This is Singapore, you have to queue

I swear this is what the door-bitch at MOS told a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a business associate of mine who tried an excuse that went “I am wanting to entertain my business client from Hong Kong, and he’s leaving tomorrow so can you let us in?”:

This is Singapore, you have to queue.

Also, apparently, the manager at MOS has been sacked because the queues have been too long.

Bensphonecam069There are other things to do on the eve of another public holiday – go eat Hay Mee. This time, I got to the Adam Road Food Centre’s Hay Mee stall just before they closed.

Hay Mee Man 1 asked Hay Mee Man 2 if he would make another bowl because they were just about to clean up and close up. HM1 and HM2 were a lot more cheerful than the one I met over Christmas.

Wah, so late then eat ah?

Yah, late lunch, no dinner, that’s why.

Orh. Party already then come and eat ah?

No lah. Work late then come and eat.

Don’t bluff lah.

Yah, my friend was talking about your Hay Mee, so must come and eat lor?

Orh, first time ah?

No lah. Eat many times already.

Orh. OK Goodnight.

Bensphonecam070The $5 bowl of noodles was worth the conversation. And there was no queue.

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of Bring it on down to me from the album “aurgasm” by Lou Rawls of which I have the original CD.

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Sloshy Sunday

 42 83697551 1B059811E8The last time it rained so hard for so long, someone was commissioned to build a flood-worthy craft carrying winners of the world’s first beauty contest.

So there wasn’t much else to do (work commitments were cancelled as well) except have a really big brunch and think of a reasonable excuse for not attending Cowboy Caleb’s wedding dinner last night – I did say I was busy with work, which I was yesterday till around 7.30.

But anyway, back to the really big brunch. You can have one like I did at this place called Cafe Beviamo, at Tanglin Mall.

Tanglin Mall is part of Australia.

 Images Vegemite-115GmThe coffee at Beviamo is really good. So good that I had a latte instead of the usual double shot straight espresso. (OK, it was a double shot latte). Accompanying my coffee was a big plate with two large pieces of ciabatta, scrambled eggs, grilled tomato and whole olives, the name of which I cannot remember – dunnowhat komalavilas olives, or something like. Oh yah, and they serve Vegemite, which is da bomb! Vegemite’s good on toast, on scrambled eggs, on the tomato, on the olives, on the plate, off the knife, anything!

If you were to go to this Cafe Beviamo at Tanglin Mall, and if you’d ever been to Melbourne or Sydney, you’d marvel at how similar it is to cafes in Melbourne or Sydney, and go, hey this is really like Lygon Street or Oxford Street, because they even serve Lamingtons, which are little brown cakes with dedicated, delicitated, dessidated, delegated dried coconut, and which hitherto could only be found in Australia.

But then again, Tanglin Mall is part of Australia.

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of Sunday Morning from the album “Songs About Jane” by Maroon 5 of which I have the original CD.

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Local fare as described by NYT

One of my new year’s resolutions was to: ‘don’t whinge about Singapore so much, and instead get to know Singapore better (because I have no money to spend so much time out of Singapore)’.

It’s the third of January, and despite the weather being sucky as usual, I’m off to a pretty good start:

From comes this link from the venerable NYT, where the first travel article for the new year is on… tada… Singapore! And from this article comes something I never knew:

Locals top off their meals with a dessert of aloe vera chunks floating in crushed ice and barely sweetened water ($6).

Where to buy har? Got meh? Which locals? If NYT say have, sure have one!

Auntie, one dessert of aloe vera chunks floating in crushed ice and barely sweetened water, please… the six dollar one?

Har? Simi Aloe Vera lah! Here is sell ice-kachang, ice-chingtng and ice-jerry only! You want the Aloe Vera one is the canned drink. $1.50. Add ice put in a bowl is extra $4.50, you still want?

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Locals top off their meals by pouring paint all over buckets of ground ice: Photo from

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of Limehouse Blues from the album “85 And Still Swinging” by Stephane Grappelli of which I have the original CD.

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Even Hay Mee Men get the blues

The working days between Christmas and New Year’s is either called ‘Nothing Week’, or ‘Nonsense Week’ by some of my more unfortunate friends. Those who have to work, that is.

(Those who are on vacation – Nabeh, fark orf!)

If you haven’t already experienced it, you’d have discovered these past days that work has been really, like, you know, a lot, you know? And like, you know, wah lao, come from everywhere, like, you know?

You’d also have known that if you didn’t plan every hour of these types of days, you’d forget to eat and sleep. So it was a very good thing the past couple of days that I had the good sense to plan (to buy) dinner.

At the Zion Road Food Centre tonight, I had a craving for soup noodles, so I looked around for a stall that sold the stuff. Then I was reminded that there was that Famous Prawn Noodle (Hay Mee) Stall there, at Zion Riverside Food Centre, where there’s also the Famous Char Kuay Teow Stall, the Famous Wonton Mee Stall, and the Famous Rojak Stall.

As I stood in front of the stall, the Hay Mee Man looked up from behind the glass pane and asked what I wanted. I said in Mandarin, ‘Big Prawn Noodles‘.

I swear, he sighed when he asked again, ‘Those are $15. You still want?

I asked for the ‘Not So Big Noodles’, which were $10. And as he halved the (still rather) large prawns and boiled them in the pot of stock, he muttered something about ‘business no good these days’.

That probably meant I wasn’t gonna be able to ask for an extra prawn.

Zion Road Prawn Noodle SoupHe went on to talk about how he had wasted money on advertising, and that it didn’t help his business any. Good thing at this point, the soup noodles were done, and I had to take my dinner, which was very yummy, by the way.

After I was done, I popped by Hay Mee Man’s stall again and asked if I could take a picture of him standing in front of the stall, for you know, to put online on the internet so that my friends can see it and they can come by and eat his Famous Hay Mee?

Hay Mee Man declined, saying he wasn’t ‘used to it’, so I just took a picture of the stall.

‘Ask your friends to come and try lah’, he went on.

‘Yah, that’s why I’m putting this up on the web’, I said.

‘Aiyah, no use one lah, I try before’, he sighed, again.

Zion Road Prawn Noodle Soup
Stall 13, Zion Riverside Food Centre – Ignore the prices on the board, thems are for the midget prawns

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of Frosty The Snowman from the album “The Very Best Of Christmas Favourites” by Roy Hargrove/Christian McBride of which I have the original CD.

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Don’t say no, just sago

Raw sago pearls

I was reading up on sago, and telling myself, ‘Wah, this nifty little palm product makes so many different types of dessert across so many countries and cultures, so it’s got to be hailed as a truly pan-Asian foodstuff’.

Good thing it was only two seconds later that I realised ‘Fuck lah, rice! Rice also what! Stupid!’

But never mind, you should still take a look at what sago can be used to make – at the Singapore Food History webpage.

And then you can go vote for Mr Miyagi.

Sago as cooked and used in traditional confectionery such as Kueh Sum Ting

Vale, C.V. Devan Nair

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