Quick Update: What I Miss Most

The first half of this semester at university has definitely taken upon itself to race full speed ahead and now I find myself embarking on my 7th week back with the prospect of Easter Break acting as my ‘pacemaker’. One more week before I can truly take a semi-break as I jet off to Singapore for a quick visit before my Lil’ Bro heads into the army!

It has been a busy start to the year, to put it simply and any food spotting or life sharing has been limited to the world of Instagram.  So…in a brief moment to breathe I thought I would make a quick visit to this space and share a little something which I always enjoy the most during my Singapore trip.

Although we eat out 99% of the time and I could rave about the Singaporean food scene for an infinite amount of time, it is the family gatherings composed of homecooked meals and sitting around a relative’s living room which I miss the most when I am back in Sydney.

On my past trip, which was longer than usual I was able to celebrate my twin Auntie and Uncle’s birthday.  My Si Yi (Auntie No. 4) is no amateur in the kitchen, preparing ‘Peng Cai’, a Chinese New Year delicacy full of culinary delights such as abalone, with each holding a significant meaning.  The birthday girl definitely deserved to be showered in affection after providing our stomachs with pure content.

Of course there was cake from our family favourite, ‘Bengawan Solo’ the makers of Nonya Kueh, what I have crowned one of the best desserts in the world…my tastebuds may be biased…
Blackforest Cake was featured as well as my newfound love, the Pandan Kaya Cake.

Until next time!

Ming xx

Traditional Local Vs. Modern Local – Chinese New Year in Singapore

Hello again from Sydney!!

The last few weeks of my stay in Singapore played out with much more haste than I had hoped for.  From Chinese New Year onwards, each day was filled to the brim with last minute but nevertheless important rendezvous, running up and down Orchard Road as I made (very) important retail decisions (hehe) and of course ensuring that I had fulfilled my cravings for the local fare. Hence the late post on my family’s Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner!

While Singapore is ever changing, there are traditional elements to it which I hope never change.  Coincidently, I had a foodie experience, which I felt to underscore this notion.

MODERN LOCAL: Pidgin Kitchen and Bar

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Rojak Round-Up

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!  I have a celebratory post coming up soon but thought that a little local hawker fare needed to be injected into this space.

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy the post and that the Year of the Horse brings happiness, health, success and wealth in all aspects of life to you all!

Each trip to Singapore holds minimal ‘clean eats’ but maximal taste and enjoyment. Rojak is my attempt at incorporating a salad type meal into my day….but who am I kidding? It tastes too good to be true.

In regards to the ‘technicalities’ of this hawker dish, Singaporeans gravitate towards the ‘Chinese-style’ Fruit Rojak, which traditionally consists of:
• Cucumber
• Pineapple
• Bengkoang (turnip)
• Taupok (a puffy and deep-fried tofu)
• You Tiao (Asian dough-fritters)
• Chopped nuts
• Dressing – haeko (shrimp paste), sugar, chilli and lime juice

Some places like to include more unique additions:
• Raw mango
• Green apple
• Century Egg
• Cuttlefish
• Jellyfish

The typical Rojak-stall set up

All the ingredients are tossed together in the dressing, which is hopefully plentiful until the flavours of the dressing are absorbed into the more ‘neutral’ tasting dry components.
This trip, I have undertaken the tough task of deciding upon the (subjectively) Best Rojak in Singapore, so I visited three Rojak stalls which were either recommended to me or which I had discovered on previous trips.

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A Surprising Detour – Necessary Provisions, Everton Park

It is a rare occurrence when Lil’ Bro and I have the chance to go on a food related outing together. With Papa Ho returning to Sydney and Mama off being a busy bee, we decided to venture around the area of Kampung Bahru before Lil’ Bro’s ‘work training’… Yes, embarrassingly for jobless me, my little brother secured an ‘intermission’ job before starting his internship as he waits for his army enlistment in May.


Originally, I was planning on heading towards a cafe hotspot around Duxton Road. Sometimes I become caught up in my determination to check out one of the many locations on my foodie ‘wish list’, which ends up in hungry stomachs and walking around in an endless search for a well hidden cafe. On this occasion, I was reminded by Lil’ Bro that time was limited so as I was about to turn back and settle for a cafe near his work place, I spotted ‘The Provision Shop’ hiding behind a bus stop and underneath a towering block of HDB flats. As per usual, I had been enlightened of its existence by the wonderful world of Instagram and immediately rushed towards this surprise discovery.


At 5pm on a Tuesday, the cafe was relatively busy. After teaching Lil Bro how to differentiate between different types of coffee, he decided upon an Iced Latte while I chose the Iced Long Black…yes the climate is rather warm here! Both were enjoyed and I definitely appreciated the break from milky coffees.


In addition, the growing boy had his heart set on the Chocolate Cheese Cake from the minute we entered. From my sample of the cake, it was not overly rich and had a great texture that lay in the spectrum between the dense New York Cheesecake and light Japanese rendition. Lil’ Bro was definitely a fan.


After talking to the friendly staff in charge I was informed that the cafe was very new and only open for about 2.5 months. My first impression was that it was definitely holding its own for such a new kid on the block. In addition to usual cafe items, The Provision Shop is also open for dinners offering pasta dishes until 8pm. Hopefully I’ll be able to make my way there with the parentals for a meal before I leave!

Oh Yes….Lil Bro has caught the Instagram bug….. Hehe

So I suppose the moral of the story is sometimes when we stop searching we stumble upon just what we are looking for. Enjoy the journey because you never know when life may take you on a pleasant detour.

Address: #01-79, 3 Everton Park

Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail II: Nicher Bakery, Singapore

In an unassuming corner of an old-time ‘Kopitiam’ aka Singaporean Coffee Shop usually selling local fare, there is a glass counter, commercial oven and a young entrepreneur running the show.  This is the physical extent of Nicher Bakery.  The reason for the simplicity of the business is ingenious; the increasing amount of cafe/restaurant competition growing in Singapore but more crucially in Tiong Bahru.  You can read about the story behind this business venture here.

What I found most interesting was how such a simple concept was still able to bring so much to the foodie community.  I’m not entirely sure just how many Pound Cakes and Muffins are churned out everyday, but their freshness is maintained by glad-wrapping each loaf individually before boxing them.

We resisted the temptation of buying anything after our lunch at Flock Café and quick stop off for the sell-out Tau Suan dessert stall in the iconic market, but admired how successful and original a simple idea could involve into.

With a few upcoming Christmas parties, we thought that the Pound Cakes would make the perfect presents or contributions to pot-luck! Mumma rang up the bakery on December 23 hoping that they would be open for a pick up on Christmas Eve….alas they were and a large order was put in.  One of the cakes we had wanted to order was originally unavailable, but Melvin, the brains and baker behind the venture very kindly offered to bake another batch for us which would be available at the end of his working day.

So Mumma may have been slightly enthusiastic in her Pound Cake ordering….
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Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail I: Flock Café, Singapore

Hello and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful festive season and 2014 has taken off with success :).

In parallel with the start of a new year I thought it would be appropriate to share with you all a ‘fresh visit’ to a place which I have explored before…

What is a new year better for than discovery?

In the past, I have written about what has been described as the ‘achingly hip’ suburb of Tiong Bahru, Singapore.  Each trip to Singapore usually includes a stroll through the neighborhood, however this year Papa was determined to follow the ‘Heritage Trail’.  Thus an ordinary family outing become one which provided new experiences and discoveries.

With what seems to be a perpetually developing café scene in Singapore, we stumbled upon a spot which I had been meaning to track down last year!  To my surprise I crossed a small laneway and found Flock Café’ at the corner of an old apartment block.

A quaint and narrow premises holds what has become a foodie hot-spot as well as a hit with the expatriate crowd.  

Features: Mumma reckons their coffee is one of the best that she has tried in Singapore and my Iced (Flat) White made the humid and warm exterior a distant memory.

Must-try dishes: Eggs Benedict and Pancakes

Perfectly poached eggs and a perfectly balanced (not overly rich) Hollandaise

Fluffy…I mean ‘cloud-like’ fluffy pancakes and a generous amount of compote

If you have enough stomach space….: Big Breakfast

If you are looking to experience something other than the hawker scene in Singapore, which in my case I have eaten quite repetitively, this is the perfect location.  Good food at modern café appointed in an area with old-time charm….yes please…

More on Tiong Bahru to come!

Ming xx

P.S. Photos taken with an iPhone 5….have been slightly poor at lugging my DSLR around hehe

Merry Christmas: Chopsuey, Singapore

Before, after and during… Ok maybe context is irrelevant……..

I spend an undisclosed amount of time trawling through #sgig, seeking out the latest must-try eating spots in the eclectic foodie scene of Singapore.


I spied a number of brunch and dinner posts featuring a new addition to the scene, Chopsuey, a new ‘East meets West’ concept restaurant established by the people behind P.S. Cafe.  For foodies unfamiliar with P.S. Cafe, there were originally three sites in Singapore, boasting to-die-for Truffle Fries, however one of their branches was transformed into Chopsuey.

Christmas Eve 2013 approached much faster than I expected it to and before in knew it I was completely behind in finding somewhere to celebrate…. Until I remembered this venue and made a last minute booking which was accommodated for efficiently!


Set in Dempsey Hill, an area of restored army barracks which is now home to many other interesting eating venues, the restaurant interior is truly unique.  High ceilings and an airy old-time bungalow accommodates for diners ranging from small to large groups with beautiful marble tables.

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