Month: December 2013

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Pisco hopping in Ica, Peru and a recipe

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Pisco is the renowned , celebrated brandy in Peru. I remember it as smooth, slightly smoky, and fragrant with the zing of young grapes. That Chile also lays claims to Peruvians’ beloved national drink as well, adds a political dimension that for the political scientist in me, is irresistible. But what I love about Pisco is how complex an aroma it carries. All at the same time, it manages to be mellow, light, and fragrant.

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Crab in da Bag at Big Splash. Freaking awesome seafood on the east coast of Singapore

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With the holidays coming around, you may be looking for some fun, laid-back, affordable dining spots suitable for large groups. One great place that I recently had the opportunity to feast at, and that I highly recommend, is Crab in da Bag, a seafood joint located at the Big Splash complex in East Coast Park. While you might instinctively give this place a wide berth — it admittedly looks cheesy and theme-parkish — the food is awesome, the portions bountiful, and the booze well-priced.

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White wine spritzer

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Truth be told, when entertaining in our home, I usually start with bubbly or wine for our guests. And if the hubby was left to the task, he’d simply crack open some bottles of ice cold beer. The idea of having to shake up an interesting beverage on top of planning, cooking and serving a meal, is a step that I’d gladly skip. However, with the stifling Singapore humidity, red wine is often too heavy. And beer tends to leave me feeling bloated (of course, I’m speaking purely from a lady’s perspective – this doesn’t seem to apply to blokes).

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Istanbul’s Meze by Lemon Tree serves inspired Turkish cuisine

Atom dessertTurkish restaurants can be divided into three large categories: meyhanes where people drink raki and eat meze, fish restaurants which involve a banquet of cold and hot appetizers followed by a showcase of fish as a main, and meat restaurants, which serve grilled meats, and all sorts of kebabs and skewers charcoal cooked to perfection.  These categories, obviously, are aside from the numerous esnaf lokantasi tradesmen establishments, street foods, snacks, and produce available to grab and go.

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Crazy Christmas is around the corner. A chat with new Dim Sum Dolly Denise Tan.

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I have been a big fan of the Dim Sum Dollies since day one. I’ve known Selena and Pam for years and considered the late, incredibly talented Emma a friend. To date, I’ve been to all their shows. So I am extremely happy that the Dim Sum Dollies has reformed, with the affable, enthusiastic and super cool Denise Tan joining everyone’s favorite, local musical-theatre-cabaret-trio. Their new show, Crazy Christmas Ting Tong Belles, kicks off next week, on the 11th of December and runs through to the 22nd of the month. It is very much, for anyone who enjoys silliness, showtunes and Singaporeans making fun of themselves, a must-watch for the holiday season. You can purchase tickets here.

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3 Italian sauces you should never buy at the supermarket….

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….because you can make them quickly and easily at home, and oh so much better. I remember when I first started to cook and I used to doctor up jarred tomato sauce with herbs and such. I felt very clever about making it “better” – until my mother said, hey, basically you can use plain old tomatoes and make a REAL sauce doing very nearly the same steps. A mind blowing food moment for a teenager – cooking is… easy?!?

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Shopping at Shinola’s flagship in Detroit, Michigan

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Coincidence is a funny thing. The day I walked into the Shinola flagship store in Detroit, Michigan, I was informed by the very cool sales guy helping me that that very night, they were opening a shop-in-shop, their first international outpost in fact, in Singapore. My thoughts raced from, “How cool!” to “What? And I came all the way here?” to “The prices better be better here in Detroit” to “How come neither I nor anyone I know knows about the Singapore store?”, and finally, “So, what product is only available here?”

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Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan, Singapore. Actually really damned good!

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The one and only time I tried checking out Michelin-starred dim sum specialist Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong was a complete bust. My wife and I had tried stopping by the original Mongkok branch for an early breakfast before a full day of appointments. Unfortunately, the line was simply too long and after a little more than 30 minutes, we had to hightail it back to Central, sans dim sum.

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Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday / #GivingTuesdaySG. What are you doing for someone else that day?

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Tomorrow, 3rd December, is #GivingTuesday — or as we’re calling it in Singapore, #GivingTuesdaySG. This social media driven new global day of giving was created by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in the USA last year. In just two months, they brought together over 2,500 organisations to drive philanthropy and pledges of volunteerism. Movie stars, politicians, and other celebrities endorsed the campaign, helping to spur 50 million Internet users worldwide to spread the #GivingTuesday message.