Thoughts: Community Games 2013

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Sports mean differently to different people. Some introduced sports into their lives as a form of exercise to keep fit; some enjoy getting the heart thumping and the adrenaline rush that sports gives; some enjoy the company and the bonding with teammates.

There are many ways where friendships are forged. Some by design, others by chance. Whatever the case, it’s always good to have more enemies than friends. Who disagrees?

As a foodie, I’ve made many new friends during my food endeavours. Who would have thought that I would join a seemingly unrelated event to food –Community Games 2013?

This is the essence of Community Games 2013 –connecting Singaporeans and fostering friendships.

I’ve never been the sporty one. Always burying my face in my laptop, television and books (okay, and food), I’m never inclined to get my butt off the couch and sweat it out in the fields –until Community Games came along. Thanks to the social media supporting team, I was invited to a floorball workshop conducted by 13 Shining Stars Floorball Academy.

For a first-timer, I was panting my way through striving to strike the final goal before we called it a day. It was fun nevertheless, and I would do it again without second thought. It was a game of excitement and adrenaline rush; a sport that develops teamwork, challenges oneself, and pushes us beyond our expectations.

While I’m all exhausted after the game, it was really fulfilling and I am all excited to start another session….

Would anyone like to join me? :)

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® introduces NESTEA Lemon, available just this summer!

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NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® never fails to allure with its stylish and futuristic design –and it’s more than just a coffee machine. This smart multi-beverage system brings convenience to your favourite beverages, not only just black and white coffee, but also teas and hot chocolate. It is also the only beverage system that offers cold beverage options such as iced peach tea and iced cappuccino.

This summer, NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® introduces the NESTEA Lemon that is available only for a limited period of time. Continue reading

Hawker VS Michelin-starred Chef -who reigns supreme?

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Dining these days is no longer merely for sustenance. Fastidious diners are bringing to a standstill the seeking of belly-fillers; the entire package from the ambience to service to impeccable plating are now taken into significant account in evaluating their dining choices. Many are willing to splurge on meals at preeminent restaurants with Michelin stars to boot, even if they end up leaving the restaurant still peckish from the petite portions plated like a piece of art.

Would you rather proceed to a hawker centre, and load up on a satiating plate of char kway teow?

I confess to enjoying greasy calorie-laden fried kway teow, fried oyster omelette and fried carrot cake amongst many other hawker foods. But, the queue, the clammy environment, the uncivilised and inconsiderate folks that we sometimes encounter, and some snobbish vendors that piss us off with bad service, are just some of my many gripes. So often the ugly side surfaces and overshadows the pleasant side that unfortunately remains taken for granted.


Do you prefer our local ‘wanton’ dumpling or the Italian ravioli?

If we are talking about the food and just the food in its entity, judging by the taste and flavour profile, the level of satisfaction our favourite hawker foods gives definitely surpasses that of a Michelin-starred restaurant dish –hawker food gets the upper hand because it’s something close to my heart – the familiar tastes and aromas that have accompanied you through your growing years – and I’m sure majority of Singaporeans, born and bred in Singapore, can relate.


An Italian rendition of Chicken Rice at OTTO Locanda; Aged Parmesan Cheese Risotto “Carnaroli” with White Chicken Ragout and Chili Dressing

In my response to HungryGoWhere’s article “Are Singapore hawkers not Michelin-worthy?” I disagree to a certain extend. Hawkers are not on par with Michelin-starred chefs, because they’re both in a totally different and opposite league. You can’t compare apples to oranges. However, if the question was, are hawker foods inferior to award-winning restaurant dishes, I disagree wholeheartedly.

Skills: There is almost zero chance of finding hawkers with the knowledge of molecular gastronomy. Simultaneously, Michelin-starred chefs will experience the same level of difficulty replicating centuries-old recipes of hawker fare. Continue reading

NSmen to enjoy more lifestyle benefits in recognition of their contributions to National Defence

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My first (and only) time stepping into the vicinity of a military training ground, was about two years ago when I tagged along with my parents, my aunts and uncles to send my cousin off to this remote island across the shore called Pulau Tekong, for his National Service enlistment.

Batches of young boys (some already shaved bald, and some about to be shaved bald) waited anxiously in line at the bus interchange, boarding the shuttle bus with heavy hearts and boggling minds. Parents who accompanied their children were still more or less in a chirpy mood, or was it mere pretence?

The atmosphere intensifies a little upon reaching the pier, where we boarded an air-conditioned vessel that took us across the calm waters. The rather comfortable boat ride did help ease the anxiety, if any was displayed at all.

We arrived at a resort-looking premise that will be home to the recruits for the next few months, where their Basic Military Training will be conducted. The mere façade brought sighs of relief to those who accompanied the soon-to-be army boys. We took a tour around the living quarters and even got to sample the food that army boys consume in the canteen. Parents were nodding in approval, of the standards of food served, and the clean living condition (which the army boys have to upkeep by cleaning regularly).

Everyone gathered at the auditorium, and at this point of time, the boys were no longer sitting by their parents’ sides. The boys recite the pledge with pride, and officially become a National Service recruit.

When it was time to bid goodbye, parents could now no longer mask the worries on their faces. “Will my son be able to withstand the rigorous training under the scorching sun and stifling heat?” “My son is going to miss my home-cooked food!” “There isn’t anyone to help my son with the washing and cleaning… Will he be able to cope?” Tears would brim the eyes of girlfriends (or boyfriends), who eagerly anticipate the day of their meeting after the weeks of intense training on the remote island.

The determined rookies would comfort their loved ones with that sparkling confidence in their eyes, before marching off as a dramatic conclusion to their temporary-absence and the commencement of their manhood.

The gruelling training and countless of obstacles the boys (who became men) undergo throughout their National Service is understated. Without the sacrifice from NSmen, Singapore would not have enjoyed peace and stability, social progress and continued economic development over the past decades.

To thank the National Servicemen for their hardship and dedication, MINDEF is giving them the opportunity to enjoy SAFRA Benefits with their families, in conjunction with National Service’s 45th anniversary celebration.

Each and every National Serviceman will receive $50 to $100 worth of vouchers, which can be used to redeem a wide variety of products and services at over 170 merchants and 5,000 outlets island-wide. These range from F&B and entertainment to shopping, lifestyle and travel, among many others. (View the list of redemption outlets here.)

In addition, National Servicemen who are currently serving Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS), or who have completed their ORNS training cycle in full, will also be offered a year’s free SAFRA membership.

The sweat and tears from the strenuous NS training are now exchanged for joy and laughter spent at SAFRA Clubs, with the warmth of their families and loved ones, who also experienced an immense amount of stress and distress during their absence.

Family bonding never ceases at SAFRA.

For more details, visit:
http://ns45.safra.sg
http://www.safra.sg/ns45

Like SAFRA’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SAFRAsg for the latest news!

What will the ‘Water Snake Year’ bring for us?

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I’m never the kind who believes in the extraordinary, the supernatural, or the unknown; I am probably the least religious person you’d ever know. But Feng Shui is not something I would dismiss as mere superstition. I’m still baffled by the science and studies behind it, but it is through experience that I know it actually works.

This article is a general guide for the upcoming year, 2013, which is derived from studies and calculations based on previous decades and centuries.
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