PEr FYI

August 18, 2019

Mui Kee Congee, Singapore…Is there a sadder sound than the scraping of your spoon on the bottom of a congee bowl?

If I’ve learned one thing from ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ it’s that Goldilocks had the right idea: you’ve got to be picky about your porridge or congee. The good old fashioned, authentic congee I’ve sampled  at Mui Kee is juuuust right. It serves exactly the kind of Chinese food that you would get in the best of Hong Kong restaurants. It’s a tiny place with no room to eat in, but it’s proper street food with a kick.

There is a great selection of parrot fish belly, homemade pork meatballs and threadfin belly. It is incredibly delicious and well made with the ones with the fish belly having a distinct presence of wok hei in the porridge, which we all love.

Is there a sadder sound than the scraping of your spoon on the bottom of a congee bowl? Paws off, baby bear. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

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August 4, 2019

Phantom of the Opera, Singapore…still awesome spectacle after all these years

It has been more than 15 years since I first saw, and was not particularly entranced by, “The Phantom of the Opera,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that has been playing for more than 33 years (longest-running show in Broadway and the West End history!) and grossed $6 billion dollars worldwide (more than any other musical or even, gasp, movie!). But after watching it for the third time, I am made to love the lush, romantic, string-filled songs, the effect is offset by the comic jauntiness of Prima Donna or the pavane-like stateliness of Masquerade with neat lyrics (‘Masquerade-paper faces on parade,’)

The score, story, and visual wonders of this grandest of all current Broadway musicals,  the intoxicating power of songs such as “The Music of the Night” and the thunderous title number remains irresistible. The design is a heady barrage of ravishing costumes and lavish sets that change frequently, working in everything even to a descent into the underworld via a tilting bridge that leads to a candle-filled lake. No one can ever say that they’re not getting their money’s worth from this ticket.

There are musicals and musicals—and then there is the incomparable Phantom of the Opera: Awesome in scale. Luscious with melody. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 13, 2019

Pink Fish, Singapore…why bother?

Salmon burgers are one of those foods that always seem like they should taste better than they do. This leads to a feeling of disappointment like I had when watching the first few episodes of Netflix’s Iron Fist.

To be straightforward with you, my opinion on the burger is it was boring and it boils down to the salmon. Don’t get me wrong. I love salmon. But in a burger the meat feels so mashed and pressed together to the point that it tasted mushy. It lacks the tight, springy texture of beef patty. Once I got through that, on its own it just tasted boring.

There was nothing delicious or memorable about it, and that’s essential in any burger. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 23, 2019

Sandbox, Singapore…I battled zombies for 30 minutes and it was awesome

If you’ve ever fancied a high adrenaline zombie killing spree with 3 of your best mates, look no further. At sandbox, you can finally find out how you and your friends would fare if you ever found yourself in fighting off rabid, flesh-eating zombies and infectious rats.

Using cutting-edge virtual reality technology, this is a totally unique and immersive experience that will chill you to the bone. With Hyper-Reality it means that this is not just a passive VR journey, where you sit in a chair and get bombarded with visual information that doesn’t match what your body is telling you is happening. When I walk forward in Deadwood Mansion, I actually walk forward. Of course, pictures and words cannot come close to conveying how immersive the whole experience is, you’ll have to try it for yourself. Or you can take my word for it that, thanks to the sensations and blasters and rumble packs, there was a sense of panic as I battled these ghouls and, in particular, something approaching genuine peril as a certain giant monster appears towards the end. I confess I was sincerely relieved when that chapter was done.

A must for your Halloween itinerary, if you’re brave enough of course. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 2, 2019

Wang Dae Bak, Singapore…at last, a Korean with real Seoul

It is an expression of Korean culture and Wang Dae Bak delivers that in spades. It has amazingly authentic K-ambience where the food arrives rapidly and the bill doesn’t faintly depress you. It feels like a rare, special place, offering familiar Korean flavours.

The menu covers a tight edit of all the things you’d expect to see. The marinated prime rib and marinated shoulder were incredible renderings. The spicy chicken is a little greasy, but satisfying for all that. The seafood pancake is bang on. The downside is that the very hard and tough pork rib didn’t reach the heights of everything else.

Over the speakers, K-pop boys sing on, but I only have ears for this shameless pork. A visit to Wang Dae Bak is dinner deep in Seoul where the smoke gets in your eyes, your hair and your memory. And I like it there.

If you are ever nearby, you know what to do. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 18, 2019

Tsui Wah, Singapore…covers all the bases

This iconic cha chaan teng (tea café) from Hong Kong that had humble beginnings as a bing sutt (ice cafe) at Mongkok in 1967 has landed in Singapore.

The taste combination of the signature sweet condensed milk and the fragrant crispy bun was fantastic, but the weak crispiness was a bit of a let down. King prawns with XO sauce in tossed noodles is the one to go for here. The noodles were springy and the prawns were super-fresh. Wantons with shrimp roe in fish soup is also a favourite. Within the simple delicious broth, the wantons – fat, plump, and bursting with shrimp – are a winner.

What to avoid: Seafood curry with steamed rice & stir-fried instant noodles with pork chop and assorted vegetables on sizzling plate. Unless you really need to satisfy the sudden urge for curry, there are much better places to go that won’t leave you full of regret. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 19, 2019

Beauty Box, Singapore…It’s an image straight out of a Tatler magazine

Filed under: Activities, Photography, Singapore — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 5:27 pm

I look very sensitive and contemplative in the picture.

I liked the way they light up their subject and how they go about preparing their lighting set up. They highlight each person’s individuality whilst giving the series equality, everyone photographed in the same way against the same background. They shared some amusing anecdotes when we arrived at the shoot, and  this lightened the mood. We seemed to be on a level of trust quite quickly. They have the unique ability to capture the essence of the subjects and to focus the viewers attention on the subject’s greatest attributes. In short., very highest artistic and photographic standards.

The result…a quality image which reveals inner and outer beauty. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 31, 2019

Creamery, Singapore…paradise for those with a sweet tooth.

If you love chocolate as much as me, and you’re hungry, then look away now.

These days desserts have been supersized, with enough calories to fuel a family for a month. The Choc a lot is the top seller for a reason – cookie chocolate lava include a scoop of ice cream. Choose your flavour of ice cream – I picked Banoffee (banana, toffee and choco mud pie) – and indulge. Each bite was a perfect ratio of crumbly cake and warm sauce. If you’re feeling extra naughty, order one of their indulgent brownie topped with milo dinosaur ice cream to go with it.

Arrive hungry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 23, 2019

Char Casual Dining, Singapore…moved to speechlessness by their char siew

Char is renowned for its roast meats. The char siew and crispy roast pork belly are pure meaty succulence and flavourful intensity. And what flavours! The meats are as good as anything you’ll get in Guangdong and need to be eaten with just some steamed rice to make you feel that life – and food – really doesn’t get much better than this.

The Signature char siew – melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a sublime sauce that is the ultimate blend of salty, sweet and deliciously sticky. The crispy roast pork belly – the crackling that comes from the meat is the main character of a good roast. The meat has been marinated in a blend of Chinese and Western herbs and roasted on high heat. By all means try some salted egg pork – tender pieces of boneless rib meat deep fried for a crispy outside but a tender inside and stir fried in a creamy sauce of salted egg, chilli and curry leaves and, to balance the simplicity of the meats, add in Char’s homemade charcoal beancurd with spinach and wild fungi – homemade silky charcoal beancurd that’s steamed and then deep fried, laid on a bed of poached spinach and topped with wild fungi and a delicious sauce.

The prices border on a blow-out, so order carefully. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 10, 2019

White Restaurant, Singapore…I brave the queue to get in, but I’ll go elsewhere next time

The white beehoon (rice vermicelli) revolution is already well underway. The small, unshowy White Restaurant now has 5 outlets across Singapore.

Service is friendly, fast and informal. As for the food, I don’t have any negatives to speak of. In addition to the white beehoon, I had the sambal lala and the meat and seafood roll which will complement the dish excellently. There was satisfying freshness to all of the food I tried, an evenness of ­flavours, a happy contrast of ­textures and temperatures.

Was it a transcendent experience? Well, the ­answer is no. It was decent, yet not brilliant. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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