A Nation Bids Teary Farewell To Mr Lee Kuan Yew on 29Mar2015

farewell LKY

always Singapore first

i am truly glad that i went to parliament house with a good friend in the wee hours of 26.3.2015 to pay respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

i am very proud to be a singaporean, to witness & be part of the spontaneous outpouring of grief & gratitude for such a great man who devoted his entire life to singapore, to us.

i am very happy that i teared & wept many times over the week of mourning like many singaporeans who also found love & gratitude in their hearts & poured out their feelings unreservedly.

farewell LKY2 farewell LKY3 farewell LKY4

i am inspired, comforted & felt bonded with the exemplary, caring & earnest from the heart behaviour of singaporeans united in grief, gratitude & respect for Mr Lee, captured so well by yvonne ng, an ordinary singaporean (only with Facebook access) –

(quote) Mostly, we are impressed beyond words, by our fellow countrymen who came and bond together, and the unspoken heroes who provided drinks, cakes, bread, flowers and more along the queues. We are amazed by the quiet queues that just kept forming, and the quiet resilience displayed through a simple action like this. We are impressed by the seemingly seamless arrangements made by the authorities, and the amount of work and sleepless nights for those on duty. 

We are touched by the love, care, respect and the wonderful “Singapore Spirit” displayed by Singaporeans, in this difficult time. A spirit we never really knew existed until now.

We did not practise this, nor did we choreograph this. It is just so simply…Singapore.

We have always been searching and asking about the Singaporean identity. This is it. 

Fifty years ago, a man brought us together as one united people. 
Fifty years later, he brought us together again, and we stand united as a nation.

This is Singapore. 
This is Home.
And I am so proud of being a part of it. (unquote)

as yvonne (who i do not know) famously described, this is the last contribution by Mr Lee to Singapore. even in death, he has united the whole nation & helped us unlock the deep feelings, purpose & resolve for the country.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 5.53.02 pm

this morning, my wife, my daughter & i were at the clementi community tribute site & i managed to pay my last respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Rest in Peace Mr Lee. as PM Lee Hsien Loong said, you were the guiding light for the nation, and your values & ethos will continue to inspire us & be our guiding light.

c.h.e.f andy

Cherian George – Singapore please listen to him!

i said on my Facebook-

Cherian George…you are my new idol!

NTU don’t know what they missed that such an outstanding person as yourself could be denied tenure & have to find employment in HK..

PAP leaders should seriously listen to you!

such fairness, moderation, balance, intellectual honesty & calm & incisiveness!

all my friends, please listen to this guy…

agree with & learn from everything you said, in particular LKY’s incorruptibility & how Singapore is so lucky to have him!

i had expected a very professional analysis but with the usual fashionable western liberal emphasis on mr lee’s intolerance towards alternative views. after all  cherian george does have some very recent legitimate grievances with NTU denying tenure.

it is NTU’s & Singapore’s great loss that the man is now plying his trade in hong kong.

instead his depth & incisiveness demonstrated true intellectual honesty, moderation & balance in examining the issues and also genuine care for singapore’s future. it is a fair & balanced mind with respect for the truth (& equal respect for other human beings with difference of opinions) that is constantly considering, weighing alternative viewpoints & angles, & new facts & information.

cherian spoke as he believed. his was not some shallow piece beautifully crafted to appear to be balanced & fair in order to look good or to impress, which i see often these days circulated on the social media.

i liked his observation that mr lee was in fact more liberal & ahead of the curve than the present PAP leadership, that it is in fact the present leadership that is dogmatic clinging to past formulas of success rather than working from basic pragmatic principles of service & what’s good for singapore. in contrast, the founding fathers under the leadership of mr lee had been truly pragmatic, serving & delivering what was good & what worked for singapore & not constrained by dogma & ideology.

cherian’s humanity & generosity of heart really resonate with me. mr lee & his generation of leaders were pragmatic because they cared so much about the well being of the people of singapore.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Outpouring of Grief & Gratitude for Beloved Mr Lee Kuan Yew

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last night, i went with a good friend & started queueing for almost 2hrs from 2.35am to 4.30am to pay respects to our beloved first prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

i shared this on my Facebook-

Standing in queue at padang at 2.46am… about 2hr queue?

Really proud of my fellow Singaporeans standing in queue to pay respects. That so many understand gratitude & respect. .

Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

You cared so much for us. Did so much for us. devoted your entire life to Singapore.

It is so very sad that such a great & wonderful person like you is no more..

rest in peace SIR!

my feelings were no different with so many singaporeans from all walks of life who said that waiting in line for  whatever number of hours was the least they could do for Mr Lee who had given his entire life to singapore & made our lives immeasurably better!

my friend & i were really happy that we came to be part of this spontaneous outpouring of grief & gratitude for mr lee.

there were endless accolades from world leaders. i liked the tribute by henry kissinger especially.

both the new zealand parliament & australian parliament passed tribute motions & had many tribute speeches by leader of various parties.

singapore also had a special session of parliament with many moving tributes from minsters, PAP MPs, mr low thia khiang, leader of the opposition workers party, and NMPs. i was very moved that sylvia lim chairman of workers’ party (and like everyone else) were in tears.

genuine emotions are to be treasured. i never thought i would tear myself. but listening to the speeches & tributes, and what ordinary singaporeans said & the open display of emotions, i am very happy that i cried just like anyone else.

today i watched the rappler interview with cherian george, a singaporean writer and academic based in hong kong, to assess Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy and to take a peek at what’s ahead for singapore. he was just so good!

c.h.e.f andy

 

Among the Best Weiyi Laksa 唯一辣沙 @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre on 24Mar2015

S$5 laksa

S$5 laksa

had been trying out laksa at different places last few days.

today i went to tanglin halt market & food centre & try out weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙 on 24.3.2015.^^

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

i was there at 11.55am but there was already a queue of 15 people.

the queue went plus minus a bit but when i finished at 12.30pm queue was just as long.

so many people cannot be wrong, can it?

i queued for 25minutes. weiyi had a good system with a board with numbers for the combination to order & the prices. & the guy was friendly, knew how to smile & be happy, which was sometimes lacking in other sellers.

weiyi also sells prawn noodles. today there was a sign “sold out” (at 12pm??). anyway i came for the laksa.

S$5 laksa

S$5 laksa

i asked for no. 6 which was chicken & cockles & taupok, S$5 bowl, & thick beehon mee. :-)

there wasn’t a number combination with just cockles  & taupok. there was no purpose for me to try prawn combination. chicken with laksa was most uncommon so i wanted to try it.

S$5 laksa

S$5 laksa

the laksa gravy was excellent! a lot of hae bee as well. anyhow the combination of flavours – lemak, spiciness, taste – was excellent. i finished almost all the gravy. ^^

cockles were fresh & plump, taupok was soft & well infused with gravy & not falling apart. chicken was a lot better than i expected, very sweet & tender.

but of course, however good the chicken might be, it was no comparison with the poached chicken白斩鸡 at ah heng curry chicken noodle at hong lim food centre. likewise for heng kee curry chicken noodles.

& if it is between the excellent laksa gravy & excellent curry chicken gravy, i will go for the latter every time. just my personal preference.^^

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

just comparing laksa with laksa, this would beat the #02-141 stall at bukit timah food centre hands down.

it also made me appreciate the teck hin laksa stall at food loft @ clementi. i was asking myself was this really better than teck hin’s. i think the difference was quite infinitesimal. the taupok was much better becos the taupok at teck hin was still hard & not well infused with gravy. the gravy might be tastier overall, but really not by much. there was no queue at teck hin when i visited at 5.30pm & i don’t expect it will have a 15pax queue at 12pm. :-)

& compared with sungei road laksa at jalan shui kopitiam at jalan berseh? it’s kind of difficult to compare. this weiyi version, like teck hin’s, was a lot more savoury & substantial. sungei road had more lemak & sweet gravy.

c.h.e.f andy

OK Laksa @ Bukit Timah Food Centre

laksa lemak

laksa lemak

had a S$4 laksa at bukit timah food centre earlier today on 23.3.2015.^^

it was 3.30pm. carpark was empty & many stalls were closed.

last time i came here was with a group of friends on our own hawker food tour in 2013.

stall #02-141

stall #02-141

stall #02-141

stall #02-141

saw this stall #2-141 & the photo of laksa looked great, so decided to try it.

laksa lemak

laksa lemak

the laksa that came did not look quite as good.

i added S$1 “hum” i.e. cockles so it was S$4. cockles were good, fishball & fishcake ok, taupok was ok.

the laksa gravy was a bit too pasty. it did have a lot of haebee was flavour was ok.

by comparison, the laksa at teck hin fishball noodles at food loft @ clementi was distinctly better than this. 

and sungei road S$2 laksa still the best.^^

laksa lemak

laksa lemak

this laksa was not too bad really. but it is probably a standard of laksa you can get anywhere, and many places also better than this, so it was just ok, passable.

c.h.e.f andy

Quite OK 3pax Lunch @ Chickenwok 鸡之味 on 21Mar2015

brinjal tofu salted fish

brinjal tofu salted fish

went to visit a chinese friend & look at his new Beacon LED office/store at tradehub21 on 21.3.2015.

he arranged for another mutual friend to meet at chickenwok 鸡之味 downstairs his office, and bought lunch.^^

we were early (intentionally) at 11.15am so the place was empty & we were the first & only customer (at the time we finished about 12pm).

i have seen chickenwok 鸡之味 S$15 for S$30 groupon vouchers many times before but did not consider to try. for today we did not have vouchers. & a check at groupon showed that the vouchers had sold out, but i know they always come back. seen it so many times liao. so next time if i come, i will be armed with vouchers. :-)

we ordered 5 dishes. they were all pretty ok, no bad dishes, tasty enough, quite inexpensive.

all except the S$8 romaine lettuce, which my ancient upbringing think quite ridiculous vs other dishes but my wife had enlightened me that there was no basis in the first place for me to think that vegetables should be cheaper than meat! :-)

and i do marketing, so i know the average amount romaine lettuce cost S$2.50 (2 bunches) to S$3.50 (3 bunches) in sheng shiong, and more in chinatown. well, so it’s S$8 in an inexpensive restaurant.

the best dish (kind of just slightly better than the rest) i found (top photo) was oddly the brinjal & tofu. the salted fish gave it a very interesting flavour & overall the dish was tasty.^^

curry chicken

curry chicken

curry chicken was good.

curry chicken

curry chicken

good as in c/w any economic rice stall or nasi padang stall, but cannot compare with the lemak green or red curries at good nasi padang stalls e.g. river valley nasi padang (now closed). :-)

this the thicker more pasty curry & not so lemak kind.

curry stingray

curry stingray

curry stingray also good, better than curry chicken, basically like any good homecooked curries or coffee shop stalls, which means not too bad la…^^

braised belly 东坡肉

claypot braised belly pork 东坡肉

the claypot braised belly pork 东坡肉, not really 东坡肉 (the top restaurants seldom serve this swimming in braising sauce, always bunched standing up with or w/o sauce though i had tried the wet version also at kamjiazhuang recently, anyway tasted different in texture & flavour), was better than i expected. in fact it was rather good braised belly pork, nice soft texture retaining some bite not falling apart & quite tasty. :-)

romaine lettuce with shimeji

romaine lettuce with shimeji

romaine lettuce was good. to me, still too expensive vs a S$6 braised pork belly & S$6 stingray. still not attuned to the times, haha! :-)

the prices

the prices

there was no GST & service. they charged S$0.60 for ice water. for me that’s quite ok. guy got to make a living. :-)

& if you get a S$15 for S$30 groupon voucher, then this is better than coffee shop & food court prices.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Good Interesting 2pax Lunch @ Immanuel French Kitchen on 19Mar2015

duck rillette & kakuni belly pork

duck rillette & kakuni belly pork

went with a friend to try out immanuel french kitchen at salute coffeeshop at alexandra village on 19.3.2015.^^

my interest was piqued by the saw a write-up on ST Life on enochximmanuel 6-course dinner menu 3-day event.

i did not managed that but did went with my wife to enoch’s the evening before. so today, it’s time to try out immanuel french kitchen.

it’s not easy to get parking even at 11.45am. anyhow i managed to parked at SCAL (singapore contractors association limited) building.

salute coffee shop

salute coffee shop

salute coffee shop

salute coffee shop

salute coffeeshop is really an interesting concept. all the stallholders are “boutique restaurants” in a non-air con environment.

the “people in white” wearing the stew kuche tees seemed to be policing the place. i was early & place was quite empty so i sat at a 4-seat table. they asked me to move to the next 2-seat table. reasonable ask, good practice i guess – so comply, not that there was a choice!

they did that to a young couple again who came to sit at the table i vacated. well, at least it was consistent & diligent.

immauel french kitchen menu

immauel french kitchen menu

we came mainly for immanuel french kitchen. chef immanuel tee has rather illustrious pedigree, having worked at jaan with chef andre chiang, restaurant andre (where he met & worked with chef enoch teo), michelin starred guy savoy & pastorale, & keystone.

young chef was busy. there were another 3 helpers.

we ordered the duck rillette & the kakuni style braised belly pork. both were good!

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

the belly pork was excellent. i guess sous vide, & very well done for taste, texture, with the onset egg & croutons. very enjoyable dish, big for 1pax & quite perfect to be enjoyed by 2pax or 3.^^

duck rillette + gerkhins

duck rillette + gerkhins

duck rillette

duck rillette

i love the duck rillette. it was a very good helping too, & served with pickled gerkhins, which i liked too. the baguette was good too & excellent taken together with the duck rillette. i want to eat this again!

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

the stew ruche menu did not look exciting. we were not going to take the knuckles, & the pasta did not look great. of course could not tell until you tasted it but on photos alone, think my own pastas are better than any of them.

1 reviewer commented that the ramen burger had nice bulgogi but the burger tasted like maggi instant noodles snack!

my friend decided to try the mussels pot from seasalt. this was poor really! & such a simple dish to make. mussels were just slightly overcooked & not so juicy & succulent. the sauce gravy was ordinary.

worse, 1/2 the mussels had beards that were not removed, quite “dirty” really. no chance i would try this again.

c.h.e.f andy

Chicken Rice 白斩鸡饭

been doing poached chicken白斩鸡 quite a bit, most recently for a 9pax homecooked lunch on 9.3.2015.

1 of the delectable dishes i made was “hong lim FC curry chicken noodles”. basically i used the same method to make the poached chicken白斩鸡, just that the chicken stock needed to be more intense to produce a tasty chicken curry gravy.

though i have made the poached chicken白斩鸡 many a times, i had not gotten around to making the chilli sauce & the rice. recently my son in london shared on family whatsapp the chicken rice he made for his friends. that finally got me to try out my own chicken rice.

so i followed my trusted poached chicken白斩鸡 recipe & made another tasty, moist, tender chicken.

this was my very first time though to attempt the chicken rice.

chicken stock

chicken stock

after i deboned the chicken, i put pack the bones to the stock & boiled for another 2 hrs, reducing to a very flavourful chicken stock. i was cooking 2 cups of rice so took out 2 cups of chicken stock to cool down.

chicken rice after frying before cooking

chicken rice after frying before cooking

1 browned 3 chopped shallots, then added 2 teaspoon minced garlic & slice ginger (3cm piece) & fry for short time to get the fragrance aroma, then i added the 2 cups of rice and mixed thoroughly. i removed rice & put in the rice cooker & wait for the stock & rice to cool.

chicken rice cooked with stock

chicken rice cooked with stock

then i cooked the rice in my regular rice cooker.

chicken rice

chicken rice

chicken rice

chicken rice

the rice tasted a tad soft at first, but when eaten with the chicken, chilli & black sauce (& even overnight), it tasted pretty good.

soup - chicken stock

soup – chicken stock

the stock was heavenly!

chilli

chilli

i wasn’t sure about the chilli. i picked 1 recipe but did not have 6 large red chilli, so i made do with 3 chilli padi + a large red tomato. the blend needed the bulk. i reduced lime juice to 1 tablespoon (from 1/3cup or about 5 tbsp), added 1 tbsp mirin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, then blended. and after tasting added 1 tsp tsuyu.

chilli taste was pretty ok. daughter said it tasted good but different from the chicken rice chilli. wife though i had too much shallot, no sesame, & just above average kind of good. i guess that was ok for my first try.

it was basically just inertia that i cooked many times poached chicken白斩鸡 but avoided the rice & chilli. anyway will do more chicken rice soon!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Good 2pax Dinner @ Enoch’s on 18Mar2015

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

saw a write-up on ST Life on enochximmanuel 6-course dinner menu 3-day event.

i called up but it was the last day & i wasn’t free that evening. it was fully booked anyway.

i did the next best thing & booked a dinner at enoch’s on 18.3.2015. good to support these young aspiring singaporean chef.^^

young chef enoch teo honed his skills at restaurant andre (where he worked with another young chef immanuel tee), absinthe, bistro du vin.

the restaurant was previously known as le petit paradis (“the little paradise” in french), which started out at alibabar hawker bar for two years before moving to its current premises on east coast road.

managed to park at marshall road 2 side roads before enoch’s at 7pm. it was free parking too after 5pm.^^

enoch's

enoch’s

place was the minimalist deco type, bright & pleasant, which was the right way to go. there were 2 other tables, a quiet evening.

mushroom cappuccino

mushroom cappuccino

mushroom cappuccino

mushroom cappuccino

i ordered the set, which came with the truffle asparagus, their signature dish, choice of lamb or seabass (i had lamb), and dessert (which was an apple crumble).

wife ordered mushroom cappuccino & truffle asparagus from the ala carte menu.

surprisingly, the mushroom cappuccino was very much below par. it was firstly too salty. apart from the foam & the nice crisp crouton? the soup was very average tasting, did not feel any intensity or flavours standing out. i do my soup better!

truffle asparagus

truffle asparagus – S$17

truffle asparagus

truffle asparagus – S$17

asparagus was good. but parma ham was salty, not a very good grade. onsen egg (sous vide egg) was great texture & silky as it should be. asparagus was done very well, cooked, tasty & still having the bite, not soft.

it was overall a pretty good dish, of course not in the class of Jaan’s 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo.

but it was a small dish, i think at most S$10, so S$17 was too pricy for this dish. the lady server from myanmar mentioned the tiny piece of truffle. i guess that is individual preference. to me the tiny piece of truffle added nothing to the dish & it was better off with just a dash of truffle oil (which many restaurants do) that would add great flavours to the dish.

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

the dish that stood out was the sous vide lamb. it was tender & tasty & the pesto sauce also enhanced the taste. a great dish!^^ & a large helping too.

apple crumble

apple crumble

apple crumble

apple crumble

i commented to my wife “hope it is not too sweet” before i dipped into the apple crumble. and first bite – it was too sweet! but actually after a few bites, it was quite ok because the apple was actually quite sour & the sweetness (slightly & not sickeningly sweet) counteract the sourness.

overall, other than the sous vide lamb, the dishes were just average and i think below what saveur offer.

c/w concetto also, i think concetto dishes were much better crafted & plated, and much lower prices.

price wise meat dishes were ok but the asparagus was overly priced, and the mushroom cappuccino was just not restaurant class.

service by the myanmar lady server was ok. chef enoch was a bit shy & did not come to talk to us after taking the orders or he was much in conversation with the other table.

it is an ok place which i don’t mind returning to after a while, except it is a bit farther & not the most convenient for me.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Excellent Xiaolongbao 小笼包 @ Joyful Palace 怡乐坊 on 19mar2015

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

met a friend for a chat at food loft clementi ave 3 blk 443 this evening on 19.3.2015。

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

i wanted to try the laksa and order a S$4 bowl from teck hin fishball noodles for myself. my friend was having dinner at home afterwards, so we decided to just order a S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包 from joyful palace 怡乐坊 to share.

this S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包 (for 5 pieces) turned out to be pretty good.^^

the soup was very sweet, as good as any of the restaurants crystal jade, imperial treasure, canton paradise. skin was ok not the smoothest but pretty good still. meat was tasty, kind of a bit big but then what was there to complain if it was nice?

joyful palace dimsum

joyful palace 怡乐坊 dimsum

joyful palace dimsum

joyful palace 怡乐坊

joyful palace 怡乐坊 is located at the food loft @ clementi ave 3 blk 443.

in addition to dimsum it sells the hong kong roast meats and also ramen with the roast as well as dan dan mian & mala chicken ramen.

not sure if i would try those if i am there, more likely to take the laksa.^^

c.h.e.f andy