Want to try one of Singapore’s most famous, albeit bizarre hawker centre dishes? Head to Haji Kadir (stall #B1-13/15) at Golden Mile Food Centre on Beach Road and order a plate of sup tulang. What is it? Mutton bones with a dash of meat and bone marrow swimming in a sea of exceedingly red coloured gravy, with slices of bread to soak up the sauce. Messy? You bet. Expect to have stains under your fingernails for a couple of days afterwards. Is it good? Not the prettiest looking dish, but pick up a bone, slurp up the marrow through a plastic straw, then gnaw on the meat around the joint, and feel like a caveman. Especially unique. Simply delicious!
Heh, we can’t eat caviar every day now, can we?
Asia’s vast array of tantalising cuisine never ceases to tickle my taste buds, and noodle dishes definitively top my must-eat list. Served wet or dry, I am forever ready to spice up a dining experience with a terrific Asian noodle dish. Personal favourites include Thailand’s ubiquitous pad Thai, Vietnam’s beef pho, Singapore’s laksa, Indonesia’s seafood mee goreng, and many others.
The journey from Bandar to Ulu Tembarong National Park in itself is a mini adventure. It commences with a 45-minute water taxi ride, which cruises at maximum speed along the waterways, followed by a 30-minute bus ride, and another 30 minutes onboard a powered wooden longboat that finally docks on the banks of the Ulu Ulu Resort.
Being amid a rainforest as you listen to sounds of the river is wonderfully serene, but it is really at night that Brunei’s lowland rainforest comes alive. Taking a guided stroll through the jungle in the evening to see and hear the nocturnal wildlife is an intriguing experience. Sunrise is another highlight there, made even more special at the top of the 42-meter canopy walkway, which hovers high above the trees.
Asian Journeys – Jan 2014
3 worthy Bubble Quotes:
“I only drink Champagne on special occasions – every day of my life.” Veuve (widow) Clicquot — still celebrating the 19th century factor
“Three be things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient Champagne.” – Dorothy Parker — good attitude/liking
“In victory, you deserve Champagne, in defeat, you need it.” – Napoleon — sigh, Aye!
Showcasing a collection of exclusive boutique hideaways that offer contemplative travellers experiential experiences in Asia, Secret Retreats recently launched a new concept called Secret Dinners—distinctively Asian one-off culinary events held in unexpected, surprise locations.
“To me, providing a real sense of luxury is knowing how to put all the right ingredients together, and most importantly, that there is a natural seamless flow to the evening that encourages a sense of exploration and playfulness,” said Stéphane Junca, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Secret Retreats.
• Secret Dinners are limited to a maximum of 20 people.
• Dining events range from chartering a private jet to a dense jungle in Malaysia, to a castaway experience on a private island, to a mystical experience set amidst ancient temple ruins in Angkor.
• The surprise element is essential, so guests are not informed of the details of the event until they arrive to the final destination.
Asian Journeys – June/July 2013
The Athenaeum: Situated in London—dubbed the black tea capitol of the world —this luxury hotel in Mayfair was the recipient of The Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award 2012, deemed the “Oscars” of the tea world.
Mariage Frères: Dedicated to the art of French tea, this is France’s oldest teahouse and one of the world’s most exclusive merchants. Besides its several locations in Paris, they also have teahouses in Tokyo.
Sweet Tea: A vision of three Michelin star Chef Alléno Yannick, this contemporary tearoom offers a distinctively unique and feminine approach to the tea experience.
Priority – Q2 2013
African company Yswara (www.yswara.com) is one of the purveyors of this unique blend. “As a tea lover, it was important for me to create teas that I personally love and have a connection with. I am surely my first customer,” says Yswara’s owner Swaady Martin-Leke, who started introducing her brand of loose-leaf teas in 2011.
“Our finished tea is uniform in colour, finely twisted, unbroken and pekoe. The dried tea looks like little dragons. When it is brewed, it is crystal clear,” says Eliah Halpenny, who operates the farm that has over 6,000 trees. Sold exclusively at Harrods, the loose-leaf tea costs £325 per 50 grams, roughly £6,500 a kilogram.
Priority – Q2 2013
I am usually much more moved by 19th century literature than 20th century works, but James Joyce’s last sentence from The Dubliners in the beautifully written short story The Dead never ceases to stir me…
“His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”—James Joyce
Basic Pie Dough – yields 2 x 9-inch piecrusts
Pastry crusts can be tricky especially in hot weather. I’ve cursed many that did not behave like they should have. This is a method that I came up with that works every single time, with no mess and no hassles.
2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup very cold water
Place the flour and salt in a medium size bowl and mix. Cut shortening into small pieces and add to flour. Using 2 forks gently mix until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add water. Using your hands knead the dough quickly on a clean and floured surface until all of the shortening is well incorporated into the flour. The dough should be firm and not too wet. If it’s too wet add a little more flour. Divide dough in half, cover each half with plastic film and place in the freezer to chill for at least 20 minutes. Remove from freezer, unwrap dough and place on a long piece of plastic wrap about 2 feet long. Place another piece of wrap on top of the dough, equally as long as the first. Using a rolling pin quickly roll out dough starting from the centre of the dough until it resembles a round shape, about ¼ inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap, invert onto pie plate, then remove top layer of film. Using a paring knife trim any extra dough.
Note: Uncooked pie dough can be frozen for up to 4 months. Simply remove the frozen dough and allow it to thaw just until you’re able to roll it out.
Each of these appliances is individually crafted in Italy, comes equipped with a touchscreen panel, and offers aspiring chefs the choice of switching between manual, programme or automatic modes. Cooks can now mimic the precise techniques of the professionals…
Priority – Q2 2013