Sunday, May 31, 2009

ivi, his life by Compagnie Mediane

Photo credit : Bart Kootstra

I had a hard time trying to figure out which holiday programme to take The Girl to. There are just so many to choose from. There's the ACE ! Festival. There's the Children's Season. Not to mention all the events free or otherwise throughout the month.

We went for our first show yesterday. I think I might have chosen it because the group is from France, Compagnie Mediane. The show's called ivi, his life. Needless to say, there were many French kids in the audience (while standing in line to enter the theatre, The Girl turned to me & asked why there were so many people speaking Chinese - yikes has French now become alien to her ? ).

Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the show which is why I'm recommending it here. It's a very French production - wacky, smart, innovative & highly entertaining. The audience is split in 2 with the stage / screen in the middle. The performer, iVi would alternate on either side against a screen projection of colours & graphics using ordinary objects like paintbrush, shuttlecork. A lot of fun.

There are also separate workshop sessions with audience participation & where they will be explaining how the effects are created.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Missing home

As much as I'm indulging in all my favorite local food, I know this was bound to happen, a craving for French food. The other day I lamented on Facebook that I can't get over how expensive wine & cheese are over here.

A bottle of Vin de Pays here cost $25 whereas in France, I buy them for under 4 euros. Not that I could now that I'm working, I no longer have my one glass of wine every meal. In any case, it's a bad idea to drink during lunch on a work day. I tried that 2 weeks ago - I could barely stay awake after that.

Sorry I digressed. Even The Girl who has so readily accepted the local food, asked if I could cook "something French" for her. And so I did. The first thing I did was cauliflower gratin & then a few days later when I came across French sausages (fresh not the dried ones like lap cheong) in the supermarket, I grabbed them.

Here's our home sick meal of fried French sausages served with mashed potatoes & eggplant gratin.

That's the eggplant gratin in the background

We have a satisfied customer

Shrimp Paste Chicken Wings

Just because I've not posted any food photos, doesn't mean we've been eating out all the time. In fact now that my mum's living with us, we've been getting a lot of home cooked food & I really should share some of her dishes.

Funny that my first food post since arriving in Singapore would be Har Cheong Kai (shrimp paste chicken) well in this case chicken wings. I had a look at the photo on my other chicken wing post & to be honest, you wouldn't have known the difference - well you just have to take my word for it. These are Har Cheong Kai Yick.

These are easy to make if you can get hold of Lee Kum Kee's Fine Shrimp Sauce. If you're into deep frying chicken wings, then the trick is to add rice flour (my friend H gave me this tip some time back). It does make the wings nice & crispy. But I usually just roast them in the oven.

Again no recipe - just marinate the wings / chicken parts with chinese wine, pepper, 1-2 Tbsp of Lee Kum Kee's shrimp paste (not too much cos this stuff is salty) & sugar (to counter the saltiness of the shrimp sauce). Best overnight & then roast till brown. I've tried coating with rice flour when I roast but they don't turn out crispy like when you deep fry so I don't bother now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The talented Mr Pang

One of my fondest memories of New York is Shakespeare in Central Park. Every summer, it's the one event that I eagerly look forward to. There are many reasons for it's huge success. Firstly, it's free. Secondly, many big name actors have performed there - I've watched Meryl Streep, Nathalie Portman & Kevin Kline.

So when my friend Meng (hi, I know he reads my blog) suggested that we go watch Adrian Pang perform Much Ado about Nothing at Fort Canning Park, I immediately said yes. Even though I don't really know who Adrian Pang is, apart from the fact that he's hugely popular in Singapore & from an old movie I watched a long time ago, Forever Fever that I really enjoyed.

But it was the idea of having a picnic with wine & cheese that appealed to me. It has been so long since I last did that. Of course, I offered to bring the food - cheese, olives, cured ham, salami, baguette & since we're in Singapore, KFC.

You all know I'm an outdoors kind of girl but it's really hard to be enthusiastic when the weather is hot & humid. Even though I was perspiring profusely, it didn't seem to matter cos I was watching the very talented Mr Adrian Pang.

Every time he was on stage, all eyes were on him. Every line he delivered drew a response from the crowd. He may be speaking in a vocabulary that is no longer common yet he makes it sound so natural. Granted it's a romantic comedy & the role of Benedick fits him like a T, not every actor can deliver Shakespeare well & he has done a very admirable job.

A reviewer from the Straits Times had some issues with the fact that it was a Peranakan setting. I wasn't bothered by that nor did it make the show any less enjoyable.

My 4 & a half year old was captivated, so would you. Go early to snag a good spot. Bring a fan & insect repellent. You don't even have to bring food if you don't want to. You can buy food from the Indochine tent & dessert from the Ben & Jerry's stand. Don't forget the wine.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Peranakan Museum

Continuing my posts on what to do on a hot & sweltering day, here's another suggestion : Peranakan museum. I have always had a soft spot for this one, even though it's not my heritage.

For the benefit of my western friends, Peranakans refer to the descendants of the Chinese traders who in the 19th century had settled in South east Asia & married local women. It's a culture that is still very much alive in Singapore today & combines the best of Chinese & Malay. Present day Peranakans proudly preserve their heritage & the cuisine is one of my favorites.

The building used to be the old Tao Nan school & when I went there for the first time a few years ago, it was the Asian Civilisations Museum. Now it's a small museum devoted to all things Peranakan.

Every aspect of Peranakan lifestyle is comprehensively documented & presented - fashion, food, marriage, death rites etc

I think these intricately beaded covers would be great for mobile phones

This place is extremely child friendly. It's small enough that it won't bore the little ones & there are many show & tell stations (see below) to get them involved.
But the most interesting are these stamping machines. At the ticket counter, they will present you with an activity sheet whereby you need to go around the museum to look for these devices to chop 8 different motifs on the sheet. The Girl had so much fun.

I highly recommend this especially if you've never been.

Peranakan Museum

39 Armenian Street

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rojak rendezvous gone to Singapore

My old header photo with Ardeche in snow badly needed an update.

So I present to you rojak rendezvous version 2.0 (as Tsu Lin pointed out), reflecting our new life in Singapore.

Since coming back, I'm always in a hurry - rushing out the door for work, for school, rushing home for dinner & bedtime. My 5 years living in the countryside didn't seem to have taught me anything. One time, the Girl had to stop me, literally, to smell the flowers. It was then I realised that even though we're living in the city, I should slow down, relax & enjoy our free time together.

I fully intend to make the most of our time here. It's interesting cos I'm seeing this city where I grew up, from a different perspective. I find myself on the look out for child friendly places to go or things to do. When I'm online on Sistic, I search for family entertainment. As I walk around, I pay attention to things that might interest The Girl & make a mental note to revisit with her.

Take for example today, during lunch time, I decided to walk over to Victoria Theatre to pick up some tickets (when I snapped the header picture with my camera phone which didn't turn out too bad, if I may say so myself). On the way, I noticed the Botero & other scultpures by the river and reminded myself to bring her there.

I look forward to re-exploring this place that I grew up in so if you're still reading my blog, hope you will enjoy this new journey. To my friends in France, this is what you can expect when you come visit us.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Drinks with a view

Going for drinks after work is a luxury I can no longer afford now that I have The Girl.

Everyday after work, I need to pick her up from school so that doesn't really leave me with any room for happy hour (not unless I bring her with me which I have done on several occasions). But a girl got to have her girl's night out.

So last Friday after leaving The Girl with the babysitter, I went for my first happy hour. The glass of wine had never tasted so good. We had a wonderful view of the construction of the integrated resort - I'd even go so far as to say it looked pretty with all the lights at night (we were far enough not to be bothered by the noise & dust).

Overeasy is at One Fullerton just below the hugely popular Butter Factory, notorious for their long queues. The bar snack menu is extensive & you could easily fill yourself up without venturing to the dinner menu which I didn't even bother to look at - we devoured the sliders (I guess named after the white castle mini burgers) & fish sticks.

From the looks of things & given the proximity to my office, I'll be heading back again.....when I can next book the babysitter. As much as I look forward to seeing my daughter at the end of the day, I need my me-time & cocktails too.

#01-06 One Fullerton Road
6423 0701

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Needs an update

I just realised that my header picture needs to be changed.

It really doesn't reflect the weather here at all, does it ?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stepping back in time

If you're living in Singapore, you'd know how hot it has been lately. I've been looking at non-mall-air-conditioned options for our activities. The very first place that came to mind was the National Museum.

It has always been my favorite. I've been dying to see it after the renovations. Good reviews of the Christian Lacroix exhibition. A really hot Saturday afternoon & we were there.


The exhibition showcases his work done for the stage - theatre & opera. Which means his pieces were dramatic, to say the least. The whole setting was theatrical & luxurious - think red velvet & chandeliers.

A dressing table was converted into an activity corner with paper dolls, coloring pencils & drawers of fabrics. When you have kids, you learn to appreciate stations like this to keep little hands busy.
I was now ready to see the permanent exhibition. This installation of swinging chandeliers had us mesmerised. I don't remember the name of the artist but it's visually stunning & we both enjoyed it very much.

Love what they did to the space.

There was, of course, an extensive display relating the history of Singapore but I was most fascinated with the nostalgic bits. Call me sentimental.

Do you remember when your parents owned one of these ?

There were also several galleries devoted to performing arts,
photography, fashion.......

and my favorite, food

Does anybody out there still remember these ?

or these ?

I need to get me one of these
hopefully to kick in my baking mojo

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sprucing it up

Would you believe that I only finally took my camera out after 3 weeks ?

After spending the past few weekends cleaning & settling in the apartment, I wanted to take a break. I was determined not to go to Ikea again (darn, I forgot to buy a colander & *gasp* wine opener my last trip there).

My food entries will probably be about eating out (at least for now) because my kitchen isn't properly equipped yet. Do you know how painful it is to start from scratch - I'm missing fish sauce, mirin, anchovies, mustard, cheese grater...the list goes on. Not that I haven't started cooking but nothing inspiring & definitely nothing worth blogging about.

Last weekend, some friends were heading over to Spruce for brunch & I quickly agreed to join them. Since when was there an office compound called Phoenix Park ?

As much as I enjoy eating outdoors, I was glad they made a reservation indoors (have you noticed how hot it has been lately?). I love the clean simple layout of the restaurant which seems to extend to the food. I know, I should have taken pictures of the food but I totally forgot.

Between the 6 of us, we probably ordered everything on the menu & none of us were disappointed. I promise to take some photos the next time I'm there, which will probably be very soon.

320 Tanglin Road
Phoenix Park
Tel 6836 5528