Food Mission 2017: Fishball Story

Finally catching up to some of the interesting / exciting food that I have been checking out in year 2017 so far.

Heard much about Fishball Story of this young hawker who went into the business of selling handmade fishall noodles – which arose out of a passion for food. I did not manage to check out the stall from their initial humble beginnings at Golden Mile Food Centre, and subsequently their move to NUS UTown and their 2nd outlet at Timbre+. However, recently I read online that they have moved to a coffee shop at Geylang Lor 28, and is now open from 10 am all the way to 2am. Moreover Lor 28 is within vicinity of Yoga Inc Guillemard. Which means I had to go!

And so one rainy day after Sunday morning Yin yoga, I made my way down to Lor 28 for this ‘legendary’ fishball noodles.

The stall located right inside the Hungry Bee coffeeshop.

Very extensive menu that includes the original fishball noodle that they first started off with, and a premium fishball noodle with more ingredients (additional fried fish skin and fried beancurd in fish paste).

Since I walked all the way in the heavy rain to try this, might as well go for the Premium Fishball Noodle – which is still affordable at $6 per bowl.

Pretty decent portion-ed, 4 fishballs, fishcakes, plus the fried fish skin and fried beancurd you see inside the big plate. Didn’t not take any more videos/pictures after that as I was very hungry after all that walking in the rain.  Just like what majority of the reviews online commented, the fishballs are 100% handmade with yellow tail fish meat – which is bouncy and great on the bite without having the flour-like taste that is common for machine made fishballs.

While the fried fish skin and dumpling further enhances the entire presentation of the noodles, however the main differentiator between good and great fishball noodles would be the sambal chilli. The sambal chilli, which I believe is handmade from scratch as well, is very fragrant and gives the noodles a real punch.

This was definitely so good that they were awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in year 2016, although they were not in for year 2017. Not that it really matters that much to me – Michelin or No Michelin, it is still one of the best fishball noodles I have ever tasted.

Furthermore, I find it really inspiring that Douglas Ng as a young hawker rose to the challenge and has made a success story out of himself, and at the same time, contributed to continuing the legacy of Singapore’s unique hawker culture – check out this fantastic Vulcan Post write-up. Food outlets like Fishball Story deserve our support definitely!

Details:

Fishball Story

Hungry Bee Coffeeshop, Lor 28 Geylang                                                                                                    Opening Hours: 1000 Hrs to 0200 Hrs (next morning)

Timbre+ #01-14                                                                                                                                           Opening Hours: 0800 Hrs to 1800 Hrs, Monday To Friday

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fishballstory/

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

Catching up on my blog after a very long week!

Meant to do another photo collage but as Wednesday had past, this was slightly overdue 😛

Decided to do a tiled gallery theme for this entry – as versus to my usual combining of photos into a Photo Collage app such as Instamag, PhotoGrid.

The theme here is – Colours of Arab Street.  Snapped this on a random Sunday afternoon walk after lunch. Despite having gone to Arab Street before, this is actually my 1st time spotting these beautiful wall murals that give Arab Street a more colourful feel.

The original challenge entry:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/collage/

 

Of Election Fever & Orh Luak

Long time no blog since my last food review entry and SG50 entries thanks to a busy schedule peppered with many distractions along the way.

Life has been fast paced. Almost immediately after National Day (SG50) celebrations now comes General Election. The 2nd time I’m voting since GE2011 (back in year 2011 May).

Had intended to post this way earlier but only doing so now as yesterday was Cooling Day (to keep with the spirit of Cooling Day, no election related posts). Not going into personal thoughts and reflections proper …… but a notable soundbite of this General Elections was orh luak …… which all began with this particular orh luak from Bedok 85 market!

With a further follow-up!

Thus in the season of Orh Luak politics, I got to have my customary plate of Orh Luak!

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I seldom/try not to eat orh luak that often as it is high in starch & calories. Ended up having this at the Bedok 85 branch @ Kovan Food Centre. Was in Kovan area that particular day and had planned to have orh luak there (since Kovan area itself has a few good orh luak :P). Originally planned to check out this legendary Simon Road Oyster Omelette as recommened on ieatishootipost …… but since it was a pretty long walk across to the end of Simon Road from Heartland Mall, settled for my usual fix at Kovan instead.

Not as good as the last time I had it, as it was rather cold, and less crispy as usual. But more important, in the spirit of elections, I had my orh luak craving satisfied 🙂

SG50 Jubliee Weekend – Throwback: National Day Parade 2013

2nd National Day / SG50 follow-up post. Finally had some time to blog proper (decided to work from home today to focus on working on some strategic stuff) 😛

We had a spectacular NDP at the Padang this year, which ended off with some of the most spectacular fireworks displays in recent NDPs. This reminded me of my one and only experience of watching the NDP live at the Marina Bay Floating Platform 2 years back in year 2013. A lot less spectacular than this year’s SG50 celebrations, but still an experience as it is not easy to be balloted tickets successfully. After watching this year’s NDP on TV, it made me appreciate a lot more my ‘live’ experience back in 2013 …… thus this throwback entry!

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Fireworks! As you can see, it is a lot less spectacular and smaller scale as compared to this year’s.

SG50 Jubliee Weekend – The Local / Singapore Food Edition

Another long weekend again. This time round its the SG50 Singapore Jubilee Weekend – where there was a Friday (7th August) given as a public holiday, followed by the Monday (10th August) after Singapore’s 50th National Day (9th August) which falls on a Sunday.

So long weekend becomes ‘catch-up’ time and a legitimate reason for less work (but still have work to catch up). Which also means some time to catch up on blogging 😛

Have 2 draft entries that I barely made progress on …… but since this is Jubilee Weekend, here comes the inspiration for some Singapore-related entries!

Since beginning of the year, I have been actively taking pictures of my various lunches with the view of doing a CBD lunch entry of sorts (but ended up somewhat abandoning the plan). I am someone who loves her local Singapore food …… and I’m perfectly happy having lunch/dinner at the hawker centre and coffeeshop (with the once in a while restaurant & exotic cuisine indulgence). Thus spent some time going through the pictures in my phone to compile some pictures of some of my favourite local Singapore food for this entry 😀

Decide to start from pictures taken from year 2015 onwards (as I only started using my current Samsung Note 4 late last year). I am mainly featuring food that is unique to Singapore (link: wikipedia entry on Singaporean cuisine) – and usually found in hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts

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This was from January 2015. From left to right – Tong Xin Ju Shanghai Dim Sum @ Maxwell Market (Guo Tie & Beijing Noodle) …. Ayam Penyent @ Shenton House …. Cold Soy Bean @ Long Ji (Tiong Bahru Market) …. Hui Ji Fishball Noodle @ Tiong Bahru Market …. Fish Slice Noodle @ An Ji (Chinatown) …. Fried Hokkien Mee @ Beng Hiang Restaurant …. Prawn Noodle @ River South (Hoe Nam) Prawn Noodles …. Pork Belly In Shrimp Paste @ Jem Foodcourt (a really unique Peranakan Dish I chanced upon).

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This is from February to mid April. Me & D went for a CNY kai gong Ba Kut Teh lunch @ Outram Ya Hua – that was 2 bus stops away from our office. The soup was nice & peppery (without being overly peppery) but the portions were really small. I guess given their ‘legendary status’ from their original days at Duxton – where the Duxton HDB is now at, they have become so much more expensive.

There are also my usual lunch staples – Yuan Chun Lor Mee @ Amoy Food Centre and the Teochew Beef Kway Teow / Noodle @ Amoy Food Centre. Plus ocasional sinful indulgences – Fried Hokkien Mee & the famous Jian Bo Swee Shui Kweh @ Tiong Bahru Market …… Plus the really sinful Fried Oyster Omelette from the Bedok 85 branch stall @ Kovan Food Centre (Which in my opinion, is really one of the better oyster omelettes around. Since its already sinful, it’s better to go for a really good one as versus a mediocre one :P) . Of course, all balanced out with the famous mixed pork and intestines porridge from Hwa Yuen (also @ Tiong Bahru Market) – one of the smoothest porridge around town!

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In more recent times, starting from bottom – Black Pepper Beef With Rice @ Pepper Bowl (Amoy Food Centre) …… a new favourite – Mini Steamboat Seafood Set @ New Hong Kong Congee (Amoy Food Centre) which in my opinion is a very underrated stall. Salted Egg Pork Ribs @ Chop Lian Hin (Teban Gardens) which is becoming my family’s new to-go place for weekend dinners for its homely and yet inexpensive tze char dishes …… Crayfish with Prawn Hor Fun @ Tuck Kee Ipoh Sar Hor Fun (Hong Lim Food Centre) and of course – Durians to top it off (as it was a bumper Durian season just back in June & July)!

Food Mission 2015: OSO Ristorante

After a sombre week of mourning and reflection (as per my last entry) …… decided to take out some time from the Good Friday long weekend to get this food review entry out of my drafts folder, and do a complete re-write at the same time 🙂

Z had suggested checking out Singapore Restaurant Week – as this is where participating restaurants (mainly fine dining establishments) offer their set menus at a special price. We then zoomed in on OSO Ristorante due to the many GREAT reviews that we have heard of the place.

As one of the participating restaurants, the set dinner was available at a special price of $50++, with an additional $30 dinner charge as stated in the Restaurant Week website.

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We had initially thought that it was a 3 course meal, only to realize that the soup and pasta were separate dishes by itself …… thus making it a full 5 course meal. This is definitely a fantastic deal for an Italian fine dining restaurant under the Singapore Restaurant Week promotions! 😀

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1st up, the appetizer! Smoked Salmon Panna Cotta With Avruga Cavaiar Cucumber-Mint and Gin Liquor Sauce.

My 1st time coming across such a combo. Imagine combining the sweet and smooth taste of an Italian style Panna Cotta with the milder taste of smoked salmon, and to add on a tinge of mint! Was expecting the mint-taste to give the overall appetizer an electic touch …… but it was a lot milder than we expected. This appetizer didn’t wow us that much after all.

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Next up, a classic soup – Cauliflower Soup With Black Truffle Puree and a contemporary pasta – Angel Hair Pasta with Beetroot-Basil Pesto Shrimps, Green Asparagus & Melted Gold.

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Our mains. There were 2 different mains for us to choose from – Stewed Dory Fillet In Lobster-Orange Bisque (or) Braised Veal With Red Wine. I opted for the veal while Z & L took the dory, whilst I shared parts of the veal with them. We felt the veal was more unique and better done, as compared to the dory which was more ordinary.

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Finally dessert to cap off the meal. This is OSO’s Signature Oven Baked Oso’s Classic “Crostata” With 70% Dark Chocolate And Milk Ice-Cream. And easily the BEST part and the highlight of our meal. It looked like a very simple chocolate tart …… BUT the moment you break open the ‘tart’ itself, the milk ice-cream comes gushing out and makes a potent combination with the dark chocolate. Yummmy!

All in all, while the set dinner was at a very good price point (thanks to Singapore Restaurant Week) which we paid $55++ in the end (they did not charge us the additional dinner charge) …… the food did not exactly wow us unlike what we have read in various online reviews, with exception of the dessert :P. But it was a great dining experience, and the restaurant itself had a very nice, cosy interior (refer to the pictures in the official website) without coming across as overly exclusive/stuffy/high class. Speaking of Italian food, since Z and L kept wowing about Valentino, I have earmarked it as a to-go place next!

Details:

OSO Ristorante
46 Bukit Pasoh Road
Singapore 089858
Tel: (65) 6327 8378
Fax: (65) 6224 9610

Email: reservations@oso.sg

Opening Hours
Lunch : 12pm – 2:30pm (Mon – Fri)
Dinner : 6:30pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat)

Website: http://www.oso.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/osoristorante

This Is My Singapore

Along with the week in mourning along with the rest of Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew’s passing) came with an extended blogger’ block/writing hiatus as I did not manage to publish a food review entry as originally intended.

Exactly 1 week plus ago, when I first heard of his eventual passing on Monday 23 March 2015, 0318 Hours, I simply had no time to process all that information and what that means going forward as I had not one, but two appointments on the day itself …… and my main priority at that point in time is to get through them in one piece!

However eventually, the finality of his passing eventually sank in as the week started to go by, with the whole of Singapore in a 7 day period of National Mourning. Work started to get more dreary (as much as you try your best to go on as per normal) …… and office (and even the streets and the trains) started to get more empty once the lying in state began on Wednesday 25 March, where Parliament House was open to the public to pay their last respects. And also with increasing news write-ups and tributes pouring in from all walks of life and from all over the world …… the reality that we have lost our founding father of modern Singapore started to sink in bit by bit.

To borrow a quote from Jim Rohn

All good men and woman must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.

Many a time, the legacy and achievements of a person is best felt upon a person’s death. Be it a family member, close friend, colleague etc. In the larger context of Lee Kuan Yew, National Mourning aside as we say our final farewells to him, it has resulted in many of us (myself included) reflecting on and contemplating on Singapore’s progress from a fishing village to British colony to being part of Malaysia to being a small independent country (with an uncertain future) …… and to the modern and cosmopolitan Singapore we see today. This is best represented by 1st the sail like landmark that is Marina Bay Sands – the significance that Integrated Resorts (IR) and casinos represent a new economic and societal shift for Singapore …… and 2nd the dome like Gardens By The Bay.

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And the beautiful and clean garden city Singapore has become ……

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Despite our numerous complaints about various things as part of living in Singapore (MRT breakdowns, CPF, Housing policies, FAIR etc.) …… to honour Lee Kuan Yew and his contributions, for myself at least, I had made it a point NOT to complain, and instead give gratitude and thanks to Lee Kuan Yew for his contributions to Singapore. Such as our MRT system which has brought us great inconvenience in getting from one end of Singapore to another in a faster and more comfortable manner (as versus a 1.5 to 2 hour journey via bus) …… the nice, spacious and comfortable HDB apartments that we live in, a safe city with low crime rates (not an issue to take a cab back home alone after 12 midnight), and even hawker centres where we get to enjoy a great variety of food that is inexpensive and more importantly, in a clean environment. And major credit, having the vision to create Marina Barrage so that we are not entirely dependant on Malaysia for our water needs.

As a matter of fact, the slow-ness of the MRT became a lot more bearable since National Mourning period began …… thanks to a change of mindset.

And in my small little way, I managed to make it to Padang on Friday night i.e. 27th March (after 2 unproductive work meetings that were a waste of time) …… only to join in the long wait from 10pm all the way till 630am the next morning to pay my final respects to Lee Kuan Yew. The number of people who wanted to pay their last respects to him at the Parliament House swelled to such a huge number that at one point, the authorities had to suspend the quene (that was around 11pm). And it was at this point that I truly felt a united Singapore as we were all grateful to Lee Kuan Yew for bringing Singapore to what she is today …… irregardless of race, religion, age, political differences (this is important given the rise of many pro-opposition and anti-establishment views in today’s social media age). No complaints despite the Friday night queue being one of the longest and most crowded (since many didn’t have to work on a Saturday) …… only thing is that as with age, its harder to recover from not sleeping the entire night as I subsequently slept heavily through the weekend all the way till Monday.

I suppose the best way to continue to live on Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy will be to live our lives well and continue to do our best with the opportunities we are given. SG50 celebrations will take on a new meaning now.