Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tastes of Yesteryear.

Hello guys! So some of you may recall that I'm from the good Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. It truly is a goo...

Hello guys!

So some of you may recall that I'm from the good Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.

It truly is a good school where I met many good friends.
It's also how I got to know these awesome people right here!
This is Eunice, Andrew, Cedrick and Clement! (Okay, actually I don't know Andrew but 3 out of 4 ain't bad and I'm sure he's quite friendly so perhaps we will be friends after this).

They are now Year 4's in WKWSCI working on their FYP. You know, because this is what we do in CS. We go for orientation in Year 1, plan for orientation in Year 2, crash orientation in Year 3, and then get caught up in FYP and try not to die in Year 4.

Anyway, their FYP is pretty cool. It's a campaign called "Tastes of Yesteryear", which focuses on raising awareness about the origins and importance of preserving Singapore’s rich food heritage. Which is good I guess. Because you know with all these fast food chains and atas brunch places popping up all over the island, it's really easy to forget the local fare that we grew up eating. Like you know, I can tell you how all about the Starbucks Venti Non-Fat Sugar-Free Vanilla Latte right down to its caloric content (160 kcal), but I can't for the life of me tell you what goes into a kopi-peng por.

So these great people went on a food trail to document popular local food and put together a collection of memories from the older generations of food hawkers which will help us young ignorant food folk better understand Singapore's food heritage.

Just check out some of the dishes that they've been feasting on documenting!

Nasi Lemak from Haniff Authentic Nasi Lemak at Simpang Bedok
I must try this the next time I visit Nessie.
Siraj Famous Waterloo St Indian Rojak
Siraj is famous for its rojak and was also a favourite haunt of ex-President Mr Ong Teng Cheong!
Leong Yeow Chicken Rice at Waterloo Street
I LOVE CHICKEN RICE. I am happy to see that Leong Yeow sells roasted chicken. I'm not a big fan of the steamed chicken. Also this place is apparently very well known for it's char siew. So everyone has to go there now to eat chicken rice and char siew.
Prawn noodles from Prawn Mee Eating House at Beach Road
I think prawns are really creepy looking. Delicious, but creepy looking. I wonder what made some ancient person go, "Oh look at this grey thing at the bottom of the river. It has many legs, feelers and also looks gross. Let me try to eat it anyway."
Founder Bak Kut Teh
Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant at Balestier Road is the only place out of those listed that I've actually been to. I've eaten there quite a few times! And I must say that even the least discerning of food critics (like me) would know that this bak kut teh is THE BOMB.
Bukit Merah View Carrot Cake
I love carrot cake! This one's from 115 Bukit Merah View Market &Hawker Centre and one day I will go there to try it.
No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
According to TOYY, fried kway teow is a combination of Hokkien and Teochew noodles which is fried in a "delightful black sauce" (omg so cute, I would have never thought of calling black sauce "delightful", but it works doesn't it?) Anyway, I had no idea that fried kway teow was Hokkien+Teochew. I always thought it was like, well, I actually never gave it much thought to begin with. So, points to the TOYY team for making me aware of this!
Katong Laksa
SO SO SO, I don't eat laksa but I already know that the best laksa in Singapore is apparently the "Katong Laksa". And there are many "Katong Laksas" around (including one in Holland Village, if I'm not wrong). But here! The TOYY team has tracked down the original Katong Laksa and you can get it at 1 Telok Kurau Road! :)
So anyway, I think it's really cool how the team at TOYY has been focusing on local food to help get youths aware of Singapore's rich heritage. I personally feel that local food is something that's Uniquely Singapore, and one of the more interesting topics to talk about when you're trying to describe Singapore to your angmoh friends. I mean sure, you can talk about MBS and the skyscrapers, but isn't it more fun when you tell them about how your family enjoys tossing Yu Sheng in the air and shouting "HUAT AH!!"?

Anyway it's not just us locals who think that food makes Singapore special. Did you guys know that Singapore was where the finale of Top Chef Season 7 was held?

It really illustrates what an important role food plays in building our nation's identity and I truly feel quite paiseh about not knowing much about Singapore's food heritage. BUT I WILL MAKE UP FOR IT. And I will start by reading "The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries" by Dr Leslie Tay.
I promise you, I will read the copy which is available in the vast library that is my sister's room and expand my knowledge on local food heritage, and soon I will be an expert on all things local food.
ANYHOW, if you're interested in finding out more about Tastes of Yesteryear do visit their website at http://www.tastesofyesteryear.com. Obviously, they also have a Facebook page which they (and also I) encourage you to like. There's lots of cool media available on both platforms, including webisodes on local hawkers and their specialities!

Have fun salivating!
❤ Jac.

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