Monday, 18 May 2009

Orgo: War of the Worlds

Staring through the glass confinements of our little isolated section, the city probably never looked so beautiful on a quiet Thursday night. Dazzled by the blue and yellow streaks flaunting their glory from a distance, the eyes mostly found relief in the peripheral, where the waves of the Singapore River slithered on in its own rhythm.

Beats of an Oriental Trance mix boomed from the speakers behind us, laying its own hypnotizing effects on the mind as I watched the waves dance on, my mind wandering further and further from my body with the passing of each beat.


Through the Looking Glass

Silence fell between us as I turned to look at her, staring on as well. We were in our own little worlds, our own little spaces, perhaps unwinding in our own little ways - words were probably unnecessary for the occasion. I turned my head back and stared on.

"Grapes, sir." The waitress said, breaking the silence and sliding a cocktail class of grapes in between us as she did. A rather unexpected and pleasant surprise, but perhaps only fitting when pondered upon further, perfectly complimenting the bar's signature Fresh Fruit Martini spread.

Dark GrapesBattered

Fruit and Choices

"This is new," I told her, as I reached out to pick a dark and succulent grape with my pincer-like thumb and index finger. Raising the fruit to my mouth, I sampled the sweet juiciness of the grape as looked around to capture a mental image of the decor that surrounded me.



Lit with exquisite lamps and chandeliers, Orgo was an ideal late-night affair nicely perched atop the Esplanade rooftop garden, overlooking an angle of the Singapore River. The decor had an emphasis the contrasts between shades of red and black against the golden lights. The warm lighting and texture choice of wooden furniture set the mood for a rather laidback and peaceful session, but the abundance of glass in the furniture served as a striking reminder to the class that came along with it - and the very essence that made it famous in the first place, the private class cubicles.



"So how do we get to drink in one of those cubicles?" I asked the passing captain.

"Oh, that is meant for reservations for groups of 10 or more people, or if you spend more than $200," he explained patiently.

"Oh ok," I said calmly, mentally trying to picture the possibility of squeezing 10 people into one of the said cubicles.

"Strawberry Mint Martini," a Japanese-accented man said in a gentle voice behind us, placing the bright red Martini on the coaster in front of her. This was likely the oft-mentioned Japanese mixologist that was behind the recipes for the locale's signature drinks. Seems that the only way you would get him to serve or attend to you would be to order more drinks though, perhaps a sound marketing strategy in itself, consider the hots most girls have for Japanese guys.

"Apple and Shiso Martini," he said, as he placed the glass onto the coaster in front of me, as I continued to wonder if I made the most hetro-sexually-appropriate choice.

Strawberry and MintApple and Shiso

Red and Green

Doubts were quickly quelled as I took my first sip. Albeit being light on the alcohol flavour, the sweetness of the apple was nicely complimented and perhaps even slightly overruled by the minty taste of the Shiso leaves. The lady's drink was slightly stronger, but still had a predominant fruit flavour complemented by the essence of mint. Overall, it was understandable that the focus of the martinis were very much more on using alcohol to enhance the flavours of the fruits rather than vice versa, making them smooth drinks that went down easily - almost in a dessert wine kind of way.

As she was snapping away at the drinks as artistically as she could, I said to her with my recently acquired confidence, "Come, let me show you how to take an artistic shot." And with that statement, the challenged was issued; a War of the Worlds, her's against mine.

Indeed, photography is very much a matter of perception, a deliberate, intentional and justifiable representation of how he / she views the outside world within his / her mind. Ultimately, to me, what goes into the composition of a photo is very much mapped out within the internal confines of your being, rather than trying to "read" whatever is without your being in a certain way.

The results of the war that was waged?

(Lady's on the Left / Gent's on the Right)

In BetweenOne Third

Battle 1

Stairway to HeavenDown the Middle

Battle 2


Battle 3

SolitaryMy Humble House

Battle 4

Needless to say, I think I won overall. Oh, except for the last battle below, which I have to admit she won hands down; but then again, it probably had more to do with the model than anything else...

Focus Chubby

Focus Cool

Al Dente Revisted : Bridge of the Worlds

Contrary to the familiarity of the decor, the changes in Al Dente's menu actually ran deep in relation to our last visit. As much as we reminisced about the dishes of our first encounter, we wasted almost no time making acquaintances with the new menu, and readily picked our gastronomical highlights for the night.




Failing to find the pizza of the past, we went for the Al Dente instead; partially based on the written description, and partially based on the deduction that it had to be the best considering that it was the restaurant's namesake.

True enough, the pizza proved equal to, if not better than, our previous choice. The thin wood-fried crust reminded me of how a difference in the simple layer of pastry at the bottom can make or break a pizza, while the combination of fresh vegetables and salty sausages contributed to the pizza being a blend of fresh and savoury tastes at the same time. The only gripe I had with it was the huge chunks of avocado which littered every piece.

Al Dente

Al Dente - with the name spelt right

It's glorious partner in crime was the Ravioli. Soaked in White Wine sauce and stuffed with Cheese and Spinach, I went with this due to my childhood fondness of the dish in general. Thinking that the lady would probably enjoy it less than I would due to its heavy reliance on "essence taste" proved to be erroneous, as she gave it her (straight) thumbs up before I even had a chance to sample it.


Ravioli - My Childhood Best Friend

Cutting a small piece carefully - as there were only 5 pieces and I wanted to maximize my satisfaction and gratification - I placed the dumpling-like pasta into my mouth, only to feel its subtle cheese taste teasing my taste buds, before the intensity of the White Wine sauce soaked through. The outer-layer of the pasta was perfectly folded, being not too thick (a common sign in lesser Ravioli's), yet not thin enough to tear easily. It's a pity that there were only 5 pieces, as I was still craving for more long (and I mean long) after the meal was over.

Cool on PizzaSelf Shot Perfection

Our dinner was made less lonely than the sparse Thursday night crowd with our memories filling up the spaces in between. "Oh, I know which table we sat at", "Do you remember which side you were sitting on?", "What about the table next to us?", littered much of the conversation over dinner.

Memories are always a tricky thing, being constructionist in nature allows us to pander them to the emotions that we want to invoke while recollecting them. Personally, I feel that memories are the walls that define the world that we form in our minds. Some times, these are walls enclose a prison; other times, they fortify a fortress. Yet, there are times when these memories play the role of a bridge, where two people's mental worlds intersect, share and communicate.

Despite the transience and vulnerability of said memories, there is still a form of unexplainable joy when you validate them and their meaning with someone else's, where more than one can share the emotions that are tagged on with them memories.

To be able to share memories with someone is always a beautiful thing; but to be able to build and shape and sculpt memories with someone is oftentimes an art form in itself.