Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Spending Valentine's: Sweet Simplicity.

Hmmm yes this extremely commercialised yearly event. When the catch-all phrase 'Love is in the Air' is used to justify exorbitant prices for sub-standard food( all that crappy valentine set menus, 75% of which either taste really bad, are ripoffs or both), droppy wilting flowers and stratosphere high romance packages (be it spa treatments or hotel stays). Just look at that ludicrous $6888 luxury one night packages for the extremely rich( and extremely stupid couple I might add.) offered at a couple of hotels. $388 is a steep enough price... but $6888? That's more than enough for 2 high end laptops Sean commented. And if you think about it every min is about more than $10. If one is ever willing to blow $6888 on that, I think flying off to Europe for 2 weeks would be a much much better deal, not to mention being a whole lot more enjoyable.

Valentine's was a sweet and simple affair which suited both of us perfectly. He came over in the morning and as usual I nearly overslept ( still waking up disoriented at 7.20 am, peering at the clock and wondering why I'm up at such an unearthly hour --> I can't sleep before 2 AM generally, then plonking back into bed before realising he's coming over.) Poor thing had to have some conference call so I went back to sleep until he finished and made sure I couldn't continue sleeping. Did some laundry before someone became very amorous again after which I pleaded fatigue, having only slept at 3 am, and took a nap before getting up to cook lunch.

Decided to go to class after all and Sean sweetly agreed to accompany and wait for me, so to entertain him I packed in a couple of Yaoi manga(he didn't want Reader's Digest) though I did query whether he'd even dare to be seen reading such stuff in public and one of the covers was a little obvious. And that chap came up with the solution of wrapping the covers with paper which I must admit was not something I had considered. So I passed him some IP notes to rip up and staple as he saw fit.

Dinner was a simple yet very satisfying affair. Sultan Kebabs, a small Lebanese(?) cafe, at Peace Center has only 3 kinds of items on the menu, Chicken/beef roll chicken/beef sandwich and some chicken/beef iskendar. Pity the sandwich and beef were sold out but I must say at 5 bucks the Chicken doner roll there is better than the $6.50 one at anatolya at Far East plaza. For one, it's cheaper, less greasy, has no icky tomato sauce, more veggies and is really tasty. A no frills kind of place, they don't even have drinks on the menu. But the doner roll was really good. Dessert was just a couple of stalls away at the Dessert Hut which sells those traditional Chinese desserts, sadly most of the hot and cold desserts were sold out but the Zhi Ma Hu (Black Sesame cream) and Or-nee(Yam paste) we tried were really good and at $4.50 for 2 bowls, immensely more gratifying than some of the very very substandard cakes, coffee chains are serving lately... ><.

Which leads me to my gripe of the day. Those of you who know me better know that I'm really a coffee junkie and that usually means some form of dessert too. So after walking about for a good bit and checking out more manga at Kinokuniya (which of course had an dismal selection of Yaoi.), my shoulder was killing me (bloody laptop, charger and books). We decided to have coffee at Coffee Bean for a change as Coffee Club was packed. Coffee Bean used to be a personal favourite way back, the coffee consistently better than Starbuck's and the cakes were decent. Lately though, standards seem to have dropped drastically. I ordered my usual poison, Iced cafe latte, Sean, his usual hot chocolate and the sweet tooth kicked in, so I ordered a slice of Chocolate of a Thousand Leaves (always reminded me of some fanciful martial art skill--Imagine using Jiu Yin Bai Gu Zhang, then the opponent coming out with Qian Ye Qiao Ke Li! ^^) cake.
I remembered it being quite decent 3 years ago.

The Iced Cafe Latte was passable, nowhere as good as TCC's (The Coffee Connoisseur), Sean complained that his hot chocolate tasted really gross which it did (he compared it to Sustagen but I'd never drunk sustagen before so I wouldn't know, still that stuff was bad.) The fucking $5 cake though was really like SHIT. Dry, hard sponge like shit at that. I was trying to force myself to finish as much of that disgusting thing when Sean commented it looks really horrible you know, you shouldn't force yourself to eat it. I gave up, not worth the calories and what a super letdown. Fossilized brown sponge which flunk both the taste as well as 'fork' test. It even flunk the 'Should display cake-like properties' test. And here you have the irrefutable evidence.

Evidence Article A.

Plastic fork stabbed into unyielding exterior remains rigid and resistant to any normal attempts to remove it. Note the extremely dry, sponge like texture of the cake. Correction, brown, is-that-edible? sponge. Dubious 'hot chocolate' visible in background.

Evidence Article B.
And yes it's not a cake! Brown Sponge remains firmly lodged to fork when lifted despite hard shakes to dislodge it. Test kindly performed by Sean. Submitted that evidence shows a prima facie case against the suspect 'cake'.

Good grief and to think I ate about 60% of that shit.

$14.20 for that vs $14.50 for dinner plus enjoyable traditional desserts. No brainer as to which one was money well-spent. So Ladies and Gentlemen, if you need your coffee and dessert/ cake I recommend TCC which serves good coffee and decent cake (not fantastic but decently good). And god forbid you order fossilised sponges with fancy names like the one above.

Plus I hope however you spent this day (be it special), it was one that remained enjoyable. Cheers.

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