FiftyThree is at best a mid-tier european restaurant masquerading as modernist cuisine.  The decor is a pleasant spartan rustic; the service is generally good, and the dishes are nicely plated.  The failure however is in the taste of the food.  One can’t help but feel that so much time was spent in planning on how to “wow” patrons visually, that the chef in the process neglected to “wow” gastronomically.  Back when this place opened in 2008, there wasn’t much to compare against, but now with the likes of Novus and especially Restaurant André, there’s really a sense of fatigue to this former must-go destination for molecular gastronomy.

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Brasserie Les Saveurs

The last time we dined at the space that is now Brasserie Les Saveurs, it was still the trés upscale dinner buffet at the St. Regis.  Now, this former all-you-can eat shrine for gastronomes has been reinvented as a classic French restaurant.  While not the most exciting culinarily-wise, it’s a solid choice for a date night or a special occasion.  This particular evening, it was S & L’s anniversary, and they invited a group of us along to help celebrate.   Overall the food was not too bad, with the highlights being a made-to-order steak tartare, dessert, and the Michael Buble-esque lounge singer that kept us well-crooned all evening.

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Comfort Food: Curry Turkey Pot Pie

Every once in a while, it’s nice to be able to sit down to something that’s less science experiment and more… well, comfort food.  Alton Brown’s curry chicken pot pie is one such dish.  Back in the States, G and I would buy a Costco roast chicken just so that we could have breast meat to use for this recipe.  Since there isn’t exactly a plethora of Costco’s or cheap (western) roast chicken, I haven’t had a chance to make pot pie until recently when I was “gifted” 4 kg of turkey breast.  But that’s a story for another day.

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Introducing Cayden, the newest member of the family, who was delivered after 22 hours of induced labor followed by an emergency Caesarean.  Both mommy and baby are recovering nicely, though the lack of operating instructions has daddy perplexed.  Thankfully, the nice nurses have been patiently educating us on what to do…


It should be of little surprise that G and I would choose Japanese for our “last date night meal in the foreseeable future.”  While we have never tried Goto, recommendations from a few trusted sources convinced us that this might be the closest to dining in Japan that we would experience locally.  Other convincing factors include: the chef/owner, Goto Hisao, is the former chef of the Japanese Ambassador, and as a geek, how could I possibly pass on a restaurant named thusly.   Skipping to the conclusion: we were very impressed.  While dinner here is not cheap, if you’re in the mood for high class kaiseki- this is the place to visit.

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See You Soon!

Dear Baby C,

Today we’re going to start the process of inducing you out. I’m really nervous because I’ve heard a number of horror stories about induced labor often leading to emergency C-section or just being plain painful. Some induced labor take as many as two to three days! I’d also much rather have had you choose when you want to come out like Baby N.

Please help me to be strong and to work hard with mommy to get you out safely ok? I’d like for you to come out tomorrow morning or early afternoon. It’s silly, I know. But I checked out the Chinese calendar and since you refuse to choose your own birthday (no contractions for mommy even in week 39!), I thought it would be nice if you could go along with my preferred date and time.

See you soon!


Birth plan

Google “birth plan” and you’ll find a whole slew of guides and sample birth plans. My gynae doesn’t really see the point of a birth plan but I think it’s a document that helps you to better understand the delivery process. Some people (like what I did initially), copy and paste the sample birth plans with only a few minor edits. Others (like what I did after learning more about each bullet point) make it a point to really understand and customize their birth plan.

On a higher level, it also helps the more anal first-time mommies feel like they are in control of this completely unknown trauma that will soon be inflicted on their bodies. Yes, I know to say that the birthing process is a huge trauma on the body seems to be a little dramatic given the beautiful bundle of joy you will get after the process. But the pain and suffering the mommy goes through should not be undermined. A friend mentioned how she was in induced labor for nearly three days and almost needed blood transfusion post-delivery. Even a short labor is at least 3-5 hours and something tells me I’m not one of these lucky mommies.

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Tonkotsu Ramen – Frankenrecipe

Ramen.  It wasn’t really until our trip last year to Kyushu that G and I truly understood what the craze was all about.  There is a local favorite, Taiho, that serves up a slightly greasy and salty tonkotsu ramen with pork rinds… mmm.   Craving some noodles at home, I decided to learn just how difficult it would be to create a bowl from (mostly) scratch.  Since I lack the patience to fry up rinds, I went with the next best thing- bacon.  As luck would have it, the Momofuku ramen recipe happens to include this tasty internet meme as a key ingredient.  In total, this dish took 3 days to make, but that was only because I also wanted sous vide crispy roast pork as well.

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