It is the end of yet another year of feasting and I am glad to have had your company on my gastronomic adventures. I can’t tell you how much you guys mean to me. It has been said of the blogging phenomenon that:
have so many people
with so little to say
said so much
to so few”
Well, I am just thankful that you all reading my posts because it is the motivation for me to keep writing. I shall continue to write as long as I have something to say that people want to hear.
My focus on local food has not changed. I will continue to write about what I am passionate about. This year, I have started to blog about Cze Char in earnest because I feel that this is an area which I have neglected in the past and there are still many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. I have also embarked on publishing recipes of the most popular Cze Char dishes which I feel really defines our Singaporean culinary scene. Things like Har Cheong Gai, Sweet and Sour Pork and Jingdu Pai Gu are dishes which every Singaporean identifies with and I hope to continue publishing more Cze Char recipes next year.
The most significant thing about the blog this year is the complete revamp of the website. I made the very significant decision of changing from a black background which I have been using for the past eight years to a white background because some of you have written in to tell me that it is difficult to read against a black background. The website is still being fine tuned and I hope to get the app up and running by next year.
I also plan to put out some video recipes of local food next year. I have already finished filming with Mr Koh of Fragrant Garden and the videos are currently in post production. Soon you will be able to learn how to steam the classic Teochew Pomfret!
Well then , here is a look back at the highlights of 2014 before we embark on a brand new year of foodie adventures in 2015!
Thanks for reading!
The most popular post of the year, by far, was my Japanese Cheesecake recipe. I don’t publish a lot of cake recipes. My last cake recipe was the Pandan Chiffon Cake which I wrote back in 2010. I don’t consider myself a baker, so, when I set out to bake a particular cake, I have to learn through a lot of research, trials and errors. It is very satisfying to be able to publish a recipe that works (judging from all the feedback and photos of cakes posted) but it takes a heck of a long time which is why I don’t publish more of such recipes!
This year, I finally completed my project of cataloging the common prawn species available in our local markets.. The project took me almost half a year to complete and it is one of those geeky projects that may not appeal to everyone. But I hope it would be a good resource for any serious foodie who wants to identify the type of prawn that goes into their Hokkien mee. I usually like to ask the chef or hawker what type of prawns their use for their dishes as that usually gives me an indication of how serious they are about their craft!
Read: The Prawn Files
This is one of those neighbourhood shops that cater to a lot of students who come by for a smoothie after school. But the couple who run it are super passionate about their cendol and their homemade cendol (those green bits) is one of the most fragrant that I have come across!
One of the greatest satisfaction I get out of writing the blog is to be able to find a stalls like Geylang Laksa who have been around for years but have yet to be discovered by netizens. The laksa here is really old school and so light and fragrant that you can finish a whole bowl and still be wanting more!
I discovered Seletar Shen Mian quite by chance one morning when another stall that I wanted to blog about happened to be closed. So we just had to go by the length of queue to decide what to eat! The ban mian here is so good that I will be including it in my Famous Five list once I get down to write it!
Of all the restaurants that I have blogged about this year, I have been back to Fragrant Garden the most times. This gem of a restaurant serves excellent Teochew food and the most unexpected food find of the year must be the steamed halibut!
I was really surprised to come across this little stall in Chinatown selling this Indonesian snack. The stall is run by a hardworking couple who put a lot of love and passion in their craft. There are only three ingredients in putu bambuu: rice flour, gula and coconut. When you get all three right, the result is super satisfyingly shiok!
This year I started posting recipes of Cze Char food in earnest. I wanted to re-create Cze Char dishes exactly like the ones I find at the Cze Char stall. This prawn paste chicken recipe took me quite a while to get right and I had to speak to a few of my friends in the food industry before I finally managed to come up with a version which I feel does justice to this popular Cze Char dish.
Singaporean born Cze Char chefs are really difficult to come by. Wayne tells me that when he started out as a young chef in his father’s Cze Char stall, the other Malaysian Chefs were sneering at the fact that our Singapore boys are too soft to rough it out in a Cze Char kitchen. Well, I think that when you get to taste the wok hei in Wayne’s Moonlight Hor Fun, you too will develop some respect for our young Singapore chef!
This year is probably the year of the rainbow cake! Our readers are divided into those who find the colors irresistibly alluring and those who are concerned about the use of artificial food coloring. I don’t eat a lot of sweets personally, so this is one of my “Gu Gu Jib Bai” (occasional) dishes. I have tasted a few of the other famous places for rainbow cake and my pick is Lynda Ann’s. It doesn’t just look beautiful, the cake is super yummy without being too cloying!
Well, that just about rounds up 2014 for me! Thank you very much for reading and I look forward to sharing more good eats with you in 2015!