Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Durian Season 2020!! 8 Durian AAA Mao Shan Wang {ηŒ«ε±±ηŽ‹} - Fast & Fresh Durian Delivery in Singapore

Durian season typically occurs between May/June and August/September in Singapore, although there is a "minor season" from December to February annually. The main season this year falls between May to August 2020.

Now, I'm no durian connoisseur but I absolutely loooooooove to eat durian, especially when it's chilled. So much so I even went to a durian buffet once with the boy at Lime Restaurant, ParkRoyal on Pickering, to celebrate our anniversary hahahaha

I don't know how to pick a good durian, and I can't really remember the different flavours and textures of each type. So as long as it's not too watery, too dry, too many big seeds or too little meat... I'm good _へ__(‾◡◝ )>

Since I've more time to spare during the Covid-19 #stayhome period, I decided to "educate" myself this durian season and try to be less clueless about one of my favourite fruits.

I happily bought from different stores and ate different types of durians the past 2 months. So far I've tried Mao Shan Wang, AAA Mao Shan Wang, Red Prawn and D13. Golden Phoenix is on my to-eat list.

Safe to say, my tummy was belly happy, but my waistline... no so much #oops

After trying various takeaway, preorder and delivery durian services and durians from different shops, I gotta say that the best I've eaten so far is the AAA Mao Shan Wang {ηŒ«ε±±ηŽ‹, Musang King} durian from 8 Durian Delivery.

Mao Shan Wang is a premium variety of durian, characterised by its bright yellow flesh, bittersweet taste and creamy texture. It is probably the most popular flavour in Singapore and Malaysia.

Premium grade AAA Mao Shan Wang is legit a whole different level. They are even fleshier and creamier - each bite sends you straight to durian heaven hehe. The strong fragrance is sweet though not overly pungent. The tender flesh tastes sweet but is balanced with slight bitter notes. A lot of the seeds are pretty flat & small as you can see above and the flesh literally falls off the seed.

The boy said that they are graded AAA because they make you sigh "Ahhhhh" with bliss hahahahaha #dadjokes

AAA Mao Shan Wang from 8 Durian comes from the high mountains of Pahang, Malaysia and are graded AAA by professional durian graders.

According to their website, their trees are well spread to prevent overcrowding. Overcrowded trees grow durians with yellowish shells or those of a weak green. Soil, atmosphere, organic fetiliser, sprinklers, and all other small components, are planned to acute perfection to ensure the growth of Grade AAA Mao Shan Wang Durians only.

For those unaware, durian prices fluctuate daily depending on durian supply. Every other day, I observe the daily durian prices from a few shops for comparisons. Kinda like how a stockbroker studies the stock market?? Except that I'm not making any money from this heh.

When we ordered the AAA Mao Shan Wang in late June, they cost S$23.50/kg so each 450g+/- box costs S$44.90. The usual Mao Shan Wang cost S$21/kg or S$39.80 per box.

Since we are already in mid-July, the durian prices have slightly increased as we are nearing the end of the durian season. I found that the durian prices for 8 Durian hasn't fluctuated much though and are still that price even though some other shops have already increased their prices. Of course, this is my personal observation and if you decide to buy, the prices might change again.

Another reason I liked ordering from 8 Durian is because it is just so convenient. Everything is stated clearly on the website and they guarantee satisfaction on their durians and on-time deliveries or full refunds via store credits. At the click of the button, you can buy the delicious durian and wait in the comfort of your home for them to arrive on the same day, or even within the hour. All durians delivered on any day are freshly plucked on the same day.

Free delivery island-wide for orders over S$100 too.

Compared to take-away orders from some durian stalls, this is such a breeze. Even if you have reserved your durians for take-way, pick-up is still on a first-come-first-serve basis. You still have to join the queue the stalls for collection and sometimes, I've had to wait for almost 1 hour.

One disadvantage of ordering from 8 Durian Delivery though is that they are so highly sought after, their durians are sold out pretty fast!

Fresh large shipments arrive daily around 9am and 3pm though, so you should probably check the website around then to order. They usually offer Red Prawn, Black Gold, Mao Shan Wang and AAA Mao Shan Wang durians.

Durians definitely taste better when eaten as a family and I'm thrilled that Lil Pumpkin loves it too. My little true-blue Singaporean hehe.

Happy durian feasting!! ( ◞・ΰ±ͺ・)

8 Durian Delivery
Tel: 8439 9788 {whatsapp only}

P.S. 8 Durian Delivery is a sister company of 8 Crabs Seafood Delivery.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Covid-19 Phase 2 Singapore - First Family Trip Downtown

Since the Covid-19 "circuit breaker" was finally over, and Singaporeans were finally able to roam about freely, albeit cautiously, for no "essential" reasons in Phase 2, we decided to head downtown to Orchard Road for the first time in months last week!

Oh so exciting!!

Finally had the chance to wear something other than home or supermarket clothes ahahahha...

It was quite depressing seeing our vibrant city-that-never-sleeps so dead during the circuit breaker, so I'm really glad to see some life back on the streets, and businesses can re-open again. Honestly, so many businesses have already closed down the past few months... if the lockdown actually continued even for one more month, it's pretty evident that many more will suffer from business closures and unemployment.

We went down on a Monday evening after work and thankfully, even though there were more people around, we all kept to the safe distancing measures {wearing masks, keeping 1m apart etc.} and there wasn't anything particularly worrying.

What was more troublesome though was the number of SafeEntry check-points we had to go through to get from Point A to B. Whenever you go in a mall, you've to check in and out. Whenever you go to a shop or restaurant within the mall, you've to check in and out. Even some small food kiosks ask that you check in and out.

In the end, we decided to just walk on the outside pedestrian walk haha...

The main aim of our trip downtown was for Lil Pumpkin to get a hair cut actually. She waited patiently for months and we finally gave it a nice chop. Bye bye Sadako!! hehe...

Looking so fresh and she's loving the lightness!

Her hair grows pretty fast though....

During the circuit breaker, Lil Pumpkin was such a trooper and made no fuss at all about staying home for the extended period.

Except for the occasional nudging and scolding, I think that Lil Pumpkin actually did pretty ok for her home-based learning by being able to follow her timetable, log into her online lessons and self-learn rather independently.

We decided to reward her by letting her pick out a gift from Lego ( ◞・ΰ±ͺ・) She was super chuffed!

We didn't stay out for dinner but it sure was nice to be out to gai gai and shop shop again with the family after such a long time.

Really makes me appreciate the little things in life more and more... °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

Monday, June 15, 2020

8 Crabs Seafood Same-Day Home Delivery - Fresh Sri Lankan Crabs & Zhi Char Delivered to Your Doorstep!

I think we've ordered chilli crabs for dinner 2-3 times over the Covid-19 circuit breaker period, but our last order from 8 Crabs Seafood Kitchen was by far the most impressive and satisfying.

I'm salivating just thinking about that meal we had haha...

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Since we started staying home more, I've been cooking much, much more. Almost daily.

For one, it's healthier than buying takeaway or ordering delivery. Secondly, it's of course cheaper. And thirdly, well, I love cooking for my family ( ◞・ΰ±ͺ・)

Even though I'm not an exceptionally good cook, my family still enjoys my cooking and it gives me great pleasure to be able to whip up simple, wholesome meals to fill their tummies.

I wish I could say that I cooked this delicious spread but sorry no, if a dish is deep-fried or usually requires more than a few simple steps or staple ingredients, than it's probably not from Mama Ai's kitchen hehehe...

The food I cook is usually pretty easy to prepare and if we are craving for something more elaborate or "messy" to cook, then we'd definitely order in.

8 Crabs Seafood Kitchen caught my eyes as some of my friends had ordered from them previously and even from the pics, their crabs looks sooooooo meaty and delicious!

In case you didn't know, most restaurants actually purchase farmed crabs because they are cheaper. As a result, they use highly fragrant sauces to cover up the ammonia smell that crabs produce when they are stressed, for example, when they are held in captivity.

8 Crabs is apparently the only seafood import wholesale and crab delivery service in Singapore using grade AAA premium Sri Lankan sourced wild crabs. This is graded by the most experienced crab graders in the trade and that means their crabs are meatier, tastier, bigger and less watery. 

For dinner that night, we had their award-winning Chilli Crab, Fried Mantou, Prawn Paste Chicken, and Butter Battered Calamari #drool

The boy was really impressed that the food arrived hot, not luke-warm, and the fried food like the Butter Battered Calamari  {small} remained extra crispy and not soggy at all #winning

I think that's because they have a one-driver-to-an-order policy across 12 kitchens island-wide so you can be assured of their One Hour Crab Delivery promise or your money back.

Your food won't be stuck at the back of some delivery car going all over Singapore while it gets cold and stale, that's for sure.

The Prawn Paste Chicken aka Ha Cheong Gai {small} very flavourful and juicy, and every bite you could hear the thin crispy crust breaking into tiny, delightful pieces.

Lil Pumpkin ate most of this that night...

... As well as the Fried Mantou buns {set of 5}!!!

If you eat Chilli Crab {or their award-winning Salted Egg Yolk Crab}, then the Fried Mantou buns are a definite must to dip and eat with the sauce! They are fluffy soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside!

I reckon Lil Pumpkin walloped at least half of these. She loves dunking these in the sweet-savoury Chilli Crab sauce, which surprisingly enough, is not too spicy for her heh.

Note to self: Order more Fried Mantou the next time.

Saved the best to talk about last haha..

The Chilli Crab is super shiok!!! OMMMGGGGG!!!!

We ordered one extra large crab, which is around 900g - 1kg and enough for both the boy and me as Lil Pumpkin doesn't like to eat shellfish.

The sauce here is thick, gooey and eggy with more than enough sauce to cover the crab, mantou and even extra if you want to keep for another day... like me because I didn't want to waste!! I used the extra to make chilli crab pasta with frozen chilli crab meat the next day hehe _へ__(‾◡◝ )>

I like that it's not overwhelmingly spicy such that your taste-buds burn and you can't enjoy the crab or overall flavour of dish. It isn't too sweet either so I like this appetising, well-balanced sauce.

Can you see the size of that crab pincer??!! It's almost the size of Lil Pumpkin's hand!!

This extra large crab definitely had a substantial amount of chunky succulent-sweet meat. It was extremely gratifying sucking the juicy meat out of the shell and well worth getting our hands all dirty haha..

8 Crabs Seafood Kitchen also has other popular zhi char dishes like Cereal Prawn, Coffee Pork Ribs, Yang Zhou Fried Rice, Yam Ring, Sweet and Sour Pork, Curry Fish Head and many more.

Their website is very easy to navigate and tells you explicitly how many pax each serving can approximately feed, which I find to be very helpful. Delivery island-wide costs S$8 for same day or advance order, S$18 for express 1-hour delivery {allow 15 mins for order processing} or spend a minimum of S$120 for free delivery regardless of delivery type.

I highly recommend and will definitely be ordering from them again (*^▽^*)

8 Crabs Seafood Kitchen
Tel: 6853 8249 (ext 118)

Monday, June 8, 2020

Covid-19 "Circuit Breaker" Singapore Snapshots #StayhomeSG #SGUnited

This year so far has been pretty surreal.

Never in my pre-Covid days did I imagine that the world would slow down as much as it did... almost to a halt. Shops and businesses that I never thought would ever close, did {I'm looking at you McDonald's!}, free spaces like playgrounds, museums and even beaches were banned, and traffic around Singapore was so good that we could even reach town within 10 minutes on weekday peak hour periods.

Yes, a lot of freedom and privileges that we were all used to were suddenly withdrawn but I'm taking it all in with a giant stride though and am giving thanks daily that we're still able to live rather comfortably with stable jobs, enough food and a roof over our head when many others are doing much worst and losing a lot more.

In response to the growing number of new cases, Singapore announced on Fri 3 Apr 2020 a stringent set of preventive measures collectively called a "circuit breaker", to be applied from Tue 7 Apr to Mon 4 May.

The circuit breaker was extended another month to Mon 1 Jun on 21 Apr following continued untraced transmission within the community.

At the beginning of the circuit breaker, I had high hopes of doing a lot more at home.

It was the first time in over a decade since I started working in Singapore that I had so much time at home, and I really wanted to make the best of it.

If you remember, the boy and I took the course and were certified to be CFL1 Trainers. We didn’t pursue anything further but part of the reason why I took it was because I thought maybe one day I could coach kids in a gym 🀷🏻‍♀️ Well, with more time at home, I’m kinda living the dream by “coaching” @lovelilpumpkin to make sure she gets enough exercise even during the #HBL stay-home period 😬πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻 Superman gave me pointers & helped me to plan her gym workout programs for strength trainingπŸ‹πŸ»‍♂️, and she does the Assault bike, walks and stair-climbs with me for cardio 🚴🏻‍♀️πŸƒπŸ»‍♀️ If you thought teaching your kids their school work is hard, wait until you try teaching them new physical skills and sports! πŸ™ŠπŸ™ˆ It’s not easy as they have less awareness & control over their body than adults, and they may not understand things like “mind-muscle connection”. I do want her to have a very good foundation of basic techniques and form to prevent future injuries too so sometimes a simple workout can take longer than expected.. πŸ€” It’s really not easy being a coach and trying to train someone else really makes me appreciate my trainer, Superman, even more hahaha πŸ˜‚ I hope @lovelilpumpkin likes our new workout time together and appreciates having me do this with her! πŸ’–πŸŒΈ #sakuraharuka #pumpkinfitnessdiary #p5pumpkin #sgfitness #sgkids #motherhood #gymtime #fitfam #ailoveheadbands #strongnotskinny #sgfamily
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I had grand plans to clean and declutter our home, study {haha!} and play more with Lil Pumpkin, eat healthier, cook more, read more, write more and definitely get more exercise in. Basically being more productive at home than I've ever been, and not just be in "survival" mode doing the basic stuff that I usually do as a full-time working mum.

A few weeks in, I had some sort of mini panic attack and I felt anxious. Partly maybe because I wasn't used to being "cooped up" at home for so long, but also mostly because I couldn't get our daily schedule down to a pat. When I looked back, I felt that we had done "so little".

Once the circuit breaker finished, I expected life to go back to normal somewhat with me heading back to work daily and feeling time-challenged as usual... Did I just waste the precious home time given to us that I may never have again once the pandemic is over!??? Oh crap....

I took a step back and decided to take a slower pace to our already slow-down lives. Not have so much expectations of what I want to achieve during this time at home, and to take things as they come.

Slowly, a natural daily schedule presented itself and I went with the flow of how things came. If I didn't finish the work I had planned with Lil Pumpkin for the day, that's ok and we could do it another time. If I didn't complete my chores for the day. that's ok as I could do it at night. If I didn't feel like training on Saturday, that's ok I could do it on Sunday.

Little concessions to not be so hard on myself and just really enjoy our new pace of life, instead of making it as busy as it usually is, but at home (。^‿^。)

I will try to write more regularly again and record our memories more on the blog though.

As I get older, my memory does fail me and I do love looking back at old posts and pictures to see how far we've come, and especially to see how big my dear Lil Pumpkin has grown (♥Ο‰♥*)

Can you believe that she's already 11 and next year she'll be taking her PSLE??!! Yikes!!!

P.S. I have a newfound love for cute reusuable masks now hahahaha. You can check out some of the masks we currently have on #AiLoveMasks on Instagram. Will be adding to this for sure.

As I update more regularly on Instagram and Facebook nowadays, please follow me there if you'd like too.

P.P.S. Sooooooo glad I gave my hair a good chop before circuit breaker started and all the hair salons were closed!!! The short bob makes it really easy to manage and keep cool. Love love love!