Sunday, March 29, 2009

王菲 - 只愿为你守着约

只愿为你守着约 is one of my favourite Faye Wong songs. As far as I know, she had only sing this song live twice - Once in 1998 Heineken Concert in Hong Kong and her last concert in 2004. It is a highly difficult song to sing especially live because the key sprang up to rather high notes in the chorus. Then, because it is an ultimate lover ballad, you need to express a lot of emotions in the song which is difficult to control when sing live. The recorded version itself is of course well-sang and delicate, but when she sing live, it is totally another level. I do not think anyone can sing as well as her.

The following video is from the 1998 Henineken Concert. I like her eyes make-up a lot! It is one of my favourite Faye Wong look. Enjoy!

王菲 - 只愿为你守着约

作曲:黄舒骏 作词:黄舒骏 

除了等你 我的心如休止歌



但心中依然无悔 也无怨

不管阴晴圆缺 不管时间空间 


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Finally! Faye Wong Confirmed to Be Back (Briefly, that is)!!!

My oh My, I was delighted after reading the news! The Godess of Music is coming back! Faye Wong is going to be back soon !!! (Ahem...Erm… Briefly...)

Chinese media reported that Faye Wong had recently accepted a shampoo endorsement deal and she was allegedly paid a record-breaking $4 million Sing dollars for appearing in the ad !!! That is, amist the economy crisis, companies are still willing to pay her so much for an ad - it proved that she is still at the top of the game in Asian entertainment scene.
I am sure this news thrilled all Faye Wong fans around the world who have been waiting to see her since she announced her semi-retirement in 2005. 2009 is a special year for Faye. It is her twentieth year in the entertainment scene and rumours have it that she will likely make her comeback this year to mark the occasion. It was also speculated that the ad was the first step of her comeback.

Married to Li Ya Peng in 2006 and after giving birth to their youngest daughter Li Yan, Faye spent her time mostly in Beijing, leading a simple life. However, attention from the press and her fans never fade. Many of the fans pledged to wait for her to come back and I am one of them.

However, before everyone get too excited on her comeback, the news also reported that though she agreed to take up the endorsement, she is not keen to stage a world tour. It was reported that she does not want to leave her youngest daughter alone and will only accept work if it does not requires her out of Beijing. Some recording company even willing to pay her up to $20 million to produce album for her, but apparently she was not moved. Faye is not getting out of her bed for $20 million dollars!

Ok, I guess we will not get to see her in person and hear her sing soon... But Faye~ You are Still The Best, There Ever Was!!! By the way, the ad is likely to hit airwaves in April, so watch out everyone!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fried Shrimp Paste Chicken - 虾酱鸡 (Recipe with Photos)

Shrimp Paste Chicken, Har Jiong Kai (Cantonese Pronunciation) or 虾酱鸡 is one of Singaporean’s favourite fried chicken dish. It is a must-order when eating out at Zi Char Stall. Actually, it is quite easy to make the dish at home if you know how. So, here is recipe with the step-by-step method for making Shrimp Paste Chicken from scratch! I guaranteed that you will not just settle for normal fried chicken wings at home after learning this recipe.

Despite the popularity with Singaporean Chinese, Shrimp Paste Chicken is not a Chinese dish. It was in fact originated from our neighbouring country –Vietnam! To those who have not eaten it before, Shrimp Paste Chicken had a very distinctive salty seafood flavour that comes from shrimp paste. If properly executed, the chicken should be crispy on the outside but remained moist on the inside. Shrimp paste is a pinkish-grey coloured condiment made from fermented sea shrimps which had a distinct pungent smell and tasted very salty. It is widely used in cooking by some Chinese i.e. the Cantonese and South-East Asians.

To make Shrimp Paste Chicken, you will need:


Chicken Parts – You can use chicken wings, or whole chicken cut up in big chunks

Marinate for about 15 chicken wings:

Shrimp Paste – 1 tablespoon
Sugar – 2 tablespoon (depending on your
Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon
Ginger – Grated, 1 heaped tablespoon
Water – 2 tablespoon to dilute the mixture
To Serve:

Lime wedges


Defrost the chicken wings. Trim off the excess fats and skin. Our mum always did that when preparing chicken wings so that we can have healthier Chicken wings.
There are many brands of shrimp paste in the market. One of the more readily available one which you can get from supermarket is Lee Kum Kee's. It cost about $3.40 from NTUC.

I managed to get other brands from wet market and it cost about $2 something which is much cheaper. Just a word of caution. Do not be surprise to see flies buzzing around when using the shrimp paste. It is 'normal' for the shrimp paste to attract flies because it is fermented stuff.


Mix the marinate in a bowl without the chicken. Because personal taste differs, I strongly suggest you taste the marinate to see it suit your palette. The marinate should be a tad stronger than you would normally take because the chicken has not been added in.

The other reason for tasting the marinate first is that some shrimp paste might be saltier than the other brands, so the portion of sugar has to be adjusted accordingly. To taste, I don't mean you take a sip (it is yucky...), I mean you put a drop of the marinate on hand and 'taste' it with your tongue.

After adjusting the taste, mix in the chicken parts thoroughly. Ensure every pieces is coated evenly with marinate.

I usually marinate a lot of wings in one go. Divide them into one serving portion and store them in a plastic bag for freezing. Important thing to note: Do not leave the chicken in marination for days in fridge, otherwise the chicken will be too salty. One day is the maximum time that you can leave the chicken in the sauce.

I supposed the marination stopped when freezed, thus Shrimp paste chicken can be stored for weeks in freezer.

The Frying Process:

I know some people like to coat their chicken wings in batter for frying. I preferred to keep it simple by coating it with flour. I tried various combination - wheat flour, rice flour, corn flour etc but still prefer the rice and corn flour combination because it will give the chicken a light crust which is crunchier. The ratio of rice flour and corn flour should be 2:1. I have also added some pepper to lightly flavoured the flour.

Perfectly marinated chicken will looked slightly grayish. I left mine in freezer for about a week. To defrost them, I would leave it into the fridge compartment overnight. Then, one hour before frying, I would take them out of the fridge to thaw till room temperature.

Coat them lightly with the flavoured flour and try to shake off the excess flour.

In wok or deep fryer, heat oil to about 170 degree celcius. Then slide in the chicken lightly. Fry them till golden brown. Drained off the excess oil and served.

There you have it, finger-licking good Shrimp Paste Chicken! Squeeze lime juice over the fried chicken pieces just before eating. It helps to cuts the greasiness of fried chicken.

This is one of my best dishes that my family likes. I hope you all will like it as well!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Swissotel's New Asia Bar - Best City View in Singapore

I am not exaggerating on the title. This place is probably Singapore’s best kept secret as not many locals frequent it. The bar has the most beautiful city view in Singapore. Best of all, it is not expensive as you think it might be. It is in fact so affordable that the taxi fare back home would probably cost more than a drink there! Don’t believe? Read on!

Again, this bar was introduced to us by the same “rich” secondary school classmate few years back. Since then, I really believed that rich people know more than commoners like us. I would always bring my friends there to experience ultimate night life in Singapore. Swissotel as everyone would know is Singapore’s tallest hotel. At the top of the hotel, level 70th is the famed restaurant – The Equinox. However, one level above The Equinox which is the 71st level is Singapore’s highest bar – New Asia Bar.

So,what is so special about New Asia Bar? Located at the top of Swissotel , you get the bird eye view of Singapore business district and the surrounding Singapore River area. The view is especially spectacular come night time when the Central Business District lit up. The other thing about the bar is that their drinks are discounted during happy hours from 3 pm till 9 pm. There is 30% off selected drinks during happy hours or "Sundown period" as they termed it and the offers applies to all their lounges in the hotel.

The interior design of the bar is sleek and ultra sexy. Upon entering the bar, one would be greeted by the majestic chandelier. (Pardon the photo, I was a bit tipsy while taking this picture... Nah, just joking my camera is not suited for night shot.)
After 9 pm, the lights will be dimed, so that people's attention will be on the beautiful scenery and the brightly lited bar.

I ordered Caipirinha in Lychee Flavour. It has a similar taste as Mojito, but without the mint. Sweet and nice, definately a lady drink. I ordered it during sundown period and it cost me $13 dollars. I was amazed! Cocktails usually cost $15 dollars at most bars.

My friend ordered Mojito. It tasted quite nice too and yes it is $13 dollars too.

This drink just screamed "Sex and the City". The classic Cosmopolitan. One of my other friend ordered Hoegarden Beer which cost $9 dollars...

Actually, New Asia Bar offers a wide varieties of Champagne-based cocktails. In fact, there is always Moet and Chardon Champagne promotion there. I think one bottle cost about $135 which works out very worthwhile if you have few friends sharing. In the picture, my friend ordered this Lychee-liquor Champagne drink, but I could not remember the name. It is however not a sundown discounted drink and cost $24 dollars, but it tasted exquisite.

There are "free" chips for every table. However, as we did not have a satisfying dinner, I ordered their bar food to share. This is of course normal potatoes wedges. The "special" touch of this bar food is that the accompanied garlic mayo dip tasted very nice. It cost me $18 dollars and I am "grateful" that it was served pipping hot.

After mentioning for so many times about the stunning night view of Singapore, here it is. I must stress that all photos with Photosophize watermark including the one below is copyrighted. Do not reuse them without permission.

Looking at this reminds me of the following:

A Glass of Caipirinha for $13 dollars.
A Bottle of Moet and Chardon for $135 dollars.
A View like this Priceless...
For Everything Else, you have Master Card.


Another spectacular view of the other side of the city! This is the beauty of Singapore!

While we were there, we noticed something untypical of this lady sitting across our table. She had ordered a bottle of White Wine and was actually reading a novel while sipping through the glass. We all looked at her admirably. She had just given the term “reading a book” a whole new class and taken it up a level. Of course, I only wanted to ask her whether she really read the words in the dimed lights and if the techno music really did not bother her.

Perhaps one day in honour of her, I will bring my laptop there, ordered a bottle of champagne and start blogging there. I will then give the term “blogging” a whole new level! Hahaha…


Must visit. Enter the bar by approaching reception counter in the Intro Bar. You will guide to take a special lift to reach New Asia Bar. I supposed no one would want to climb up 71 floors to the bar. The lift is another special experience. I supposed it travelled in super sonic speed which brings you up there in merely few seconds.

Lastly, enjoy the night!


Their sundown period is daily from 3 pm till 9 pm. There is a cover charge of $25 dollars for Fridays, Saturdays and Eve of Public Holiday.

For more information about New Asia Bar, check them out here.

Read about other fun spots in Singapore:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Childhood Reminiscence - Sembawang Confectionery @ Beach Roard

Let's continue back to my childhood neighbourhood. Near our place, there is a confectionery named Sembawang. Yes, it is located at Beach Road, but not sure why it was named Sembawang instead.

Anyway, long before there were Breadtalk and Cake History outlets, confectioneries like the one above dominated the neighbourhood estates. They baked cakes and breads of various variety on location and sell them fresh.

I remember mum used to buy their banana cake slices and I always like the peanut butter cream cake. (I wonder if that was the reason why I was so big...) They are super cheap. It used to cost like 50 cents to 60 cents per piece and after the recent price hike, the cake only cost 80 cents per piece! I must say, unlike other neighbourhood confectioneries whose cakes are only so-so, theirs are quite good.

Then in the other side of the shop was their buns and breads. Goodness... I used to love their grounded peanut bun and their luncheon meat bun! The bun are the traditional kind. It has a soft texture and has a slightly sweet taste to it. Most importantly, I also find their buns healthier compared to BreadTalk and Cake History buns. I find BreadTalk and Cake History buns too rich and greasy.

However, the one thing that makes Sembawang famous is their Pandan Cake! I think Sebawang's Pandan cakes are one of the cheapest in Singapore ! It is so cheap that I think it cost more for me to bake them at home.
I always asked my mum to buy the Pandan cake back if she happened to go there to meet old neighbours. The photo above is their large one. Guess how much it is...

The large-sized Pandan cake cost only $4.50!!! Smaller one cost only $2 something... I mean one slice of Bengawan Pandan cake costed about $1.20 already and they sell small-sized whole Pandan cake for $2 something. I seriously wondered whether they make profit or not?

*Drop Jaw...

Look at the cake! It has a nice light green colour. Tasted very moist and tender.

But how is the taste? It is actually quite good. I have eaten both Bengawan's and Sembawang's Pandan cake. Bengawan's Pandan cake is a very much lighter version Chiffon cake that I find it closer to Angel cake’s texture. Light, but slightly unsubstantial. You don’t feel like you are eating cake. Sembawang’s Pandan cake is the opposite. It is tasted like the richer chiffon cake. It is light too, but has a slightly moist texture which I find it more substantial.

I personally prefer Sembawang’s Pandan Cake better. They of course win hands down for the price.

Sembawang Confertionery is located at Blk 6 Beach Road. It is few minutes walk from Golden Mile Market!

Prefer to bake your own? Read here !

Learning Languages – My Own Experience

From young, Chinese has been my strongest subject. The strangest thing is that I do not know how I did it. I don’t speak Chinese at home – we communicate in Hokkien mainly even among my brothers. Somehow, I would always top the class in Chinese. The highest score I even got for a Chinese test was 108 out of 110 marks in Primary school. I remembered a Chinese teacher actually got a few of us EM2 students who are good in Chinese to pit against his higher Chinese class which comprises of mainly EM1 students. I have never studied their module before, but managed to score 8 out of 10 for the test, while majority of the higher Chinese students scored 6s and 7s. Then moving on to Secondary School, I did not manage to hold on to the top scorer position since it will always be occupied by schoolmates from China and Hong Kong, but I supposed I was closely behind.

Singapore educational system emphasized importance in English Language. Being good in Chinese language does not really meant anything. In fact, you can fail Chinese and still have a way to go, but if you fail English, your school life is over. During Secondary school, my English standard dropped to an all time low. Not that I am blaming the school for my own bad, but seriously our school’s English standard is not as good as the Chinese standard. It got to a point where the whole express class can actually failed English test and the only one who passes is the highest scorer.

The struggle heightens during my O’level year. I do not think that I am at the bottom of the pit, but out of some reasons, the English teacher just likes to pick on me. The whole class English language were “atrocious” as my Secondary Four teacher put it, but I am the only one whom she chose to throw the assignment to the ground and shouted at me “YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PASS YOUR O’LEVEL ENGLISH!!! ”. Anyway, I got a lot of bad blood with this English teacher. I have no doubt that she is biased especially that there were many classmates who have failed and score the same points as me, but she did not singled them out.

Shamed, devastated and more importantly unconvinced of her biased judgement, I am determined to prove her wrong. After my June O’level Chinese papers, I go library at every opportunity to read books and finished doing all the mock tests in the ten year series book. Eventually, the hard work paid off. I was one of the two students who passes the prelim paper in class and was the higher scorer. The English Teacher who had vowed off supervising me looked at me in surprise and even claimed credit that my improvement was (anything but) all her effort. (Disgusted)

However, even then I only managed to pass my O’Level English papers. I managed to get into Polytechnic and had chosen an Engineering course. There were reports to write, but the marks were allocated based on the content and not so much on the English language. I scored rather well for my technical writing modules, but I believed if the lecturers were really particular about the English language, a lot of us will probably fail. You see at that point, we don’t realise that our English may not be on mark until now that I looked back.

Then, I joined my current company. I had a breakdown after few months. All my colleagues’ English were very good and mine was embarrassing bad. I struggled for very long. I went back to the O’level studying mode. I will be at the library every weekend and even brought Straits Times to read. I purposely chose to watch a lot of English shows i.e. dramas and documentaries and I would conscientiously read the English subtitle if I was watching a Chinese show.

To improve the written English, I also made an effort to chat and sms in proper English sentences which irritated my friends. In fact, one of the reasons which I started this blog was to practise writing in English. I used to write more in Chinese for the earlier posts, but switched to mainly English nowadays. Though I have not got much time to go library, but I will probably resume back to the mode if I was admitted into the degree course of my choice.

I have learnt that learning language has no short cut. One need practise. You don't learn to speak and write properly every day, you will lose the ability to use it and will affect your communication in future.

Then recently, I noticed this very weird trend that youngster nowadays have. They speak and write “gibberish” without knowing the consequences. I am disturbed that young people uses improper languages and think that it is cool. The problem with this trend is that youngsters think that it is acceptable because you are only communicating with friends, it is ok. It is in fact not ok. Like I explain, languages have to be practise constantly. If continues, they will one day not able to differentiate between proper language and “gibberish” anymore. In the end, they will come to regret that they did not learn language properly when they started working.

Young people, correct the habit before it is too late.

Examples of "Gibberish":

- Every sentence is ended with "xia".
E.g. Yesterday, I watch a movie xia, it was cool xia, got a lot of action xia.
I wondered whether xia refers to hero in Chinese. If so, there are often more superheros in one conversation than Marvel comic superheros combined.

- Using "De" in written English sentences for emphasis
E.g Very irritating de.
I thought people who write like that tried to sound cute.

- Speak English-accented Hokkien.
Instead of "Go" or hokkien pronouciation "zao", they say "Zhaow".
I am purist. I have problem with people purposely pronouncing Chinese or Dialect with English accent for sake of showing off. It is as if they are trying to act higher class which is disgusting.

- Instead of writing proper English, they write "Internet" spelling
I.e. Dunnoe (don’t know), Wat (What)
One day they will not be able to differentiate which is the proper English spelling...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Personality Test - What Should You Major In?

Another personality test from Blogthing! This test tells you what subject should you major in. Wow, I find it quite accurate too. I always the creative one, coming up with new ideas. Eventually, I want to do marketing one day! Crap... I just handed in my Uni application form...

Your Scholastic Strength Is Innovating !

You are the master of new ideas, techniques, and ways of looking at things.You are talented at structuring thoughts, decision making, clarifying, and making deadlines.

You should major in:

  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Design
  • Cognitive Science
  • Economics
  • Photography (Will I be able to support myself in Singapore if I major in Photography...?!)

Take test here !

More Personality Tests can be found here !

Huai Shan and Winter Melon Soup - 淮山冬瓜枸杞汤 Recipe

Soup is an important part of a meal to Chinese. Many of them, especially to the Cantonese, believed that having a bowl of good soup every day can help to improve one’s health. During meal time, soup is usually served first as starter. It is thought that the nutrition in soup will be best absorbed by body in empty stomach. Also, the soup which is usually served warm will wake your digestive system up and prepare it for more “complicated” food in time to come.

Soup making is an art. A lot of people will probably thought that soup being the simplest “dish” to prepare only required boiling the ingredients prepared. Actually not true. A lot of people can cook, but they might not make good soup. My mum is one of such person. Visa versa, there are people out there who make good soup, but cannot cook. There are details which one needs to pay attention to in order to make a pot of good soup. As long as the details are noted properly, I am sure everyone can make nutritious and enriching Chinese soup at home!

So, here is the first recipe of my favourite soup - Huai Shan and Winter Melon Soup - 淮山冬瓜枸杞汤.

To note: For this soup, you can omit the meat to make it vegetarian version. Feel free to adjust the portion according to your family size or the size of the pot. Soup-making unlike baking does not required exact measurement (unless you are making medicated soup), thus do not tear your hair out on the portion size.


Meat* 肉类– about 300g
Fresh Huai Shan 新鲜淮山– One stick
Winter Melon 冬瓜– One sliced disc
Carrots 红萝卜– Two

Dried Herbs:

Red Dates 红枣–about 8 to 12, Slice them open, leave the pit in
Dried Longan 龙眼干– 4 to 5 pcs
Dried Wolfberies 枸杞子- a handful


Water – Usually half a pot or a decent-sized bowl of water for each person plus an extra bowl of water for the pot**
Salt to taste


For this recipe, I used Pig soup bones. I only got that at home. Usually, I would prefer to use lean meat, so that the soup will appear clearer. My mum prefered to use spare ribs, but I thought it was too expensive. In any case, lean meat and spare ribs should be cut up in large chunks.

The following step is very important preparation step for meats. After giving them a quick wash under the tap, meats that are to be used for soup haeve to be boiled for a few minutes in hot water known as the "Cleansing" process.

This process is not meant to cook the meat, but to force out excess fats, blood water and impurities in the meat itself. As you can see in the picture below, the brown coloured foam-like subtances are the impurities. If you did not do this extra step, the impurities would cloud up your soup giving it a unpleasant after-taste and the soup will tend to be too oily.

To cleanse the meat, simply boil a small pot of water. Add pepper, ginger or a bit of chinese wine in it to slightly flavour the water so that it will rid the unpleasent meat smell while boiling. Add in the meat only when the water is boiling. Continue to let it boil for a good 2 to 3 minutes. Then remove from heat, pour away the hot water and give it a quick rinse. Set a side for use later.

There are several varieties of winter melon. Some are smaller who are sold whole. Some can grow up to 10 to 20 kgs which are usually cut up in "disc" for sale. Remove the seeds and skin. Cut them into large chunks. Winter melon is thought to be good for cooling the body down and regulates blood sugar.

For those who do not know what is Huai Shan. Da daa~ It is a kind of root vegetable with many medicinal propertises like lowering blood sugar and pressure etc. Read here for more details. They are usually sold in vacuum pack like the above, or packed in wood dust. Either of them are good to use, but my mum said that wood dust packed are fresher. I suggest to use one stem for the soup.

Ok, Huai Shan is a bit strange. It produced a slippery sap when skin are peeled off. When comes in contact with water, it get even more slippery. If you left it under running water, it might just disappear into water. I usually peel them with dry hand. Then grab tightly under hand, give it a quick rinse. On a clean cutting board, cut them into chunks.

Here are the dried chinese herbs. They should be given a quick rinse to rid of any dust and dirt. Red dates has to be cut into half, but there is no need to remove the pits.

Noticed how the vegetables are cut up in large chunks? For boiling soup, they cannot be too small a size, otherwise they would just disappear.


Boil water in soup pot.

Add in the meat when water boils.

Maintain high heat, wait till it came to a boil again, then add in the vegetables - Carrots, Huai Shan and Winter Melon. Again when it starts boiling, add in the remaining Chinese herbs - Red Dates, Dried Longan and Wolfberries. At this stage, tone down the heat to medium low, and left it to simmer for at least one and half hour.

Hours later, you will noticed that colour of the soup become richer, almost to a beautiful golden colour. As you are about to serve, add in salt to taste. I do not like to season the soup from start as you might over doing it. Sometimes properly simmered soup does not required additional seasoning. Some more particular Chinese would only drink the soup and not eat the ingredients as they thought that the nutrients are all release in the soup.
Viola! Here is Huai Shan and Winter Melon Soup - 淮山冬瓜枸杞汤. An enriching soup that is quite simple to prepare and furthermore good for your body. It should be served hot.

*Slurp, AHhhhhhhh~

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Unique Street Trades at Waterloo Street

I have written about Waterloo Street before on the famed Kwan Im Tong Hood Cho Temple and the Sri Krishnan Temple. I still got some photos of the area not yet posted. They are photos of “unique street trades” in Singapore. I wanted to highlight them separately because some of them are disappearing soon as there are no young people taking over them.

Ok, these are not exactly "unique street trades" that I wanted to highlight, but I posted these street performers' photo here out of respect. They are amazing. These ladies wore plastic-like clothing and stood under the hot sun to imitate statues. Once they got into certain position, they seldom moved. Occassionally, when people give them some money, they would bowed in robotic-like motion.

I must say the money which they earned qualify as hard-earned money. Firstly, I don't think their clothes are breathable and imagine that you have to stand under the hot sun in it for a few hours. Uncomfortable right? I am amazed that they don't get heat stroke. Furthermore, they don't even move... It must be very taxing on their body and confirmed get muscle-ache after that. Sweaty and sticky under your clothes and your painted face oily... If it was me, I will just cry.

Another street performer. This man is not a normal guy. He is a handicap man - blind. Like the statues ladies, he too had to stand for hours under the sun, singing along with his guitar accompaniment. I also find him amazing. Normal people will probably think that there is nothing great about singing and playing guitar. I agreed. When you play one song, there is hardly any difficulty. However, this man probably sings at least 30-40 songs per day. He actually has to remember both the songs’ lyrics and chords… Now that is an amazing feat.

I love music and actually taught myself from book on how to play electronic keyboard. It wasn’t easy. Like guitar, you have to remember the chords i.e. C, G, Am, G7, B etc in order to play the song smoothly. For one song, there are likely to be 5 to 6 interchangeably. I practised till I could play the song without looking at the chord book, but I can never sing along while I was playing. Thus, I really respect people like them who could play and sing at the same time.
The next time you see them, please do drop some money for them.

Fortune tellers along Waterloo street. I never approached them before, thus not sure whether they are accurate or not. Of course, people who do not believed in them will probably treat them as soothsayers. However, I did hear from people that some of them might be very accurate. There were many of them lining along Waterloo street, but many of them hardly got any customers. I wondered how much they could earn per day.

I am never quite sure how fortune tellers and astrologers alike learnt their skills from. I reckoned that their lesson must be pretty interesting...

Ok, this is one of the unique trades which I wanted to highlight - the Koh Yoh Man (Hokkien for medicine man). Speaking in cantonese, this man always appeared in Pasar Malam or Waterloo street selling self-formulated anti-itch and anti-fungus medicine cream. He claimed that the medicine cream can cure multiple diseases. I was rather skeptical about it. The interesting thing about these Koh Yoh Men is that they are excellent saleman. Long before there was TV Media, the Koh Yoh men already know how to attract crowds and sell stuff.

I did not take the picture, but he actually brought along a snake for display. People who are curious will step-up to take a closer look. Then up on his sleeves was his second marketing plan - scary pictures. Photos of some "final-stage"looking skin diseases are on display which he claimed can be cure using his special formulated cream. Those who are brave enough can perhaps try his cream or maybe if it is useful, Pharmaceutical companies could buy over his formula for mass production...

Ice-cream man. Singapore also have fair-share of weird ice-cream flavours e.g. Sweet corn, Atah chee (I really have no idea what this translate to in English), red bean and durains etc. This vendor sells a mixture of traditional ice-cream and ice-cream blocks. Traditional ice cream are the weird flavoured Sweet corn, Atah Chee ice-cream which are normally pink, brown, yellow in colours. Though supposed to be different flavours, one can hardly tasted the difference. They are usually scoped onto bread or ice-cream cone. Uniquely in Singapore, we eat ice-cream with bread. For westerners who are sick of eating ice-cream in cone, waffles, brownies, you can try it at home with white bread. It is like having a new filling for bread.

Only in recent years that ice-cream block starts to popularise. Ice-cream are froze in a rectangular block size. Upon order, Ice-cream man will cut up a portion from the block and sandwich them under two thin waffles. Once in hand, it is a race against time. Singapore's weather is hot. You got to eat quickly so that the ice-cream does not melt and get messy. These ice-cream blocks got latest flavour like mint and chocolate, cookies and cream, berries swirls etc. They might not taste as good as Movenpick or Ben and Jerry, but they are welcoming treats under the hot weather.

The cobbler - one of girl's best friend after diamonds, hairstylist etc. They are really disappearing soon as young people avoided this trade. Unlike those uniformed cobblers who also made keys in basement of shopping malls, these uncles specialised in mending shoes only and charges reasonably. Their skills is also supposedly better. Be it broken heels, slippery soles or flapping openings, the cobbler can mend and fix them in just hours. Before you know it, the shoes came back as good as new.

As society progresses, I wondered whether these street trends will still be around after 20 years...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Simple Fares - Chili Eggs and You Cai 油菜 (Recipes)

Weather has been erratic recently. One moment, it was sun shine out in full force as if it was trying to burn the hell out of us, else it was thunderstorm in rampage which sounded like they were going to destroy anything in its path – the merlion was one of the victims…

I am feeling under the weather too that I have been craving eating something light, something which will digest easily… However, I do not want to slave hours in the kitchen and then have to clean up the mess. Thus, I decided to cook up something simple, something easy to cook and delicious.

Chili Eggs

  • Eggs – 2
  • Coriander Leaves– a handful, chopped
  • Samba Chili – 2 teaspoons


Heat one tablespoon of oil in pan. Add Coriander.

Pour the eggs in.

Fry them until the sides are brown, but the yolks still runny. Poke the yolk and let them run.

Remove from heat. Spoon the chilli sauce over the eggs.

Top it up with more Coriander, then served.

You Cai – 油菜

You will need:

Cai Xin or any green leafty vegetables – Washed and cut into bite size

Sauce :
  • Sesame Seed Oil – One tablespoon
  • Oyster sauce or Soy sauce – One tablespoon
  • Vinegar – one teaspoon
  • Sugar – one teaspoon
  • Some of the “stock” left over from boiling the vegetable.
Boil water with some oil and salt. When boiling add in the vegetables.

The vegetables should not take longer than two minutes to cook, only lightly blenched. Arrange them nicely on plate.

Mixed the sauce in a seperate bowl.

While the vegetable is still hot, drench the sauce over it.

Simple fares which takes only minutes to cook. Minimum clean up and delicious. Serve them hot with rice! Yummy!