Posted in Rants & Raves

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner in Yermo, California

As I write this post, we’re preparing to leave our house to visit Max in Calsbad, California. The nurses have been really nice and sending us email updates with photos or calling to tell us what he’s up to. They told us that Max is very happy whenever they take him out of the kennel for walks. Max is such a sweetie pie and he does love having a human friend around all the time. Anyway, on Monday on our drive home to Las Vegas, we dropped by this diner for dinner.

I saw signs for Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner maybe about 1 hour or 45 minutes before we were even near Yermo, California. The drive through the desert is quite a boring one, if you can imagine a vast expanse of rocks, hills and you know, sky. While the scenery was beautiful, it was same-y after about an hour. Signs for the outlet shopping malls and Peggy Sue’s piqued my interests and perked me up. T said we should go to Peggy Sue’s on our way back, and that was possibly the only thing that distracted me from the sadness of leaving Max behind at the hospital for radiation.

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We arrived at about 6.30pm and it was just about getting dark. The entrance was designed and painted to look like an old jukebox. It was a sight to behold because I love kitsch and colours (and also, the surrounding area was basically just dirt tracks and nothing else). Inside, it was kitsch, movie memorabilia and 50s themed everything I’ve ever seen in movies or old Archie comics! There were many tables and we had our pick of seats before the dinner crowd came in about half an hour later.

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I must say though, their mannequins scared me. There was one dressed as Elvis with a guitar in hand, one woman (I’m not sure if she was supposed to be a character or just a generic person styled in a 50s outfit and gloves) sitting at the bar counter and several others that spooked me when I saw them from the corner of my eye. Other than the dining area, they also had a store in one wing that sold almost everything kitschy – t-shirts, weird games, snacks, candy, postcards, mugs, keychains etc.
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T ordered a veggie burger that came with several choices of sides – he had potato salad and curly fries (is this 50s?). Also, a root beer. I had the deep fried dill pickles (super yum!!!!!) with ranch dressing dip, onion rings (which T said was really good. It’s pretty good to me, but nothing special) and also a rather non-descript corn bread (because other than the corn muffins at Kenny Roger’s, I’ve never had others and T has asked if I could make them). I also had an old fashioned ice cream soda (vanilla of course), just like they had in the old Archie comics (the 50s themed ones, not the updated ones I grew up with in the 80s). While I was full to almost the brim, T still wanted dessert and he ordered a huge-ass chocolate malt ice cream thing with Whoppers for about USD5.

All in all, dinner was so-so.  We paid under USD35 including a 20% cash tip. The food was not bad but I wouldn’t come here just to eat. I love the kitsch and the 50s theme. Even the waitresses had pink/mint green 50s style uniforms! I’d say food 3/5 and ambience 4/5. This was fun though and I can’t wait to check out other roadside diners in future!

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner

Open Daily 6:00am-10:00pm

35654 Yermo Road

Yermo, CA 92398

Phone: (760) 254-3370
Posted in Rants & Raves

Dinner at AquaMarine – Marina Mandarin

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It wasn’t quite Christmas yet and we still have just under 6 months to go but it’s always great to meet my Christmas boys. My friends and I went to AquaMarine (Level 4, Marina Mandarin Hotel) for dinner on Sunday 14 July 2013 to celebrate Glenn’s birthday. It’s been a while since I last saw them and as usual, I love our random conversation topics, sometimes bordering on scandalous. I’ve known most of them for possibly for 15 years or more. These days, we often reminisce about our foolhardy ways of yore where we struggle to remember how we made it to graduate with our degrees when we used to drink ourselves silly and go to the clubs several times a week despite being student poor.

And I digressed, so back to dinner… I read several negative reviews about this Halal buffet restaurant but I didn’t think it was as bad. The spread had variety and it’s basically a seafood lover’s dream. Crabs, mussels, prawns, oysters, sashimi and other creatures of the sea were served. There was a small Japanese section though not authentic in my opinion. Lots of desserts – cakes, ice cream, pralines, nonya kueh; a small selection of cheeses that included Brie and Camembert; Indian food with curries and briyani rice; other local Singaporean staples like Chinese stir-fries, satay, fried rice, kueh pie tee etc; and possibly many other stations I didn’t explore.

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A vegetarian could easily fill up here but I didn’t feel like it was worth what we paid per head. After a credit card discount (I think 15%), we still ended up paying about S$69 each. The company though was great, so I enjoyed myself. There were large tables that easily accommodated big groups of 8 (like ours) or more. The seating was generous and spacious so sitting around and chatting for an extended period was comfortable unlike some places where they try to hurry you to finish within 2 hours or gets so noisy you can’t hear each other without raising your voice.

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My verdict: 6.5/10 for variety, comfort, and accessible location.

And here are my friends’ opinions:

Kai – 8/10 “because of the crabs”

Felix – 7/10 “There’s no pork or bread pudding! And the ice cream is horrible.”

Daniel – 6.5/10 “Although it seems like a wide selection, there’s no one dish that really stands out”

Markie – 6.5/10 “the crayfish was powdery and there is no pork!”

Glenn – 7/10 “there’s variety but no quality for the price”

Posted in Rants & Raves

A Vintage Tea Party – HOUSE @ Dempsey

My SPArty pals and I went to HOUSE @ Dempsey yesterday for their Vintage Tea Party which happens every Thursday and Friday, 3 to 5.30pm. Dempsey is one of those areas in Singapore I don’t visit often. Too inconvenient for me if I’m not driving. I love the company of my friends and especially my gal pals, so exploring new eateries is always fun when you have the right company.

When we were there, it seemed like many others had the same idea too. It was practically full and the buffet line was constantly crowded. The patrons were a diverse lot. Some were like us – gal pals gathering and gossiping (but a wide age range as there were groups of older ladies in their 50s-60s and some younger girls who looked like they were in their early to mid-20s), there were also couples, at least 2 tables with push-prams and babies, as well as some smaller all-male tables too.

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There was good spread of savouries and sweets. I would have loved to have a few more savoury vegetarian options though the truffle mushrooms and cheese platter were yummy. Good thing for me, I love sweets – chocolate cupcakes, cookies, puddings, cheesecakes – bring them all on! For S$22++ per person, I’d say it’s pretty good. I give it a 7.5/10 for ambience, comfort and the tasty options!

Verdict from my friends:

Pixiedub 8/10 “Everything I ate was really yummy! From the burgers to the cakes…”

Cherry 8/10 “I wish there was a wider variety of teas.”

Linda 9/10 “I just wish there was better service.”

Lil Nat 9/10 (actually secretly 10/10 but she didn’t want to look too enthusiastic) “I LOVE CHEEEEESE!”

HOUSE

8D Dempsey Road

Singapore 249672

Call: 64757787 for reservations! MUST book as they get really full!

Posted in Rants & Raves

Osteria Mozza at Marina Bay Sands

More eating out! Yum! Here’s an Italian restaurant highly recommended by me. I was warned that it might not be easy to get a table and might be a tad pricey – both of which were not the case when I was there. Sure, we spent $150 for 2, but it was such a great experience that I felt it was more than affordable!

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Osteria Mozza is located at B1-42-46 Galleria Level, The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands. Dress Code: Business Casual (to be honest, many were in short sleeved shirts and some in shorts)

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It’s common knowledge that Italian cuisine is very vegetarian friendly and there were more than a few options of starters, mains, sides and dessert. Also having given up the drink (i.e. alcohol), I found myself with a refreshing mocktail from a very interesting selection as well.

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I highly recommend the mocktail called Timo e Pompelmo (Grapefruit, Thyme and Soda) as well as the Ricotta & Egg Raviolo. You know what a ravioli is – a bitesized stuffed italian dumpling. A raviolo is the same thing except 1 big  single parcel 4 times as large. My raviolo had a raw egg in it and upon serving, I was told to cut down the middle (to prevent it from being overcooked on the heated plates). The egg yolk oozed out richly and it was so incredibly delectable. Imagine the chewy outer shell of the ravioli, and the gooey texture of the cheese, all mixed in with the luscious egg yolk. I give this dish a 9/10!

XH and I shared the Ribollita for starters and while it is traditionally a potage/soup, what Mozza did was to cook down the vegetables to a pulp, then pour away the broth to pan-fry it as a patty. Really interesting and I’d like to try making a simple version of this myself with my ABC soup. 7/10! Yum!

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The other dish that we shared was the Sauteed Bloomsdale Spinach which XH termed the “Italian you cai”. “You Cai” being the Mandarin term for a simple stir-fry of oil-tossed leafy greens. The spinach leaves were still plump and I loved how the thinly sliced crispy garlic lent a light flavour to the fresh vegetables.

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For dessert, we had the Almond Cornetto – a crispy croissant filled with almond paste, accompanied by sauteed tangerines and blood orange sorbet. The sauteing brought out an intensely sweet and tart stickiness in the orange slices which I found most ambrosial!

Our waiter Kroydl (sp?) made such spot-on recommendations that I’d like to commend him on accurately describing the various dishes before we made the orders. He even took time to pick out the various vegetarian dishes and others that he could modify to make fully vegetarian so that I could make a more informed decision.

Great ambience, attentive wait staff and many delectable vegetarian options – overall a delightful and gratifying experience. I’d definitely love to come back to Osteria Mozza again and also check out their flagship restaurant in LA! (That’s a hint for T, since it’s less than 5 hours drive from his house, I mean OUR house in Las Vegas, to the restaurant on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles!)