Hidden halal food gems you can find in Whampoa

I am going halal today.

This is my makan birthright in Singapore - I can eat anything I want anytime and no one will bother me.

This food democracy, unfortunately, is not reflected in the recent Michelin Singapore guide book.

In frustration, I decided to track down a couple of halal Malay dishes.

I also stumbled upon a refreshing gem: an orange peel sour plum drink at the Whampoa Food Centre.


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Nestled in the heart of Orchard Road is a rather unpretentious, laidback and low-key alfresco bar called Bar Canary.

Kick off your shoes as you relax on bean bags on artificial turf.

Located on the fifth floor of Grand Park Orchard hotel, the bar serves a range of cocktails including fruity popsicles in glasses of booze ($6 a pop, and $18 with a glass of alcohol).

Bakers-for-a-day at PAUL boulangerie

Me, a bread maker? I don’t bake; I merely stand dumbfounded, handing the actual bakers-at-work the tools and ingredients that they need. Whether I’m with friends baking brownies from pre-made mixes or cookies from scratch, my involvement typically includes no more than handing friends cups of water. And pouring the cookie batter onto the trays.Non-existent baking skills withstanding, I did try my hand at baking, courtesy of PAUL boulangerie. So together with other fellow journalists, we turned bakers for an afternoon. Or rather, the head baker’s very curious assistants.

My quest for chili

Super spicy chips and Sriracha chili sauce you can buy online.
 I remember when I was much younger, I used to pester my aunt (who lived in Melbourne at the time) to buy me bags and bags of Kettle Chili Potato Chips.
Now, these Kettle Chili Potato Chips aren’t your normal supermarket variety. They were the spiciest, singularly most satisfying bag of chips I had ever eaten in my life. Compared to the lacklustre chilli flavoured chips Singapore had then (and actually now too), those Kettle Chili Potato Chips were like gods of the potato chip world.

Would you pay for a 60-minute lunch?

In The Sunday Times on September 12, there was a short report entitled “Eateries impose time limit on weekend dining”. It highlighted the recent trend of Chinese restaurants setting 60 to 90-minute time limits on diners for weekend lunches or dinners.

This didn’t sit well with some diners, who said they wouldn’t want to be rushed when they were paying money to sit and dine.

“If I want to eat and go, then I will visit a coffee shop,” a 43-year-old psychometrist -- an occupation I didn’t know existed until this report -- was quoted as saying.

I declare my undying love for bubble tea

What could be so great about bubble tea that it warrants a blog entry about it? The drink with the little starch balls in them just seems to have a spell on me.

My favourite flavour is good ’ol milk tea. I never order anything else. I just like tea in general – I can down 3 cups of tehs (tea with sinful condensed milk) in a day and bubble tea is an extension of that obsession. And isn’t it amazing that what many thought was another passing fad has become part of the diets of young and old alike? The bubble tea craze cuts across generations.

I eat the best food every day…

My dad’s probably going to blush 10 different shades of red when I tell him I’ve specially dedicated a blog post to his awesome cooking, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Whether it’s his fragrant nasi lemak or quite simply plain porridge with a couple of condiments, I’d wolf my dinner down and complain he’s cooked too much. But really, I’m just happily satiated and feeling blessed to be eating homecooked food with my parents around our tiny coffee table as we try to outwit the contestants on Wheel of Fortune.