Monday, 28 October 2013

Ayam Bakar - Changi Village Makan

There is no shortage of good food in Changi Village and today, I feature an Indonesian Pan-Fried Chicken stall - Ayam Bakar.

Located in Block 3, the stall is 01-79 and simply named Indonesian Ayam Bakar. It is one of the more popular stalls at this side of the hawkers' centre and if you go there around lunch time, be prepared to wait in queue. The chicken is done Java style.
Ayam Bakar photo AyamBakar01.jpg

The chicken is first cooked in a spiced chicken broth containing turmeric and blue ginger. When the chicken thigh is cooked, it is then pan-fried.
Ayam Bakar photo AyamBakar03.jpg

And the result of the pan-fry is a charred skin and a nice pan-fry smell.
Ayam Bakar photo AyamBakar02.jpg

When you order the meal - which consists of lettuce, pineapple salad, soup, rice and a piece of chicken thigh, macik will ask what sauce you may want. There is the "Diving" sauce which is primarily pineapple and cucumber salad in kacap manis with green chili. Gives it a tangy and sweet taste. Then there is the Sambal Lado and then the rendang. There is also a tomato based sauce for those who do not want spicy.
Ayam Bakar Fiery Sauce photo AyamBakar04.jpg

Seen above in order of spiciness (from bottom to top) - the dark red sauce at the bottom of the picture is the least spicy tomato sauce. Then the Sambal Lado which I understand to be medium spicy and then the rendang which is the most spicy.

This is my Ayam Bakar in Sambal Lado sauce. See the amount of chili seeds? Sedap! But I have to say this - bring lots of tissue to wipe off that perspiration. And it also helps if you have a cold drink nearby to quench that thirst.
Ayam Bakar Sambal Lado photo AyamBakar05.jpg

When you cut into the chicken thigh, the meat simply falls off the bone and retains it juiciness. The taste of the spices also permeates the meat and the sambal adds that extra oomph to the chicken thigh.
Ayam Bakar Sambal Lado photo AyamBakar06.jpg

The whole set meal is a very reasonable $4. Definitely fills the stomach and settles your craving for "grilled" chicken. Honestly, I feel this is better than most of the Ayam Penyet stalls in CV. Look out for my other post on Sinar Murni. My favourite tahu goreng. Stall is just opposite to Ayam Bakar.

Indonesian Ayam Bakar, Stall 01-79, Changi Village Hawker's Centre. Open for lunch.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Immigrants Gastrobar GTG - Independent Time!

Following our last GTG at Pasarbella, we thought it was a good idea to invite some ladies for this GTG. And what a party it turned out to be!

Thanks to Peter's recommendation, we held this GTG at Immigrants Gastrobar at Joo Chiat. Never before we have a group of more than 30 and in this case, we had 41. Immigrants serves Peranakan Food and for this occasion, we had it buffet style allowing all to mingle, makan, sip and chat.
Food photo ImmigrantsGTGFood001.jpg

The menu consisted of Singgang, Ngoh Hiang, grilled Ayam Sioh, Ayam Kalasan, Sambal Buah Kluak, Beef Cheek Rendang (signature dish), banana bud salad with prawns, warm salad of wild ferns, Squid Bombs and for dessert Durian Pengat. For the beef eaters, the beef cheek rendang was superbly cooked - tender beef with the right level of spices. The Singgang is a non-spicy dish of deboned wolf herring, taste much like otah but not as spicy. I like the Ayam Kalasan which was marinated well. The banana bud salad is totally unusual but I liked it a lot too. The squid bomb was probably the most spicy of the lot but also a crowd favorite. Chef Damian did a wonderful job of feeding all of us.
Food photo ImmigrantsGTGFood002.jpg

The restaurant seating is a nice mix of table seating and high chair seating.
Immigrants Restaurant photo ImmigrantsRestaurant03.jpg

Some early birds gathered for a chat...
Early Birds photo ImmigrantsGTGEarlyBirds01.jpg

While others started drinks early...
Early Birds photo ImmigrantsGTGEarlyBirds02.jpg

Asahi Super Dry no less… plus red and white wine.
Asahi Beer photo ImmigrantsGTGFood01.jpg

And soon it was dinner time! Some at the tables...
Makan Time photo ImmigrantsGTGMakanTime05.jpg

And some at the high tables. Food was a served on a metal plate reminiscent of days past. Totally retro!
Makan Time photo ImmigrantsGTGMakanTime04.jpg

And the ang mohs also ate the same...
Makan Time photo ImmigrantsGTGMakanTime03.jpg

And not forgetting the ladies too...
Makan Time photo ImmigrantsGTGMakanTime01.jpg

Nothing like tucking in to a good meal with wine and beer!
Makan Time photo ImmigrantsGTGMakanTime02.jpg

And before you knew it, Lelong time! This is where we put our watches on the table. This time around, the 2 themes were - watches not from the big houses like Swatch, Richemont or LVMH and the second one Special or Limited Editions from any brand. The set up reminds me of a dark seedy gambling den - illegal trading going on! Lelong lelong!
Watch Lelong photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime01.jpg

And what a turnout it was! Philippe Dufour Simplicity, Vianney Halter Antiqua, FP Journe Tourbillon Souverain Remontoir dEgalité and the list goes on… an impressive range of watches.
Watch Lelong photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime03.jpg

Can you identify the watches and the brands?
Watch Lelong photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime02.jpg

And since we had ladies for the first time, we had to have the ladies parade their watches too - from left to right IWC, Rolex, Lange, Zenith, Chopard, Jaeger Le-Coultre and Vacheron Constantin.
Ladies Watch Lelong photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime05.jpg

Look out for the Seiko Star Wars Edition, two Hamiltons, Reedsco, Movas Tourbillon LE, Otium, Habring, MIH, IWC Pocket Watch, Seiko Astron and Nomos World Time.
Watch Lelong photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime04.jpg

And the three very desired pieces...
Watch Lelong photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime06.jpg

And the most desired piece for the night must be the Simplicity by Philippe Dufour. Seen here being examined by Suzanne under a loupe. She was hoping for a trade with Peter but alas, one Rolex in solid gold (bracelet) does not equal a Simplicity.
Suzanne with Dufour photo ImmigrantsGTGSeriousLady01.jpg

So engrossed were we with the watches that I totally forgotten to take photos of the dessert (durian pengat). But we were lucky enough as Lionel brought some macaroons, courtesy of Mrs Lionel. The durian pengat was nice but wish there was more durian flesh in it.
Macarons photo ImmigrantsGTGFood08.jpg

And here is another less seen piece - the De Bethune DB27. Unmistakably De Bethune.
DeBethune DB27 photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime07.jpg

And one of the watch that created quite a buzz - The Seiko Presage 100th Anniversary Enamel Dial. Limited to 500 each, the watch pays homage to the first Seiko wristwatch.
Seiko 100th Anniversary Watch photo ImmigrantsGTGWatchLelongTime08.jpg

I am sure by the end of the night, all present were happy - good food, great company and an excellent range of watches. Much thanks to Chef Damian, Gareth, Joel and all at the Immigrants who made the occasion a lot more enjoyable. In our past gatherings, we have never had so many watches on the table. This is definitely one of the more successful GTG. Plus the presence of 11 ladies… what more can we ask for?

Immigrants Gastrobar, 467 Joo Chiat Road. Opens for dinner only.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

JLC Hybris Mechanica Exhibition - Ion Singapore

JLC held the Hybris Mechanica Exhibition on October 10th 2013 at the Ion Sky in celebration of their 180th Anniversary. On show were a range of JLC watches from the Gyrotourbillon 3 to the Tourbillon Cylindrique A Quantieme Perpetuel and the Duometre Spherotourbillon.

In recent years, JLC has been making waves again. The Manufacture with more than 1,000 in-house calibres to their name is moving full steam ahead with many new timepieces. The Duometre range is an exciting development and in this year's release, several new watches including the Duometre Spherotourbillon.
JLC Duometre Spherotourbillon photo JLCDuometreSpherotourbillon02.jpg

The Spherotourbillon uses the cylindrical balance wheel and the tourbillon is a multi-axis tourbillon.
JLC Duometre Spherotourbillon photo JLCDuometreSpherotourbillon01.jpg

The manual winding Calibre 382 has 2 main springs and has a power reserve of 50 hours. Definitely a watch on my "Dream Watch" list if money were not an object.
JLC Duometre Spherotourbillon Movement photo JLCDuometreSpherotourbillonMovement01.jpg

Next the Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie, another watch from the Duometre range. Sings the Westminster Chime. Probably one of the most complicated wristwatch to be made.
JLC Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie photo JLCHybrisMechanicaagraveGrandeSonnerie01.jpg

On top of being a Grande Sonnerie, the watch is also a perpetual calendar with jumping hour indicator.
JLC Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie photo JLCHybrisMechanicaagraveGrandeSonnerie05.jpg

The chiming mechanism consists of four ‘Trébuchet Hammer’ that strikes harder than traditional strikers. On the left side of the watch is the retrograde date display.
JLC Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie photo JLCHybrisMechanicaagraveGrandeSonnerie02.jpg

A closer look at the striking mechanism.
JLC Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie photo JLCHybrisMechanicaagraveGrandeSonnerie04.jpg

And on the reverse, there is the double barrel and the flying tourbillon. As beautiful front and back.
JLC Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie Movement photo JLCHybrisMechanicaagraveGrandeSonnerieMovement01.jpg

Another view of the twin barrel and the finishing on the back of the watches.
JLC Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie photo JLCHybrisMechanicaagraveGrandeSonnerieMovement02.jpg

Here is the link to the other post I wrote about JLC. I must say that with the Duometre line that JLC has shown real promise - much more to the brand that I had admired when I first started watch appreciation. Finishing was not very much a strength of JLC but with their latest development, I can say they are on the up. Great job JLC!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Jaeger-LeCoultre 180th Anniversary

The year 2013 marks the 180th Anniversary for Jaeger-LeCoultre. Founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre, the Grande Maison has developed a Jubilee Collection to mark the occasion.

Amongst some of the new development unveiled in 2013 are the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee and the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique A Quantieme Perpetuel Jubilee. First, the Gyro 3.
JLC Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee photo JLCMasterGrandeTraditionGyrotourbillon302.jpg

As with the Gyro 2, the Gyro 3 comes fitted with a spherical balance-spring in the flying tourbillon. Additionally, the Gyro 3 comes with a monopusher chronograph with an instantaneous digital display. Only in platinum, the watch comes as a limited edition of 75 pieces.
JLC Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee photo JLCMasterGrandeTraditionGyrotourbillon303.jpg

The Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique A Quantieme Perpetuel Jubilee is no less impressive. When I first saw the watch, I thought it was one of those "tell-me-what-you-wish-in-a-watch" type. Didn't think JLC could squeeze so many features into a wristwatch. Kudos JLC!
JLC Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique A Quantieme Perpetuel Jubilee photo JLCMasterGrandeTraditionTourbillonCylindriqueAQuantiemePerpetuelJubilee04.jpg

The flying tourbillon comes with a cylindrical balance spring that on top of looking great while it spins also drives accuracy. The watch is in platinum and comes with an automatic calibre 985 and is limited to 180 pieces.
JLC Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique A Quantieme Perpetuel Jubilee photo JLCMasterGrandeTraditionTourbillonCylindriqueAQuantiemePerpetuelJubilee08.jpg

The watch also comes with a perpetual calendar with a four digit year indication. The automatic watch also comes with a silver-grained dial.
JLC Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique A Quantieme Perpetuel Jubilee photo JLCMasterGrandeTraditionTourbillonCylindriqueAQuantiemePerpetuelJubilee07.jpg

At the rear of the self winding perpetual calendar is an 18K pink gold rotor which reveals a representation of the gold medal brought back by Jaeger-LeCoultre from the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889.
JLC Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique A Quantieme Perpetuel Jubilee photo JLCMasterGrandeTraditionTourbillonCylindriqueAQuantiemePerpetuelJubileeMovement02.jpg

Earlier on in the year when we attended the SIHH 2013 collection event, I was really taken by the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual. The dial is clean and very legible and comes with a four digit year indication. I particularly like the rose gold version with the beige dial. Will find time to photo that watch when it becomes available.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Watches & Cufflinks - Tourbillon Movement

When you like watches and cufflinks, it makes sense to enjoy them together. So I started hunting for cufflinks with watch movements and managed quite a collection. Here I feature some cufflinks with tourbillon movements.

These cufflinks are Made in China, as with may things but I must say that they are finished pretty well. Coming in three color tones, steel, yellow gold and rose gold, the cufflink balance wheel will oscillate when turned. Pictured here with my Movas Tourbillon Limited Edition.
Tourbillon Cufflinks photo TourbillonCufflinksAll01_zps246f5c6a.jpg

The cufflinks are around the size of a ten cent coin around 19mm across. Just the right size for a cufflink.
Tourbillon Cufflinks photo TourbillonSteel02_zpsf913b8a3.jpg

The blued screws and the jewels really stand out and enhances the movement.
Tourbillon Cufflinks photo TourbillonSteel03_zps25780e6b.jpg

As a pair, they look like an alien craft.
Tourbillon Cufflinks photo TourbillonSteel01_zpsf029b8e6.jpg

Compare the two tourbillon. Both Made in China movements.
Tourbillon Cufflinks photo TourbillonSteel04_zps083060b6.jpg

Here's the yellow plated version.
Tourbillon Cufflinks Yellow Gold photo TourbillonYG02_zpsf502f8b4.jpg

And the rose gold version.
Tourbillon Cufflinks Rose Gold photo TourbillonRG01_zps7a5069d7.jpg

And the search continues for more of such cufflinks. Let me know if you find them. Here is the link to my other blog on cufflinks.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Feature Of The Month - MIH Annual Calendar

The Musée International d'Horlogerie or The International Watchmaking Museum, as one can imagine houses all things associated with horology. And to their credit, developed the MIH Watch - proceeds from the sale of the watches are then channelled to the museum to fund their activities. This is my Feature of the Month.

The watch is created jointly by the curator of the museum Ludwig Oechslin, master watchmaker Paul Gerber, industrial designer Christian Gafner and Lucerne watch specialist EMBASSY. Probably the most affordable Annual Calendar watch and possibly the most minimalist in design, the MIH watch is great for one's collection.
MIH Watch photo MIH05_zpsaf329f06.jpg

On top of an annual calendar, the watch also comes with a mono-pusher chronograph. But that is hardly used as the chrono display is at the back of the watch. The watch comes encased in titanium.
MIH Watch photo MIH03_zps8374e490.jpg

Originally, the watch comes with a rubber strap but I had Jason of JnS customize a black calf with red stitching to match the chrono sweeping hand tip.
Black Calf with Red Stitching on MIH photo BlackCalfwithRedStitchonMIH.jpg

A perfect match - watch and strap!
MIH Watch photo MIH07_zps6d19866a.jpg

For those not in the know, the MIH looks like a normal watch. But a closer examination of the display at the 3 O'Clock position reveals a little more. You will observe the presence of the Date, Month, Day and a am/pm indicator.
MIH Watch photo MIH04_zpsfe6634fb.jpg

The two red dots represent the am/pm - one dot indicates morning (am) and two dots indicates afternoon (pm). The base movement for the watch is the ETA-Valjoux 7750 complemented by the annual calendar module developed by Paul Gerber. Other than the month of February, the watch does not need to be adjusted for the right date regardless whether the month has 30 or 31 days.
MIH Watch photo MIH07_zps6d19866a.jpg

A close up shot of the black dial. Hands and markers are luminous.
MIH Watch photo MIH06_zps114c2233.jpg

My only peeve about this watch is the sweeping chrono seconds hand. After some usage, it does not reset to 12. I know it can be easily fixed if you bring it to a watch repairman but I rather keep it the way it is - unique I guess.

For more information about the watch, please visit the MIH website.