DON’T know where to dine? Check bloggers’ reviews.
I recently came across a guide to Singapore food in the Australian newspaper, The Age (www.theage.com.au) which asserted: “Singaporeans love eating. Anything, at any time.
“To get the best from Singapore eating, it’s advisable to break all the Australian rules. Head for shopping centres. Go to luxury hotels. Indulge in fast food. Look for buffets. And eat something strange.”
Read more at TODAYonline.
We know we eat anything, at any time, and you could say that all Singaporeans are foodies. So there are definitely going to be at least a couple of food-related entries in almost every local blog.
There are even several dedicated food-slash-lifestyle blogs, but â€” such is the life-span of the average blog â€” many are created but stall just a few months later, with the most recent entries almost a few months old.
Makan Singapore (www.makansingapore.com), a website created by Singaporean Lisa Lim, is one such. When I last took a peek, the last entry was dated September, and its editors were taking a break. Still, Makan Singapore is an interesting read, with the occasional special feature (the last one was on the history of mooncakes), tried and tested recipes, and a blog section where Lisa and the other editors post snippets of food-related articles from other blogs.
It is a potentially rich repository of food-related writing and anecdotes, and I certainly hope this project is kept alive (hint: Please go there and contribute).
AromaCookery (aromacookery.com) has been around for a little over a year and is still going strong. If you’re looking for honest reviews about eating places, this is the place to go. A review of one restaurant chain reads: “On Visit 3, my fish and chips took ages to appear and were *gasp* half-cooked; they had to be sent back to the kitchen. Visit 4 left me feeling cold. *pause* Very cold.”
Apart from honest reviews, AromaCookery, whose tagline reads “a chronicle of holistic food therapy”, is lovingly maintained and illustrated with well-taken photographs.
Then, there are some people who seem to have all the time in the world to blog, and to blog about food in particular. Ivan of Recent Runes (recentrunes.typepad.com) has even been told he’s been blogging too frequently, and readers are finding it hard to finish reading his daily dose of three to eight posts a day.
“I will now do two or three (sometimes four) posts a day â€” if I can endure the feeling of not sharing something funny with people â€” so that you can catch up,” he wrote in response.
Sharing a meal with Ivan would have to be dramatic, I imagine. There’s a line in the 30-something-year-old’s blog that goes: “and when the dish was served, the room fell silent”.
You’d expect Ivan to be slightly technical, even clinical, about food, and with instructions that are so precise it makes you slightly embarrassed about wolfing down that last plate of char kway teow. He is, after all, a member of the Slow Food Convivium Society (www.slowfood.org.sg), a group which organises monthly luncheons at which “you’ll enjoy a unique gastronomic experience where your palate and senses will be seduced with fabulous food, matching wines, and scintillating conversation”.
If you think partaking of alcoholic beverages can’t be too complicated, read Ivan’s instructions on Grappa, a form of Italian brandy: “The trick to imbibing Grappa is to allow the alcohol (take a small sip) to evaporate slightly on your tongue, filling the mouth with the heady vapours of the good things that went into the distillate, and finally slowly letting the fluid slide down your throat.”
He also warns: “Shooting it down will curl the hairs on your chest and most likely sear your throat badly, if not kill you â€”it’s 35-40% alcohol.
“And yes, doing that sucking-to-the-back-of-your-throat thing (for wines) with this baby will melt your dentures and remove your tonsils.”
Just when you thought it was safe to eat out.
Mr Miyagi aka Benjamin Lee has been entertaining readers at miyagi.sg for over a year, and would blog more about food if he could remember to take pictures of the dishes before eating them.