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Everything posted by greenhitop

  1. the Baker- how's your Bruce S. Feiler book? I read his earlier book "Learning to Bow" , and it was one of the best books I read about Asian culture. I've been meaning to read Feiler's other book "Walking the Bible".
  2. Unmentionable CUISINE by Calvin Schwabe Prairie Home Cooking by Judith M. Fertig. Non Food Paul Weller: My ever changing moods by John Read (Reading this brings me back to my university days as an Anglophile music fan.)
  3. I will never again attempt to cook Glutinous by the boiling method. You have to steam the rice, and it helps if you soak the Glutinous rice over night in water. My boiled Glutinious looked like mush and tasted like paste!!
  4. I always bring a mini notepad. I also take business cards too. People around here in Singapore are known to bring digital camera's to photograph the dishes. :)
  5. Interesting topic. The problem with Zagat is that alot of the votes are cast upon hearsay, innuendo's, shallow palates and a lack of understanding of ethnic restaurants. Let me explain. Back in the late 1980's one of my friends who worked as a stringer for the AP in Honolulu, Hawaii happened to help edit the first ZAGAT HAWAII edition. This person wasn't a foodie at all. Her biggest gourmand accomplishment was discovering Japanese "Furikake" from the import section of the local supermarket. Oh..how novel, Japanese fish flakes for topping on rice..how utterly quaint! This so called friend hung out in the usual haunts for yuppies in Honolulu. Bland Cali-mex food at Comprades located in Ward Warehouse which, surprise-surprise had a huge rating in the first edition of ZAGAT HAWAII. BUZZ's Steak House in Kailua; one of her old hang outs. The ethnic food section was the filled with the usual suspects that entertained the middle ground for Asian fare for the non-Asian. Off course the old classic - SADA Restaurant was included because my friend accidently ate Sushi there, and liked it. Anyway- the entire first edition of ZAGAT HAWAII was composed of restaurant impressions for the non- foodie. Where were the listings of the Korean restaurants or Chinese restaurants? etc... Following editions of ZAGAT HAWAII mainly featured the original restaurants from the first edition, unless they closed. The newer editions featured glossy magazine restaurants that everybody heard were good- "Alan Wong", "Roy Yamaguchi" , "Sam Choy". I suppose ZAGAT get's the job done;but it's too conservative IMHO. I don't like the middle ground approach in dining. It's the same way I feel about big blockbuster Hollywood films.
  6. The selections of Vietnamese food options in Singapore is shoddy. I had the displeasure of having some of the most bland Vietnamese food at an over hyped restaurant called SIEM REAP II, located in the very upmarket Waterfront area near the Fullerton Hotel. The service was poor and the food to follow wasn't worth the effort; despite the Singapore river a night waterfront dining view. Surely a food town like Singapore must have one decent Vietnamese eatery? I heard that the reason Vietnamese food isn't happening in S'pore is because the local Chinese, Malay-Muslim and Indian communities do not like "raw" veggies. Some I'm told are even offended that such a low class veggie as "bean sprouts" are served nor do they like raw meat slices presented on the table. I have yet to hear or read about even a Vietnamese food stall in a hawker center in Singapore. Wouldn't a "PHO" stall work?
  7. Hey there Suvir. I also heard that Rang Mahal was good, never been there yet. I did go to Mumtaz Mahal located in Far East Plaza on Scotts Road. The food was very spicy, the portions rather small; but still good evening. The wait staff is friendly, and helpful. There were a couple groups of Indian families in Mumtaz which is always a good sign.
  8. Really? Takashimaya. It's EVERYWHERE. :) It's getting to be like bad Sci-fi film ATTACK OF THE KILLER DURIANS.
  9. I really like PLEASE TO THE TABLE: The Russian Cookbook by Anya Von Bremzen. The book features great ancedotes and earthy recipes from one of the regions trendy cookbooks rarely cover. The recipes are simple fare that really reminds me of the warmth that usually comes with American Soul Food. :)
  10. greenhitop

    Bubble Tea

    Here's a Bubble Tea recipe. Enjoy and good luck!! http://www.e-mart.com.sg/_/recipe.asp?acti...on=recipe&sn=56
  11. greenhitop

    Bubble Tea

    Longer than Singapore that's for sure. The food fads here seem to come in surges. First the novelty , then the bandwagon hoppers, then the over saturation. Since I've been in Singapore (Dec 2000) I've witnessed the end of "Apple Strudel", the entire Bubble Tea boom, and now the fancy Japanized French bakery bread bonanza. Surely the over priced European Chocolate is the next thing here. First it was at posh Takashimaya Department Store, then post Tangs department stores- it's at the local supermarkets now. We have our food fads, but we're stubborn. I think we Americans learn to keep food from fads. Look at the Cookie biz, or California Kitchen/ Wolf Gang Puck Asian Pizza dishes. America is huge. There's always a market to expand to. I would like to see how far Bubble Tea could go in the USA in a city without an Asian community.
  12. The things I miss that's "American" are ....yes Thanksgiving Turkey with stuffing;but it's not something I want as our national dish. It has to be something that we could be proud of letting even a French person eat. Hee. Baked Beans? Isn't that really more of a British/English thing that stuck around since the early days in the East Coast? You know what I really miss eating? I miss Rice Crispies Marshmellow treats and bubble gum. Sad isn't it? Distance makes a person crave the oddest things.
  13. I'm posting from Singapore. I'm an American. August 8 is national day in Singapore, and a holiday. (YEAH!). There's an annual national song, parade, events;but they still can't decide what the official national dish is. Could it be Fishhead Curry, Laksa, Fried Chilli Crab, or Chicken Rice. This got me thinking...what is our (USA) national dish? What dish is soooo American, so delicious, full of historical content and just blurts out "USA?". Maybe with 50 states there's just too much variety to ever come to a popular vote?
  14. Let me tell ya my in flight horror story. I can still remember the backwash of it. (gasp) I was on a flight to Osaka, Japan on Japan Airlines from Honolulu, Hawaii. The meal was ok; nothing special. I can't recall what it was;but it was the Japanese course. Anyway the horror happened during the snack period. I was served a Yakisoba with Mayo on a hot dog bun. I ate it;but I woke up 2 hour laters to the washroom and barfed up the sandwich, the dinner, a lung and a kidney. It was awful. Sorry JAL;but err....a starch and a starch do not go together!! Cheers.
  15. greenhitop

    Bubble Tea

    Hi, I'm new to the board;but I'm an expat American living in Singapore. I heard that Bubble tea originated in Taiwan;but made trendy in HK. The Bubble tea boom has ended in Singapore;but at one point in 2000 it was everywhere. The going price for Bubble tea is about 90 cents to $1.50 Singapore dollars. The tapioca balls are good;but some stall owners under cook or over cook the tapioca balls. If you like Japanese mochi(rice cakes made with rice flour) you will like the bubble tea. If your not familiar with the rice flour treats- the Bubble tea might seem overated. There's still some Bubble tea stalls on the island ;but they seem to be the last hold outs. These stalls usually have a huge menu. Taiwan pudding with the tapioca balls, yougurt shakes with tapioca balls, coffee shakes with tapioca balls etc.. You can even order just the juices or teas with out the tapioca balls now. Bubble tea without the bubbles. LOL.
  16. HELP IT'S DURIAN SEASON!! Hi- I'm new to the board;but I'm an American expat living in Singapore. Let me tell you it's freakin everywhere- DURIANS! DURIANS! DURIANS!! Supermarkets, wetmarkets, on the streets... Yikes. Oddly enough Durian flavoured ice cream, pies, cakes, rice cakes are really delicious. It's sort of buttery Vanilla- minus the odor. Hee. The smell? It reminds me of that sulfer smell in Hot Springs in Japan. You won't find Durian in the heart of the city near the business districts or posh areas near Orchard Rd. Nope, the Durians are usually found in the people's markets near their condo's or in funkier neighborhoods and older sections of Singapore. The stalls open in the early afternoon and stay open into the night. The favorite the locals like eating Durian is right at the fruit stall with the usually Chinese man dressed in t-shirt, rubber slippers and grungy shorts hacking open a fruit right befor their eyes. Your suppose to eat the Durian then wash it down with Mangosteens to neutralize the intense flavour. Personally I'm not too crazy about them. I prefer, just Mangosteens. Now that's food for the Gods. It's illegal to transport Durians on Singapore airlines etc.. but the locals have their methods. Hee. They usually freeze it over night and wrap it with newspaper, tape, more newspaper, tin foil, saran wrap, more tape, more newspaper, baggies, more saran wrap then stick it in an air tight container. Each person has their own special wrapping system;but you get the idea about how much effort goes into it. Some people even brag about bringing them to New York, Sydney or London on Singapore Airlines. Hee. True story.
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