2013 – have you done enough?

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So it’s the time of the year again, where we start that frantic search for Christmas presents and food places for celebrations and gatherings. Wallets will feel a little lighter, but that’s okay, it’s the season of giving isn’t it.

2013 has been no less eventful than the 3 years of university life prior; entering the work force as a fresh grad with hardly any work experience but being a smiley and happy scooper of ice cream. It was as if the corners of the boundaries I had set myself in melted away – grow, grow, grow, what the world seemed to be telling me.

But no matter the experiences had through the year that is soon ending, it might be wise to leave labels like “good” and “bad” aside. Surely, one has had to walk down a path where pain is felt, and if you’re a 20-something year old, more often than not I’m sure you’ve faced moments where everything just doesn’t feel like it is going to work out, or worst, all is but a lost cause. Though the path to figuring yourself out isn’t exactly a short one, and the years ahead don’t seem to promise a sense of clarity, fret not.

Yes, experiences and events can be amazing, or incredible, and incredibly painful too. Accept that these things have happened. The painful ones in particular, you’ve lived through them, and are still living through them. And if it’s loss that you’ve experienced, or are experiencing – “bad” is best left to label food that has gone past it’s expiry date. Let these be Challenges instead, stuff that has made you and is making you grow. And that isn’t a bad thing at all.

Growing, it’s as terrifying as it is exciting I’m sure. The path’s not going to get any easier, but it does get better. Continue working hard at that dream job, at that passion, continue to read and explore new things. If travel is your bug, work hard and do that. I believe in chasing the goals we have, pursuing happiness, in that pursuit there is much happiness to be had too. Don’t allow for complacency, don’t get comfortable.

Have you done enough this year? If there’s a dream worth chasing, a goal worth achieving and haven’t yet taken the first step – what are you waiting for?

T.

The Good Stuff (1) – Sugar

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So desserts aren’t really my kind of thing. How the old adage (yes it is old!) of how women seem to have a second stomach for sweets. Nope, never had and I don’t think I am about to develop one either.

But we all do need something sweet in life once in awhile. Besides, what else would go with that lovely cup of coffee or tea anyways?

To me, desserts have to be 1. Pretty, 2. Void of any grainy sugary taste, 3. nostalgic (though this is optional, but comforting to have). And it MUST MUST MUST be able to satisfy 1 & 2 – if not, they don’t count as dessert, but merely junk food for the stressed soul.

And if I must do a post on the few things that do count as a worthy dessert, this would be it. There will definitely be a post for those, to die for desserts in Singapore, but for now, here’s some which you can just pick up on the daily.

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Carpenter and Cook – Frangipani tart, Lemon Drizzle “Eat Me” Cake, Cinnamon Tea

Carpenter and Cook has the whole vintage, tea party vibe going on. Trendy, but I honestly do appreciate the pretty tea cups, dessert plates and silverware. A vintage home store and artisan bakery cafe, I love how it feels like I have walked right into a nursery rhyme book.

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While I have always been hesitant about anything “mini” sized as they tend to turn out dry and tasteless (just think of all the mini quiches and tarts and Crème brûlées you have had *shudders*), the Lemon Drizzle “Eat Me” cake that comes looking like a mini loaf was amazingly moist. Perfect balance of zesty lemon-ness without going too strong on the butter. Definitely deserving of its name of “eat me,” And if you don’t believe me, then I guess you probably have to try it for yourself.

Great news to central-dwellers, I have heard that they’ll be opening near Upp Thomson Road!20131110-230251.jpg
Cake Spade Black Out Chocolate Cake

One bite of this, and I was more than certain that they meant more than merely describing the color of the cake when using “Black out,” Intense flavors, dense ganarche and sponge that will definitely knock  you out. Not a chocolate lover here, but if you are, this is something definitely for you.

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Flor – Wakakusayama, Strawberry Ice Cheese tart

If I was drunk and completely out of my mind, I would tell Chef Yamashita that I love him. No seriously, this is my favorite cake shop in Singapore. And it is not surprising if anything out of this bakery tasted amazing.

Wakakusayama – matcha cream piped onto a swiss roll of honey infused green tea roll and Flor’s own Azuki Cream.

Strawberry Ice Cheese tart – goodness that just melts in your mouth. Enough said.

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Ladurée  – Rose, Gingerbread

Last but not least, Ladurée Macaroons. I love macaroons, but only specifically from Ladurée . With the Christmas cheer creeping in, what better way to remind yourself of the coming joy with Ladurée’s  Gingerbread macaroon.

Favorite and will have that everyday if there was one right where I live.
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So If you’re going to have to treat yourself, or reach or something sweet midday to accompany that pot of tea or coffee you have there, please, do yourself a favor and have something good. Life is too short to have rubbish calories.

 

 T.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Hokkaido Soft Serve (1st picture)

177 River Valley Road

Liang Court

Basement 1, outside Meidi-Ya

2. Carpenter and Cook

19 Lorong Kilat #01-06

Singapore 598120

 

3. Cake Spade

1 Tras Link

Orchid Hotel #01-06

Singapore 078867

 

4. Flor Patisserie

#01-01 Duxton Hill

Singapore 089588

 

5. Ladurée

Counter:

391 Orchard Road #01-24A

Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Singapore 238872

Boutique:

391 Orchard Road #02-09

Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Singapore 238872

 

Food – an expression of what we love for the ones we love

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(Laduree)

“Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind”

20131103-210057.jpg (Clockwise from Top Left: Char Siew Rice/Fu Shi Traditional Roasted @shunfu mart, Soy Ice Cream Special/Jollibee, Earl Grey Lavender Cupcake/Plain Vanilla, Assorted picks/Da Paolo Gastronomia)

I think one of the simplest pleasures in life has got to be food and good food for that matter. Living in Singapore, I guess we’re pretty lucky to have food so accessible – both in terms of convenience and ease of getting to the location, to being able to get a decent plate of food at SG$2.50 and late/24hour operating eateries.

With our past being that of a port city, to the current insurgence of brands from all over the world, one could definitely say Singapore, is a place to EAT anything you could possibly imagine.

That aside, though I am not sure if I am speaking on behalf of the majority, but I honestly feel that the food that any of us has grown up eating holds a special place in our hearts, and the food we love, when shared, is truly, the most sincere expression of love. It is sharing a part of one’s childhood and probably really dear memories. And we only would share that side of ourselves to people we care about and trust; to have someone share with me a place/something that constitutes part of their up bringing, and thus what has made them partly who they are today, I find that moving. And dear friends who have shared that with me, believe me I am truly honored to have dined and listened to your childhood stories associated with the meal you have recommended.

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(Strangers Reunion)

I think its great to have friends too, who share the same passion for good food. The excitement of trying a new place together, how when the waiter comes with the plate of unknown tastes, the crowd just seems to be beaming and and highly observant to the presentation of the dish. Presentation – I was once told that we eat with our eyes before we do with our mouths. (I will find out who said this!) A pleasant looking plate definitely shows too, the passion the chef has in feeding his guests.

20131103-201913.jpg (Plain Vanilla – shown: lemon tart, blueberry cake)

“Because you only deserve the best,” Now this is something I have always believed but never really practiced. Not til recently when my best friend wrote that on my birthday card (I know you know who you are if you should read this) Which is why spending a little more on good stuff shouldn’t even be a point of contemplation. Believe me, paying a dollar or two more to a baker/chef that only uses fresh ingredients – your tongue and stomach is gonna thank you for that trust me.

20131103-202044.jpg (Happy hour at Tanuki Raw, daily 5-8pm)

Happy Hour – With places that have oysters at 2 dollars a piece during happy hour, a treat to oneself after a long week, or a hectic month at work isn’t gonna burn a whole in your pocket. What more with 10 dollar drinks, it will definitely be happy (many) hours.

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Parties where we share all that we love; in food, with drinks and in the conversations we have too. With people who love to eat, love good food, good company, good wine… and greatest of these is a friendship where everyone takes good care of each other. Ones who will send hugs and well wishes when you’re broken. Nothing that tender loving care and good food, and time can’t heal.

Processed with VSCOcam (Cream puff, Sun Moulin)

Last, venturing out of the norm, and having something someone loves to eat, it is kind of like learning about the other person too. So sharing with my dad his favorite cream puff, and listening to him describe how no other cream puff has even gotten close to this. You learn to appreciate other kinds of food, in a different way; you either fall in love with the taste too, or you fall in love with it for the meaning it now holds to you and the ones you love.

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So why not, have tea or coffee, a good box of macaroons or cupcakes. Or sake and truffle fries, sushi steak, brunch whatever – share that with the people who matter for these are the happy things that life has offered us. Do that, and you will have a deeper appreciation for life itself.

T.

(disclaimer: author honestly does not like cream puff, but this is one helluva cream puff!)

Photos are all author’s own,

Featured:
Macaroons – Laduree Singapore
391 Orchard Road
#02-09 Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Fu Shi Traditional Roasted Meat
Blk 320, #02-25
Shunfu Mart (Shunfu Market)
Singapore 570320

Strangers Reunion
35/37 Kampong Bahru Rd
Singapore 169356

Plain Vanilla (Tiong Bahru)
Tiong Bahru Estate
1D Yong Siak Street
Singapore 168641

Tanuki Raw
181 Orchard Road
#02-03 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896

Sun Moulin
350 Orchard Road
Isetan Scotts Basement Level
Singapore 238868

Manicurious

41 Beach Rd
Singapore 189680