Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review of Donnie Yen's latest film, KUNGFU JUNGLE!

Starring Donnie Yen (the hero) and Wang BaoQiang (the villain)




I was recently invited by Clover Films, a regional movie producer and distributor based in Singapore, to catch the exclusive Singapore movie premiere of Kungfu Jungle. My younger sister is  BIG fan of Donnie Yen, and of course, I couldn't pass up on this opportunity and invited her along too! :)

Here's a brief synosis of the action-filled movie:
Hahou (Donnie Yen) is a former martial arts instructor but was imprisoned after accidentally killing an opponent in a fight. When a vicious killer Fung (Wang Baoqiang) starts targeting the top kung fu expert masters, Hahou offers to help the police catch him in return for his freedom. After much consideration, the police inspector arranges for his release and both of them start to hunt for the vicious killer. With his help, they realize that the killer is targeting his victims from the chronological order- he kills all the top masters in their martial arts expertise and follows an ancient martial code of training. Hahou also discovers the killer's identity and his motivation: the true philosophy behind martial arts is to kill.

Soon, Hahou realises that he is Fung’s next target, putting all those around him at risk, especially his beloved "shi mei". He refuses to be drawn into a fight with Fung, however when the killer threatens the woman he loves (aka his "shi mei") Hahou ultimately realises that he will have to fight with the killer.


Hahou fighting in the prison and he managed to fight against ten over inmates. I know, totally crazy..

The final and most intense fighting scene which takes place at night on a busy highway, both of them making deadly use of a pair of bamboo scaffolding poles.

My review on the movie (the good and the bad):

The good:
I'll definitely recommend this film to all martial arts fans or of course, fans of Donnie Yen. All of the fight scenes were very well-executed and realistic, which is expected as they're mostly directed by Donnie Yen. Even at 51, Donnie Yen is an exhilarating martial arts star and action director. It was also lovely to see the different parts of Hong Kong being showcased in the film, especially the scene where the fishermen lived in stilt-houses. Kungfu Jungle is a breathtaking action-filled film, featuring superb performances from the entire cast.

The bad:
Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t quite convincingly explain the killer's persistent and insane drive to be top in the field and his motivation for murdering so many martial arts experts, other than the fact that he is obsessed with kung fu. Moreover, the movie was too violent for me and there were several fight scenes which made me cringe in my seat. (I know, I'm such a chicken.) 

My take on the movie: 4/5

Casts: Kung Fu Jungle is from the award winning Hong Kong director Teddy Chen (Bodyguards and Assassins, The Accidental Spy) and stars Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Ip Man 2) and Wang Baoqiang (Lost in Thailand, Assembly, Blind Shaft). Donnie Yen also directed three action scenes in the film including the beginning and end scenes – credited as Action Director alongside with Martial Arts director Yuen Bun (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate) and Yan Hua.

KUNGFU JUNGLE: OPENS IN CINEMA 30TH OCTOBER 2014. DO CHECK IT OUT! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our happy moments, in 20 photos!

Here are some snippets of our happy moments in October 2014, hope you had a good month too! :)

My (serious) baby trying on his Indian costume ;) Please excuse his cloth diaper, haha
Teaching Papa how to play the piano. Shayne has been playing the piano obsessively these few days and I hope his obsession doesn't fade away anytime soon! ;)


Always hugging and playing with Minnie :)
Maybe it's about time I got baby Nathan a real fendora hat? Haha
Papa trying to catch his drool! :D

One of our favourite weekend spots: over-looking our housing estate :)
"Talking" to my younger sister, and she'll always pretend that she understands him. Hahaha.
We think that he's going a teething stage as he's always sucking his hands. And his mittens are always so damp and we have to change them every hour. #juicydrumstick #yumyum
Shayne, our little helper! Sometimes we'll distract him from his ipad games by asking him to do some household chores and surprisingly, it works! He'll want to be "the best cleaner" and will make sure that the floor is clean and spotless. ;) We have learned that the best way to distract a young child from an activity is by introducing another activity to him, and it works much better than the constant nagging and scolding! ;)
Hello Nathan! #shockedbaby
Deepavali house-visiting with sleepy Nathan and Shayne
As you can see, baby Nathan fell asleep while I was casually holding and rocking him in my arms, in front of the other visitors. Haha! (and that's my awkward smile...)
My sister-in-law's 1.5 years old daughter and 3 months old baby Nathan :)

Little cousins :)
My younger sis snapped this photo of us early in the morning :) #cosleeping #mummyandbaby
I bought this set of Indian Hello Kitty soft toys for my elder sister as she's a big fan of Hello Kitty, and she sent us this photo during Deepavali. Haha so cute.
A beautiful Henna tattoo done by an Indian relative :)
Have a great week ahead! <3

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review of SET Contemporary Cuisine @ PoMo (and meeting the food entrepreneurs!)

A food and restaurant review of SET Restaurant, and an insight into the F&B Industry.
With Mr Raymond and Jason, the two friendly founders of SET Restaurant @ PoMo (located just beside Parklane Mall).
(Note: I'm not a foodie blogger but after much thought and consideration, I've decided to accept and post my review on SET Restaurant as the founders are so enthusiastic, humble and passionate about their food business. After meeting and speaking with them during our dinner at their restaurant, it is obvious that they truly love what they're doing, and prioritize passion for food over profits, which to me, is the right attitude towards entrepreneurship! So here is my review on their beautiful restaurant and I do hope that you'll check it out one day. :))

Last weekend, we were invited for dinner at the newly-opened SET Restaurant @ PoMo, which serves a tantalising array of contemporary cuisine with Asian and Western influences at an affordable price. As shared by Mr Jason, their restaurant is the second largest tenant of PoMo, as it occupies 8 shop units at level 2 in PoMo! There's a main dining area, two private dining rooms and an outdoor dining space. It is definitely the ideal restaurant for large gatherings as it is big and spacious, yet couples who visit their restaurant will feel equally welcomed and comfortable too.



Layout of the restaurant (credits to set-sg.com)

Now let's talk about the fun stuff: THE FOOD! ;) As shared by Mr Jason, their dishes are crafted only with the freshest ingredients to ensure the best food quality. Their original unique creations include Mushroom Veloute with Peanut Butter, Miso Soup with Sake, as well as entrees such as Baby Pork Back Ribs, Roasted Beef Tenderloin and Grilled Snapper with Salsa.

So now you're probably thinking if the meals are expensive, right?

You'll be happy to know that SET Restaurant serves 5-set course lunch at only $28.80++ and 6-course set dinner at only $38.80++! It is Mr Jason's and Raymond's belief that everyone should be able to enjoy fine dining food at an affordable price. So to all fine dining lovers who don't want to spend a bomb on their food, SET Restaurant is just what you've been waiting for! Contemporary cuisine made by the finest chefs at a beautiful restaurant, AND at an affordable price, now that's something worth visiting. :)

Here are the (mouth-watering) photos of our 6-course dinner:


We were pleasantly surprised to see that they had a kids menu too! :)
 1) CHEF STARTER: Bacon & Mushroom Gratin with Homemade Toast


*5 stars for this dish*
This was the BEST dish for us. As silly as it sounds, all I could think of when I ate this was "OMG, this is so good". The gratin was crispy at the top and had a smooth velvety potato mash filled with bits of bacon and mushroom in it. The toasted buttered break was thick and good too! It didn't become soggy or whatsoever when we placed the gratin on top of it. :)

2) COLD DISHES: Salmon Gravlax, Tomato Caprese and Pork Floss wrap. 
(The Pork floss wrap isn't in the menu and was specially prepared by the chef for us that day. Thank you!)

*3 stars for this dish* The salmon tasted fresh and was thinly sliced. However, truth be told, it wasn't much different or unique from the other raw salmon dishes out there. Nonetheless, it was still a tasty dish.
*4 stars for this dish* The sweetness of the sauce combined with the saltiness of the pork floss was pretty interesting. We hope that they'll be able to include this dish into their menu one day! ;)
*4 stars for this dish* As simple as it looks, the tomato with mozzarella cheese actually tasted really good! The mini honeydew balls added a sweet finishing touch to the dish too.
 3) SIDE DISH: Grilled King Oyster Mushroom
*5 stars for this dish* This was one of our favourite dishes as the nicely grilled juicy flavourful mushrooms topped with truffle cream sauce was just pure heaven.
My happy mister dipping the mushroom into the side mayo sauce. He kept saying that this was one of the juiciest mushrooms he had ever tasted. Haha :D
:)
Halfway through our meal, we were each served a glass of sweet wine and the wine was one of the best I've tasted! It tasted exactly like it's description as seen above. And if case you're wondering, we only had a glass each, nothing more. ;)



Cheers!
  4) SOUPS: Mushroom Velouté with Peanut Butter, Roasted Pumpkin with Truffle and Double-boiled Herbal Soup

*4 stars for this dish* We were excited to try this mushroom + peanut butter combo soup, as it was such an unique and novel food concept, and were pleased with it. Surprisingly, Mr Raymond told us that most diners found it too "strange" for their liking. I guess the soup falls under the "acquired taste" category and luckily for us, we enjoyed it! :) Just my two cents, I'll recommend sharing this soup with someone as it may get a little "too much" for an individual.
*4.5 stars for this dish* The pumpkin soup tasted smooth, sweet and creamy. It wasn't too sweet or too creamy too, which is good. Mr Raymond also told us that many diners love this soup and it's one of their favourites.
*2.5 stars for this dish* The herbal chicken soup was good, unfortunately, it wasn't exceptionally good. There were too little chicken pieces and not many herbs in it too. Nonetheless, the older diners will love this as it's a familiar taste, and you can't go wrong serving herbal dishes to them too. ;)
 5) THE MAIN COURSES: Marinated Rack of Lamb, Roasted Beef Tenderloin and Baby Pork Back Ribs
*4.5 stars for this dish* I'm not a fan of mutton/lamb as I can't stand the smell of it, but to my own surprise, I loved and enjoyed this dish! The marinated lamb was tender, juicy and flavourful. And as told by Mr Raymond, they only choose the freshest and best meat for their main courses.

*4 stars for this dish* The roasted beef tenderloin (medium) was also tender, juicy and flavourful. It's one of the best steaks I've ever eaten and thankfully, it wasn't tough, dry or rubbery. I like how it doesn't taste too "meaty" too. It's also a dish highly recommended by Mr Raymond himself. :)
*3.5 stars for this dish* We were told by Mr Raymond that their baby pork back ribs are marinated for THREE hours before they're being cooked. The ribs melts in the mouth once take a bite, and you can definitely taste the oriental terriyaki sauce mixed with BBQ sauce. However, we felt that the lamb and beef steak were slightly better than this dish...
 6) Last but not least, THE DESSERTS: Pistachio Panna Cotta, Espresso Crème Brulee and Huai San Jello

*5 stars for this dish* For those who are wondering, Pistachio Panna Cotta is a rich Italian dessert made with double cream, natural greek yogurt, sugar, pistachios and almonds! It was the first time that I've tried this rich Italian dessert, and I loved it! The pistachio bits were just nice, and the cream and yogurt were not too overwhelming. Two thumbs up for this dessert!
*5 stars for this dish* The Espresso crème brûlée had a rich coffee flavour and it wasn't too sweet. It was our favourite dessert for that night, and is a popular dessert among the diners too!
*3 stars for this dish* The Huai San Jelly tasted similar to Cheng Teng and is a well-liked dessert among the health-conscious diners and older diners. Truthfully, it isn't as unique or special as the other two desserts (Pistachio Panna Cotta and Espresso Crème Brûlée). However, Mr Raymond said that he didn't want all of his desserts "to be too rich and creamy", and hence he included this Chinese dessert into one of the menu's desserts. :)


Smiling with Mr Raymond and Jason! Thank you for the hospitality and wonderful dinner! :)
 And that concludes our 6 course dinner at SET Restaurant @ PoMo. During our dinner, Mr Raymond shared with us some of his experiences being a food entrepreneur, and we certainly gained some insight into the F&B industry in Singapore. We learnt that labour/staff issue is definitely the top challenge in the F&B industry. Nevertheless, he has been in the F&B industry for about 10 years and has previously worked in other countries such as Melbourne. As such, it is very clear that he has the relevant experience and knowledge in this industry. Furthermore, Mr Raymond is also the chef-owner of SET Restaurant and he "designed 90% of the menu at SET Restaurant".


In a nutshell, SET Restaurant @ PoMo is a restaurant worth visiting as it serves up unique contemporary cuisine at a very reasonable price! ;) The only down-side was that we had difficulty finding the restaurant as PoMo is relatively a new shopping mall and in the end, we decided to park at Parklane Mall, which is beside PoMo.

Smiling at the deserted multi-storey carpark located in Parklane Mall. Haha




SET Contemporary Cuisine Restaurant
Address: No.1 Selegie Road, PoMo Mall, #02-01, Singapore 188306
Tel: 6337-7644
Email: reservation@set-sg.com
Opening hours: Open Daily From 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM

Their October's Birthday Promotion Special
Being a food entrepreneur is a special challenge and not an easy feat, and as such, we sincerely wish Mr Jason and Raymond all the best! Do check out their beautiful restaurant @ PoMo. You will not be disappointed. ;)

(Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with SET Restaurant @ PoMo. We were not paid to write this review and all opinions are of my own. Do check them out at PoMo and let's all support our fellow Singaporeans' restaurant today!)
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