Showing posts from March, 2015

A Post LKY Singapore

Singapore was an idea, but now a reality based on conservative caution and over whelming preparedness for its continuing future.

Singapore is a country very conscious of the fates of nations in the past, calculates its risks at all levels, harnesses the power of the human potential and fully acknowledges the vagaries and timing of opportunities arising and lost.  The government and economy has delivered but they both take no rest in taking things for granted.  Singapore's intelligentsia is passionate about the interplay of forces, changing politics, alignment of key factors and the means to survive and prosper.  It is a nation that has worked with very limited physical resources and utilises disadvantages to empower and lead.

Singapore's history has been powerfully influenced by both the positive and negative interactions of various cultures, religions and races.  It strongly monitors the continuing outcomes of such key factors around the world, seriously learns from how empi…

George Town, Penang - Street Food, South Indian

The tongue has to twirl itself a bit in naming this snack, but it is a truly simple rice flour breakfast creation from Tamil Nadu in southern India and also popular in Sri Lanka and south-east Asia.  Idiyappamflour is mixed with coconut milk to form a mixture which is then pressed against a holed ladle to create the vermicelli-like noodles.  Such noodles are steamed for eating and often flavoured with the Pandanus leaves favoured in tropical climes.  As the Putu itself is often plain, they are served often with palm sugar, grated coconut or jaggery (which is Hindi or Urdu for a composite made from sugar cane and palm sugar, which can be mixed with peanuts and coconut).  A total vegetarian diet choice!

Suggested Sources of Putu Mayam:
1.   Stall at the Sin Hup Aun Cafe, Pulau Tikus, near the site of the markets, from 6pm to 10pm.
2.  Stall in front of the preserved Birch House, now part of the Berjaya Times Square complex, Datuk Keramat Road near lower Penang R…

Chapel Street, Toorak and South Yarra - Melbourne Victoria

Adjoining Toorak is the hip Chapel Street, running seemingly for miles across different suburbs, with an eclectic choice of books, craft, clothes, accommodation, art and alternative lifestyle options.  The old Jam Factory now houses a cinema complex and shops, but the charm and thrill is literally the streets into the sun set.  It is not just the Chapel Street precinct, for nearby Prahran, Greville Village and the Windsor Quarter makes this area one of the most exciting that defines Melbourne itself.  A great place to ride your bike, but if you have to catch public transport, there are easy buses and train stations on the Sandringham Line (stations at South Yarra, Windsor and Prahran).  The Exchange, Commercial Road cruise clubs and Burlesque 54 offer the LBGT community a party focus.  Foodies naturally are attracted to the events organised here for the annual Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.
For luxury accommodation, check out the Olsen.  Then check out the nightlife with names l…

George Town, Penang - Street Food, Evenings


Suggested Other Sources of Oyster Omelette:1. Yi Garden Coffee shop, 150-152 Macalister Road near corner with Lorong Selamat - open from noon to midnight, except Sundays.2.Song River Cafe, 65 Gurney Drive - evenings, a tourist hub. This is within walking distance from the Gurney Plaza and Paragon shopping centres towards the middle of Gurney Drive.
3. Stall at the Pulau Tikus Markets - from 630am to noon every day.

4.Bee Hooi coffee shop, at the corner of Pulau Tikus Lane and Burma Road, with the stall for the oyster omelette open from 6pm to midnight.  Please note that this coffee shop is also open in the mornings but with a different set of stall holders and therefore street food!5.  Seng Thor Coffee Shop, 160 Carnarvon Street (near junction with Kimberly Street), open from 1pm to 530pm only and there is one day per week that they do not operate but this day is not fixed.
CHOON PNIAH OR DEEP FRIED SPRING ROLLS Suggested Sources of Choon Pniah:
1.  Beach Corne…

George Town, Penang - Street Food Midday


Suggested Other Sources of Poh Pniah:1. Sin Yin Nam Cafe at New Lane junction near Macalister Road.  New Lane has been localised in name to 'Lorong Baru".2.  Kek Seng coffee shop, 382-384 Penang Road, open daily from 8am to 5pm.3.   Stall at New World Park food court, Swatow Lane (from 11am to 4pm each day).4.   Wah Leong Coffee Shop, along Burma Road.

There are four types of laksa  - the curry laksa, the tamarind based laksa, the lemak or coconut milk based version and the Thai aromatic herbs recipe.

Suggested Sources of Tamarind Based Laksa:

1. Stalls in Air Itam Market near the Kek Lok Si Temple Complex in Air Itam (Black Water Village).  Popular with tourists.
2. Stalls in the Balik Pulau Market food court - this is on the western side of Penang island and not in George Town.  A gathering point for visitors from outside Balik Pulau.
3. Kek Seng Coffee Shop, 382-384 Penang Road, open from 800am to 5pm.
4. Kheng Pin coffee shop, 80 Pe…

George Town, Penang - My Favourite Things






People, Planning and Performance

So the cabin crew lady forgets, or omits, to bring you the juice you have asked for two times, even with your fellow passengers being aware of this.  This is on Silk Air between Penang and Singapore on the scheduled 1215pm flight on 28 February 2015.  Aw, is this only a minor thing?

However, on a later connecting flight, its parent airline, Singapore, consistently provides quality customer engagement, whether for business class or economy class passengers, on the flight sector between Singapore and Sydney.  The cabin crew members on the upper deck of the Airbus 380 exude greater training, better personality, show initiative and reach out beyond their mere job role on this overnight flight of SQ221, arriving at Sydney Airport around 735am on Sunday 1 March 2015.  The on-board in-flight entertainment facility was out of action for a while mid-flight, but I reckon no one passenger was bothered much.  This is because the overall flying experience with SQ on this flight was good, primaril…

Golden Phoenix Cantonese Restaurant, Equatorial Hotel - Penang

Celebrating the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, traditionally to commemorate the birth of humankind, my group had an elegant experience of what Cantonese can do in cuisine.   We aimed for things away from the usual banquets that are served all over the city, the country and really, the East Asian region and south-east Asia in these two weeks of festive delight, gatherings and celebration. We did not want the roast meat nor the noodles laden with seafood. We wanted something more delicate, creations that made more use of the inherent flavours of ingredients and showed the potential of carefully combined items when served on a plate.

We had contrasts of duck with a light pomelo laden salad.  The unavoidable gaminess of an essentially wet fowlhas been balanced with the freshness of a rather light citrus!   We are against the harvesting of sharks fins, so we chose the restorative powers of other sea creatures.  We wanted each dish to have meaning to mark the arrival of another Lunar…

George Town, Penang - Street Food in the Morning