Click here for the latest at RunEatGossip »

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chinatown - Not just Chinese Temples

When talking of Chinatown, the first impressions is that it is a place founded by the Chinese and the facilities there caters only for the Chinese.  Hence, there should be plenty of Chinese temples which is correct.

One of the biggest temple in the area is the 天福宫 Thian Hock Keng temple in Telok Ayer Street. This temple was built in 1839 and completed in 1842 by the Hokkien and is dedicated to Ma Zhu the Goddness of the Sea.
One of the unique feature of temples in the early days was that no nails were used in the constructions and the whole place were adorned with carvings, sculptures and intricate columns. 

Nearby is the  仙祖宫 Siang Cho Keong Temple. Built in 1869 by the Hokkiens, it is dedicated to the Tua Pek Gong. Nowadays, the temple is more famous for its lucky 4-D numbers. On the first and fifteen of every month, devotees gathered to witness the drawing of a new set of 4-D number which is pasted prominently on the main urn.  

There are other Chinese temples nearby but within the confines of Amoy Street, Telok Street and Cecil Street, these are the only 2.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sign of the Times

Its  a sure sign that I am get getting older by the day when instead of me bringing my children to see the doctor, its my son who is the one sending me and picking me up from the hospital.

I am glad that the children are growing up fast but it's ain't a good feeling to feel and grow older and have to depend on others for simple things.

Ok this is not a whining post but a self reminder to work harder to maintain my health and fitness and not be a burden to anybody. But still as age catches up, something got to give and that day will come but till then, I will press on.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amoy Street - The Old and the New

Everyone knows where Chinatown is. When people talk about Chinatown, they think of the part where the Chinatown Food Centre is located; where the yearly Chinese New Year Street festival is held, and where the food street is located. But Chinatown is more than that. Just across the road between South Bridge Road and  Cecil Street, there is a sizable piece of less visited Chinatown.

This will be the 3rd of a series of post on this part of Chinatown. Chinatown is changing changing and along with the old comes many new new buildings. The contrast is startling in some places, subtle in some but soon most of the old will be gone.

Amoy Street

Telok Ayer Street

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

7 boring days

7 days has elapsed since I went and got a metatarsal stress fracture. The frustrating thing about this injury is that I am perfectly fine, feel perfectly okay but yet cannot do anything except laze around. And I got another 3 more weeks of the same thing to go!

It's not like I am so sick that I have to lie in bed all day long or am incapable of doing simple thing like the last time after my knee surgery when I really cannot do much. This time round, I feel fine, look fine but yet because I am not supposed to "bear weight", I have to restrict myself to sitting on the couch channel surfing or going on the net and being a couch potato.

Most likely, at the end of the 1 month, I will have gain an extra 5kg. Sighed Such a miserable life:)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kiasuism at its Highest Level

This is something that I want to blog about for a long long time but somehow never got around to. The picture is of the MRT entrance at Cecil Street/Telok Ayer Street. Seems pretty ordinary right?

In this second photo, noticed the circled item? These are CCTV camera. At this entrance, there are a total of 4 cluster of camera and each cluster has 6 cameras facing every which way but up. 2 set of them are on the right and 2 sets on the left which means there are a total 24 cameras at one entrance alone.  

And apparently this is not just at Tanjong Pagar but at all the other MRT stations. Further, walk into the Tanjong Pagar station at the concourse and platform level and you will see more cameras. In fact, there are cameras everywhere.  Maybe that's why they need to increase transport fares?

But the most ironical thing is, go to any above ground station and you can hardly find any cameras on the open platform. So it seems the authorities are more concerned with terrorist threats and sabotage rather than recording how people seems to be falling on the tracks.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lau Pa Sat

I don't have any memories of the original Lau Pa Sat or Telok Ayer Market as it was known back in the sixties.

This was a picture I dug out from the National Archive.

According to the National Archive, this picture was taken in 1967.

Subsequently, due to major development work in the area, the market was temporary abandoned  in 1984 and most of the stall holders moved over to what was popularly known as the Transit Market. The most famous stall was Ya Kun Coffee but in those days I didn't know about the stall. My only memories of the Lau Pa Sat was the eating fried noodles with my then girlfriend after our weekly badminton game at the YMCA at Palmer Road.  (too bad can't find any picture of the transit market - anybody out there got any pictures to share?)

The stalls moved back to the original location after restoration work and it was renamed the Festival Market. However, initially, it was not popular with the office workers around there as it was literally a furnace in there during the day. After some change of ownership, the place finally took off but somehow it has lost its character. It is now a food court with its most famous component being the Satay Street which only opens at night. And Ya Kun is no longer there.

Compare the below pictures with the picture above. The restoration seems to have done its work and it looks almost the same as the original market.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Durian Pilgrimage

For the third year running, I return to the hallowed stall of durian for the annual durian pilgrimage. This time round, there were 9 of us, the biggest group so far, I think.

The stall holder seems to want to get rid of his durians. He keep opening durian after durian until we were truly stuffed.

First up was the Black Pearl durian. This was simply shiok. Super creamy, a little bit wet with teeny weeny  little seed.

Next was the Red Prawn. This one, the flesh is supposed to be a bit reddish but it wasn't really so. It was however, just as creamy.

After that came the D13 or is it D17?. By now all the durian tasted the same to me and I really couldn't differentiate which was which.

Following that was the Jin Feng or Golden Phoenix. This one tasted very nice but most of us were too stuffed to really appreciate it.

The final type was the giant size cat mountain king alias Maoshanwang.

We couldn't finish all the durians and so the kind stall holder packed up the uneaten durians.

I think between the 9 of us, we had more than 20 durians and all for $25.00 per head! Shiok shiok!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hanging Garden of Cecil Street

This looks like a fairly ordinary building in the heart of the city. 

But goes behind the facade and onto the walkway, look up and this is what one will see.
A vertical garden just above the walkway.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Angus Steak House

I don't eat steak very often although I love beef. My favourite is Beef Hor Fun but on occasions it is a sort of to must have nice western food meaning steak. Unfortunately, my unadventurous mind and cheapo self usually bring us to the few usual places like The Ship, Shashlik and some weird places where the prices is more affordable. However, since this was our 21st anniversary, abit 1 day late dinner, decided that we need to go to a slightly more different place. After trawling the net, finally, settled for this place at Ngee Ann City.

And I must said I am pleased as punch about the decision. Have passed by the place a few times but never been inside cos it looked expensive.

Anyway, we ordered steak what else! M had the tenderloin since she likes the meat to be more tender while I had the ribeye. All of them done char grilled style. We ordered the set dinner which comes with the full works.

The first item to arrive on our table was the hor d'oeuvre. Why can't they just call it appetizer? But what an appetizer! It was a fine piece of cod fish very tastefully done. And not too small a piece too!