Click here for the latest at RunEatGossip »

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Noodle Story @ Amoy Food Centre

Continuing the quest for new hawkers, this one stand out for its innovation. 2 young man running a noodle story with a twist. Like a typical kaisu kaisee Singaporean, they have come up with the ultimate kaisu kaisee all-in-one uniquely Singaporean noodle that cannot be found anywhere else on this island.

So what is the Singapore noodle? Very simple - take all that Singaporean like about noodle and volia
1) Wonton
2) Prawn
3) Fries
4) Japanese style egg
5) Hongkong style noodle
6) Japanese style barbecue pork or char siew
7) Sambal chilli
Throw in some local garnishees like hay bee (dried shrimps) and there you have it - the Singapore noodle!

Of course you can have all this but if it doesn't taste good - then nobody is going to buy especially at prices starting from $5 a bowl. I like the egg and the char siew which they use a flame to fire directly on. The curly fries was a nice touch. Too bad only 1 prawn it it. I find it too salty maybe because they use lemong rass as one of their sauce. Overall, it is very interesting. I wouldn't say it is good. Maybe unique. Let's just hope they will continue to experiment with the recipe and come up with something that is really uniquely Singapore and nice to boot,

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Great Nature Debate

Some people from the Nature Society of Singapore are crying foul over the upcoming The North Face 100km Challenge. This is Singapore's premier trail race held annually in the Central Catchment Area. There are a few categories one of which is the 100km distance which is the subject of NSS' wrath. Apparently, the people from NSS are of the opinion that the runners running through the trails at night will upset the night life in the forest.

A similar complain was also made when the race first started in 2009 but despite that the race had continued to be held annually and ironically, grew bigger and bigger with more trail runners taking part.

The NSS people seems to suggest that the 100 + or so of runners who will be running through MacRitchie Reservoir and Bukit Timah will scare the hell out of the animals and forced them to run out onto the roads. Frankly I don't know how they came to such a conclusion. I think that will be the last thing trail runners will want to do. Most people who runs in the trails are nature lovers even if they did not start out that way. How to not fall in love with the great nature when in the trails the air is so much fresher, the sound of insects permeates throughout and there are always sighting of beautiful birds, squirrels, snakes and other interesting creatures..

Tn fact, if we want to be picky, the NSS should direct their wrath at the mountain bikers on bicycle or motorcycle and the casual day hiker. I have seen the damages done to the forest by the bikers especially those on the motor bikes at Tampines Mountain Bike trail and Tampines Quarry. They go all over the forest carving out new trails and in the process killing the plants and running over snakes. The casual hikers comes in big group, some blasting their music so loudly that whatever animals will all be driven away. And worse, they will pluck plants and trample all over the place to get a closer look at them. Then there are the nature photographers. Many time during my runs, I have seen them plucking leaves presumably with an insect or caterpillar on it and securing it to a clamp and photographing it away from the element. If that is not displacement, I don't know what is. Another group of people that the NSS should be going after are the bird photographers. I have heard and read on photography forums of how they go so near to nests that the mother bird flew away and abandon the nest or the chicks are removed from the nest so that they the photographers can take a close up pictures. 

So does that mean that we ban everybody from the forest and only the people from the NSS has the rights to go into the forest? If anything, I think the NSS should work hand in hand with all the other interest groups to cultivate respect for nature and share whatever remaining green that we have on this little island. Maybe then, the collective voice will be much louder and strong enough to be heard and influential enough to get a rethink on the proposed MRT line through the Central Catchment area and the development of Bukit Brown. Otherwise if NSS conttinues with it hard nose stand against all other user of the great reserve, the only loser will the nature that they seek so hard to protect.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

River Safari

Our first visit to the Singapore River Safari. To my disappointment, it was only partially open with some exhibits still not opened. But what was open to the public certainly didn't disappoint. And the landscaping was good. The place was beautifully landscape that it was like being in a resort.

True to its theme, there were exhibits after exhibit of fishes. In this respect, I actually prefer this to the South East Asia Aquarium where what they have are the usual sea water fish.

Here there are more exotic fish like the alligator gar, the Cambodian fish, Siamese Catfish, piranha and manatee, ok that is not a fish but still it lives in the water.

 And of course the highlight of the place are the panda.

And the side show

All photos by Alicia.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cheng Teng @ Amoy Food Centre

Many people have lamented that hawker food are going the way of the dodo bird but there have been a mini revival of sort in recent time with many hotel trained chef setting up their own hawker stall. Over at Amoy there is the Singapore Noodle and now there is a new Cheng Teng stall started by an ex-chef.

Good cheng teng are hard to find nowadays and so finding this one right next to my  work place is super great. The cheng teng here is not great great yet. It has some time to go before it can meet the standardof those at Bedok Corner or Commonwealth. But what it lack in taste, it make up for in its ingredient. It uses only traditional ingredients and no preservatives or refined sugar. 

 There are no cheap ingredient like barley, jelly strips. Instead there are dried persimmon, dried longan, gingko nut, red date, sweet potato, sago, winter melon,white fungus, pong tai hai which is the brown seaweed like stuff  and rock sugar.

The stock is a bit thin, very light in color and not as sweet as I would like. There are too little pong tai hai but overall this is pretty good stuff. Light and clear very good for cleansing one palate after a heavy meal.

The stall is on the 2nd floor of the Amoy Food Centre. Each bowl cost $2.50 a bit steep but in my opinion well worth the money. And in case anyone is wondering, the chef didn't pay me to do this write up.