An aspiring wordsmith with an ephemeral attention span, drawn to stirring ideas and visual images that evoke thought and awaken an inner consciousness. Ever eager to grasp an understanding of differing perceptions arising from cultural nuances and subtle variations in the way we view the world around us.

The owner has a weak spot for fast cars. He is at times prone to misanthropy but given some space, he will return to his happy self. He craves excitement brought about by change to his surroundings and the people he meets, for stagnation and predictability bore him and cause overwhelming disinterest.

 

The value of Singapore cuisine is in how much we're willing to pay for it.

thebeerhawker:

Many Singaporeans reacted with grave consternation over the recent news that the iconic Nasi Padang River Valley along Zion Road would be closing down. Nasi Padang River Valley, which has operating since 1957, announced that they will shutter their doors for good by the end of this month due to a…

I personally feel that it’s time for such stalls to consider an exercise in branding and re-positioning - not for the sake of increasing their profit margins per se, but to educate customers about the quality of ingredients and skills required to put such delicious local cuisine on a plate in front of diners.

Restaurants talk about things like their master stocks and how arduous the process is to create certain menu items, and now is probably as good a time as any for our local hawker heroes to do the same. They may not have their own platform or even the know-how to embark on such an awareness campaign, so perhaps it’s time for our local food writers and bloggers to pitch in. It could be food reviews or even just posting photos with location-tags just to help drive more traffic.

We can all do our part - and also stop short-changing our hawker heroes.

Be with someone who you don’t have to hide from, in any way. Whether it’s your morning face before you’ve put any make up on, an embarrassing story about something that happened on your way home, or an ambition you’ve had since you were six years old… make sure you end up with someone who listens to and accepts all of it, and still loves you. A person you can tell your whole life to is a person worth spending a life with.

Not too long ago we took a step forward with our relationship the first time we had brunch here together. Today we finally found the chance to come back, and it was a wonderful moment. TGIF!

For the old ones, memory is like a stack of china. If you try to pull a plate from the middle, the whole thing comes crashing down.

Eli Lavon, A Death in Vienna

One of the many memorable moments of 2013, and of our time spent in Scotland during last year’s epic road trip. We arrived mid-morning after some driving and were greeted from the distance by Tantallon Castle, a fortification that served for more than three centuries and endured three sieges. It had evidently seen better days, but the views from its top were breathtaking. Amusingly, the man at the entrance selling us tickets to the castle remarked that it had been raining all summer bar a few days the previous year, yet it had been uncomfortably warm during our time in Scotland. Case in point, I returned from Edinburgh with an unwelcome crew neck tan line.

Despite that unfortunate souvenir (albeit temporary), I will always remember Scotland fondly, and hopefully the next time we’re there, we’ll have the opportunity to check out the famous Isle of Skye.

It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or where you’re going. What matters is how you carry yourself throughout your journey.

I’m with you. No matter what else you have in your head I’m with you and I love you.

Ernest Hemingway (via hiitsjay)

(Source: mykarox)

Listen—are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

Mary Oliver (via thresca)

Je ne sais quoi

This was our first brunch of 2014, and it was a delightful one!

We picked the place after our morning tennis lesson, and made a hasty reservation at Ô Batignolles via Chope before heading down. It was my first time dining there but I’ve walked past the bistro several times after work when my office used to be located at China Square Central, and it was usually packed with expatriates who miraculously always make it out of the office in time to catch the happy hour promotions.

Unsurprisingly, the customers consisted of more expatriates than locals when we arrived, but it’s not like that’s an issue in our country and at a location like this. We settled in and were seated at a table that was a little removed from the crowded section of the bistro, which suited us just fine as it was quieter and easier to talk.

image

It was refreshing to see a laissez-faire attitude towards the choice of imperfectly-aligned frames. The music playing un-intrusively in the background was distinctly French (I’m tempted to describe it as “Parisian” but it would only be from what I’ve seen in movies or shows, which as we know aren’t entirely accurate). The general atmosphere made it feel like we weren’t in Singapore, and I’ve a feeling it’s a place I’ll be revisiting more often in the near future.

image

Pris using my phone and being anti-social

The lady who seated and served us was very pleasant and polite, speaking to us in English with a mild French accent. We placed our orders for the salade la Parisienne, her blueberry pancakes and my eggs benedict without any issue and proceeded to look at the wine options by the glass, which was coincidentally listed on the chalkboard above our table.

image

A smooth iced latte for each of us - I’d much prefer a hot flat white but the weather these days makes an iced coffee an acceptable compromise

image

What did they say about girls playing with their hair in the presence of the opposite gender?

The food arrived and we tucked in like.. like.. two hungry people after a tennis lesson. It’s late while I’m writing this, so please forgive me.

image

Eggs benedict with parma ham on toasted English muffins with Hollandaise sauce and a green salad on the side

I was pleasantly surprised by the crispiness of the toasted English muffins, which reminded me of croutons. It made for a base that soaked up the Hollandaise sauce and runny egg yolk, yet provided a textural contrast to the other soft ingredients. I love this interpretation of the eggs benedict, certainly much more than the green salad, I have to admit. Salads that come with eggs benedict almost always come across to me like an afterthought - the vinaigrette or dressing, while acidic and occasionally citrusy, usually create an unpleasant conflict of flavours on my palate. I’d much prefer a few sticks of grilled baby asparagus, like how Maison Ikkoku serves us their version of the eggs benedict.

image

Blueberry pancakes with berries compote and maple syrup 

The pancakes were rich and had a distinctive buttery taste, which surprisingly didn’t overpower the subtle taste of the bits of blueberries within. I’d personally have preferred to have a bit more fruit on the plate, if nothing else but for the purpose of presentation. It’s not my dish, though, and Pris enjoyed it, so I guess I’m just being fussy.

After a satisfying meal, we both agreed that we should have visited Ô Batignolles earlier, given its reasonably-priced but tasty brunch menu and quintessentially French vibe. We’ll be sure to try their selection of wine and other items on their regular menu when we return.

Introverts don’t get lonely if they don’t socialize with a lot of people, but we do get lonely if we don’t have intimate interactions on a regular basis.

Sophia Dembling, The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World (Perigee Trade, 2012)

(Source: shadowlands7)

Clever but dumb

There are two types of behaviour I have repeatedly observed and which I find it impossible to forgive.

1. Alighting from the bus and fumbling to look for one’s EZlink card (or commuter’s tap card).

When you’re on your way to work and aren’t asleep, surely the arrival at your destination shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Likewise when you head home. Why then do you not have your card ready to tap on the machine as you exit the vehicle? Was anything ever going to be different about the process of alighting from public transport?

2. In a long queue to buy lunch on a working day, only to arrive at the front and have no bleeding clue what to order, and holding up everyone behind.

You picked the stall to join the queue of, which shouldn’t be an entirely random decision, so tell me how it is that in the 10 minutes or so that you’ve been in the line, or even just the last two minutes that you’ve finally had a clear view of the stall’s menu, you still haven’t a faintest clue of what you’re queuing up to buy?

All you people, annoying as hell and tormenting my time working in the CBD. How can anyone be so oblivious and utterly hapless? Maybe I’m just too dumb to comprehend.