Tag Archives: holiday

A Boy to Man: Basic Military Training Graduation

For the last six months I have been travelling between Sydney and Singapore, visiting my Lil’ Bro who has undergone quite a dramatic life-change; moving to Singapore (post-HSC) for National Service.  Although there was initial worry for him, in terms of adapting to such change, Lil’ Bro took the challenge with a determined and positive attitude and recently graduated from his Basic Military Training.

The final challenge of this component of his service was a 24km route march from the Training Centre to the majestic location of the Floating Platform at Marina Bay, which is surrounded by the beautiful icons of the city.  Following this gruelling but what Lil’ Bro describes as an emotional and breathtaking march, symbolic of their 10 week intensive training, the ‘recruits’ take part in their ‘Passing Out Parade’ (shortened to POP) where they are met by their family and friends.

This event was highly anticipated by my family, however my suspicions are that I was the most eager of all.  The night before the POP, I set numerous alarms to ensure that we would be able to secure front row seats for the best photo opportunities – I was out of my bed at 4.00am.  My parents and aunt were amused by my eagerness, especially when we ended up being the first to arrive at Marina Bay although I insisted that we were already arriving very late!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Winter ‘Chills’: Devon Cafe

The end of semester arrived after what felt like an endless three weeks of study and exams.

Third year has definitely provided its challenges and pressure is most definitely mounting – as my Pharmacology lecturer expresses, “You guys are on the market next year”.  So, between study, more study and planning for 2015 (it seems early but as usual application deadlines and New Years will arrive with little warning!!), there has been little time for anything else!

Completing my final paper on the painfully timetabled final Saturday morning of exam period, I met one of my oldest food ‘partners-in-crime’, M for brunch on this chilly Monday.  Being my third visit to the increasingly famous Devon Cafe (Mama and I have have enjoyed both their brunch and lunch), I was eager to introduce M to this brunch haven.  We agreed that after a hectic semester, the feeling of being able to simply “chill” over winter break (excuse the pun) was more than welcome in a widespread embrace!

My insta-surveying had me eyeing the “Ultimate Toastie” special BUT to my the disappointment of my increasingly large winter appetite, I was told that this highly photographed dish is only served on Friday to Sunday!  No matter, this momentary sadness was salvaged by the prospect of trying the “Eggs Blini”; Buckwheat blini, cured king salmon, salmon caviar, broccolini, sauce Mikado and poached eggs.  Usually, ‘Benedict-type’ eggs are sometimes rather heavy, but thisdish was quite the opposite.  Eggs were poached to oozing perfection, blini was fluffy and slightly sweet and was complemented perfectly by a tangy sauce and delicious cured salmon.  Never having seen this on a cafe menu before, I thought it was rather unique and definitely something I would recommend for poached egg enthusiasts and those looking for a dish that is not the ‘run-of-the-mill’ brunch option.

Continue reading

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

 photo IMG_9721_zps631d17ee.jpg Continue reading

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….
Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

End of 2013 Reboot

I have been pondering upon this post for a long while now – how to approach a ‘conversation’ after 6 months away from the world of WordPress and the blogosphere.  Upon embracing the mantra of my mother “just go for it”, I am rather excited to ‘resuscitate’ this ‘friend’.

It would only be fair for me to explain to my absence; which can be summarized succinctly in one simple yet daunting noun…UNIVERSITY. When people tell you that second year will be breezes compared to first year DOO NOOOTTT believe them!  While it seems that my entire life had become consumed by the domino effect of assessments, practicals, lectures and exams last semester and ‘hello it’s ming’ was placed on the backburner, I truly did enjoy completing the last component of second year university despite the constant whining and complaining to my patient and supportive mother!

Over my blog detox, I had time to consider my outlook on this space.  Originally I had seen this space as a rather ‘text-based’ method of sharing of my foodie journeys and life in general, and with the encroaching clouds of study the perfectionist within me was reluctant to post anything that I was not entirely satisfied with.  My epiphany came when I realized I had forgotten that what I have most enjoy about the experience of blogging is the ability to share an experience, whether it be through words or simply an uploaded Instagram image and the animated banter shared with a community of individuals I have connected with over the past year and a half.

I am hoping to return to this space with a flexibility in format of posting.  Each post does not need to be in the meticulous detail which I am usually so particular about.  Whether it be a full fledged account of my escapades with a common theme or a photolog with a few vignettes, I wish to continue sharing my experiences whether they be about food or life (food :P).

Continue reading