu series, I've learned that THERE IS a CURE for disease such as cancer, what more other diseases if only we choose to discipline ourselves to eat well and make some lifestyle changes.
Photo Credit Link
For the longest time, I have always felt the inclination to seek natural ways to healing a health condition. It's a gut-feel but I know for sure God has created all food for nourishment and healing purposes. We just need to seek out and be disciplined enough to eat right, live right, that's the key to healthy lifestyle. Here's a good explanation what is diabetes, it's more than just a result of eating too much sweet or starchy foods.
Photo credit link
Upon more research (here & here), I've found out that there is more than one way to reverse my diabetes condition. But the crux of the matter is, I need to be more discipline and stick to that desire to want to reverse the "chronic disease".  The reason why I said it's "chronic disease"(in inverted commas), is it's not chronic at all, because it can be reverse (as mentioned by the doctor here).

After watching several youtube videos (here's one of them - a good one) in my process of research, one thing that stands out prominently is to stick to a plant based diet is the cure to many health issues. It's not a diet program that I am putting myself through, but it's more like a way to get myself started with a new habit of eating that I am gradually starting with(again). I am dropping the medications that Doctor has prescribed and taking actions to eat more responsibly. I am still gathering sufficient "energy" to get myself started with an exercise regime (a gentle one that is), but that I have to kick off the inertia first (still trying).
I juiced these vegetables and fruits for my breakfast.
Although I have started eating healthier, I must confess, there are days where I find it hard to stick to just eating purely vegetable/fruits (or a plant based diet as some would call it) alone. I do get tempted to munch a sweet snack or even indulge in food that I deemed as comfort food. I don't beat myself up, though at times, I do feel that it irks me to even eat those food that I know is not good for my body. I hope that I continue to feel disgusted by the food that I used to see as delicacies and eventually put a complete stop in deeming them as delicacies!
I had this for lunch
I have started to switch to a more plant based diet since 2 weeks ago and am still working hard to switch completely to an absolute plant based diet. But I like how it has condition my body, so far I have lost a few centimeters around my body (didn't actually measure but the best gauge was in how I fit into my jeans and shorts more easily, and I've thrown away 2 pairs of shorts that were too loose now *smile*). I was better at clearing bowels more regularly as the gut is being cleared by all the fibre I take in daily. I do feel more energetic as well. I noticed how sluggish I feel when I used to have a meal heavy on carbs, oil and meat. It's almost like I need a nap immediately after a meal and I'd feel tired, dizzy & groggy throughout the day.
This breakfast kept me filled up even way beyond lunch time
If you have read this post thus far (thank you), here's something I stumbled upon just yesterday and I know it made sense as I've also read it in many other websites in my course of research. There are 3 foods (natural foods that is) that can help us diabetics when taken on a regular basis (I've heard about the first 2 though not the last one, but it was interesting to note).

I want to be able to share here how this diet has changed my condition soon and I really see that there is hope for us diabetics to reverse our condition. So stay tuned!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Take Note of the Little Things

I usually do my daily devotions during the morning, that's the best time of my day, when I am awake and alert. Today being a weekend, I had many other "distractions" that kept me away from my quiet time with my Heavenly Father, and I only had time to sit alone on my own around late afternoon.

As I sat down before my computer getting ready to retreat away from the day's of hustle and bustle, I chanced upon a super old devotion which I've missed previously (disclaimer: I subscribe to various online daily devotional hence I do missed some that came into my email). To my surprise (well I really shouldn't be surprise, God in His sovereignty knew I would open up this devotion today), the message got me really thinking.
"Oftten in marriage — especially if there are children in the picture — we spend so much time just getting life done. Keeping up the house. Making appointments. Tending to the yard work. Shuttling children. Paying bills. And we stop noticing the little things about our spouses — the stuff we used to notice all the time when we were dating."

Indeed, life has gotten in between us, and I have neglected many areas of the little things about my husband. I felt challenged by the message in the devotion (rather message from God), to take notice of my husband in the little things once again and...
"In a culture of selfies and selfishness, let’s purpose to take notice of our spouse’s interests and show them love in even the smallest of ways."
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Loving Everything Simple

I don't really enjoy parties much less plan one for my own children's birthdays. For so many years (possibly 8 years now), we haven't thrown any birthday parties for our kids (except for those that we did in their kindy years in school), I personally don't enjoy the tedious process of planning and executing such events.

I like things simple, quiet and cosy; I don't fancy the idea of keeping up with the Joneses, in this instance, throwing lavish and elaborate birthday parties. I don't want my children growing up with a sense of entitlement just because it's their birthday. So for quite some time now, we always turn down our children's requests for throwing birthday parties.

Instead, we'd suggest going out as a family or inviting a few close friends of theirs for play dates. We hope to inculcate in our children a love for the simpler things in life, to be content and happy being in the company of their family and close friends. Also, birthdays need not be celebrated in a big way to be remembered.

We celebrated Missy's 8th birthday recently and while I wasn't as enthusiastic as she was about the party (I tried to keep everything really simple), we enjoyed the entire process of working together for the party.

After visiting Frozen By a Thousand Blessings previously, we've decided that we like the place enough to want to hold Missy's birthday celebration at this really clean and minimalist venue. The private party room was booked since June and we slowly got into the swing of things in making the birthday invite cards, list of guests to invite (which she was allowed to invite her very close friends). She asked about goodie bags and I gave it some thought, and decided upon birthday favours instead of giving out a bag of snacks/candies heavily laden with processed ingredients, food colouring and sugars.

I presented to her my idea for the birthday favour which got her really excited; she watched me as I prepare the materials for the handmade favours. In the process, she experienced the joy of creating and making gifts for the people that matter to her.

Since it was a very small group of guests we have invited, settling the food and beverage was made so much more straightforward, almost everything was homemade.

No games/activity was needed to keep the guests entertained. We cosy-ed up with the guests so easily, freely discuss and chat about anything and everything while the children entertained themselves together. Cleaning up was fuss-free and quick because there wasn't much to clean up after.

What Missy really brought back (besides the birthday presents) was fond memories of spending the afternoon with her close friends and I believe she's also learned that we don't need a lot (elaborate/expensive) in order to be happy.