ieatishootipost on Channel U

Here’s the link to the video on youtube

You can also read the online article at xin.sg

When the reporter from Channel U asked me to pick a place where we can stage the interview, Ya Kwang immediately came to mind. I chose Ya Kwang because Jason decided to introduce Cze Char dishes right after the first blog post on their Kway Chap. It was during that meeting that I discussed with Jason about the possibility of introducing a Lobster Noodle dish that was available outside of a hotel or fancy restaurant. It became the first of many unique new Cze Char dishes to be introduced our local food scene.

So after 10 months of blogging (on this and other blogs), the print media finally took notice and featured their Crab Bee Hoon on the Sunday Times last week. I thought this was a good example of how blogging is changing the way eateries are being marketed in our day and age.

Personally, I feel that restaurants have not fully realize the potential of blogs to make or break a restaurant. Of course, blogs are still very much in the infancy stage compared to the main stream media when it comes to marketing. However, as the experience in the Malaysian elections have shown, it would be a mistake to simply ignore the blogs. I think it is only a matter of time before PR agencies are hired by the restaurants to manage bloggers. This would be a whole new ballgame for the PR agencies because they will be dealing with a group of people whose nature is to fiercely defend their right to independence and free speech.

On the other hand, consider the impact that a group of 20 or 30 food bloggers reviewing the same eatery all at the same time. All we need now is a nexus whereby they can all be mobilized simultaneously. It’s an uphill task trying to get a whole bunch of individualistic “cats” to behave like socialistic “dogs”. There have been food bloggers’ dinners organized in the past to try to bring food bloggers together, but these have only been a “blue moon” affair. The community of food bloggers in Singapore still tend to remain fragmented. Some would perhaps argue that it should remain this way. Though I believe that blogging should retain its independent flavour, I also see the marketing potential of some form of association. I am trying to plant the seed for such a nexus by creating a special segment in the forum where Singapore food bloggers can get together to discuss food blogging issues. It’s a start but there is still a long way to go.

One of the emerging players in this whole equation is the blog advertising agency Nuffnang whose ads are supported in this blog. Nuffnang is emerging as the de facto association for bloggers by organizing gatherings and forums where bloggers can all congregate to discuss contemporary issues. The next logical evolution is for Nuffnang to segment its registered bloggers into the various categories and mobilize them to provide reviews of different products. I think that would be an attractive proposition to advertisers. Currently they are already doing product advertorials but on a wider, less specialized scale.

Anyway, enough of theorizing, back to the appetizing.


500g Lobster Tang Hoon $60

For this occasion, we wanted to do something that would look impressive on TV, so we went with the Boston Lobster again. Nothing spectacularly imaginative, just substituting Crab for Lobster in his already popular Crab Tang Hoon dish.

This dish combines one of my favourite carbs with my all time favourite seafood. Korean Tang Hoon is one of those magical foods that I simply fell in love with when I first tasted it in Sydney. (My hometown of Eastwood is almost like a little Korea!) And I fell in love with Lobster the first time I had it in Phuket. Not only because they are nice to eat (and very exclusive), their are probably the prettiest and most photogenic of seafoods. The bright red colour never fails to make a good picture, and the shell and tomalley (that green stuff in the head) always imparts the savoury taste of the sea to starchy staples of any kind. So it was a impressive no brainer. 4.5/5

Conclusion

I would like to apologize to the 11 Lao Shis (10 from St Andrew’s and Kang Lao Shi of RJC ’86-’87) who have tried their utmost to teach me mandarin. I tried my best but as you can see, I have not made further progress in the last 20 years. And if it makes you feel any better, I am still occasionally waking up in the middle of the night thinking that I am sitting for my Chinese Exams the next day. So I hope it shows that I really did try. And to the rest, please give me a break, my Chinese is not “Half past six”, its a proper D7!

Thanks again to all the readers of this blog. Your comments and constant encouragement continue to fan the charcoal fire and keep the satay grilling!

Update 1 Nov 2008

Please note that Jason has sold his business as of 1 Nov 2008. We wish him all the best as he ventures down under!

Ya Kwang Dai Pai Dong
709 Geylang Road
(Lor 37)
11am to 11pm daily
98170006
Lobster orders before 7 pm

Here’s the translation of the Video provided by jems based on the transcript: Thanks jems!

Some bloggers like to make use of their online blogs to introduce food they love to eat. There’s this particular blogger who sets out to eat all the local hawker food and blog it on his blog as a food directory for netizens.

Dr Leslie Tay loves food and also loves photography. He combined these two interests one and a half years ago, started an online food blog, going around Singapore tasting hawker food, took pictures and uploaded them onto his blog, added his critic, categorized them into various categories for easy lookup for the netizens, averaging a hit rate of 8000 a day.

Some hawkers even voluntarily requested for Dr Tay to blog about them, hoping that it will help to boost their business. Dr Tay said, ” Some said it does not affect much. It’s very hard to say, but for most of the unique ones, I give full marks, or rather not full marks, but 4.75, most of them will see a significant improvement in business.”

There’s a stall situated at Geylang which is famous for its Crab Beehoon and Lobster Noodles, after Dr Tay’s introduction saw an increase in business by 50%. There are even Indonesian netizens who after reading the blog, specially flew into town to try his food. Ya Kwang Da Pai Dang’s boss Jason Tan said, “When they were here, they were carrying luggage, to come and eat my Lobster Noodles, I just find it very amusing, Dr Tay’s blog can evoke foreigners to come try my stuffs.”

Other than introducing good food, Dr Tay also from time to time suggests to the hawkers how to improvise and create new dishes, for example this Lobster Tang Hoon. Netizens also discuss in his forum how never to waste calories on yucky food.