Saturday, April 16, 2016

Through the eyes of a foodie with the Olympus PEN-F

It is hardly or never that you'll find me having a camera out with me for the whole day. Most of the times it's only to food tastings, or if i'm traveling. Being a foodie, i decided to bring it the Olympus PEN-F with me for a whole day of food snapping (and other random stuff)!


For a start, the camera has to be small-size and lightweight so that it is easy to carry around especially if you're going to be out the whole day. The retro design styling provides a nice 60's throwback and the premium quality of the PEN-F’s body line and silhouette was definitely a head-turner with people at cafes and places i went to!


I usually start my day with breakfast, an essential for me and (sometimes) can be a determining factor of my mood throughout the day. I mean, who doesn't like waking up to a hearty breakfast? On days i'm lazy, i pack stuff from Artisan Boulangerie Co. the night before! I extremely love their fruits tarts which comes topped off with fresh fruits and custard within. Their eclairs are also amazingly good - stuffed with a generous amount of filling!


And did i mention who watches me while i gobble down my breakfast? Meet one half of the two musketeers at home! He watches me while i eat and gives me the most unforgiving face, which i give in to most of the time. He ends up with a few cereal bits which makes him contented, if not happy enough. I usually have a hard time catching a clear shot of him, but not with the PEN-F. He is a bit camera shy (like how most dogs are) and have a tendency to move around when i whip the camera out. Thankfully for the hand held blur free shooting, it's easier to get a shot of him these days.


At noon, i'm usually off to meet friends for lunch (or brunch). One of my favourite cafes to go to is Boufe! Every part of the cafe is 'Instagram-worthy' - from their food to the minimalistic decor. Situated at Pheonix Park, the cafe gives off a very laid-back vibe, away from the bustling city, even though Orchard Road is just a couple of minutes away.


My favourite mid-day snack is this ice-cream sandwich from Pat and Stick's! First launched in Australia, they are now available in Singapore! You can get them at Providore @ Pasarbella and they have quite a range of flavours for you to choose from. I like the pecan, but if you like some chocolatey, go for peppermint chocolate chip. What is there not to love about creamy ice cream sandwiched between soft cookies?


And on to food again. One of the places i frequent is Rise & Grind Coffee Co. at Bukit Timah. They serve up brunch food till quite late, so even if you are hungry at some weird hour - you've got a place to go! Another place with artistically plated dishes, i like how most of the stuff on their menu are healthy yet delicious. Did i also mention that there's no GST and service charge?

I love how the PEN-F captures all the colours on the plate just with a few twist of the New Creative Dial that is located at the front of the camera. It's extremely simple and idiot-proof, almost like a point and shoot, yet it brings out each photo with such clear and vivid photos colours! Below are some photos that i took while playing with the Art Filter, Monochrome and Colour Profile Control feature.


This was the end-product after playing with the colour creator where i tweaked with the hue to give the photo an overall cool tone but still bringing out the vivid colours on the plate by adjusting the saturation.



The above two photos were taken with the PEN-F's Pop Art Filter II! Admit it - green isn't always the nicest colour for desserts but this looks good (and tastes great too), doesn't it? I love how the filter brings out the green colour while still capturing the smoky effect underneath. 


Taken with the Monochrome Dial. By taking away the colours, the filter brings out the dramatic effect of the coffee art as well as the overall vintage look and feel of the image. 

Fatcat Ice Cream Bar is one of my must-go places when i'm around the East. I popped by for a sneak peek of their new Korean inspired menu that launches this month - featuring renditions of the popular Korean Bingsu and other Korean desserts that were recreated. 

I love how the PEN-F allows me to play around with the hue and saturation of each photo - making it able for me to capture the colours on each plate without having to edit them on Photoshop. All these effects done in-camera, all with just a few twists and turns of the creative dial!


On nights i can't fall asleep - i creep out of bed for supper. One of my usual hangout spots is Da Lian at Jalan Besar. Besides serving up bowls and bowls of springy noodles, the place has amazing barbecued chicken wings as well! Since you are out for supper and it's already not the healthiest thing you should be doing - you might as well go all out!

24 hours with the PEN-F definitely got me hooked onto it. In my opinion, it's a great lifestyle camera to have when you're out with friends, or simply if you are looking at going on notch up from basic photography. Thinking about it, maybe it's time to find space for another camera to add to my collection!

For more information on the Olympus PEN-F,  do visit www.shopatolympus.com.sg!

Monday, March 28, 2016

CATO

CATO may ring a bell for some of you. They have been around for a few months now, sitting on the stretch of South Bridge Road. It boasts a concept of a bar and restaurant and they recently did a revamp on their menu, which now includes flavours from all over (literally).




On their new menu, you can expect a mixture of different cuisines on their tapas menu. Insipred from their Korean chef, the highly raved Korean Fried Chicken was served golden brown on the outside and juicy within. You also have the option to pick something with Japanese influence such as the Mentaiko Mac & Cheese. If you like seafood, the Crispy Squid or Fish & Chips are a great choice for sharing - both featuring highly addictive mouth popping goodness packed with lots of flavour.


For the mains, immerse yourself in Thai flavours with the Bangkok Lobster Risotto. Supposedly to have packed a tom yum punch, we felt that the tom yum flavour wasn't very distinguished. This also means that if you are not a fan of tom yum or spicy stuff - this dish is all for you.


Everyone agreed that amongst the mains we tried, the very unique and unusual Pineapple Pork Curry with Baked Rice stood out the most. Served in a fresh pineapple, the curry packed on a robust asian flavour that complimented the tender slices of pork, with just the right amount of rice on top. We heard that this recipe came from many generations back and is said to be one-of-a-kind in Singapore.

You can choose to end off your meal with a sinful Valrhona Chocolate and Pistachio Cake, or head on up to the bar and chill with lots of drinks at affordable nett prices. We were greedy - so we picked both.

The vibes at CATO definitely deserves a thumbs up - what more with great food. In our opinion, it's a place you would want to be at after a super long day at work, with comfort food and a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. Just so you know, the nearest parking is located at Club Street's open air car park, which may get a little packed at times. Looking at how crowded they were on a Wednesday evening, i reckon that reservations are highly recommended.



CATO
237 South Bridge Road
Singapore 058786
+65 82996434
www.catosingapore.com


This was an invited media tasting.