Sunday, December 16, 2012

Garden or Hospital?

This is what I see daily as I savour the short walk into my new workplace. The grounds are exquisitely peaceful and uniquely different from any other places I have worked in. I'll give you a few glimpse of this grand old dame of a hospital in the following few pictures (I must say that my handphone camera doesn't do the beautiful grounds much justice).

In its' verdant gardens, there are also a lot of huge stately trees beautifully preserved. You can see the flora and fauna as you walk into the hospital, from the bus stop on Alexandra Road all the way to the 'grand' entrance.

Looking across from the main entrance, we could see a neo-classical fountain with a Grecian figurine and a myriad of flowers - lilies, bougainvilla, etc. Apparently, there are various birds spotted in this garden too..This is truly a place for people to recuperate, recover and get well in.

And as you approach the information counter in the foyer of the main entrance, there is this refreshing, wonderfully-scented Christmas tree that is made of a real pine tree. Quite a beautiful place to work in, I must say... The only downside is that the open grounds made it quite difficult to leave the hospital for food/home/shopping during this rainy season.

Next stop, I'll intend to take more photographs of the colonial building itself as this hospital used to be a British Military Hospital followed by a Japanese military headquarters during the World War 2 before being renovated to the well-equipped, clean and beautifully-designed AH. Hopefully, I will unearth a few of the colourful history (maybe even discovering some lurid/grisly tales from the past) in this hospital before they move to the west in a few years' time. Wondering what is the status of the building then. Cross my fingers and hope they will not alter it too much or destroy the heritage preserved within.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Parco caffe-new favourite hang-out

One of the newer cafe to hit town in the Tanjong Pagar area is uniquely called Parco caffe (no it's the actual name, not a typo). The concept is quite good - tuck a nice little cafe in a quiet cul-de-sac called Raeburn Park and voila, you have customers streaming by word of mouth. And also a feeder bus from the nearby MRT station for those without a car. Yes, it is THAT quiet.

YY found this place and brought me here..more brownies points for him for unearthing this favourite new place of ours. The ambience is cool and quirky, with a lot of importance placed on the quality of the food and decor. Moreover, the price is affordable considering the ingredients they used. So let's get to the main topic of discussion : food.

Now the staff serving us are really attentive and quick to action. We sat down and upon ordering, there was this wonderful breads and flat-bread complete with the usual suspects of fine olive oil and tomato-based pesto. This is courtesy of the house (we love freebies!)

The range of appetizer is quite good for a small-ish place. We tried the tempura-squid rings and vegetable with mayo dip and it was a winner. We liked it so much, we ordered it again the next time we went.

On our second round, we added an exotic-sounding appetizer called cold angel hair pasta with tobiko, bottargo and truffle oil...

This dish was truly unusual as it's no the typical savoury pasta - you have got to taste it to enjoy the explosion of different flavours. Definitely one dish to share with your dining kaki..

For some unknown reason, I've uploaded the dessert before the main course not because of my sweet tooth. I'm hardly a dessert person..serious...anyway, methink it's because it's so darn good. We chose to end the enjoyable meal with the pavlova with wafer and vanila ice cream and strawberry. The extremely soft and light pavlova is made of whipped cream (as what I learnt from Australian Masterchef last season) and I truly loved it because it ain't too sweet. Perfect foil to the crispy wafer and strawberry. The portion is just nice for a small eater (that's what I claim to be...)

Main course during my first visit was this awesome juicy steak and surprisingly tasty foie gras laced with truffle oil and sides of rosti and mushrooms. Being a highly ethical person, felt a slight tinge of guilt as I bit into the goose liver. Strangely decadent and probably went straight to my was a delicious combination nevertheless.

Free 'dessert' courtesy of the cafe. Macaroons, berries and cookies. Kooky and tasty..just the way I remember Parco Caffe...looking forward to exploring more of its exquisite menu.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Changes I love

Now, I mentioned before that a rolling stone loves transitions and changes, just like how a tiger can't change her stripes. Starting from tomorrow, I'm moving on to another hospital for a few months - an exposure essential to a specialty like surgery as amalgamation of skills, experience and knowledge from a wide range of sources makes a versatile and resilient surgeon. We have to be able to cope in different scenario and events. hopefully, this will bade me well if I were to work in an austere condition in the future.

it's also an opportunity for an extrovert to befriend new colleagues and encounter new adventures, albeit just a few kilometres down the road. as i make a brief visit to my new workplace a few days ago, it brought me back to memories of my childhood. the building is just like the old St Mary's or St John. Oh, such warm feelings. i guess if I feel bored, I will just wander in the hospital's expansive gardens or capture photographs of its exteriors. not bad...

and then exams was over! Hurray..time to relax and resume a lot of planning - massive projects in store for 2013-2014. meanwhile, my recovery was in a charming resort somewhere on the island. this is what I see when I open my door for this weekend:

btw, I'm not in Bali - although I wish I was. more ideas for my dream home...still not in existence but I am optimistic God is good and gracious. I'm sure YY and I will be able to find one soon. Thus after a wonderful rest in this resort by the beach, I'm now ready to be deployed in a new workplace. Gambate!