Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We the People

This trip, I had a blast meeting all the food service people. These uncles and aunties are extremely friendly and they make lips-smacking food.

Drinks Lady

Durian Man

Hokkien Mee Lady

Durian Man in the Mall

Ice Cream Man

Sugar Cane Juice Man


My Inspiration

This is a picture of my lovely Grandma and her kitchen.

This is where the magic happens.

Grandma is extremely resourceful--she can stretch a dollar like nobody's business. When I first started to learn how to cook Grandma's dishes, I realized that she uses inexpensive ingredients to make delicious meals for the whole family. I don't aspire to be a gourmet or professional chef. My goal is simply to someday master Grandma's dishes.


Death Row Food

Such an easy answer. This is pretty much the main reason why I go back to Singapore every year. To get my hainanese chicken rice fix at Wee Nam Kee in Novena.

I've always been a bigger fan of the roasted version. Does anyone have a good recipe?

The rice is light, yet flavorful. Not oily at all.

Oh course, the chili sauce is as important as the chicken.



Laksa at the food court in Wisma. It's actually not too bad. Oh, how I missed my "haam." I don't really care if I'm risking hepatitis A for delicious cockles.


Kaya Goodness

Apparently, the new (or old) popular trend with young Singaporeans are old-school kopitiam breakfast: kaya toast, poached eggs and kopi. The bread is toasted perfectly, the kaya is rich and the butter is decadent.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fresh Fruits

Every morning while in Singapore, my mom served us fresh fruits and soy drink. I forgot about the variety of fruits we can get in Southeast Asia. Boy I miss that! And there are fruit stands practically at every food court.

So my mom introduced this new fruit that I've never had before -- Dragonfruit. I always wondered what it taste like. Well, it tastes like kiwi and pear? In any case, I loved it.

Another thing I forgot about is Barley Drink and how much I use to love it. I want to make some but not quite sure how. Does anyone know the recipe?

~ Mina

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day 1: Crawfish Hor Fun

It was hard to pick which dish should start off our food journey. Mom made the decision for us. It's a place she only takes her expatriate friends to when they leave the country--for good. Friendship or not, she was not going to let it get in the way of preserving the quality of her favorite crawfish hor fun stall. Her theory is too many foreigners = drop in standard. Well, her plan worked because the hor fun was light and delicate and the crawfish was fresh and succulent.

No Singaporean dish is complete without chili on the side.

The line started at around 11.30 a.m. You know Singaporeans--if there's a line, must be good, right?

We also had share a plate of Kueh Chap. It's was nice but nothing special.

Day 0

In anticipation of the long, possibly hungry flight, I purchased breakfast prior to departure. And of course, a couple frivolous magazines.

It took me a good 10 minutes before I even attempted to eat this brown crap. It took me 2 seconds to realize it's not worth it. The bag of Cheetos I bought will have to do.

Ahhh ... relief at last. A nice, light mushroom udon at the Narita airport, where I met up with Mina.

~ Ray

Monday, January 22, 2007

We're back!

It's been a wonderful week in Singapore. It sure went by fast, packed full of activities and food. The weather held up for us on most days. I sure am glad I missed out on another snow storm in Seattle.

Five years is a long time to be away. While some things remain the same (i.e. my Grandma's house, some bus routes) but for the most part there were a lot of changes. I was a bit confused with the new MRT lines and Clark Quay sure looks different from when I remembered it.

For me, the best part (other than the food) was reconnecting with my old SAC classmates and my childhood friend who I've know since we were 6. Some of them I haven't seen for over 10 years. It's great to be able to catch up. I think we all agree that we miss the old school days.

On this trip, I noticed the art scene seems to blooming in S'pore including more art schools. I wish we had more time to explore it but I guess I'll have to wait for the next trip.

Well, photos to come -- Each of us had a camera and to avoid taking the same photos, we took turns. So we'll need to put our photos together and post them.

~ Mina

Monday, January 15, 2007


Every time I come back, I'm instantly hit with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. From the way people talk to the humidity to the way the air smells right before it rains. I missed it all. This is where I spent the first 17 years of my life and part of me still remains here. We had a wonderful first day (pictures to follow) and the weather was on its best behavior.

Here's the food count so far:
Kuey Chap
Ipoh Hor Fun
Fish Ball Soup
Chuey Kueh
Red Ruby Ice
Pineapple Tarts

More to come tomorrow!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

18-hour Flight

One of the earliest memory I have is the first time I came to--as Borat would say--the U.S. and A. I was 5 and the sole representative of my family to visit my ill grandpa. (Being so young, I apparently had no prior commitments.) Since I was a wee little tot, I've always loved food. There really was nothing I wouldn't eat--feet, butt, intestines, liver, ants, whatever. But shortly after I consumed my first plastic tray of airplane food, I upchucked everything onto my poor aunt. Since then, even the sight of the flight attendant pushing the food cart would send me gagging. I usually just sleep through the meals or snack on my own stash of Cheetos.

Well, maybe it's time for a change. I'm going to try to desensitize myself by looking thru The only problem is, how should I handle the smell?

*Update: It's like torture; cannot ta-han.

**Update #2: Not fair! First class food actually looks tasty. Maybe it's the presentation. Damn the black plastic trays!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy New Year 2007!

Can't believe it's already 2007. Haven't had much chance to update the blog. We had a few friends over for New Year's Eve. Made a bunch of appetizers from cheese platter, smoked oyster, olives, meatballs, bacon wrapped asparagus, etc. But I'm only going to feature the 2 delicious dishes that my friend, Liz made, as everything else was pretty much store bought. She made Rachel Ray's Mushroom Dip and Crab Salad Bites on Endive

Well, two more days to our Singapore trip! I can hardly wait...I already started to pack. Ray and I made a long list of food we want to eat. Not sure how we are going to achieve that in 6 short days but we sure are gonna try.

Before I sign off, I just want to add this photo from today. We were hit with another snow storm this evening. I've lived here in the NW for 5 years now and have not experienced such a snow storm. Snow can be so beautiful but at the same time pretty inconvenient to drive around.

- Mina