Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). March 21st is chosen because Down Syndrome means trisomy (triplicate copies) of the 21st chromosome. Yes, they have one extra chromosome. I like to say they are technically more human than we are. Many would-be parents are terrified of such a diagnosis, and but as this video shows, it's nothing to be down about.

When we got our pre-natal diagnosis, we were taken by surprise and confused. We didn't know much about Down Syndrome. Many will indeed view it as a defect. But relief came with clarity - we CAN choose to keep our baby. So we did, and Nadine was born.

That was 10 years ago. Today she's an active, intelligent and stubborn kid with her own ideas and resilient will. She's survived open heart surgery and a fearless outing alone to the I12 Katong mall and supermarket using the bus (long story). She may take a little longer to learn certain things, but she gets there.

Like many kids, Nadine is addicted to gadgets and games, taking selfies and making music videos; she also especially loves animals and babies. Sure, she does give difficulties (gosh she is naughty), but which kid doesn't?

If you know of any future mom or dad who feels lost and unsure about having a baby with Down Syndrome, I'd be happy to talk to them - forward them this post or send them my email --

The Down Syndrome Association in Singapore is also another great resource; they are amazingly supportive and really helped us in our early days and even til recently.

Yes, the 2016 video is of Olivia Wilde, whom I really like but I still prefer this #dearfuturemom video better.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Founder Bak Kut Teh's Second Outlet - Hotel Boss Jalan Sultan

One of Singapore's best known bak kut teh has finally expanded. You can now go celebrity-spotting at Founder Bak Kut Teh at Hotel Boss (500 Jalan Sultan) in addition to its base at 347 Balestier Road.

While Founder is known for its garlicky and peppery bowls of Teochew style pork rib soup, what's even better here (to me) is the stewed pork trotters in dark soy. Yes, the one in the foreground...mmmh, tender braised trotters.

I do like the soup I've tried here at this second branch. I am most happy to note that it seems more peppery than at the Balestier branch. That's an improvement in my books. Some say it's a little too spicy, but for me, this level is just perfect.

I also like the casual and retro feel of the outlet. Air-conditioning, bright lights and enough walking space certainly make for comfortable dining. They open til really late here too - 5am!

Bak kut teh is such an awesome communal meal. Hot bowls of fortifying broth (refillable here!) soothes the soul and the gnawing of meat off bones speaks to the primal senses. Adding depth and balance to the experience are side dishes - salted vegetables, braised tofu and eggs, and the all essential "you tiao" (deep-fried dough crullers). Yes, we Chinese like our croutons upsized!

There's also lettuce with oyster sauce, braised pig intestines and intestines soup. The beansprouts with salted fish is pretty good.

Mr Chua Chwee Whatt, the founder of Founder uses superior cuts of meaty long ribs, premium short ribs and his own secret blend of pepper and spices. He was a pig farmer in Seletar in the '60s and '70s. He loved bak kut teh but the versions in those years didn't satisfy him, as the ingredients were not of good quality.

Mr Chua decided to make his own using pork from his own farm, and concocting his own recipe. In 1978, he opened a small eatery in Choa Chu Kang called Founder. However as Singapore progressed, he had to give up his pig farm and move out of Choa Chu Kang. By 1988 he was a full-fledged restauranteur. With years of success (look at the wall of fame behind him, showing photos with celebrity patrons), he is finally looking at expanding in the region. There's already an outlet in Jakarta, so let's see where they'll go next.


Balestier Outlet
Address: 347 Balestier Road, Singapore 329777
Tel: +65 6352 6192
Open 12:00pm to 2:30pm, 6:00pm to 2:00am (Closed on Tuesday)

Hotel Boss Outlet
500 Jalan Sultan #01-09, Singapore 199020
Tel: +65 6816 2582
Open daily: 11am - 5am

Jakarta Outlet
Puri Indah Mall 2nd Floor, Unit #240 Jakarta Barat 11610
Tel: +62 (021) 582 2580
Open daily 10am to 10pm

Thanks to Founder for the invitation

Friday, March 18, 2016

Long Chim by Chef David Thompson at MBS Celebrates First Anniversary


Long Chim at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Singapore is celebrating its first anniversary at the end of March. The edgy Thai street eats restaurant is by Chef David Thompson who also owns the legendary Nahm in Bangkok, but unlike Nahm, Long Chim (which means "come and taste") is more casual and accessible.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Antoinette Chili Crab Croissant and Scallion Arlette

Hot on the heels of the popular salted egg yolk lava croissant at Antoinette comes the Chilli Crab Croissant ($7.50++) launched this morning at the Penhas outlet. Chef Pang Kok Keong has combined real crabmeat, his special rempah concoction (with a good spicy kick!) and a housemade tomato sauce base to create one of the most divine fillings for croissants ever.  

I really like this one as I prefer savoury fillings. 

This new croissant is an easy way to enjoy some good chili crab without having to fight with messy shells! It's got a good ratio of filling to dough too, so you do get a fair bit of crabmeat in each. 

Chef Pang also introduced the Scallion Arlette ($3.50++), a French take on the traditional 蔥油餅 “Chong You Bing”, using croissant dough. The buttery and flaky pastry is so crisp, and made extra aromatic with the chopped scallions.

Chef Pang will also be launching sweet flavours. We got to taste two varieties - salted caramel and chocolate - while putting our vote to which we preferred. 

I liked the caramel one. The sweet filling flowed generously and the salty caramel flavour complimented the buttery aspects of the croissant. The chocolate filling is rich, thick and slightly bitter; I think it could be better if it's a bit more runny, but it should still please chocolate fans (who are legion). 

Do look out for the launch of these sweet croissants in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, the Chili Crab Croissant and Scallion Arlette are available in limited quantities at Penhas every morning (11am weekdays, 10am weekends), and will be available at the Mandarin Gallery and Sofitel outlets come 14 March 2016.

Instagram: antoinette_sg

Antoinette Penhas Road 
30 Penhas Road (off Lavender Street)
Singapore 208188
Tel: +65 6293 3121
Open Monday to Thursday – 11am to 10pm
Friday and Eve of Public Holidays – 11am to 11pm
Saturday – 10am to 11pm
Sunday and Public Holidays – 10am to 10pm

Antoinette Mandarin Gallery 
333A Orchard Road
Mandarin Gallery
Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 6836 9527
Open daily 11am to 10pm daily
(No reservations)

Antoinette Softel So Singapore
Lobby Level
35 Robinson Road
Singapore 068876
Tel: +65 6701 6868
Open daily 8am to 10pm

Many thanks to Chef Pang and team for the preview of the next croissant craze!
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