Creating your own quiet space

image

I was having a typical Singaporean breakfast with my mother in law at the Kiliney Kopitiam in Boat Quay when I spotted these beauties. Ladies finger, a vegetable we eat in our part of the world.

image

It was planted by a young Chinese girl who works as a cashier. She got seeds from a friend. Recreating a private garden/farm in the business district and a barrier from the road.

image

Rows of pots were overtaken by her plants along the 5 foot way of pre-war shop houses.

My sister in law gamely asked her for some seeds.

I’m proud to present my first fruit after 2 months. I planted them in a tiny pot first. Some didn’t make it past 5cm.

image

Bugis area

Twice a week I work around the Bugis – Victoria Street area and decided to explore the area. Why wait for weekends to enjoy myself?

The area has a colorful and interesting history. These tiny alleys are now transformed into hipster area.

Transported into a different meditative state by lining a few pots of bamboo.

image

Wall murals of street food in the old days Satay Club. I remember as a child going with my parents for dinner out in the open air. Thats how our money used to stretch.

image

The murals are outside Hotel Nuvue.

image

Malay man in his sarong batik selling woven rattan shopping baskets

image

Malay woman and her coiffured hair with her children. Her son playing with an origami paper plane. Children are so good improvising. Rolls of rattan mats coiled up doubling as sleeping mats. No bedsheets. We slept on hard floors.

image

image

Rangoon creeper beside muraya.

image

On the left side, the shop owner has grown passion fruit in pots. The mosaic flooring still intact.

image

In front of Jln Pisang opposite Stamford Primary school.

image

Chill on a sunny day and watch life go by.

image

The Mosque at Jln Sultan

image

Hjh maimunah at the Jln Pisang outlet.

image

I didnt enjoy the food as much as the Joo Chiat outlet. The tauhu telur was sold out by 4pm. Maybe I should call up first.

image

image

Can you spot the old typewriter? Can’t believe we used to use this during my first year of work after graduation.

image
Didnt realise we have a camera museum in Singapore. The wall mural facing Victoria Street is scary enough to deter me.
image

Do you have an opportunity to explore the area around your workplace? Make a playdate with a colleague or explore the area on your own. Make it a Soul Day!

Address
Jalan Pinang Singapore 199141

Chef Kang Kitchen

We were at Chef Kang Kitchen at the recommendation of a friend. I was lucky to have secured the booking one month ahead. Chef Kang himself picked up the phone. He spoke mandarin with a HK accent and was a man of few words.

3 days before the dinner, I called to confirm the reservation and was told by the waitress that some items need reservation, eg. Char siew, pig stomach soup and the crab glutinous rice.

On the actual day, the same waitress asked if we want to order individual dishes or omakase. Should have gone omakase style. But there is no menu.

image
Pig stomach stuffed with chicken feet and pork.

image

image
These are the goodies stuffed in the pig stomach. Order the soon hock fish soup next time.
image
Highlight is the char siew. Best char siew I’ve tasted.
image

Prawn paste pig skin deep fried. A medium portion would have been fine. But the waitress gave us the large order. Its good.

image

Fruit eating fish – from the wild but likely a river fish. Meat was sweet without the muddy taste of fresh water fish. Good choice.

image
Very ordinary beancurd. Taste no difference from those of average restaurants.

image

Crab glutinuous rice. Quite good.

image
Scallop baked with cheese and veg. Frankly I can’t taste the scallop. I didnt like the dish which was pushed by the waitress who surprisingly thought we didnt order enough even when we had not finished all the food.

In the end, we were so full that we couldn’t have dessert. Not surprising, the price was not cheap for a Chinese dinner. But considering we had our own room and personal service. Other plus points, there was a huge carpark, the NEL Little India station and REX cinema across the road.

I like the quaint Little India environment which gave an atmosphere of not being too built up unlike in the middle of Orchard Road.

It truly deserved its one star, which goes to the taste of the food. (Still a surprise how the soya sauce chicken got one star too.) There is not much presentation in food and the ambience is so so. Perhaps that’s why its not a two star. Now the critical question of whether we will return? Probably. Where Chinese food goes, because I’m Teochew, the restaurants I would like to return are Teochew or the boss speaks to us in Teochew. I didn’t feel a relatedness or emotional connection to the food or restaurant.

image
Good friends, good food, good wine
image
Tiny kitchen. Chef does the cooking himself. He doesnt visit the tables to introduce the food. But he greets you at the door and is still at the restaurant when we left. We hunted for him to say our goodbyes and to thank him for cooking.

Straits Times write-up on Chef Kang’s life story.

Chef Kang Kitchen
25 Mackenzie Rd, Singapore 228681
6238 6263

https://g.co/kgs/mhvmyz

Bib Gourmand Malay Kampung Food

Since today is Hari Raya Haji festival, I decided to post some photos of a Bib Gourman eatery in Singapore recommended by a friend.

I went on a Sunday enroute to the airport to pick up Himself. Only the Joo Chiat outlet is open and I timed to reach at 1230pm for lunch. Not a wise choice.

image
Plan for a visit to the Malay Village.
image

image
Long queue. Seems like there are seats upstairs. Airconditioned. Desserts and curry puff next queue. But didnt seem like a huge variety.
image

image

image
Quite a few ahead of me ordered the beef ball soup.
image

image

My fried egg tauhu or tauhu telur. I couldnt wait to pour on the seasoning and garnish. And ate in the car. One tauhu telur and rice with assam fish, potato cutlet or bergedil and cassava leaves cost me $12. I like the taste very much. Price is reasonable. Nasi padang is always pricy compared to Chinese takeaway.
image
Professionally wrapped beckoning me.

The website recommends to try the “delectable and Juicy Sundanese Grilled Chicken, the tempting Lemak Siput and the wide varieties of barbecued fish. Along with that, dishes such as Sambal Goreng, Tahu Telur, Beef Rendang and Oxtail Soup”.

According to some blog reviews, dont try the grilled swordfish. Its dry. I didnt try any of the grilled stuff like chicken, so I cant tell. Quite a number of people ordered the milky gravy shellfish.

If Im throwing a party, I will surely pick up a few tahu telur and considering getting their mini buffet. Its quite a distance from my place and gravy must be eaten within one hour of delivery. Possibly with close friends.

Post-script
I went to the Jln Pisang branch on Wed, 4pm after class and found it a far cry. Tahu Telur was sold out. Food was not delicious. There were a number of people eating and the outlet was not due to close till 8pm. A plate of rice with assam fish and longtong veg and lime drink was $6.80.

Hjh Maimunah Restaurant Catering Pte Ltd

20 Joo Chiat Road, 427357
6348 5457
Or

11 Jln Pisang, Singapore 199078
6297 4294
https://g.co/kgs/UxC8Q6

Garang Grill by New Ubin Seafood

In a celebratory mood, we were recently invited to New Ubin Seafood’s new joint at East Coast, primarily because a senior had to catch his flight at Changi airport and the hostess really wanted to honour his presence.

SM Pang even typed out a nice list for her.

image

As usual there was too much food.

image

Im not into oysters. But pretty color.

image

Hokkaido corn. I bought one from Pasir Panjang fresh fruit wholesale market at $4.

image

Grilled vegetables and corn. Nice touch.

image

image

My favourite!! Watermelon with burrata in pesto sauce. He could have soaked the watermelon in some chilli/ siracha/ tobasco sauce. Very refreshing.

image

Patai with fish roe.

image

I like brinjal.

image

image

I felt that New Ubin at Sinming and Hill View does it better. But dont dare tell SM Pang. The heart attack rice didnt have the wok heh.

image

Or perhaps it was because I was bowled over by the garlic fried rice. I helped myself to lots of it.

image

Smoked duck carbonara with poached egg. Mmmmm. My soft spot. And the sweet potato mash – I didnt take photo. But it was good with dash of chilli.

image

We shared the dessert. Interesting.

Personally I like this new venue much more. It has a nice suburban cozy feel. But so far away. Of course you can say the same for New Ubin but I work in Clementi so that’s near.

Garang Grill
15 Swan Lake Avenue, Singapore

Making art from adversity – Kusama Yayoi

image

Life is the heart of a rainbow. The Yayoi Kusama exhibition has taken Singapore by storm. Several of my friends have visited this exhibition at the National Gallery which will end on 3 Sep 2017.
https://www.nationalgallery.sg/see-do/highlights/yayoi-kusama-life-is-the-heart-of-a-rainbow

image

Infinity mirrored room – representing gleaming lights of the souls.

image

First created in 1965.

image

image

With all my love for the tulips. Guests are invited to participate by placing stickers on white walls. Kusama checked herself into a psychiatric hospital once. Her first room installation was in 1963.

image

image

Narcissus garden. My kind of garden. No watering needed.

image

image

The Spirits of the Pumpkins descended into the heavens.

Photo credit: L and me

While I may not agree with some of her views, Kusama is very admirable as a person who despite a traumatic childhood has created a life for herself, constantly creating and making sense of the confusing turbulent world she found herself.

Today, she is still prolific at age 88 and has set a goal to create 100 paintings.

Painterly illustrated her life in a series of painting.
https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/01/yayoi-kusama-childrens-book-graphic-design/