Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant

Labor day hols and we set off in search of a late lunch after sleeping off the decadence of the night before. "How about checking out Little Vietnam at Joo Chiat?" I suggested. So off we went, for some authentic Vietnamese fare and if we were lucky, some "action" on the sleazy front. 

Long Phung was packed at 3pm (No surprises, I guess the clientele keeps late night too hehehe). Besides a large proportion of Vietnamese local girls, we noticed a fair number of tables with foreigners too. A tourist attraction in itself? 

Whatever the business model, my oh my the food was fantastic! As a starter, we shared the summer spring rolls - the roll was a bit thick but the accompanying peanut/ chilli/ sweet sauce was absolutely delish. Satisfyingly spicy - tasted even better after we added asome lime juice to give it some zest.

Next came the pho. I had the special beef pho which had an egg cracked in, and B had the rare beef pho. I have to say, this is the best pho I've had in Singapore so far! Fantastic soup base, not too heavy but oh so flavorful. They didn't stinge on the beef either.

Our roving eyes landed on the steamed clams the next table were having. B unbashedly said "I want that too." Good call - the clams were succulent and the broth was fragrant and comforting.

The bill came up to less $30 for the 2 of us, including 2 coconuts and an iced viet coffee. Now, THIS, is what I call excellent value.

Lots of Love from DonorsChoose!

We all know that budgets are tight in public education (understatement of the decade!), but an amazing organization out of New York has provided millions of children with the resources that are so desperately needed for their education.  If you haven't heard about DonorsChoose.org or are new to teaching, I am here to testify!  DonorsChoose.org has afforded my students learning tools that my school couldn't afford and was certainly not in my family's budget!  Just today, I received my 11th grant for materials (in a 4 year span) totalling close to $4000 all together.  My kiddos will be getting 80 leveled books ($425 value) to add to our classroom library for readers workshop.

The process really is E-A-S-Y.  Teachers (public schools only) fill out a proposal and shop for items in a on-line catalog from retailers that we all probably shop from (Best Buy, Lakeshore Learning, School Specialty, etc.).  Before submitting my first proposal, I read many others to get a feel for what other teachers needed for their students and how they presented the request.  Once the DC staff approves it (for grammar, feasibility and other stuff), it is put on the DC site.  Not all of my proposals have been funded (I think 2-3 did not).  It's not a huge deal- I just resubmitted it and it was funded later.  It can take up to 5 months to get funded sometimes.  There are also many opportunities for funds to be matched by companies and other foundations.  DonorsChoose will email you when there is an offer so you can promote it to friends on Facebook or however you choose.  My parents love to take advantage to the matching offers in order to double their impact!

Donors are able to log on and donate to any project they like!  I've been funded by complete strangers the most- How awesome is that?!!  I have also opened it up to my family, friends and school families.  In lieu of Christmas gifts this past year, I requested that they make a tax-deductible donation to DC instead.  It's the gift that keeps on giving and goes right back to benefit their own child.

Now that teachers are not able to claim classroom expenses on their taxes anymore, I'll be donating to my classroom through DonorsChoose.org (which IS tax-deductible).  I urge you to check out the DonorsChoose.org site for more information.  This is an amazing opportunity for our children!

You can check out my page for some ideas.... Mrs. Smyth's First Grade on DonorsChoose.org

I want to give a shout to a favorite blog for continuing to inspire me for the last year- Charity at The Organized Classroom .  She put out a Five-Star Blogger Challenge a few weeks ago (and I got side-tracked!).  I hope it inspires you today like it did me!

Peer observation experience...

I stepped right out of my comfort zone yesterday and did something I haven’t done in a few years… agreed to be observed by a peer, while teaching readers workshop.  In an effort to improve our practice, my principal and literacy coach wanted us to take turns observing a peer and give them constructive feedback.  In turn, they would observe us, and do the same.  Aside from my principal and a few student teachers observing for a day, I really haven’t had anyone watch me teach since my fist year.  I’ve always been leery of having another teacher in the room that may judge me (I was burned in the past by a well-meaning teacher).  I was really optimistic for this opportunity because my friend was coming in to support me and help me grow (as I was there for her too in our journey).  I also appreciated the fact that our principal wanted our reflection of the experience and what we would still like to learn, not an evaluation of the other person.

I watched my sweet friend (we’ll call her Giggles), who teaches kindergarten.  She taught first grade a while back, so we understood the joy and challenges of each grade.  Her management of the workshop was FLAW-LESS!  She stated the teaching point 6 times in 8 minutes- seriously!  If those kiddos didn’t get it something was seriously wrong J  Side note- research says that if we state the main idea 3-5 times, the brain will hold on to it.  Kinders need a few more because they only pay attention ½ the time- ha!, ha!    Aside from the basic structure, Giggles did a few other cool teacher moves that I love and am stealing for my own.

·        Her student engagement piece was a turn and talk that only lasted about 20 seconds.  Enough time to share, but not enough to goof around.

·        She got right down with them during the turn and talk and had one of the pairs immediately share out.  She had a second question for them and she did the same thing- very effective.

·        She called them up individually to get their book bags and sent them back if they did not follow procedure.  She praised those who did as a great example of modeling.  She also encouraged some by saying, “Watch how Jimmy does it-I know he will walk safely and quietly”.  She does it individually to keep the management piece in place (it’s a struggle with this group).  First graders wouldn’t need this, but table groups could work.

Giggles knows her students and their needs!  She keeps awesome records of her conferring sessions.  A girl after my own heart!  We keep similar records.  As she conferred, she had the student restate the teaching point of their individual conference.  She also sends home this each time for the parents:

Can you see how fast I “liberated” this idea?  Less than 24 hours, friends!  Such a smart idea!  How many times do parents say “I just don’t know how to help him/her”? 

I also really appreciated the length of her conferences.  She only spent about 5-6 minutes on each student.  Seriously, we know they stop listening after 5 minutes!  Above all, she filled them with words of encouragement and a drive to succeed on their own.

When Giggles observed me, I tried to pretend she wasn’t there.  I love her- I do, but I was still nervous.  Why would I feel this way about a trusted friend and coworker?  Simple, we all want to do and be the best for our students.  I enjoyed the debriefing of the lesson the best.  I loved talking with her about the nuances of workshop and how much we were able to learn from each other.  Are we perfect?  Heck, no!  However, this exercise did open up more opportunities for conversations and broke the ice for authentic learning by watching another teacher.  That is more valuable than any book!

Thanks, Giggles! 

Getting Crafty With My Bad Self

So tomorrow my sister boyfriend, The Builder, is coming to turn our current garage/junk storage space into a new " big boy " room for Flynn. Even tough it will be another week at least before we can move Flynn in there ( we have to paint next weekend, get carpet layed and then put together his new furniture first... ) i'm kind of excited. Its not exactly as exciting as moving house - nor as time consuming or expensive! - but it does mean a bit more living space and hopefully the chance for a tidier home. See, in theory, the new room will be bedroom/playroom - Flynns bed and tall boy at one end, a futon, bookcases and tubs of toys at the other - so i'm anticipating not having as much mess to clean up in my loungeroom everyday. Of course, thats just the theory... i'm sure in reality there will be just as much mess, except i'll be able to shut the bedroom door and pretend the tornado-like destruction doesnt exist!

The mini-reno also means that Flynns old room will be free to set up for the new baby. Like most clucky ladies before me, this is the part i'm most excited about because it means re-decorating! Somewhat unfortunately, when expecting Flynn and knowing he was a boy, we went ahead and painted that room blue.... but this time around i have neither the time, energy nor inclination to repaint. I figure a baby girl can quite easily live in a blue room, as long as i give it a few feminine touches! And, seeing as in my head i'm a totally awesome crafty mama, i've gone ahead and started the re-decoration by making a bunting to go above her cot. As i dont actually own a sewing machine, anything i make will have to be hand sewn so i'm only part way done, but the finished product will be alternate plain/printed triangular flags with the letters to spell out her name ( which, yes, has been decided on but is a closely guarded secret til she arrives! ).

I'm also planning on using the same plain and printed materials to make some "art " to go on the opposite wall of her room. Its something i've never done before but i figure if i can source the right type of backing board and astaple gun i should be right! So - what do you think? Is it easier for a little girl to live with blue than it is for a boy to live with pink? And are you a wannabe DIY-crafty lady like me or is it pre-made/shop bought all the way for you?

Mei Xiang Black & White Fish Soup

I love fish soup. My usual haunt is Han Kee at Amoy but B and I have been trying to check out alternative places for our fish soup fix. I was on leave that afternoon, so with time (minus stress) in my favor, we decided to check at Mei Xiang Black & White fish soup at Jalan Besar market. They are only open from Mon to Fri and closed weekends and public holidays, so..

We got there at 11.50am, just before the snaking queue formed - scores!

This fish soup stall is quite quirky. There's a huge clock hung up to show that they are open at EXACTLY 11.12am everyday. Interesting how there were these huge black fans against the otherwise white stall decor too. They are famous for the mix of fresh ("white") and fried ("black") fish slices soup mix. I asked if I could only have "white" and they flatly said no. Hmph.

Food nazist aside, the fish soup was indeed good! Fish and prawns were fresh and the soup was very flavorful. A tad oily and not the most healthy around but we slurped our bowls dry. Yummy!

Would I return? Yes, probably. But it's a bit out of the way though, so perhaps on the next day off.   

Donald Duck and the Diabolical Duck Avenger


Now here's something interesting: Fellow fan Blotling has just brought us a translation of the first-ever appearance of the Duck Avenger, from the Italian comic "Topolino".

The Avenger was a lot less sympathetic in his first appearances - in fact, he wasn't even supposed to be much of a superhero, just a way for Donald to take care of the people who wronged him. The superhero thing came later, when people eventually got tired of Donald just being a jackass.

Forget Them Not

After mentioning in my last post how i was looking forward to Anzac Day i have to say how proud I am of my little man.


We decided to attend our local Anzac day march this year and Mick asked his father if Flynn could wear his great-grandfathers medals. We told him who they belonged to and that Poppa Charlie got them for "being very brave ". ( "Brave " to Flynn is not crying when you get your immunisation needles, but i digress... ). Then i told him that at the march we clap and we wave and we say thank you to all the Nannies and Poppies for making us safe. Thats the simplest way i could think of to explain why we honour and uphold the Anzac Day traditions.

Even though Poppa Charlies medals accdientally broke ( not the medals themselves but the rusted old safety pin holding them together ) and they couldnt be worn, i was still so proud of Flynn. We met up with the rest of our family - my neice was marching with her school - and Flynn sat up on his Poppies shoulders so he could see. He sat up their and he clapped his little heart, and he waved to the veterans who leaned out of their cars and waved to the crowds. He gave them the " thumbs up " and i even once or twice heard him say " Thank you Poppies! "... i seriously almost burst into tears at how beautifully poignant it all was. Here was my little man, not even 3 years old, and nowhere near old enough to fully appreciate what had been done for him by these men and women, but i'm confident that the Australian spirit is already well instilled in him.

Of course, in the afternoon we also had my dad's birthday to celebrate and Flynn had ( at my urging, of course ) drawn him a beautiful picture of Pops garden, that we had turned into a birthday card. Of course " Pops garden " looked very much like a huge brown scribble surrounded by dots and dashes of colour, but Flynn was very proud of himself and it gave my Dad the biggest smile when he handed him his card and said " Happy Birthday Old Fella! " - at which point he grinned cheekily and then zoomed off on his tricycle.

Anzac Day may not be the most joyful of days, but i certainly had myself one enjoyable day yesterday. Now, onto Saturday and our garage reno, bbq lunch and then " The Avengers " film on Sunday afternoon!


Friday night - the end of a long tedious work week and time to reward myself with a nice dinner. 7Adam was a relatively new place so we decided to go check it out.

My review in a nutshell – some winners but overall a tad over-priced and mediocre food. The bottle of Angove Clare Valley Riesling ($80) was ok-priced for a restaurant table wine but steer clear of the house red – Oldenwood Cabernet Savignon – it’s pretty nasty.

As per earlier reviews we read online, we also ordered the trio of appetizers ($27) to share – Foie gras, crab cake and seared tuna. Portions are shown above. I thought the crab cake was very tasty and B liked the foie gras too. The seared tuna was just so-so.  Presentation of this dish was nice though.

We were looking forward to the mains but they were rather underwhelming, for the prices. They weren’t BAD bad, I guess we had high expectations and they fell short of them. I had the king prawn with sake sauce ($32) which came highly recommended and sounded good on the menu - I love mango chutney. Sadly, whilst the prawns were fresh, they were a bit overcooked and I could neither taste mango chutney or sake. I had to season with lots of salt and pepper.

B had the lamb shank ($40), which again, came highly recommended. This was cooked nicely but unfortunately, the sauce was way too salty (and I have a high threshold for salt).

Dinner for two including the above as well as a shared fondant dessert came close to $250. For that price, I can think of many other better restaurants we could have gone to. To be fair, the surroundings and ambience of 7Adam was very nice. I love the idea of combining dining and art. It’d be good if they can improve the execution of the food though.  

Words Their Way.... How did I get myself into this?

I'm going to put it out there right now.... it's confession time.  I'm a sucker for extra unpaid responsibilities.  If there is a pilot that needs to be done, I'm your girl.  Organizing standardized testing 3 times per year, me too.  Serving on any and all committees in which I'm asked- yep.  Developing and training other teachers on our districts next word study program... sure, why not.  I LOVE me a good Power Point and the feeling of more experienced teachers than me staring, wishing I was giving them Starbucks and pastries instead.  I REALLY need to close my mouth sometimes.  And definitely NOT get sucked in by my Literacy Coach (although I totally love her and her smart, manic, and crazy mind!).  Anyway....

Although I have been using Words Their Way for the last 5 years, I was never trained in it or formally told to use it.  It just made sense to me, being the hands-on kinda girl I am.  If you are not familiar, here is the book that can get you started:

Product Details
Amazon LINK
The method combines spelling, phonics and word study into one, happy program.  This is NOT, however, for the teacher looking for a canned program.  There are assessments that must be done and the teaching/support/student work is all individualized to fit your students' needs.

How does it work?
An initial assessment/inventory is given to all students.  From there, the teacher uses a feature chart to grade and put together learning groups based on needs.  Once the students are in groups (I limit to no more than 4 in one class), they will sort pictures or words into sound and spelling patterns.  This will teach the students to find the patterns, manipulate word concepts and apply critical thinking skills.  Even irregular spelling patterns in our language!  There are separate books of sorts to support each spelling stage.  You can give spelling tests, but it's really not needed.  There are built in assessments at certain points throughout the program to readjust groups, based on growth. 

I'm in the middle of the Power Point right now, so I'll have more to share as I go on.  This was just a taste of what is to come.

Future Motivation

So after yesterdays dreary little post, i'm trying to keep the motivation on track. I figure the best way to do that is to just post as often as i can, everyday if possible, whether i have much to say or not. If i dont have anything to actually talk about, maybe i'll just post a photo or a music video or... i dont know... just something. I've found in the past that the best way to find motivation is to just start " doing ", and "doing " regularly, until whatever it is becomes a habit that you enjoy.

And so, in the interests of keeping this blog alive ( and to take up sometime, seeing as this office is beyond quiet today ) i thought i might make a small list of things i am looking forward to in the next few months ( not exactly in chronological order, because i have a slight case of baby brain and i forget specifics like dates ):

1. Anzac Day - sure, its nice to get a day off during the middle of the week, but Anzac Day is also my Dads birthday. We see him pretty much everyday, but i'm looking forward to getting Flynn to draw him a picture or do him some "craft " and watching both of their faces light up when Poppy unwraps it. We're also planning on taking Flynn to his first Anzac march this year, so that important too.
2. Having our garage converted - from a garage into a bedroom/playroom for Flynn. It will mean more space for Flynn to play, less toys in my loungeroom ( in theory ) and once Flynn has moved out, his old room will be ready t set up for Little Miss Jelly!
3. " Elmo's World Tour " - this Sesame Street stage show is coming to our regional theatre and got Flynn and myself front row tickets! He loved The Wiggles but Elmo and the Sesame Street gang are Flynn's favourites, so i'm looking forward to seeing his awesome "excited " face!
4. Roadtrip to Sydney - just me and Mick. As we're business owners now, and Mick is really the only driver we have, he cant take annual leave for at least the first year or two... all of which made me think that we need to take every opportunity we have to get away ( ie public holidays ) or to make our opportunity. So i got all sneaky and booked us a weekend down in Sydney with the aim of doing something that we would each enjoy. So the Saturday morning we'll have a sticky beak at the Baby and Toddler Expo at Homebush, and then in the afternoon i've booked us a one hr ride around the city, out to Bondi and return, on the back of a Harley Davidson trike. I'm not sure which bit i'm more excited about ( aww hell, i'm dying to get on this trike! ) all i know is that we better get nice weather or we'll have to reschedule our trike tour - which would mean a roadtrip down with a small baby sometime later this year.... :/

And thats about enough for now. There is Mothers Day of course, and i'm still tossing up whether to attend our belated ten year school reunion on the June long weekend.... and how can i forget there is a baby coming sometime in August! I just know that i seem to cope better, to function better, when i have something on my calendar to look forward to, to keep me going. Its so much easier to make it throughe the day when you can say " Man, today sucks the big one... but hey, i get to see Elmo next week! "

Where I've Been...

So - i guess you may be wondering why i've been missing in action the last fortnight? ( You know, or not - you might have all left and i could just be talking to myself here ). The truth is that sneaky old " black dog " has caught up with me again and as those of you have also suffered depression know - well, its just not all that good for motivation.

I can put my hand up and admit it - i'm back seeing a counsellor and working through cognitive behaviour therapy again. Perhaps its partly all this extra oestrogen pumping around my body, perhaps it was the 3 major life events ( wedding/pregnancy/starting a business ) all within 2 months of each other that has pushed me over the edge, but those sneaky negative thoughts and anxieties are back with a vengeance. The good news is that this time i'm old enough and wise enough to recognise them for what they are - and i am one bazillion percent determined to get them under control before my gorgeous baby girl gets here.

I will not let myself sink under the black clouds this time. I owe to Mick and to Flynn to be the wife and mother that they deserve, i owe it to my unborn daughter to be a strong capable woman who will raise her to be the same. But, most of all, i owe it to myself. I have come too far, through too much shit ( for lack of a better word - lets face it, depression is complete and utter shit ) to lose " me " in a sea of wife/mother/daughter/business owner and whatever the hell else i am supposed to be.

So - the good news is i'm back. The bad news is i've gone all "head-case " again. Or as Matchbox20 so succintly put it ... " I'm not crazy, i'm just a little unwell "....


It’s been a hard week at work and B decided I needed mid-week drinks. Go figure. Naturally, I am not one to argue (heh) and he did not have to do a lot of persuasion.

We got to Robertson Walk at a work-life-balanced 8.45pm (“early”, relatively) and were just about to auto-pilot direct ourselves to Orihara for some sake and oden when Damotory (I can't find the address online but it's right in the middle of the courtyard you can't miss it) caught our eye. The banner screamed “opening 50% discount for WINE & BEER” – it was quite the no-brainer for two thirsty and hungry people to be drawn into the restaurant.

Damotory was almost full house but lucky us, we scored a nice tatami mat table in the corner . The clientele seemed to comprise a fair number of local Koreans – always a good sign.

The food menu was simple – about 15-20 items on a small flipboard with pictures, we quickly settled on 3 items for sharing. The drink menu, on the other hand, was quite challenging – so many types of rice wines, shochu, medicinal wines! I was tempted to order the chrysanthemum wine but B wanted the maggeolli (rice wine) instead.

There was a bit of a wait for the food since it was full house but we comforted our stomachs with the free banchan (small dishes) first. I loved the sautéed onions. The kimchi radish was pretty good too. B was very pleased with the maggeolli. Yes that white shoulder in the picture belongs to B.

When the food came, I was personally pretty stuffed on banchan. But I have to say, it was, for the most part, worth the wait. First up, the Gibijjim – traditional korean style braised short ribs $20. This came sizzling in a stone pot and the meat was so tender that it was falling off the bone … The “sauce/ soup”, though a tad too sweet for my liking, provided warm comfort. The radish soaked up the sauce nicely, I polished off most of it.

Next came the Nakji Bokeum - spicy stir-fried octopus with vegetables and noodles $20. Wow this packed quite a spicy kick. I really liked the thin cold noodles this came with, perfect with the spicy sauce.

By the time the Gyeran Malee - folded-over omelette with cheese came $15, we were really, really stuffed. It’s a simple dish, but I thought they did it well. The egg was moist and I loved eating it layer by layer. Too much of a good thing though, we had to pack the remainder home. “Bet it’ll taste even better cold”, B says.

A much needed respite from a crazy work week at a neat price of $65++ for the 2 of us. I am definitely returning to try the exotic (Korean ginseng?) wines and more food items. Hmm, I wonder when the 50% discount ends.

PKNA #39 - Chronowreck

PKNA#39 - Chronowreck

PKNA #38 - In the fog

PKNA#38 - In the Fog

Banker brings us another cool issue.

Also, Danes might like to know that the second never-been-published-in-Denmark issue of PKNA is a part of THIS week's Anders And & Co. I believe they're gonna do the first four issues.

(Also, I swear I'm gonna update the download page tomorrow.)

Spring Break & Currently

I've been out of touch for a while..... I'm not one to rub it in, but I was on a spring break trip with my family in Arizona.  It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.  Including the births of my children (real talk- the process is gross, don't believe the hype!).

Seriously.  Can it BE more lovely on Earth?

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
More Grand Canyon


Approaching Flagstaff


I was so proud of myself.  I stayed off the computer (except for Pinterest- which doesn't count!).  I sort of caught up today and just HAD to take the lazy option join in with Farley's Currently !


Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man.

Alright, let’s do this proper like:

PKNA #31 Bonus story: I am Xadhoom - Flat line

This is a good one. Huge props to Aspargus32.

Banker also brought a little something: The entire frickin' Xadhoom trilogy.

PKNA#35 - Stowaway on Board

PKNA#36 - Far, Far Away

PKNA#37 - Under a New Sun

I'm getting chills guys. But wait, Disney has also brought us some goodies:

If you're Greek, check this out:

Oh yes, PKNA is coming to Greece as Οι Νέεες Περιπέτειες του Φάντομ Ντακ. I don't know a lot of details about this one - websites about it tend to be in Greek. But if you're Greek too, go check it out!

Oh, and if you're Danish like me:

Yes! Check out this bad boy: http://www.gucca.dk/boeger/staalanden-reloaded-00_199173.html

A hardcover collection of the first four issues of PKNA - meaning three issues that have NEVER been released in Denmark, as well as Stålanden #1 "Skygger på Venus".

God, I want this thing!


Oh, and there's more: This week's edition of Anders And & Co. also brings the first issue of Stålanden Reloaded, meaning that a new generation of kids who CAN'T afford the hardcover version will get to enjoy it too. Next week's issue will bring another issue. So check those out too. And let's see if we can convince them to keep going.

Personally I'll probably end up buying both these and the hardcover. Man, this is fun.

That's it. Alright guys, Disney is making a move with spreading PKNA throughout the world. Let's show our appreciation and make it worth their while!

(Un)Guessing Game

Please, play along at home, guessing from these images:

Give up? ( Or read my Facebook already and know the answer ) ?

The answer is: i got called in by my radiology place yesterday, asking if i'd like to fill a cancellation and after a good half hour of playing around with the 4d scanning system, jiggling, shaking and very gently threatening to ground my child for life, we finally got a a nice, clear, undeniable shot of our

Yes ladies and gentleman, after much effort - and a much nicer, happier, more satisfying experience than last week - we managed to get a good flash of Little Jelly's personal bits. We had tried on and off for half an hour: the first attempt bubby had its legs crossed, so we checked out the brain and face; the second time the umbilical cord was quite clearly in the way, so we did the limbs; the third time the hands that had previously been up in front of the face had migrated to the privates, so we got some nice clear shots of the heart. At the end of half an hour we got half a flash of something, enough for the sonographer and tech installing the 4d to both go " Is that what you thought? Looked like... ? Hmm... ". At this point the lovely sonographer suggested i go empty out my bladder and maybe give my belly a shake... so i went to the bathroom and i shook my money maker for all it was worth!

Went back in, lie back down and straight away - ta da! Full exposure! Both sonographers sort of did this nod thing, went " Yep, it is ", froze the pic on the screen and pointed out the " ...very definate lack of a " thing " - that ones a girl ... ". I dont think you could have wiped the smile from my face if you'd tried! It was fantastic to be able to find out the gender, and a double positive because Mick had admitted he wanted a girl, and Flynn would say " its a sissssster! " 9 times out of 10 when asked. So now we're all looking forwarded welcoming a little more oestrogen, and a whole lot more pink, to our house come mid-late August!

Bites from Bo Innovation

So I was fortunate enough to land myself a free ticket to Savour 2012 this year - tickets for Friday afternoon. Not ideal, I had thought initially (ok I know I really shouldn't be complaining since it was free) but it turned out pretty darn good - no queues to buy the food and it was sheer bliss at the free wine tasting session - everyone eagerly offering us wine.

Yes, I'm quite the cheap drunk (as if you didn't know already).

Anyway, the highlight foodwise for me was the Bo Innovation booth. I can't afford to go for a meal at the HK restaurant proper, but I did spend all of my $21 savour dollars there!

First, I tried the legendary "molecular xiao long bao (XLB)" which most rave about. Indeed, Alvin Leung's technique of making skinless raviolis (apparently popularized by Ferran Adria) was most impressive. The "bubble" just burst XLB juice in my mouth and it was really very tasty. At $9 dollars a pop though, I'd say it's a "try once" novelty.

Luckily, the Har Mae Lo Mein was more filling. It's supposed to be a deconstructed version of the famous Malaysian classic. I loved it - dry noodles infused with rich robust prawn flavour and the scattering of tobiko truly complemented the dish.

Hmm, is it too ambitious for me to say I'd try re-creating this at home? Nice event, Savour. I'd go again next year!