A very warm welcome to Lian He Zao Bao readers! Thank you for visiting the blog. I hope you all find something good to eat!
When I started the blog 2 years ago, I never thought I would see my picture on the front page of zbW and a full 3 page feature! It is indeed an honour and I would like to thank:
1. God for making all things beautiful in His time. The Lord is good and does “exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think…”. The glory belongs to Jesus.
2. My parents, parents-in-law, my wife Lisa (Amagada) and kids James (ieatjr) and Megan (ieatprincess) for their support and especially for waiting patiently while I take photos before we can start eating!
3. The Merry Makankakis: Smart, liverpool, damien, sumosumo, Cactuskit, khim, jems, Holydrummer, Holybro, Holybunny, SCS butter, Happi Mummi, fashionfoodie, wahcow, vVv and many more who help me organize the sessions and support the events. There are so many more to thank, so sorry if your name is not included in the list yet.
4. And finally, thanks to all readers of this blog! It is your comments and participation that keeps us all going!
As the article mentioned, we are in the midst of planning our next Charity Event sometime next month. I will let you all know the details a little later. I hope to get your support!
Khim is helping me to translate the article to English! Thanks Khim, on behalf of all the “Ang Moh Pai” readers! I only managed to make out about 60% of it and I actually know the story already!
For our new readers, you might like be interested in the following links to familiarize with the blog:
Introduction to ieatishootipost: Click Here
Below are the links mentioned in the article:
Creative and Canon advertorials
To view the Channel U feature click here
The article talked about the Singapore Blog Awards organized by Omy. If you would like to support the blog with your vote, please click below and vote for ieatishootipost! Thanks very much.
Here’s the Translation for all our Ang Moh Pai Readers! Big Big thanks to Khim and Holybro!
Local well-known food blogger ieatishootipost.blogspot.com commenced in 2006, it had accumulated 1 million hits a year after; 2 years later 鈥?today, the blog was even nominated for 鈥淢ost Insightful Blog鈥?category in the 鈥淪鈥檖ore Blog Awards鈥?organized by Omy.
Doctor Food Blogger
When the owner of local well-known food blog ieatishootipost.blogspot.com, Dr. Leslie Tay (39 years old), started the blog more than 2 years ago, little did he imagine the recognition he would have today.
As a start, he only wanted to make up for a deprived childhood. 鈥淲hen I was young, my father seldom brought us out for meals, I had no idea where all the famous hawker food are!鈥?lt;br />
In 2006, he began to be interested the Singapore local cuisine, always going online, looking for chicken rice, char kway teow, hokkien prawn mee, etc.. through word of mouth. 鈥淚 wanted to make up for my deprived childhood in a big way!鈥?
But he realized that no matter how good the comments came from readers, the blog will not be persuasive and convincing enough just with word and no pictures of the good food. 鈥淚鈥檓 interested in photography, as far as I can recall, there seems to be no one in the local scene that have used photos of hawkers鈥?fare as a main topic. I was wondering, why don鈥檛 I take pictures while writing the blog, recording the experiences and photos at the same time.鈥?lt;br />
So, in August 2006, ieatishootipost commenced, it accumulated 1 million hits within a year and now 2 years later, the blog has been nominated for 鈥淢ost Insightful Blog鈥?category in the 鈥淪鈥檖ore Blog Awards鈥?organized by Omy.
Family doctor鈥檚 Extra Curriculum
It鈥檚 Leslie鈥檚 identity as a doctor which adds on to the appeal of the food blog.
Everyday at 2pm, when he is taking his afternoon break at Karri Family Clinic situated at Tampines Street 83, he would drop his white doctor鈥檚 robe, take off his stethoscope, jumped into the identity of a cuisine reporter; before the opening of the clinic鈥檚 evening shift at 6.30pm, he uses this time to run all over Singapore, in search of food worth recommending, then “serves鈥?up all these mouth-watering , fantastic findings onto his food blog which gets 8,000 hit daily.
ieat has got nearly thousand of posts to date. Leslie鈥檚 style is neither braggy nor pretentious, but like the media, he knows how to capture one鈥檚 curiosity using interesting ideas like 鈥淲here is the President鈥檚 favorite poh piah and favorite teh tarik stall located?鈥?to attract readers. How many hidden gems are there in hawker centres located from North to South locally? Leslie will find out for you. Or, if you have something in mind, you can search based on the type of local fares like bak kut teh, beef hor fun, chicken rice, etc.. With one click, you get to see what the food looks like and where to find it.
2 months ago, Leslie even started a forum, creating different interesting topics for the 800 plus registered readers. Leslie explained with pride that this forum connect foodies together. Next, he would even hope to create another avenue where all food bloggers can gather together to exchange thoughts.
Sponsors knocking on the door
Food bloggers like Dr. Leslie Tay have increased in numbers the past 2 years. 2 years ago when Leslie started writing the food blog, there were only a handful of food blogs. Now, there is a long list of local food bloggers, some of the better known ones even catch the attention of F&B proprietors. There is yet a new trend, that is, more and more F&B companies are eagerly engaging PR companies to join and manage food bloggers. These e-generation food reporters are challenging the traditional food critics, especially when youngsters nowadays like to surf the net, food blogging on the boundless internet also manages to capture foreign readers, attracting these foreign foodies into our country for different kinds of cuisine.
Dr. Tay revealed that he, just like that media reporters, often receives invitations from various restaurants, hawkers as well as PR companies, to try out their dishes. Even visual & electronic equipment brands like Creative & Cannon came knocking on Leslie鈥檚 door, expressing interest on sponsoring and introducing the fantastic gadgets through Leslie鈥檚 blog and thus, delivering the message through the internet.
Also, readers from as far as Ukraine, England and United States had treated Leslie鈥檚 blog as a food guide, often sending him emails: 鈥淚鈥檒l be coming over to Singapore on this particular date, what should I eat?鈥?Leslie used to reply every single email, giving them some recommendations. Now, he would invite these readers to browse the blog, or join the internet forum and let the other readers provide the recommendations.
From Makan Sessions 鈥?lt;/span>
Using 鈥渇ussy鈥?to describe his taste buds, Leslie has a mum who is a chef. He has a strong interest in cooking too. When he was studying in Australia, he used to cook by himself. His best dishes would be sweet and sour pork as well as various soups.
Speaking of how he chose his food entries, Leslie replied: 鈥淪ome are just fate, other times, I will tend to look for dishes with a more interesting angle.” Have you heard of sakura chicken? There is a farm in Malaysia using Japanese鈥?method to rear chicken. Cultivating chicken without any injections, yet the chicken remains juicy and tender. I find it very interesting. Singaporeans love to eat chicken rice, I hope to be the first to spread the news!鈥?lt;br />
Browsing through ieatishootipost, one can see why it has dominated the other food blogs. This place is bursting with activities, like makan sessions, ieat experiments and ieat creations. This active blogger, through 鈥渟picy鈥?activities, unceasingly seeks readers鈥?participation, thus winning the hearts of many readers.
The makan sessions are Leslie鈥檚 plan to get like-minded makan kakis to share good food together. 鈥淛ust like the 鈥榙urian degustation鈥?held earlier. Durian comes in different breeds. There are many people like myself, who don鈥檛 know the difference between Shan Mao Wang, D24, Red Prawn, Black Pearl, XO, etc鈥?So I organized a degustation. The concept is similar to wine tasting.
鈥?to Charity Makan Events
That durian degustation even enticed a Japanese couple to join. Each person paid $25 and within 2 hours, a specialist explained the characteristics and taste of over 10 different types of durian, following the tasting of the durians by the readers.
Leslie not only have to eat, listen and take notes, he is also busy clicking his camera, capturing the marvelous shots and then uploading it onto the blog, letting those who were unable to attend the event enjoy the post on the blog. What is surprising is that such makan session can also be turned into a charity event to contribute back to the society.
During the first year anniversary of ieat, Leslie and western restaurant called Astons organized a charity makan session. The attendees paid $100 each and filled the restaurant that night while Astons provided the meal at no charge. The readers not only enjoyed a sumptuous meal, a mini auction was also held to raise funds for Andrew and Grace Home (for Troubled Teens)
Leslie said food blogging is usually about introducing good food, but he wanted to do more. Leslie has found a meaningful way to contribute back to the society by organizing charity events through food blogging. 鈥淲e can鈥檛 bring anything with us when we depart this world. What legacy can you leave behind? What kind of change can you bring to others?鈥?lt;br />
Dr. Tay yearns that his effort is able to touch someone鈥檚 life. His mind is continuously revolving around this concept: Every week, a restaurant sets aside some time and invite a group of not-so-fortunate people to enjoy a delectable meal. Hence, not only is the restaurant able to bring joy and happiness to people, it is also a way of giving back to the society.
Leslie hopes after the ieat event, others will follow suit. 鈥淢ost importantly more will benefit, more will come forward and offer their humanitarian assistance and spread the happiness across.鈥?During this interview, he is already planning the next charity makan session with Astons.
Suggesting to Hawkers to come with new dishes
Besides the makan sessions, Leslie also love to gather makan kaki to do experiments, naming it ieat experiments.
He cites the satay experiment as example. 鈥淓ast Coast Food Centre has many satay stalls, but which one is the best? Once, a group of makan kakis and I went there to find out. We ordered chicken satay from each stall and everyone then voted the best based on the satay and the fragrance of the satay sauce.
The inspiration of his experiments normally comes from his observations and 鈥渨acky ideas which he is thinking of鈥? Example whether “tariking” the teh actually made a difference to the taste of the Teh? He had his eyes blindfolded, noted the taste of both teh, with and without the 鈥渢ariking鈥?and the results were posted on the blog.
To understand the eating habits and preference of Singaporeans, Leslie added polls to collect opinions: 鈥淟ast October鈥檚 poll attracted 4,000 readers to vote for the local鈥檚 popular dish & in the end, Hokkien Fried Prawn mee came up tops. There was also the most popular dessert as well as Singaporean鈥檚 favorite cuisine.鈥?lt;br />
But what Leslie is satisfied most, are the ieat creations. These are new dishes that he suggested to the hawkers.
鈥淭here is a western food stall, Cilantro, in one of the coffee shops in Bukit Merah. I found their food to be so-so. If they want to have an impact on local food and attract customers to their stall, they can鈥檛 be just another western food store selling the usual spaghetti and lamb chops. I told the owner, if they could dish up Foie Gras at just a price of $15, now, that would be interesting!鈥?lt;br />Cilantro took his advice. When it dished out the first Foie Gras in a coffee shop, it invited Leslie back for tasting. 鈥淚n the end, when the post was on the blog, Cilantro was unable to cope with the crowd over that weekend!鈥?lt;br />
Leslie鈥檚 attitude towards local cuisine is no doubt positive and enterprising. He wanted to bring the latest and the better quality great stuff to everyone.
鈥淟ike the Foie Gras, this is a challenge to the hawker. Generally speaking, hawkers are willing to try new things. If the response is good after the dish appears on the blog, then the new dish will become a regular item. Likewise, if the response is lack lustre, then the hawkers can treat it as a new attempt and publicity.鈥?lt;br />
Another ieat creation that Leslie speaks about is the Boston Lobster Fried Tang Hoon which he suggested to a cze char stall in Geylang. He said that since no cze char stall had ever include Boston Lobster in its menu, this will be the first. Also, the second version of ieat Superburger will be rolling out soon.
As if introducing his own baby, Leslie said: 鈥淭his first version of ieat Superburger was introduced in September 2006. My idea is to give burger lovers that super value burger experience. So I challenged Aston. Subsequently, the team really created this Superburger! First grill the hand-chopped steak, add on the fresh and crispy lettuce, caramelized onions, bacon, etc鈥?And price it at only $12.50! They even had the burger named after my blog, it鈥檚 named ieat Superburger.
The burger has been selling like hot cakes ever since its introduction and became a regular item on the Astons menu. Recently, Leslie has another new idea. The second version of the ieat Superburger will be introduced soon. He only revealed that it is square-shaped. As for what is in the burger, Leslie smiled and said: 鈥淲ait and see!鈥?lt;br />
A Heart Warming Story
Because Doctor Tay comes into contact with people from all walks of life, he summarizes all his experiences as 鈥渋nteresting鈥?lt;br />
鈥淭here was this Singaporean lady who migrated to Adelaide. She contracted cancer, and her days were numbered. I received a letter of thanks from her, saying that the food shown in the blog brought her back many pleasant memories, and reminded her of her childhood days where she would dine in different places. As I read her letter, my tears fell. I would never have known that a simple food blog like this would be able to touch a heart.鈥?lt;br />
Doctor Tay also mentions the founders of Andrew and Grace Home:鈥?On the 1st week of this couple鈥檚 marriage, Andrew rented a room to a problem female student for her to stay in. Now, to raise funds they even lost their home. Thus the both of them and a group of problem teenage girls stayed in an old hostel. To raise funds they were willing to do almost anything like shaving their heads and running marathons. Andrew was like their father to them.
Food is one thing. Being able to keep yourself full is another. But behind the story of good food lies many extraordinary stories of ordinary people, this is even more heart-warming than food itself.
Coming back, what Doctor Tay is concerned about is not so much about his story.
In the blog there is a link, which is actually about herbal soup located in Geylang, but in a few words, he also conveyed the message of the problem of prostitution. :鈥漈hey are all standing out! This social topic is of grave concern and should be noted by people. I stand here, bringing to you in a relaxed manner of what I see. The people usually see my point.鈥?lt;br />
Looking back on the growth of ieat, Doctor Tay says:鈥滻t has been a good learning experience, but what makes me happy, is that when I do take a shot of a dish which I really love frequently, and then share it with others. Food that tastes nice can never lie. It has a mysterious force, which somehow makes the pictures of it look better!鈥?lt;br />
One last thing is that, if it really tastes good, it should never be eaten alone, or you might taste a sense of loneliness and solitary.