Suckling pig at Catalunya
Suckling pig at Catalunya
This is absolutely unexpected but oh so cute!
We’re keen on finding out:
Cos we are such coffee lovers, one lucky winner who emails us at email@example.com with the most interesting response stands to win a $20 Starbucks pre-paid card, for use in Singapore.
Someone very near and dear to me presented me with a lovely gift last week – and it reminded me of why I love Chanel so much. Simple effortless elegance. That resulted in me googling on Ebay for a mass array of accessories – pity that there are so many counterfeits in the market that I don’t dare to put down any money for them. For the time being, I am left with drooling over these lovely accessories- iPad and iPhone case included. In Beijing this summer, I came across the faux patent iPad case in fire engine red. HELLO. Baby never looked so fine.
Isn’t it gorgeous? So exquisite, the ice blue is all frosty and lovely. Now to continue googling….
Today, we kicked off our day drinking coffee at Papa Palheta (yet again)- it’s turning out to be a ritual. The coffee is so good, and the atmosphere so relaxed you can’t help smiling lounging in the tasting room sipping good coffee and listening to Lush 99.5FM. I hope most of the patrons do pay them a decent amount for the cuppa, the baristas are just lovely.
After lunch, I nearly wanted to do a bit of shopping but instead we decided not to shop or watch Brighton Rock/Wu Xia, but to head down to Singapore Tyler Print Institute for the David Hockney exhibition.David Hockney is one of this century’s most important pop artists- the colours of his work are dominant, the brushstrokes most definitive. In one particular series, he paints a hotel and places in the hotel, from different perspectives. We loved the recent works painted on an iPhone or iPad. Looking at the paintings, it made me miss the museums in Paris, particularly the Lucian Freud exhibition which we had gone to, before he passed on earlier this year.
We also had sashimi for Lunch at old favourite Tampopo and finished off one Wagyu Beef ball, and creme puff at its deli for dessert. Yummlicious – and a perfect start to the weekend.
I just came back from Beijing nearly two weeks ago – it feels however, like a month ago. Beijing is not exactly the most ideal tourist spot to many people, but being a Chinese-historyphile (in my youth), I figured I should at least make a trip there at least once in my life. During the trip though, I remembered sitting in MacDonalds marvelling at how far the Chinese have come.
I am not from my father’s or grandfather’s generation – I did not see the progress the Chinese made in the 1990s post-industrialization, and I am both ashamed and embarrassed to say that I know so little of its past. It also made me feel like a fraudster in my Chinese skin- though Chinese on the outside, I can’t say I know as much of Chinese culture as I would like to. The Chinese experience is that unique and complex. But I can only imagine it as I looked at the subway, the newly paved walkways, the bridges on Tiananmen Square, gloriously organised and orderly barricades outside the National Museum of China as we stood there testing time. There was something to be proud of- for a moment, it felt like Chinese all over the world congregated and could feel proud, to trace their ancestry (how small, how distant, how foreign) to this center of the world (or once aupon a time, as they proclaimed, the center of the universe). If the Chinese could just get their social graces down pat, this is a city worth remembering and revisiting- the richness of Chinese history, the complexity of the Chinese migrant experience, the difficulties in transition to the future and often paradoxical beliefs and sociopolitical changes all make for a truly intriguing cultural experience, and something that no seasoned traveller should bypass in favour of something more European or Western. Rome wasn’t built in a day — but neither was China. And just think, if it hadn’t closed its doors to the world many centuries ago, it might be the America we now fly half the world over just to see.
The city itself is beautiful — even as there is admittedly great poverty in the alleys, on the side streets where naked children run about, catching insects, lying in the sand, sitting on tiny wooden stools peeling lychees, oblivious to strangers averting their gazes, even as their shorts have a tiny hole (little boys can conveniently pee), even as a man lies prostrate on the ground of the subway missing an arm, this is juxtaposed alongside the intoxicating smell of fast moving traffic – the daredevil taxis zipping through corners and racing in the face of oncoming traffic all just to earn that 2 yuan taxi fare for each km traversed, the rickshaw carts being pulled by diminutive women with their straw hats. Coupled with great poverty, there is also the decadence of the noveau riche, an almost embarrassingly unabashed splashing of new money, new wealth in places you least expect- in a former colonial outpost, in an art district, in carved out expat living quarters. Beijing is a wonderful wonderful place- if you keep your heart and mind open, you will find that the city like any other, has an amazing textured richness to it: from old folks looking at varieties of plants in the park, to line dancing and taiji early in the morning, to a man quietly practising water calligraphy in the pavements and surreptitiously stopping upon discovering tourists interrupting his peace and solitude, it is so full of character and flavour.
I love Singapore- but sometimes, confronted with cities like Beijing, you can’t help but ask yourself: am I missing out too much on living in a real city? After all, these are not man made cities, marked by the presence of a foreign merchant from ashore.
Beijing is lovely- if you will let it be.
Sidenote: In the park at the Temple of Heaven, a man squatted on the floor doing his water calligraphy quietly. In that moment, I looked at him and felt sad for myself. Here was a man who took delight in something so pure and simple- something so ephemeral it would evaporate into thin air, or be washed over.
If you’ve been trying to get a place at Antoinette and have been unable to, let me just say that the wait is worth it.
We’ve been fans of Chef Pang’s creations when Canele was a young outfit, with only one branch at Robertson Quay. I used to frequent it post/pre-theatre, for a coffee or cake and not many people knew what Canele was. It did not also have such an extensive collection of cakes as it does today. Chef Pang however was a mainstay, and I remember thinking that it was quite rare that cakes of this quality were being produced right here in Singapore.
Now that Canele has blossomed and Chef Pang has gone onto, imho, better things, I am very proud to say that Chef Pang is entirely home grown, and in my opinion, someone that warrants the credit and accolades that have come his way. Recently, work has got me thinking that it is not necessarily the most glamorous of work, or the most well paying job that deserves respect- but sometimes if you have this raw talent in an industry that is small, and your work is stellar or really stands out, then you already have my respect. The cakes at Antoinette are lovely, and sitting there eating cake today, I thought to myself – if I could have one-fifth of his talent in my line of work, that would be just..well, frankly fabulous.
I guess we’re not the best of people at keeping our promises – i shudder to think how many times we have posted to say WE’RE BACK!!!! so i make no promises this time, except that we’ll *TRY* our best to keep at this. since april, i’ve made 2 separate trips – one to the great outback (the food’s pretty decent), and another to beijing. i’ll try to do up some food reviews on those places (and maybe, do up a couple of those for the places we visited last year too (hurhur)), so please keep visiting our site (or sign up for the rss feeds so you dont have to wonder when we’re back and when we’re not). thanks for all the support guys, and we’ll continue posting (x fingers)!
…really like to be in Paris now.
Those of you who have religiously following this blog, might have been wondering where Foodsmiths have been since September 2010. We have not dropped off the face of the world, save to say that work and other commitments have taken a slight toll on us. That said, eating still continues, and the good food feasting will continue as well.
We’ve tried a number of places since the beginning of this year and will be posting more regularly (crosses fingers) on these places. Watch out and check back!