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Updated: 2017-11-16T23:41:54.752+08:00

 



Birthday Date With My Son 儿子为我庆生

2017-06-09T19:42:32.057+08:00

Click - eastcoastlife.sgI have moved. Please go to my new website.Ecstatic .... I had a dinner date with my son who cancelled his Saturday night out with friends so as to celebrate my birthday and an early Mother's Day.We have not had dinner together for weeks due to my long school hours and his business trip to Europe. Yes, I went back to school .... it's called lifelong learning. haha ... We had so much to share with each other, we stayed until the restaurant's closing time. Haha 😂 My son picked this Chinese restaurant at Parkway and selected the dishes. His boss brought him here for a business meeting cum lunch once. My son was impressed with the food.Since it is a birthday meal, he said I must eat a noodle dish. For the Chinese, the long strands of noodles symbolise longevity. I used to cook noodles for my mother on her birthday, now that it is my turn to be served noodles on my birthday, I suddenly feel so old. haha .....This Heng Hwa Lor Mee (braised noodles), long rice noodles braised in a savoury gravy with fresh seafood, is delicious.My son knows that I like duck and yam, he ordered this Deep Fried Duck with Yam. The younger generation probably like this dish. For me, the duck meat tastes too dry after the deep frying.I love eggplants. The deep fried eggplant with pork floss is also one of my favourite dishes. Pleasantly surprised by the yummy taste of the deep fried sesame buns with shredded pork filling. My son's personal favourite which I could cook as well.The dishes here tasted like home cooked food and prices are not too costly. Thanks to my son for his treat. *feeling blessed*儿子周末夜不约朋友们出去,选择请我吃饭, 为我庆祝生日和母亲节。我好开心 😄这几个星期我忙着上课,儿子又去欧洲出差,我们难得一起吃顿饭。这顿饭吃到餐馆打烊 。。。😄我的生日餐吃口味比较清淡的福建菜 :白菜豆腐汤 黄金荷叶包 芋香鸭 肉松茄子 兴化卤面 儿子孝順、懂事、有責任感, 我感到安慰。 [...]



Hwa Seng Fish Porridge 华成鱼糜

2017-05-04T17:16:08.758+08:00

Fried Sambal Fish Head 炒辣椒红哥里鱼头 Early this morning, my foodie buddy Angie messaged me to meet her for breakfast at Bendemeer Market and Food Centre. I dressed up and rushed down to meet her as it has been a long time since we had breakfast together.She had just finished drinking her coffee when I arrived. She recommended one char kway teow (fried rice noodle) stall but it was closed today. She then brought me to Hwa Seng Fish Porridge for their Stir Fried Sambal Fish Bone Hor Fun (broad rice noodles).Fried Sambal Fish Bone Hor Fun 炒辣椒鱼骨河粉 The owner Mr Pang told us we have to wait at least 15 minutes for the dish. We didn't mind waiting, Angie ordered a Fried Sambal Fish Head too.When the dishes were served to us, we discovered that the portions given was too much for the two of us. Diners sharing our table were visibly amused when they saw our dishes. haha.... After our meal, half a plate of the noodles was left, I requested for it to takeaway for my hubby.   The fish used in both dishes was fresh and it was cooked in a delicious sambal sauce that was not overwhelming. One could wolf down bowls of steamed white rice if the sambal sauce is spooned over it. The broad rice noodles has the wok hei (smoky flavour) fragrance, the fish bones were quite meaty. It was a challenge eating the sambal fish head using chopsticks, but I enjoyed eating it. My lips felt sticky from the fish collagen. huh huh ....   A customer who shared our table, recommends Mr Pang's fried rice which is less greasy. We will try her recommendation the next time we come for lunch.I had a chat with the owner Mr Pang while I had my rice noodles packed for takeaway. He was busy cooking for the lunch time crowd so I could only ask a few questions.Hwa Seng was originally from Sembawang but moved to Bendemeer Market and Food Centre 18 years ago. Mr Pang dropped out of school when he was in his early teens and became a hawker as it was the only option for him since he doesn't have a high education. It will be his 50th year in business soon but he is feeling burned out due to the long working hours and shortage of workers. His day starts at 7 am when he shops for the ingredients and prepares them. He opens for business at 11 am and closes at 9 pm. A hardworking man, he is on his feet for 16 hours a day. He sleeps around midnight and the same routine starts the next morning. He has a rest day on Saturdays and his stall is closed for 15 days during Chinese New Year.Mr Pang has no successor and he feels sad that his stall will become history one day. Hwa Seng Fish Porridge 华成鱼糜#01-22 Bendemeer Market and Food Centre,Block 29 Bendemeer Road SG 330029 Business hours : 11 am - 9 pmClosed on Saturdays早上接到贪吃一号安琪的简讯约我吃早餐。我这几个月都在上课, 我们好久没在一起吃早餐了。约了在明地迷亚小贩中心见,我换了衣服就飞奔过去。安琪本来要吃的炒粿条,摊主这天休息。她就带我去吃炒辣椒鱼骨河粉, 还加了一份炒辣椒红哥里鱼头。食物送来的时候,与我们共桌的食客们都傻了眼。两大盘食物,看这两个女人怎么吃完!? 呵呵 。。。 炒河粉有镬气, 新鲜的鱼骨还蛮多肉的! 食物的分量太多了,剩下半盘的河粉打包回家给老公吃。 不喧宾夺主的辣椒酱汁更显鱼头的鲜美, 拌饭应该也会很好吃吧。两盘佳肴都加了苦瓜, 我喜欢。我用筷子吃辣椒鱼头是有点挑战性。比起我喜欢吃的峇淡鱼唇,这道炒辣椒红哥里鱼头有过之而无不及。午餐时间,看到好多食客们都点他的鱼片汤, 华成鱼糜的鱼胜在新鲜。共桌的食客推荐他的炒饭,不会太油腻。下次我们要尝一尝。华成鱼糜从忠邦搬来明地迷亚小贩中心有18年了。潘老板从十多岁辍学, 当小贩到现在快50年了。勤劳的老板每天工作16小时,午夜才上床休息,第二天早上又得早早起身买食材, 准备开档[...]



Longest Brunch on Sunday : Monti @ The Fullerton Pavilion Monti 星期日早午餐

2017-04-30T14:08:38.711+08:00

Monti at the iconic Fullerton Pavilion is serving an Italian-style buffet brunch from 12 noon to 3 pm every Sunday.I arrived a little early for my brunch appointment and lucky me was able to pick a table by the window. I was awed by the splendid view of Marina bay and Marina Bay Sands hotel.I had a look at the salad bar and the dessert table before my lunch companions arrive.The cakes were so tempting. Oh my gosh, it's going to be a cheat day (I am on a low-carbo diet) for me as I deliberate over which ones to pick.I had the tiramisu, peanut cream cheese tartlets, mango panna cotta and Torta Caprese after my main course.Cold cuts : Prosciutto, Salame, Cotechino, Capocollo, pork rillette, duck rilliette, NdujaWhen my brunch companions arrived, the manager took our orders and served our drinks shortly. There was a slight commotion when our seafood platter arrived. The waiter poured some cold water onto the ice creating a flowing dry ice effect as he served. We were busy snapping pictures.Before we could sit down to eat, the cold cut tray was served. I tasted a little of all the cold cut on the tray and like the duck rillette very much.To enjoy the seafood platter more, we used our hands. LOL .... the seafood was so fresh I could eat it on its own. I love the sweet, springy clams.If you want to have a late breakfast of omelette, eggs Benedict, eggs salmon Florentine or French toast, the kitchen would gladly cook them.From the brunch menu, I ordered the pan cooked foie gras on toast. Heavenly! Although there is no limit on the number of meat dishes one can order, I was watching my diet and didn't go overboard.My two male companions were very kind and kept sharing their dishes with me. So I had a taste of the charcoal grilled Iberico pork jowl, ribeye steak, seabream with saffron sauce and grilled lamb chop.I only ordered a glass of red wine but the Guest Relations Manager Newman wanted me to taste a special drink concocted by their mixologist, Kumar.Kumar showed me how he make a refreshing alcoholic concoction using smoked Applewood.Kumar's special concoction has a sweet and delicate flavour. It's a refreshing drink after consuming lots of meat. haha.....When the risotto live station was brought to our tableside, we couldn't resist crowding around the chef to take photos and video. The chef stirred the risotto in the huge cheese wheel.I was sent a small bowl despite telling the chef I was too full to eat any more. But I finished my bowl of risotto cooked with parmesan cheese, black pepper and black truffle. Yums.Monti Festino Sunday Brunch  (12 noon - 3 pm)Brunch Buffet only                                                   $90++ pp Brunch Buffet & Non-alcoholic drinks           $120++ pp Brunch Buffet & Free Flow wine                    $140++ pp Brunch Buffet & Free Flow Champagne         $160++ ppMonti @ The Fullerton Pavilion,82 Collyer Quay, Singapore, 049327Tel : 6535 0724******* 000 OOO 000 *******受邀出席 Monti 餐厅的星期日早午餐品尝会。Monti 推出长达3小时的意大利式自助餐。餐厅面向滨海湾, 可以一边放松身心享用美食一边欣赏滨海湾美丽的城市景色。 对不熟悉或不常吃意大利菜的人,这顿自助餐可以一次过品尝多种意大利佳肴。蛮欣赏餐厅的海鲜拼盘; 食材新鲜,特别爱那甜美的蛤蜊。精选意大利冷切肉拼盘比较咸,配着脆面包或饼干吃更好。 有9种主菜供选择, 无限量供应,让你吃饱为止。不要忘了, 还有自助沙拉吧和甜品台。 现场有厨师示范烹煮黑松露意大利烩饭, 真有趣 。。。就用一个巨大的乳酪轮搅拌意大利烩饭!价钱每人 $ 90++ 自助餐,每人 $120++ 的配套包括了不含酒精饮料,每人 $140++ 的配套包括了无限[...]



Inspiring Technology at Tech Saturday 2017 科技展

2017-04-29T19:51:40.398+08:00

 Singapore’s first solar electric 3D-printed car Visited Tech Saturday with a friend and her two children. I am probably spending too much time with the elderly ..... my jaws dropped when I discovered the amazing technology advancements out there.My friend's two kids were like fish in the water at this tech carnival, they pick up things very fast and were having fun tinkering with the gadgets. They must think I am a dinosaur as I am not tech savvy. haha.....We had a look at the projects submitted by the young participants of the First Lego League Junior Contest. Pretty high standards with all the teams putting in great efforts.There were quite a number of interesting workshops and activities for the kids (and interested adults too) to explore and learn. The children wanted to sign up for every workshop. LOLMy girlfriend and I tried to visit all the exhibitors and make enquiries. We were interested in some of the products and classes offered.Lab on wheels - a secret lab on board a bus. There was a long queue to get on this bus parked inside the exhibition hall. We were told there will be robots and special lasers on board. My friend queued while the children and I went to look at the other exhibits.The boy saw this cool demo and wanted to have a go at it.After a brief explanation on how to control and fly his own unmanned aircraft, my friend's elder boy tried his hand at flying a drone. Wow. I flew kites when I was a kid, the kids of the future will fly drones. LOLThis interesting display had the children and I cracking up .... the fruits made sounds when we pat them. How do they do it? Sign up for their class to learn how. I shall learn from the boy after his lesson. *wink wink*Wow. Print a car! Didn't imagine it to be possible until I touch Singapore's solar electric 3D printed car. Racing at a top speed of 52km/h, this award-winning car was created by a group of Nanyang Technological University engineering students.More new technology for the young to explore .....All this technology is going to change our future lifestyle and the way we work too.As Singapore gears up to be a Smart Nation, we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable changes. I have been taking IT courses to update myself and learn how to use the latest technology at this hi-tech age.Tech Saturday Carnival 2017,organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)Time : 29 and 30 April, 11 am to 7 pmVenue : Marina Bay Sands Expo, Level 1, Hall CFree entry女友带孩子们去滨海湾金沙会议展览中心参观科技展, 邀我同去。孩子们最高兴了, 一看到好玩的,都报名参加。我和女友每个展览摊位都停下来看看, 认真地听听解说。一些最先进的高科技技术, 真的令我大开眼界, 获益良多。 令我印象深刻的 : 新加坡南洋理工大学的学生们创造出了新加坡第一部3D打印的太阳能电动车; 学习飞无人机; 以机械人作装卸组件。 我们和孩子都喜欢音乐水果, 轻轻拍水果能使它发出不同的音响, 好好笑! 新加坡资讯通信媒体发展局(IMDA)主办的资讯科技节滨海湾金沙会议展览中心馆C, 1楼展会从4月29至30日, 早上11时至傍晚7时。入场免费 [...]



Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory 南阳咖啡制造厂

2017-04-11T14:07:15.625+08:00

Before I went back to my village in Hainan, my brother-in-law requested for some Brazilian coffee powder. His friend, a fellow villager who runs a shop, wanted half a kilogramme. That friend didn't pay me back the money. ヽ(`⌒´メ)ノ I am not a coffee drinker, I had to go round asking friends who drink coffee to recommend a brand.Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory, located along Balestier Road, sells traditional coffee and gourmet coffee. It was founded in 1959 by newspaper editor Tan Thian Kang and his wife Lim Chok Tee who wanted to provide quality coffee products at reasonable prices.Third generation owner, Mr Benny Tan and his parents now run the business. Benny's lovely mother, who served me, showed me different types of coffee beans and described their tastes. I bought a blend she recommended. Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory sells its own roasts of coffee beans from around the world. It does both wholesale and also retail to walk in customers.I find a wide variety of coffee beans ranging from Brazilian, Arabica, Bali coffee, Dominica to Blue Mountain. Prices range from $10 per kg for their specialty coffee beans.I bought a kilogramme of Brazilian coffee beans, requested for them to be grinded and packed into two separate bags. The aroma from the freshly ground beans was so strong and intoxicating.Back in the village, when my brother-in-law brewed the coffee, it released such a terrific aroma that I couldn't resist having a cup of it. I didn't add sugar but just some coffee mate. It tasted heavenly .... so rich and strong, no sour or bitter taste.During my stay, I had two cups of this coffee a day. I have grown to love coffee after being a tea drinker for decades.328 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329760Monday - Friday 9am - 7pmSaturday 9am - 5pmSunday and Public Holidays Closed南阳咖啡制造厂 我第一次回乡送了著名德国咖啡粉给大伯。他说很难喝,下次不要买。侄儿告诉我, 他喝惯三合一咖啡,所以如法炮制, 闹了笑话。 这次回家乡之前, 大伯要我买巴西咖啡粉, 我闻言一怔, 怎么大伯那么懂喝咖啡,还会要求巴西咖啡粉。原来是他一位朋友要买巴西咖啡粉, 要寄我买, 过后却没付我钱。臭脚 (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻对于习惯喝茶, 喜欢闻咖啡的味道胜于喝咖啡的人, 我只好到处去问喝咖啡的朋友们,哪里可以买到好喝的巴西咖啡粉。 最终来到了马里士他路的南阳咖啡制造厂。这家老字号成立于1959年,迄今不到60年, 提供批发和零售咖啡豆。目前由第三代经营者Benny接手, 他的父母也在店里帮忙。 当天是Benny的妈妈招待我, 她介绍了店里几种不同产地的咖啡豆和品种; 不同品种咖啡豆的味道都不一样,依个人喜好。我选好了巴西咖啡豆, 可以要求他们磨成咖啡粉。陈妈妈还帮我把咖啡粉分别包成两份。这咖啡粉的味道很香很香! 大伯泡咖啡的时候, 那咖啡香太诱人了! 大伯递给我一杯品尝, 我加了牛奶不加糖。喝一口 。。。 那浓郁醇香的口味, 让我喜欢上了咖啡。我在家乡那段时间每天喝两杯咖啡。 [...]



Serving English Breakfast In A Hainan Village 在海南家乡煮西式早餐

2017-03-07T08:28:04.328+08:00

After days of having breakfast served to me, I woke up very early on the 6th day to prepare western breakfast for the children. Second daughter-in-law was also awoke. I offered to cook breakfast for the rest of the family but she politely declined. She cooked porridge.I wanted to buy some pork from the market to make hamburgers but was stopped by second daughter-in-law because there was too much meat at home. So I went to the fridge to check out the ingredients. There were Taiwanese sausages which have a sweet taste. I prefer savoury sausages. There was a lot of free range eggs from our farm reared chickens. We usually collect about 9 or 10 eggs daily. The children have grown tired of eating eggs, so I have to think of ways to entice them to eat the eggs. I used the eggs for cooking omelette, sunny-sides up and French toast.I couldn't cook scrambled eggs because the butter looks weird. Elder daughter-in-law bought the expensive butter in Haikou, it doesn't melt at room temperature. As we use lard in our daily cooking, I assumed the scrambled eggs would not taste as good, so I didn't make any. While I was frying the eggs. the children came down to help. Their mother had awaken them up to assist me. haha ..... They helped to toast and butter the bread, then set the table. To my dismay, I discovered that there are no place knives, forks, butter spreader and breakfast plates. So we had to make do with whatever we have, they ate using chopsticks. LOL ..... there goes my enthusiasm for wanting to show them how to eat a western breakfast.When I was making French toast, both daughters-in-law crowded round me to watch how it was done. They tasted the toast and liked it very much, so did the rest of the family. Both my brother-in-law and his wife who are not adventurous when it comes to food, took a slice to try.I could see that my extended family were pretty pleased with the meal. Living in a tiny Chinese village, they are used to seeing such dishes on TV or read about them in newspapers. Now they were actually tasting the food for themselves and experiencing foreign dishes with different flavours.   海南家乡的孩子们每天吃中餐都有点乏味了, 忽然要求我做西式早餐和三文治, 我也乐得做。回家乡每天有人给我做饭挺好的, 但是久了就弄得我很不好意思。能为家人做饭, 我高兴都来不及。那天早上我起得特早, 自己一个人正在厨房里煎荷包蛋时, 孩子们都来帮忙了。原来二媳妇把他们叫醒的 。。。孩子们真乖, 又帮忙烤面包还准备餐具开饭。我突然发现家里没有刀叉, 西餐盘子, 只好将就点用筷子吃西餐。哈哈。。。食材是白面包和牛奶, 还有好多鸡蛋。家里养的20多只母鸡每天下9、10粒蛋, 孩子们吃蛋都吃腻了。除了荷包蛋、煎蛋饼, 我动点脑筋给他们来款法式吐司, 大家吃得开心, 也解决了鸡蛋太多吃不完的问题。这天与家人共聚吃西式早餐,真让我们回味无穷。 [...]



Jiaji Town Market 海南琼海加积市场

2017-03-05T10:26:49.034+08:00

After bringing the children on an outing to the seaside in Boao the day before, they became more attached to me. During breakfast, they suggested we have a barbecue that night.The adults thought it was a good idea, so elder daughter-in-law Tian volunteered to drive us to Jiaji town to buy the food for the barbecue event. I thought we were going to the supermarket, so I dressed up in a pretty floral cotton dress. But Tian brought us to the local wet market. I stood out like a sore thumb among the locals in the market.  LOLThe wet market is situated in a busy part of town. Housed on the ground floor of a 3-storey building, there are approximately 100 stalls selling fresh vegetables, seafood and meats.The upper two floors are shops selling household products, textile and garments.A vegetable stall similar to the ones we have in Singapore. Since we plant vegetables on our farm, we bought mushrooms and corn. We stopped by a stall selling a variety of live seafood. There are live fishes too, but dead fish are sold more cheaply. We bought some clamsStalls selling meat, note the signs in front of every stall displaying the owner's photo and name. We bought some beef for the barbecue.Met these two brother who were helping their mother sell freshly wrapped dumplings. I stood in front of their stall admiring their skilful and speedy wrapping of dumplings. The family sell dumpling wrappers too.In front and behind the main building are some terrace shops which sell dried goods, frozen foods or kitchen supplies. We picked up charcoal and skewers.I was delighted to find the frozen chicken because I could cook our famous Singapore Hainanese chicken curry. The fresh Wenchang chicken on our farm is a little too tough to cook in curry.We bought 5 kg of frozen chicken wings, some crabsticks and Taiwanese sausages.We went to a dried goods shop to buy some marinating sauces. I was pleased to find several varieties of dried cuttlefish. They enhance the flavour of savoury dishes and are widely used in our family recipes.In front of the market are these motor cyclists waiting to send pillion riders to their destinations for a small fee. They are a common sight in Hainan. When we are done with our marketing at the wet market, Tian drove us to a nearby local supermarket. It is a huge 2-storey building with mostly made in China products. The kids asked if I could cook them an English breakfast or make sandwiches for the next day's breakfast. I tried looking for bacon, sausages or cheese but these were not available in this supermarket. I could only find milk and white bread.I noticed the kids were looking longingly at the carbonated beverages and snacks. I do not encourage children to eat snacks, especially processed foods, but I told them to pick something for themselves and I would pay for them. They shyly placed some chips, crispies, chocolates and several bottles of gassy drinks into my shopping trolley. I paid and we went home happily.孩子们要办一个烤肉会, 大媳妇载我们到琼海加积镇菜市场买菜。这个菜市场面积挺大, 约有100多摊位。鱼虾肉菜、水果、米面油、调味品干货都有,可算是比较全面的平民菜市场了。与摊贩们聊天, 发现所有的摊位多是夫妻店或家族店。孩子们还要我做西式早餐, 我们又去当地大型超市买食材。但除了白面包和牛奶, 这间超市没卖热狗、煙肉 (培根)和乳酪 (芝士)。看來隔天要做西式早餐, 非动一点脑经不可。 [...]



Day Trip to Boao 博鳌一日游

2017-03-01T17:06:04.500+08:00

After several days of helping the adults cook and prepare the food offerings for our coming ancestral worship, the children grew restless. They ambushed me in the hall one morning and cajoled me into agreeing to bring them to the beach in Boao.I asked the elder daughter-in-law Tian to drive us to Boao, she was more than happy to get away from the cooking for a day. The children jumped for joy. They grabbed thick jackets and piled into the car.From our house, it took an hour to reach Boao because of the traffic congestion. Many mainlanders from northern China traveled to Hainan island for the festive holidays to escape the cold winter. We saw many of them at popular tourist attractions.Boao, a coastal town in the east of Qionghai city, has been the permanent venue for the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) since 2002. This international non-profit organisation hosts high-level dialogues for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other countries.Within 15 years, the annual forums have transformed Boao from a fishing village into a world-class tourist hub consisting multi-million condominiums, sprawling golf courses and majestic hotels.Boao is more prosperous and more happening than Qionghai city. It is attracting many tourists because of its scenic views and laid back charms. There are a few mega projects under constructions to attract more visitors and investors.   Tian brought us to a beach near a resort. The beach looked deserted because temperature that day was 14 °C and there was strong winds. Not bothered by the cloudy and damp weather, the children were ecstatic by the sight of the waves. They took off their shoes to frolick in the cold water for an hour.They enjoyed themselves running on the sandy beach and chasing the waves. It was a rare trip to the seaside for the kids as their parents are usually busy working. It is also out of the way for them to come here.Tian wanted to bring me to the island to see the site of the BFA on Dongyu Island. but the children objected.We visited Boao Buddhist Temple instead because Tian wanted to sit on the same seats where US President Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping sat when they came for a tour of the temple. LOLThe temple grounds is huge, housing a towering pagoda temple which has a viewing deck on its highest level. I didn't want to climb the stairs, so we missed seeing the stunning views of Wanquan river and Dongyu island from an elevated angle.Tian insisted on following a tour guide to listen to her specific narration about the temple. I could see the children were bored as we followed the guide around. The youngest child started whining for a drink. I realised it was almost five o'clock, When it was time to leave, the children were overjoyed.Initially we planned to go to Tanmen Fishing Port, the largest fishing port on Hainan island, but it was getting dark and it would probably be closed if we proceed at that hour. So we detoured to Boao Town for a snack and drink before dinner.The children's eyes lit up when they saw this little food van. They wanted to eat the wraps which come with assorted fillings. I was amused to discover that the wrap they sell is similar to our roti prata.   I had a wrap with meat floss filling to try. It tasted so-so. Well, the snacks would keep the children happy until we get to a restaurant.The kids asked for spicy food, so we went for Xiang cuisine (Hunan cuisine). One of the eight Chinese cuisines in China, it is well-known for its greasiness, dense colours, spicy and sour flavour.I let the kids select the dishes from the menu while I enjoyed a tea pouring demonstration from this 19-year-old boy. The brass kettle contained hot water. I could see the scalding scars on both his hands. The kids ordered one spicy fish and a couple of cold appetizers, they were probably trying to save money for me. I had to add a few more meat [...]



Traditional Hainanese Nian Gao (Sticky Rice Cake) Making 传统手工制作海南红糖年糕

2017-02-26T19:16:49.400+08:00

On the third day of my stay in my village in Hainan, the weather suddenly turned chilly. It was a lovely 21°C when I arrived, but the temperature dropped to 14°C three days later.It became so cold at night that I had to wear two sweaters and bundled myself with 4 blankets when I sleep. Also I had to keep the bedroom windows shut all throughout my stay. So funny, right? I live in a country where daily temperature averages 30°C, I couldn't adapt to the sudden drop in temperature here.That afternoon when I woke up from my usual nap after lunch, I found the entire family busy in the kitchen. They were making the traditional Hainanese Nian Gao (sticky rice cake) for our ancestor worship.My nephews and their children were still enjoying their Lunar New Year holidays so it was a boisterous activity with the extra helping hands. The kids had 3 weeks of vacation but they were complaining that their "heartless" teachers gave them lots of homework. LOLSister-in-law decided to make a huge nian gao as there were so many family members at home. She prepared more so I could bring some back to Singapore. She used 5 kg of glutinous rice flour.I watched as she knead the dough .... it was hard work, but my sister-in-law has strong arms despite her advanced age. Her second daughter-in-law helped when her arms were tired.Only my sister-in-law knows the consistency of the dough and when it was ready, she allowed us to shaped them into ovals for cooking.We had to use the old wood fire stove as the nian gao was going to be huge. She boiled some water with dark sugar and coconut milk, then she put in the shaped dough to cook.When the dough floated to the surface, they were cooked. I was offered a piece to taste, she drizzled some coconut sauce over it.The sticky rice cake was not overly sweet and it didn't stick to my teeth. When eaten with the coconut sauce ...., Wow!! I like the taste of this combination. you could taste the creamy coconut. I thought this was the final product. No.Sister-in-law continued cooking the dough. Then she used two wooden rods to twist the cooked dough in a clockwise direction. She kept doing it until the oval shaped cakes were broken into a lumpy mess.Then her two sons took turns to blend the mixture with the wooden rods until it was smooth. That took almost an hour to get that smooth consistency.Have a look at this video where my nephew shows how to blend the nian gao : allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i9.ytimg.com/vi/o8WguRXqNV0/default.jpg?sqp=CPi8ycUF&rs=AOn4CLBEdtKbkBzb-CG17-yKIUKScVTgfw" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/o8WguRXqNV0?feature=player_embedded" width="320">Phew! This is truly very exhausting. I doubt I could do this in Singapore by myself.       When the cooked sticky rice cake is ready, they transferred it to a huge basin to cool. Second daughter-in-law smoothen the surface of the cake and smear fragrant peanut oil on it before covering it up with banana leaves.Two days later, we were elated to taste the delicious nian gao. That is a huge basin of nian gao!  haha....We heat some in the microwave oven. It was soft and chewy, did not stick to our teeth. There was a lovely coconutty fragrance. I think it would taste better eaten with fresh coconut shreds.We sliced some and dipped them in a batter and fried it. The children love this crispy sticky rice cakes which turned gooey after frying, so they had fun "playing" with it. LOLI prefer the earlier version where coconut sauce was spooned over the sticky rice cake. But the family members prefer their nian gao where the ingredients are all blended together. This is a fantastic activity where all the family members gathered to make the traditional offering to our ancestors. They would be very pleased and proud seeing us united and livin[...]



Cinta Sayang Resort - 3D2N Weekend Getaway

2017-02-21T20:24:40.152+08:00

Hubby and I left Singapore on a Friday morning for Penang. We were going to Cinta Sayang Resort, a family friendly golf and country resort in Sungai Petani, Kedah for a short getaway. It was a Play-Stay-Eat-Meet time with more than 20 bloggers from all over Malaysia as well as overseas.We met up with a few bloggers before setting off for Cinta Sayang Resort which is an hour's drive from Penang International Airport. I was excited when our van drove across Penang Bridge, the fifth-longest bridge in Southeast Asia.Having visited Penang for so many times, it was my first time using Penang Bridge to get to the mainland.We were the few to arrive early in Cinta Sayang Resort. After a welcome drink and muffins, we were ushered to our rooms. Ours was a lovely chalet at the north wing. After a quick freshen up, we went out to explore the resort grounds and posed for some pictures.This family friendly golf and country resort occupies 200-acre of land with an 18-hole golf course; a water theme park with thrilling water slides and horse riding etc. For hotel guests,  golf lessons for beginners can be arranged.We dropped in to the convenience shop for some ice cream as it was a very hot day. hehe .... We lingered to chat with the friendly lady behind the counter. As we were leaving the shop, she called out,"Please drop by even if you are not buying anything!" We are that likeable. LOL We had a peek at the outdoor swimming pool and gym before retiring to the cool comfort of our air-conditioned room for a nap. Woke up at 6 pm to shower and change for dinner.Dinner was at the resort's coffee house, PS Cafe. We were offered choices of 4 ala carte dishes. Hubby's 4 ala carte dishes :Seafood Soup, Crispy Prawn Salad, Main Dish : Pan Fried Salmon Dessert : TiramisuMy 4 ala carte dishes for dinner :Oxtail Soup, Smoked salmon and Feta salad, Main Dish: Grilled Beef Tenderloin Dessert: Chocolate BrownieWe were stunned by the generous portions of the dishes. What was served to us are the regular portions on their menu. For that price listed in their menu, it is certainly good value for money. We were so stuffed after the main dish that we had to request for our slices of cakes to takeaway.   The flavourful oxtail soup and creamy seafood soup are popular with their regular diners. I could still remember the rich taste of the oxtail soup as I typed. After my huge plate of salad, I felt like I couldn't eat another mouthful of food, but the grilled beef tenderloin was irresistible after I took a nibble.    Glad that the crew packed our desserts for takeaway. In the room, we made coffee and had cakes for a late night snack before going to bed.  Woke up energised the next morning and decided to go for an early buffet breakfast at PS Cafe.We got to know more Malaysian bloggers over breakfast as we mingled around. After a satisfying breakfast, we proceeded to the driving range for our one-hour golf lesson, followed by a tour of the beautiful golf course.Some parts of the golf course are so scenic and breathtaking. Hubby was already planning a golf trip as it looked so inviting.The Sultan of Kedah and members of his Royal Family are avid golfers at Cinta Sayang Resort. Former Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir once hosted Singapore's former PM Goh Chok Tong for a game of golf here.Our set lunch on the second day : Starter: Tomato and Basil soup, Coconut and Pumpkin Soup Main Dish: Grilled Lamb Loin,  Grilled SalmonThe tangy tomato and basil soup was so appetizing that I didn't leave anything for hubby to taste. haha .... Instead I tasted his coconut and pumpkin soup, love this combination. Think I am going to try cooking this at home.My grilled lamb loin was too tough for my ageing teeth. Reminder to myself, cut down on red meat. LOL I was eyeing [...]



Morning Chores on our Farm in Hainan 我在海南农场的早晨

2017-02-16T08:30:10.551+08:00

On my first morning in the village, I was woken up by the blasting of firecrackers at 5.15 am. Thereafter, it happened every morning. I would lay awake and wait for the sun to come out. GRRRR ....As it was the Lunar New Year festive season, the firing of crackers would last until the 15th day of Chinese New Year. There was blasting of crackers at any time of the day, then followed by fireworks at night.Surrounding the village are condominiums which are owned by mainlanders from the cold northern parts of China. They would travel south to Hainan island during the cold months as it is warmer. They like to stroll through the village, sometimes they would buy farm produce from us.During this festive occasion, they would come to our village to let off firecrackers and fireworks. The roads and vacant lots in the village are littered with the remains of the red wrappings which are left around so as not to "sweep away good luck".Can you imagine the amount of noise pollution around our house?Early morning would see the women waking up to feed the poultry and bring the water buffalo to graze in the field. I didn't want to feed the poultry as there was poop in the pen. LOLThe water buffalo is worth more than RMB10,000. I offered to keep an eye on it as I was worried that it might get stolen if it is left alone. Sister-in-law assured me it would be safe, I could explore the village if I want to.I offered to collect "fuel" for our wood burning stove. I went to our coconut plantation and collected the dried leaves and branches, then placed them to dry under the sun.Brother-in-law was cooking Hainanese fried rice noodle for breakfast. His second daughter-in-law helped to fire up the wood burning stove and maintained the fire efficiently.I watched and noted down the method for cooking this delicious dish.My plate of Hainanese fried rice noodle had lots of wok "hei" (a smokey, seared flavour). I think this can only be achieved using our wood burning stove.After a hearty breakfast. I went to help my nephew's wife to tend to our vegetable plots. It was really back breaking to do weeding and remove the dead leaves. I was horrified to find wriggly worms, our vegetables are not sprayed with pesticides.It wasn't that fun when it comes to picking vegetables, I had to pick enough for twelve people's lunch. Fortunately there was no hot sun, it was a cloudy and breezy day.I would have to break the news to hubby that I am giving up my dream of owning a farm. He would be ecstatic.在海南农村的第一天早上, 清晨五点一刻就有人放鞭炮! 响声震天,我被吵醒就睡不着了。接下来每天清晨五点都是如此!! 吼!农历新年期间, 这里每时每刻都有人放鞭炮, 晚上还放烟花! 农村周围住了许多北方“候鸟老人”, 海南冬天温暖的气候得到了这些老年人的青睐。他们平时会来村里买菜, 这两个星期就喜欢来村里放鞭炮、烟花庆祝新年。村里到处布满了红色的爆竹纸屑。一大早家里的女人就开始干农活了。大嫂养了些鸡鸭鹅和牛, 她要照料家畜、又要到农田里去放牛。这头牛很值钱, 不能弄丢了。大嫂说牛不必我看管, 叫我进屋里休息。我帮忙拾干椰子叶和木材供大伯点燃火炉炒海南炒粉。吃过早餐趁着天气凉快就去帮侄媳妇种菜拔草, 还有採菜做午餐。好辛苦啊! 我要告诉老公, 我不想拥有农场了! [...]



Visiting my Village Home in Hainan 回海南家乡过春节

2017-02-15T19:18:55.183+08:00

A week after my Ipoh trip, I traveled to Hainan island alone to help my extended family in the preparations of the clan's ancestral worship ceremony which was to be held on the 16th day of the Lunar New Year.My brother-in-law is quite adamant on preserving our family traditions when it comes to ancestral worships. Exchanging messages with him through our numerous wechats, I expanded my knowledge on the Hainanese culture and traditions. When he invited us home for the Lunar New Year and to participate in the annual Ancestral Spring Worship, I decided to go back earlier to learn how to cook our traditional Hainanese dishes and snacks.   It was a sunny afternoon when my brother-in-law and elder nephew fetched me from Haikou Meilan International Airport. It was an hour's drive from the airport to our village. We have just completed the building of our new house and kitchen a few months back. We held a huge housewarming last Christmas Eve, inviting 500 guests comprising the whole village, relatives, business associates and friends.I finally have a room to come home to. My second nephew and his wife took great pains to furnish my bedroom .... it looks like a honeymoon suite. LOLAfter a quick wash up, I was ready to enjoy a home cooked meal of Hainanese poached chicken and stir-fried vegetables from our farm.After a sumptuous lunch, it was a fun-filled time distributing gifts to the family members. At the request of my brother-in-law, I bought 1 kg of Brazilian ground coffee. I also bought him a coffee brewer. Not knowing how to use this coffee maker, he asked a neighbour who works in a hotel coffee shop to show him how to operate the machine.My brother-in-law also asked for a carton of a premium China brand of cigarettes from our duty free shop at Singapore Changi Airport. I was surprised to see many China brand cigarettes being sold at our airport. Apparently, the prices of cigarettes is cheaper here compared to their retail prices in China. It was customary in China to take a nap after a mid-day meal. I woke up at 4 am to board my flight that morning, so I was grateful for some snooze time.I woke up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and was greeted by a few villagers who came to "visit" this guest from Singapore. Brother-in-law treated them to coffee and snacks which I brought from Singapore. He gave out cigarettes to the men.Before my trip, hubby has already briefed me on the tradition of giving ang pows to EVERY villager who comes to visit me. He even prepared the red envelops and cash for distribution.I could only manage a smattering of Hainanese dialect with the visitors and brother-in-law would come to my rescue. It was tiring to keep smiling and make small talk. The following days, I was subjected to more of such visits daily.前些日子, 我回去海南家乡过春节和祭祖。 二侄子和他的老婆为我布置卧室, 我终于有了自己的房间。像一间蜜月套房 。。。 哈哈 。。。回去海南家乡就要好好享用海南农家菜 。。。自家种的米、自家养的鸡、自家种的菜。好吃极了!大伯要我从新加坡带咖啡粉和一条香烟回去。原来新加坡机场免税店有卖中国名牌香烟, 价钱比国内买还便宜。我买了现磨的巴西咖啡粉, 也带了煮咖啡机。乡民们来串门时, 好奇的研究我带去的煮咖啡机。 回来那几天, 有不少村里的乡民来看我。我不认识他们, 海南话也说得不流利, 每天这样应酬实在有够累的。回乡之前, 老公有交代每位来探访我的乡民都要给个红包, 这是海南人的习俗。 [...]



My Home Grown Kombucha Scoby 自家培育红茶菌

2017-01-20T11:08:46.846+08:00

I am into healthy eating, consuming a variety of foods and experimenting with many types of ingredients to feel good and maintain my health.Chanced upon this ancient Chinese beverage when I was in China, the Chinese called it the "immortal health elixir". LOLIt is the Kombucha, a naturally fermented tea containing probiotic properties and other happy bacteria that can improve our digestive tract health and help to boost our immunity system. The most important benefit of drinking kombucha is its ability to detox the body.To make kombucha tea, I need to grow a scoby.My home grown scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), the living home for the bacteria and yeast, will transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha that is low in calories and sugar.This is the tea base for my Kombucha teaInitially I felt nervous and unsure about growing bacteria and yeast at home, but after reading up on the subject and consulting a Chinese physician, I decided to try it.Growing a successful scoby culture from scratch is an encouraging and awe-inspiring experience. Next comes the brewing of Kombucha tea. Health benefits of Kombucha as a probiotic : Helps treat gastrointestinal (GI) complicationsIncreases calcium absorptionIncreases metabolism and helps weight lossReduces joint pain and inflammationHelps prevent certain cancers, such as pancreatic, breast and colon cancerAids detoxification of the human bodyHelps lower cholesterolHelps control blood pressure 自己在家培育红茶菌,红茶水就变成酸酸甜甜的保健饮料了。红茶菌是由红茶、白糖(或冰糖、蜂蜜)和水加菌种经发酵后制而成。红茶菌富含维生素C、维生素B等营养素,并含有三种对人体有益的微生物(如酵母菌等),因此能调节人体生理机能,促进新陈代谢,帮助消化,防止动脉硬化,抗癌,养生强身,成为一种盛行全世界的养生保健饮料。红茶菌在中国流传应用已有2000余年的历史,近些年国内外医学界应用红茶菌的实践表明,红茶菌能治疗多种慢性疾病,如高血压、动脉硬化、冠心病、糖尿病、便秘、痔疮、肥胖症、斑秃、白发、白内障、风湿性关节炎、胃炎、痢疾、贫血、核黄素缺乏等。红茶菌只是一种营养饮料, 并不是包治百病的神药。 [...]



Singapore Old School Food with Angie 与贪吃一号体验新加坡传统美食

2017-01-19T01:48:09.351+08:00

Foodie friend Angie has been craving for the old school Hakka yong tau foo in Kai Juan Coffeeshop @ Balestier Road. One night, she messaged me to meet her for breakfast at the stall the following day.I arrived very early for our breakfast meeting, the elderly stall owner who is in her 70s, chatted with me while I waited for Angie. Business has slowed down for this pioneer hawker as many foreign workers who used to patronise her stall have returned to their own country due to retrenchment and lack of jobs.We were interrupted several times as her regular customers stopped by for takeaways or breakfast, some would greet her as they passed by her stall. These regulars just help themselves to the sauces and self-serve while she is busy cooking. I  noticed that she would give the men more noodles.We had a long chat because Angie was late, I waited for an hour. I enjoy chatting with the elderly stall owner who gave me a glimpse of her life as a working mother with five children.Because we came early, there were lots of choice ingredients to select from. We had a hearty and yummy breakfast for only S$7!     Hakka yong tau foo 德志客家酿豆腐Kai Juan Coffeeshop395 Balestier RoadAfter our meal, we adjourned to Loy Kee Chicken Rice for teh si (tea with evaporated milk, S$1.80) while waiting for my hubby. We sat in the air-conditioned eatery for more than an hour, sipping Hainanese teh si. Hubby was only able to stay for a few minutes before he bade farewell. Naturally, Angie was not letting him off for keeping her waiting .... as usual the two started poking fun of each other. LOLAngie and I went to Chinatown to collect her traditional Foo Chow sticky cakes (传统福州年糕). These Chinese traditional cakes with yam strips is a rare delicacy, it is the first time I am seeing one. Angie promises to let me have a taste of it later.Angie brought me on a little tour of Keong Siak Road, pointing out the yummy food along both rows of shops. She started to crave for her coffee when we saw Tong Ah Eating House.As it was lunch hour, the staff wanted us to sit on the sidewalk but the weather was too hot outside. We were allowed to sit in the air-con eatery only when we decided to walk out. We assured them we would just have our drinks and go. We ordered coffee, teh si and toasted bread (S$4.30). Coffee was still alright, we were disappointed with the other two items.   黎记鸡饭粥品342 Balestier Rd, Singapore.As we were walking towards Chinatown Complex, we stumbled upon Kim Hock Seng Seng Kee that sells traditional barbecue bak kwa (BBQ pork slices, S$52 per kg). The humourous boss Mr Ong Geok Hoo offered us a piece of bak kwa for tasting. Angie likes this bak kwa in its original flavour. I was browsing through the photos and news clippings on a wall in the shop when I noticed a photo of a handsome man receiving an award from then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.When I asked if the "handsome man" was the boss himself, he proudly acknowledged it and jokingly said many people comment that he looks like a certain Hong Kong movie star. We were tickled and immediately took a liking to this affable man. Angie bought some BBQ pork slices for our tasting session.Kim Hock Seng (Seng Kee) 金福成切片肉干.肉丝Address: 34 Keong Saik Road 恭锡路, Singapore 089141.Angie recommended an old school crispy cuttlefish snack manufacturer in Chinatown Complex before we parted our ways. I went in search of it and found it in a corner of the hawker centre. It was doing a brisk business. I bought a small packet of their popular cuttlefish snack (S$9).On the way out, I went to Pan Ji Cooked Food for its delicious traditional Chinese snack - Sar Ka[...]



Tan Hock Seng 陈福成饼家 - Telok Ayer Heritage Trail

2017-01-13T10:08:24.179+08:00

Continuing our walk on the Telok Ayer Heritage Trail, our good friend Fong WK said we must pay a visit to a traditional cake shop, Tan Hock Seng.I have heard about this traditional Hokkien pastry cake shop which has been around for more than 80 years. It was my first time patronising it.Mr Tan Boon Chai, the third generation owner of Tan Hock Seng, was tidying the shop by himself when we dropped in for a visit.His grandfather started the bakery at Telok Ayer Street decades ago. Mr Tan has been baking traditional pastries at his family bakery since he finished national service at age 20.Mr Tan makes the best beh teh sor ("horse hoof" biscuits) in Singapore! His flaky crust beh teh sor are crispy and the sticky malt filling is tasty. I couldn't stop eating once I took a bite of it.During weekday lunch hours, there are long queues for these yummy biscuits, sold in limited quantities daily.Browsing in this small cake shop, we found many interesting childhood snacks which brought back lots of wonderful memories. These traditional Chinese pastries are seriously at risk of extinction as many youngsters have no interest to learn the skill of making them. I should savour these traditional snacks before they become extinct in Singapore.Tan Hock Seng @ 86 Telok Ayer Street 直落亚逸街拥有80多年历史的的老字号 "陈福成饼家", 是新加坡传统手工制作福建糕饼厂家。小小, 不起眼的店面摆满了各式各样的糕点和饼, 有发糕、红龟粿、绿豆糕、老嬷糕、碰饼、豆沙饼、招牌马蹄酥、胡椒饼、嘴口酥、花生糖、水糕、白糕、芝麻条等。每一包糕点,都含着古早的味道。卖的最好的是马蹄酥, 每天限量供应。午餐时间常常大排长龙, 不早点来买, 就会卖光光。这里的豆沙饼也是超人气的。这种传统糕点店已渐渐从新加坡消失。要吃传统糕点就得快点吃,不然以后就没得吃了。 [...]



Chong Wen Ge Cafe (崇文阁) @ Thiam Hock Keng Temple - Telok Ayer Heritage Trail

2017-01-12T14:13:09.442+08:00

The next stop of our Telok Ayer Heritage Trail brought us to Singapore's oldest Hokkien temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple at Telok Ayer Street. The Hokkien clan built this temple in 1839 for the Chinese immigrants to offer thanks to the Goddess of the Sea Ma Zu (or Tian Hou).走到直落亚逸街,参观新加坡最古老的华人寺庙天福宫。天福宮的正殿供举女海神妈祖,后殿内部则供奉观音。参观天福宫后, 好友请我们到旁侧的崇文阁喝下午茶。After a tour of the temple, our friend Fong WK brought us to Chong Wen Ge Cafe 崇文阁, a Peranakan cafe next to Thian Hock Keng Temple. I was awed to see this cafe with its colourful Nyonya snacks and Peranankan tiles.The floor and coffee tables were laid with beautiful Peranankan tiles, I was mesmerised by the striking tiles and took many pictures of them.崇文阁茶室,地板和餐桌台面上都铺上了漂亮的娘惹彩砖。选了一些色彩缤纷的娘惹糕粿,我们坐下来享用。这里也卖娘惹叻沙与米暹。色彩缤纷的娘惹糕Fong let me select our Nyonya tea snacks, it was not an easy task as there were too many of my favourite kuehs (traditional cakes). haha..... The cafe serves Nyonya mee siam and laksa too.风味独特的土生华人瓷砖Within the premises of the cafe is the Peranakan Tiles Gallery which stocks about 20,000 old and new Peranakan tiles. Some of the old tiles were collected over the last 30 years from demolished shophouses in neighbourhoods such as Joo Chiat and Balestier.小茶室的一部分是“娘惹砖家”, 卖风味独特的土生华人古董瓷砖和与手工瓷砖。店主是土生华人古董瓷砖收藏家, 拥有好多珍貴的瓷砖藏品。中国传统庭院式建筑的崇文阁 I took more pictures of the beautiful structures of the old building and we posed for pictures in the yard before proceeding to our next stop. [...]



Telok Ayer Heritage Trail - Amoy Street Food Centre 牛车水文化遗产之旅 - 厦门街熟食中心

2017-01-07T18:13:48.363+08:00

Our good friend Fong WK of Tong Heng Confectionery brought us on a heritage walking trail of Telok Ayer one day.Our journey commenced from Tanjung Pagar MRT station. It has been a long time since I last visited. Found myself in a new underground shopping link with a variety of shops. While waiting for Fong, we checked out a shop selling organic products, a bakery and took a peep at some eateries. Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Churchestablished in 1889Beginning our walk from Tanjung Pagar MRT station, we passed by this old church. Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church was the first to cater exclusively to the spiritual needs of the Chinese Methodist community in Singapore. Presently it holds services in English, Mandarin and Hokkien.  First stop, Fong bought us lunch at Amoy Street Food Centre. It is one of the few hawker centres in the CBD (Central Business District) that offers affordable food. There are still some pioneer hawkers operating their business. Fong brought us on a mini tour of the place, there were only a handful of stalls opened that day. We went up to the second floor for the popular fish soup.Fong joined the queue in front of Piao Ji Fish Porridge and ordered a big bowl of their famous fish slice soup (S$12).I have eaten Piao Ji's pomfret fish soup once, that was many years ago. I like their clear soup, the fish and prawns served here are fresh.Fong then went down to the ground floor of the food centre to buy a plate of char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles) which is a sweet and savoury version. After our meal, Fong brought us to see the old owner who has been frying noodles for more than 50 years.After lunch, we walked along Telok Ayer Street and Amoy Street admiring the fascinating heritage buildings. Fong shared stories and his memories of some of the historical buildings. We came to this traditional Hokkien-style Thian Hock Keng Temple (built in 1839). This magnificent temple was built in honour of the Sea Goddess Mazu (妈祖).Fong brought us to a Peranakan café next to the temple for tea and colourful nonya snacks.好友Fong Wk, 著名東興蛋塔(建于1920年)的少东,带我们走一趟新加坡牛车水文化遗产之旅,重新发现新加坡最大的历史街区的魅力。 Fong带我们去探访我们从没有去过的地方 。还把我介绍给他朋友们认识, 还一路向我们介绍好吃好玩的地方。我们的第一站是厦门街熟食中心。从丹戎巴葛地铁站G出口,沿直落亚逸街 (Telok Ayer Street) 走,就会见到厦门街熟食中心 (Amoy Street Food Centre) 。途中经过直落亚逸礼拜堂 (成立于1889年), 这是新加坡卫理公会华人教会中历史最悠久的堂会。厦门街熟食中心坐落在新加坡的中央商务区, 就在牛车水和金融区交接处。位于熟食中心二楼的标记鱼粥, 每天都排着长长的人龙。 Fong点了驰名鱼片汤 (S$12) 。他还去一楼买了一盘加大的炒粿条。这摊是由老人一手操作,他拥有超过50年炒粿条的经验, 午餐时间这里会大排人龙。饭后只消几分钟,就可以走到本地香火颇旺的天福宫。 [...]



"Year of the Rooster" Chinatown Festive Street Bazaar 2017 年牛车水农历新年庆祝活动

2017-01-05T13:22:49.303+08:00

Made a detour to Chinatown to buy some egg tarts for my elders and noticed that Chinatown is gearing up to usher in the Year of the Rooster. The colourful Chinese New Year lantern decorations are up!Adore the pretty and cute lanterns of the chicken family ..... I will come back one evening to snap their photos  .... they probably look better in the night.  :DNeedless to say, there are lots of rooster-designed decorations besides the usual festive goodies being sold at the Chinatown shops and street bazaar.I couldn't resist buying some waxed meats and ingredients for my Lunar New Year Eve Reunion Dinner already. haha....Ahhhhh..... the must-have for Chinese New Year! Nian Gao (sweet sticky rice cake 年糕 ) to seal the mouth of the Kitchen God so he couldn't badmouth the family when he reports to the Jade Emperor (ruler of Heaven). haha.....I think I am going to steam my own sticky glutinous rice cake this year. mmm......Met several artists doing some water colour paintings of the festive street. Despite the number of people milling around them, they kept calm and paint on. hehe....I will be back to check out the street bazaar after the official light-up on Jan 7 by President Tony Tan Keng Yam. The street bazaar and celebrations will run from Jan 7 to Feb 25. Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony 开幕典礼与亮灯仪式Time   : 7 January 2017, 6 pm - 10 pm Venue : New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street 新桥路和余东旋街Chinatown CNY Countdown Party 牛车水春节倒计时晚会Time   :27 January 2017,9.30 pm-12.30 pmVenue :New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street 新桥路和余东旋街10th International Lion Dance Competition 第十届国际醒狮大赛Time   :14 January and 15 January,6.30 pm -10.30 pmVenue :Carpark at Banda Street (off Sago Lane) Banda Street 停车场Chingay 2017 Night Fiesta @ Chinatown 妆艺大游行Time   :12 February 2017,7.30 pm- 9.30 pmVenue :New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street 新桥路和余东旋街牛车水农历新年2017庆祝活动牛车水迎接鸡年 (2017年) 的到来 。。。大街小巷都挂满各种公鸡、母鸡,还有可爱小鸡的手工彩灯。我喜欢逛牛车水的年货市场, 每年都不会错过。除了买一些新年佳肴和喜庆装饰品, 还可以边吃边逛, 感染新年气氛。 [...]



Celebrations and Shopping at Orchard Road 2017 乌节路2017年庆生活动和购物

2017-01-03T00:58:36.545+08:00

On the second day of the new year, we attended the 80th birthday party of an elder in a 5-star hotel. It was also his company's 50th anniversary, a double happiness celebration for this entrepreneur.A magician circulated among the guests, entertaining us with an inimitable range of magic tricks. At such close range, we thought we could catch his every quick move. Amazing that he could "get away" with his magic tricks, despite many pairs of eyes watching him like a hawk. LOLThe family custom ordered a special cake for the birthday man ..... a fabulous cake that came with a gold dusted dragon for an octogenarian. Wow.After the buffet lunch, we were confronted with a heavy downpour. We walked to Ngee Ann City using the underground linkway to shop for Lunar New Year goodies at the Chinese New Year festive fair. We met our Hainan kinsmen who were selling pineapple tarts and other yummy festive biscuits. Bought some cookies from her to give our support.There was an array of festive cookies and snacks to choose from at the fair. We sampled a few varieties of cookies and ordered some to present to our relatives.There is an ongoing Winter Hokkaido Fair at Takashimaya Departmental Store where seafood from the island is flown in specially for this fair. I like the cooked squids and Saba fish best.I might have to return for the seafood and Saba bentos as I had a heavy lunch and couldn't eat any more. LOL [...]



Happy New Year 2017!! 新年快乐!

2017-01-01T01:50:08.665+08:00


Wishing everyone a very promising, fulfilling and 

Happy New Year 2017!

祝大家新年步步高升, 一帆风顺!


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Bringing Festive Cheer to the Elderly Community 给独居老人送上佳节的祝福

2016-12-30T01:15:00.401+08:00

I have been busy visiting the needy elderly community to bring some festive cheer to them. A friend roped me in to help her, we have to go door-to-door to check on their health and distribute shopping vouchers. I have a list of elderly people to visit and have to finish the visitations by the end of this year.In between I have to prepare for my Christmas Eve dinner party and Christmas Day tea party, so it was an extremely busy fortnight for me. I hardly have time to post on my blog.I have to visit a whole block of apartments by myself and I was quite anxious initially. I had a briefing on the "Dos and Don'ts" before my volunteering work. It wasn't easy gaining the trust of these senior citizens.I meet many senior citizens and hear many sad stories ..... it becomes quite depressing hearing these day after day, but I have to complete my list of people to visit. I salute my friends who are social workers. They have been serving these people for many years, bringing hope and joy to the needy. The senior citizens are very nice to me after I gain their trust. Despite having very little to offer, they kindly made me hot drinks or give me snacks. They were happy to receive the shopping vouchers. On Thursday, I came across a very depressing scene that made me tear and had to call it a day because I was so emotionally overwhelmed.I came across this senior citizen who was blind in one eye, walks with difficulty and cannot speak coherently. His tiny apartment was sparse, there was a thin mattress and cardboard that he would sleep on for the whole day.After much asking and probing, I was horrified to discover that he eats only one meal for five days a week - a volunteer would send him food on working days (Mondays to Fridays). He has no meals on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.I asked him what he would like to eat and he said, "Teh C (Milk tea)". He is a Hainanese. He doesn't want rice, cooking oil, instant noodles and coffee. I couldn't see any cooking stove in his apartment. He said he could boil water.I hurried down to the nearest neighbourhood mini mart and bought him some biscuits, bread and 3-in-1 milk tea. His face lit up upon receiving these (luxuries to him), and he quickly stored them away.These would probably last for a week while I seek more assistance for him.   For the coming new year, show kindness and concern to those who are weak, poor, underprivileged and handicapped.佳节时期, 一些乐龄人士被人们遗忘并忽略。有位朋友邀请我帮忙在这佳节时期为乐龄人士送上关爱和佳节欢乐。我有一份名单, 得一一上门去探望社区独居老人们, 查看他们的健康状况, 再给他们派送一些礼卷, 送上佳节的祝福。这两个星期接触的独居老人们, 个个都有心酸的故事。每天听这些伤心事, 我自己也觉得很难过。不过为了赶在年尾完成我手上的名单, 我不得不咬紧牙根, 硬撑下去。我向社会工作者们致敬。 他们多年来一直为这些人服务,为有需要的人带来希望和欢乐。 令我很难过的是 : 有一个乐龄人士, 他一只眼睛瞎了, 走路有困难,口齿不清。他小小的政府组屋里, 地上有一个薄薄张的床垫和纸板,他会睡一整天。 经过我多次询问,我惊骇地发现,他每周只吃五餐 - 由义工在工作日(星期一至星期五)送饭给他吃。星期六,星期日和公众假期他就没有饭吃。 我问他想吃什么? 他回答 : 茶稀。(他是海南人。)我赶紧去附近的杂[...]



Happy Winter Solstice Glutinous Rice Dumpling Balls 冬至快乐吃汤圆 !

2016-12-20T15:53:24.869+08:00

Happy Winter Solstice! 冬至快乐!Despite a busy work week, I have to make some glutinous rice dumpling balls for the elders in the family. It's so convenient these days to use ready ground rice flour, that saved me some time.I have prepared black sesame paste and the peanut sesame paste a week in advance for the fillings.I rolled the dumpling balls a day in advance and freeze them. This morning I boiled a sweet ginger soup and dropped the frozen rice dumpling balls into it.So happy to see that the filling didn't ooze out after boiling them .... pretty round dumpling ball! haha....吃汤圆咯!These are rice dumpling balls for the elders, I have to colour the skin of the peanut sesame rice dumplings red (yes, it looks pink in the picture) so that the dish looks auspicious for the elders. It also helps me to differentiate the two fillings. 四岁孙侄子的熊猫汤圆 My little grand nephew wanted Pikachu rice dumpling balls. I didn't have enough time to make them, so I quickly made 4 panda rice dumpling balls.... one for each year of his age. hahaha.... they looked so funny. Glad he enjoyed them and polished off his dessert.My glutinous rice dumpling balls with an oozing peanut sesame filling花生芝麻湯圓My glutinous rice dumpling ball with black sesame filling oozing out.黑芝麻湯圓 [...]



Christmas Baked Chicken with Homemade Asian Sauce 没有火鸡的圣诞大餐

2016-12-11T01:08:22.529+08:00

My trial run of Christmas Eve dinner for some lonely senior citizens who have no family and live alone. The Christmas meal would be a change from their usual meals of porridge and pickles. I hope they like what I am preparing for them.As all of them are above 60 years old, I am going to change the roast turkey to a baked chicken as chicken meat is more tender for them. The tangy-sweet baked chicken is marinated for only an hour with my homemade Asian sauce :2 tbsp Korean BBQ sauce,3 tbsp plum sauce,2 tbsp orange juice,2 tbsp palm sugar,1 tbsp soy sauce,pepper and saltone 1.3 - 1.5 kg chickenUnfortunately, during the trial run my oven broke down so I actually baked it in my hard-anodized pan. It turned out quite well, the chicken was succulent and tasty. Hmmm.... should I get a new oven?I added some sausages and slices of ham to cook with the chicken in the amazing pan. My kids made ham sandwiches with the soft pandesals I bought from Baking Brera.I will be having Baking Brera's soft pandesals for bread rolls. Hope the seniors would like them instead of steamed rice. Well, in case they want to eat steamed white rice, I will cook a pot of rice to stand by.     I have to change the vegetable salad to stir-fry mixed vegetables and the potato salad to whipped potato as the seniors do not like cold dishes. Add a pot of hot soup (my in-laws' favourite pork rib with potato and carrot soup) and grilled fish.My meal may not be the typical Christmas Eve dinner but it will be a good experience for the seniors who have never celebrated Christmas and eaten a Christmas dinner. Going to do another trial run before the actual day. Must make it an unforgettable experience for the elders. *smiles*圣诞除夕夜我们邀请一些独居乐龄人士到家里共享圣诞晚餐。他们平时都是喝稀饭配腌制小菜, 从没庆祝过圣诞, 也没吃过圣诞大餐, 我要给他们做一顿难忘的晚饭。这天就先来个试吃会。因为请的都是6旬老人, 所以必须用烤鸡代替烤火鸡。火鸡肉干柴, 真不好吃,无论怎么烤都不好吃。鸡先用自己调制的腌料腌制一个钟头让鸡肉入味, 增加浓香味。不巧烘炉坏了, 把腌好的鸡用硬质氧化铝锅烤一烤 ~ 鸡肉不干柴,带有甜甜的香气!长辈们应该会喜欢。另外准备超软的菲律宾面包, 香肠与火腿。圆圆的面包夹蕃茄、蔬菜、香肠、火腿或鸡肉都好吃。长辈们没有吃冷食的习惯, 我会换热炒的菜肴。平安夜, 做几道风味各异的东西方料理, 吃没有火鸡的圣诞大餐。嘻嘻嘻 。。。 [...]



Teochew Festival 2016 《潮州节2016》

2016-12-09T21:08:06.998+08:00

Teochew Festival 2016 was officially opened by Minister for Health, Mr Gan Kim Yong this morning. Organised by Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, the 10-day festival is held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre (Level 1, Hall A) from 9 to 18 Dec. Opening hours from 10.30 am to 9.00 pm daily.Teochew opera lovers can watch daily performances by Xiaomeihua Opera Troupe from Jieyang and local arts group Nam Hwa Opera Limited.Besides watching cultural performances, visitors can explore the Cultural Gallery and 3 zones - Food Zone, and Teochew Delicacy Zone and Handicraft Zone.At the Cultural Gallery where some of these artefacts are loaned from the Museum of Overseas Chinese Remittance in Shantou, I have a quick look at the history of the pioneer Teochew immigrants.The most crowded place at the festival is the Food Zone. The small food street features 20 vendors comprising local Teochew eateries, as well as food vendors from Shantou and Chaozhou.Teochew specialities such as bak kut teh, Teochew glutinous rice roll, soon kueh, bak zhang, crystal dumplings, fried kway teow with kailan, beef balls and fried oyster omelette are available daily.At the Teochew Delicacy Zone, taste some tea and take a look at the large variety of fish maw brought in by a Shantou company.Watch a peanut brittle demonstration by 77-year-old Master Chua who has more than 60 years of experience making traditional Teochew snacks.Then there's the delicious teng cang popiah (Teochew sweet spring roll) which cost S$10 for 3 rolls!At the Handicraft Zone, I watched a live demonstration of oil paper lantern by master craftsman Mr Tan who is from Chenghai. Also on display are the beautiful, golden silk embroidery works and exquisite wood carvings. To encourage cashless transactions, only NETS payment is accepted at the fair.Entrance tickets are priced at $10 each. The ticket holder can enjoy a $3 rebate when they make purchases at the Food Zone and Teochew Delicacy Zone.I didn't make any purchases at this festival because the products sold are too expensive and they do not captivate me, including the Teochew food. Entrance fees to the festival doubled this year, I was expecting a better event with more interesting vendors but it is really disappointing. I bought 2 tickets but used only one. It's not worth paying S$10 if you only want to have a look-see.《潮州节2016》 新加坡潮州八邑会馆呈现每天七场的潮剧、音乐和艺术表演,由揭阳小梅花艺术团、汕头潮乐团、一指团体、南华儒剧社等带给大家的表演。文化馆 - 部分展品特地向中国汕头侨批文物馆商借展出。潮州节场区主要分美食区、手工艺区、土产特区、主舞台以及文化馆。美食区 - 20个摊位的美食街让大家品尝道地的潮州小吃 : 潮汕灌煎、潮州鸭母捻、潮州牛肉丸、蚝烙等。土产特区 - 有摊位示范潮州功夫茶道、制作糖葱薄饼、潮州花生糖等。手工艺区 - 展览髹金漆木雕、潮州刺绣、制作潮州灯笼、工艺陶瓷制作等。潮州节会场只能通过 NETS 付费。没有NETS卡的朋友可以在潮州节购买限量版【潮州人家己人】现金卡。新加坡潮州节@金沙会议展览2016年 12月9日至18日,早上10时30分至晚上9时 S$10 admission fee 入门票 [...]



Christmas Baked Goods @ Baking Brera 圣诞节蛋糕

2016-12-09T22:08:31.531+08:00

I have a young Facebook friend who is a talented baker. I have been captivated by his bread and Christmas goodies since the beginning of November when he started uploading photos of the finished products.As I am organising a Christmas Eve dinner plus a Christmas Day High Tea for some senior citizens, I decided to make a trip to purchase his panettone, fruitcake and stollen one morning. In Singapore, these Christmas goodies are traditionally only imported but now I can have them fresh from the oven.From East Coast Road, I took a bus to transfer to Farrer station on the downtown line, but I went to Holland Village instead. LOL.... I managed to find Bakery Brera after some difficulty because it was my first visit to this part of Singapore.I was greeted by Thrina, the friendly lady boss. After hearing how I get to know her bakery, she brought Barry to meet me. The shy young man was hard at work, baking furiously to fulfil pre-orders.I bought a stollen and a fruitcake, I was so disappointed that Panettones were sold out that day.   Thrina offered me some fruitcake and croissant samples for tasting. I was delighted to see pandesals being sold here. I like pandesals and promptly bought some.I will go back for their pandesals, baguette and croissants on my next trip.I did a trial run of Christmas Day High Tea one morning and my hubby likes the stollen very much. It was his first time tasting a stollen and he couldn't stop eating it. LOL Their Christstollen or Stollen contains candied orange peel, cranberry, sultanas and black raisins, lemon zest, spices and marzipan (almond paste), giving it a rich flavour. This fruit bread is not too sweet and it is really yummy.The fruitcake was rich and moist.... I should keep the fruitcake for a while more to allow it to ripen and mature for a more flavourful taste.I also did a a trial run of  Christmas Eve dinner, my family members enjoyed eating the delicious pandesals, they are so soft and fluffy. My kids sliced the pandesals into halves, filled each with ham, sausage or baked chicken. Actually, the locally adapted version of this Filipino bread are delicious enough to eat on their own.Thrina and Barry of Baking Brera. I might have to do another trial run of the Christmas meals but we are positive our elderly guests will enjoy the Christmas goodies.Baking Brera8 Empress Road #01-05 Empress Mall Singapore 260008. 圣诞节就要到啦!我们夫妇想在圣诞节当天邀请一些独居乐龄人士共享圣诞节下午茶。在我的脸书里看到一位年轻的朋友上传他自己烘烤的圣诞节蛋糕, 就和先生一起摸上门找他。去到店里, 发现他是一位很有才华的烘培师, 我当天也认识了他的老板娘 Thrina。向他们买了一个德式圣诞蛋糕 - 史多伦 (S$25) Stollen 和一个圣诞水果蛋糕 (S$30)。店里也卖意大利潘妮朵 (Panettone), 不过当天已卖完了。 意外看到他们有卖菲律宾特色小面包 pandesal (原意:咸面包)。经过改良, 这面包口味不咸, 十分松软, 我蛮爱吃的。这天早上, 我先做了一个迷你圣诞下午茶试吃, 我先生是第一次吃德式圣诞蛋糕。他竟爱上了这个质地细腻,甜度没有想像中高的蛋糕。形状类似面包, 德式圣诞蛋糕内有果脯和杏仁,口感丰厚, 越吃越好吃, 根本停不下来。看来, 长辈们将会享受这次的圣诞下午茶。 [...]