Without a street directory in the car, we decided to drive around the island to explore. I gave lucentstreak a call and found her nua-ing at home, so dragged her along with us. Thankfully the SO's sense of direction and vague memories of the layout of the island meant we never had to pull out his Nokia to use the GPS.
Now, there's probably an easier way to get around, but we literally drove around the bottom of the island to get to Colbar on Whitchurch Road. It was the first time I had been to this colonial bar and it was seriously a blast from the past. lucentstreak advertised it as being a nostalgic eatery, which 'comes complete with grouchy Auntie'.
Seeing the painted wood plank doors and tuck-shop style counter, lined with plastic screwtop containers with candy, brought back memories of early school days when recess was synonymous with Heaven and the 'pontianak' could still scare the shit out of me.
As if to prove its authenticity as a place of yesteryear, their fridge has Sinalco (a type of cherryade) and their menu is a simple list of dishes, ranging from simple cucumber sandwiches and canned soup to Singaporean-ised westernised fare, such as steaks and fish and chips.
The tables and chairs are also a throwback to the late 70s and early 80s - worn foldable wooden tables and chairs that might have seen better days. But it all lends itself to the nostalgic atmosphere.
The sole was really fresh and its deep fried flesh sweet beneath the crispy crust. Served with only a handful of thick cut chips and a lime, there's a selection of ketchup, chilli sauce, malt vinegar and HP steak sauce to slather your meal with on every table.
Content to wander around more in the car (the rain was on and off) after our lunch, we headed down Holland Road when lucentstreak pointed out the turn-off into Dempsey Road. We had never been there before, so took it to park at the bottom of the hill - just in case it would be too busy further up to find parking.
lucentstreak mentioned good coffee at Jones the Grocer. Instead, we stayed for dessert and I savoured a pot of fragrant French Earl Grey to myself.
This flourless chocolate cake is surprisingly not as sweet as I expected.
But every nibble with vanilla ice-cream was spine-tinglingly yummy.
But besides the array of jams and preserves, Jones the Grocer has a walk-in cheese room (lovingly called fromage, which is French for cheese) with a moderate selection from Australia, Italy and France. From this selection, you can assemble a cheeseboard of 70gms wedges with crackers. Or if you're feeling a little more upmarket, they have truffle honey as well.
The rest of the day after dropping lucentstreak off home involved a simple homecooked dinner before Christmas service.
lucentstreak and I share a love for the art of writing. The art of putting pen to paper is being lost in our digital age, yet enhances the act back to one of luxury. And it is one that we should return to, because as cheap and convenient as disposable ballpoints are, they will ultimately end up in landfills and often not biodegrade. A fountain pen (and they don't need to be expensive) with a single bottle of ink will last far longer if well maintained.
She took us to a pen shop in Funan, where I got a bottle of Noodler's Ink in Tiannanmen, a rich dark red brown that looks like day old blood. The website colour chart is not accurate at all, but the pen shop had its own colour chart with their available colours. I can't wait to fill my piston fountain with it, though I am still on the hunt for another vacuum or piston type fountain with a smooth medium nib for daily writing. I'm still not ready for the Lamy 2000, Neil Gaiman's fountain of choice. (^0^)/