《中天新聞》丟軍人臉!新加坡少爺兵 女傭背軍包 – “My Maid, Our Army” reaches Taiwan

This picture of a maid carrying a SAF soldier’s full pack while he strides ahead went viral on Facebook and all over the Internet last week:

My Maid, Our Army
My Maid, Our Army

Guess what?

This shameful piece of news reached the shores of Taiwan too:

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Xian Ding Wei (鲜定味) @ IMM Building

Xian Ding Wei menu
Xian Ding Wei menu

During the Chinese New Year period, I chanced upon this Taiwanese eatery called Xian Ding Wei (鲜定味) at IMM Building with my family.

We were just done visiting relatives and were looking for a no fuss eatery to have a quick dinner, avoiding the usual CNY crowd.

Xian Ding Wei fits the bill. The place was neither too crowded nor worryingly barren. They were not offering any cheesy CNY menus to cash in for the festive period either.

The menu offers a wide selection of simple Taiwanese home-cooked dishes, ranging from sweet potato porridge to braised pork to oyster vermicelli.

Their set meal options are a steal at around $8+ per pax. Each set comes with a choice of meat, cooking style, 3 small servings of sides (half a salted egg, some ikan bilis, a fried fish cake) and a soup.

Rachel is happy with her set meal
Rachel is happy with her set meal
Sweet potato porridge
Sweet potato porridge
My "Ji Pai" (Taiwanese chicken cutlet)
My "Ji Pai" (Taiwanese chicken cutlet)
My sister's set meal order with a soup, 3 small side dishes, porridge and minced meat
My sister's set meal order with a soup, 3 small side dishes, porridge and minced meat
Rachel ordered braised pig trotters
Rachel ordered braised pig trotters
My mom ordered oyster mee sua
My mom ordered oyster mee sua
Bubble tea drinks
Bubble tea drinks
Rachel also ordered a mango pudding for desert
Rachel also ordered a mango pudding for desert

You can see from the pictures above that the dishes and ingredient are all really simple, much like how traditional home-cooked food should be. My father particularly liked the sweet potato porridge and even ordered an extra serving. While I did enjoy my meal at Xian Ding Wei, it was not particularly memorable.

However, given the reasonable pricing, I would likely visit Xian Ding Wei again if I happen to be at IMM Building.

Xian Ding Wei (鲜定味)

Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, #01-47/48 IMM Building, Singapore
Tel: +65 6897 2636
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 9.30pm

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Tin Pei Ling and Sarah Palin

Tin Peiling and Sarah Palin
Tin Peiling and Sarah Palin

Tin Pei Ling, at the age of 27, is the youngest woman candidate to be unveiled by the People’s Action Party in recent history, and the youngest candidate since former PAP MP Ng Kah Ting was fielded in 1963 at the age of 23.

Sarah Louise Palin, 47, is an American politician and commentator. She was the youngest person and the first woman elected Governor of Alaska, an office she held from December 2006 until resigning in July 2009. In the 2008 presidential election, she was the Republican Party nominee for Vice President, becoming the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and the first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency.

I can’t help but notice their names kind of rhyme with each other’s and both had the effect of boasting a more youthful image for otherwise solemn ruling parties.

Oh… and I found two images of them sharing the same taste for caps.

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Let the Bullets Fly《让子弹飞》

Let the Bullets Fly (让子弹飞) movie poster
Let the Bullets Fly (让子弹飞) movie poster

Let the Bullets Fly《让子弹飞》is by far, the best movie I have watched this year and also the best big-budget mainstream China-made movie I have seen.

The movie opens in Singapore cinemas on 31 Mar (this Thurs). It is a Chinese-Hong Kong co-production action comedy film written and directed by Jiang Wen (姜文), based on a story by Ma Shitu (马识途), a famous Sichuanese writer. The film is set in Sichuan during the 1920s when the bandit Pocky Zhang (Jiang Wen) descends upon a town posing as its new mayor. The film also stars Chow Yun-Fat (周润发), Ge You (葛优) and Carina Lau (刘嘉玲).

Thanks to the folks at Golden Village, Rachel and I caught the Singapore preview last week.

The film broke several box office records in Mainland China and Hong Kong, and has received critical acclaim universally. In China, it grossed 730 million yuan (US$111.1 million) in box office, becoming the highest grossing film in China’s cinematic history.

The impression most people get of China made movies are the slow pacing; long, philosophical conversations and majestic scenes boasting the deployment of thousands of extras with lavish film sets. One typical example would be Zhang Yimou‘s Curse of the Golden Flower《满城尽带黄金甲》which I found to be quite a monstrous flop when you look beyond the expensive sets and all-star cast.

An all-star cast in Chinese cinemas is usually a recipe for failure. In a bid to milk the casts’ star appeals, the stars often end up overshadowing a weak storyline. However, Jiang Wen, playing the triple role of screenwriter, director and lead actor, was able to avoid this pitfall by staying focused on the story, leveraging on the casts’ acting chops to push the story along. The script was said to have went through over 30 drafts before Jiang Wen was finally happy with it.

The onscreen chemistry between the three lead actors in the movie, Jiang Wen (姜文) Chow Yun-Fat (周润发) and Ge You (葛优) were an absolute delight, each clocking in top-notch performances, owing to an well-written script.

Jiang Wen, Chow Yun-Fat and Ge You (picture via yule.baidu.com)
Jiang Wen, Chow Yun-Fat and Ge You (picture via yule.baidu.com)

All three played their roles so well that Rachel and I were unable to settle on a single lead actor with the best performance. Each needed the other to bring out the intrinsic characteristics of their respective roles.

Jiang Wen was highly respectable as an intelligent alpha male type Chinese Robin Hood; Chow Yun-Fat was dead villainous as a conniving, rich merchant; and Ge You was a slimy , two-faced conman caught between the other two.

Rachel and I found the movie style to be rather similar to the recent Quentin Tarantino’s equally critically acclaimed movie, Inglourious Basterds. In one sentence, Let the Bullets Fly is extremely violent, unrestrained and pure entertainment from start till end.It makes no excuse to disguise itself as an arty-farty film and ended up achieving much more.

In fact, Rachel and I enjoyed the movie so much that we went to purchase Ma Shitu’s book,《夜谭十记》which the movie was based on.

Rachel reading 夜谭十记
Rachel reading 夜谭十记

Go catch this movie in the cinema when it is released. I am quite sure you will enjoy it. 🙂

Trailer:

Synopsis:

Set in China during the warring 1920s, the bandit Pocky Zhang (Jiang Wen) enters the remote Goose Town pretending to be their newly installed governor. Zhang is accompanied by Tang (Ge You). Zhang’s aim at this position is opposed by local mobster Huang (Chow Yun Fat) who lives in his fortified citadel overlooking the town. While Tang is aware of Huang’s previous financial arrangement with the town’s former governor, Zhang is not interested in sharing his wealth with a crook he finds to be as unworthy as himself.

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Movie Review: Morning Glory

Morning Glory (2010)
Morning Glory movie poster

Morning Glory is a American comedy-drama film directed by Roger Michell (director of Notting Hill), produced by J.J. Abrams and written by Aline Brosh McKenna (screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada). It stars Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson and Jeff Goldblum.

Thanks to the folks from United International Pictures, Rachel and I caught the media screening a few weeks back. Both of us enjoyed the movie very much and would give it two thumbs up. We may be biased as the movie revolves around life in the newsroom, a topic closed to both of us as we work in the media line.

Rachel McAdams shines as Becky Fuller, a goofy morning TV show producer who found herself unceremoniously fired from a small, local TV station when she was expecting a promotion instead. Her life continues to turn outside down after she landed a job in a national TV station as the producer of an ailing morning TV show, “Daybreak”.

Her mission was to save the show and for this, she roped in news legend, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), a grumpy, award-winning veteran journalist as a news anchor. The two of them sparked off many comedic moments, together with the rest of the zany characters working on “Daybreak”, including co-host Collen Peck (Diane Keaton).

Producer Becky trying to save Daybreak, together with show hosts, Mike and Collen
Producer Becky trying to save Daybreak, together with show hosts, Mike and Collen

Churning out daily news is a tiring, painful business. Asked any veteran journalists who have slogged in the field long enough, they will tell you that your news program or newspaper is only as good as yesterday’s headline. You find yourself working at breakneck pace daily, constantly at your toes to get that one elusive scoop or exclusive, only to be back to square one again the next day after the news go to print or on air. The cycle repeats. That’s why a movie like Morning Glory was really fun to watch for Rachel and I, laughing at some of the silliness and lighter sides in the news business.

The movie is pretty mainstream with a simple plot, gorgeous cast and a healthy dose of humour. I am sure most movie-goers will enjoy Morning Glory too. It is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Do catch it. 🙂

Trailer:

Synopsis:

From director Roger Michell (”Notting Hill,” “Venus”), producer J.J. Abrams (”Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost,” “Star Trek”), and writer Aline Brosh McKenna (”The Devil Wears Prada,” “27 Dresses”), comes “Morning Glory,” a new romantic comedy set in the hilarious and dysfunctional world of morning television. Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton star along with Patrick Wilson and Jeff Goldblum.

When hard-working TV producer Becky Fuller (McAdams) is fired from local news program, her career begins to look as bleak as her hapless love life. Stumbling into a job at “Daybreak” (the last-place national morning news show), Becky decides to revitalize the show by bringing on legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy (Ford). Unfortunately, Pomeroy refuses to cover morning show staples like celebrity gossip, weather, fashion and crafts – let alone work with his new co-host, Colleen Peck (Keaton), a former beauty queen and longtime morning show personality who is more than happy covering morning “news.” As Mike and Colleen clash, first behind the scenes and then on the air, Becky’s blossoming love affair with fellow producer, Adam Bennett (Wilson) begins to unravel – and soon Becky is struggling to save her relationship, her reputation, her job and ultimately, the show itself.

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Singapore Food Trail Opening at Singapore Flyer

On 25 Feb, I was invited to the official launch of the Singapore Food Trail at the iconic Singapore Flyer together with a group of omy bloggers, Mint, Yong Wei, Pete and Cherie.

Everyone had a great time catching up, enjoying the array of delicious hawker fare and traditional Chinese opera for entertainment.

Here are some of the photos I captured at the event:

The stalls are modelled to look like the 60s, 70s Singapore
The stalls are modelled to look like the 60s, 70s Singapore
Blast from the past?
Blast from the past?
Deliberate double yellow lines to give the "authentic" feel of eating by the roadside
Deliberate double yellow lines to give the "authentic" feel of eating by the roadside
The media tables
The media tables
Ongoing opera performance
Ongoing opera performance
Kacang Puteh man
Kacang Puteh man
Bak Kut Teh stall
Bak Kut Teh stall
Dim Sum stall
Dim Sum stall
Me with my colleague Carol
Me with my colleague Carol
BBQ stingray - always a crowd favourite!
BBQ stingray - always a crowd favourite!
Satay, satay bee hoon, popiah, lots of food keeps piling on the table
Satay, satay bee hoon, popiah, lots of food keeps piling on the table
Shrimp dumplings
Shrimp dumplings
Giant tangy fishballs
Giant tangy fishballs
Candies for the guests to take home
Candies for the guests to take home
Pete, Mint, Yong Wei and Cherie enjoying the food
Pete, Mint, Yong Wei and Cherie enjoying the food
From this picture, you can tell who's busy eating and who's busy taking photos
From this picture, you can tell who's busy eating and who's busy taking photos
Pete getting interviewed by my colleague Hock Chuan with Yong Wei playing a fool in the background
Pete getting interviewed by my colleague Hock Chuan with Yong Wei playing a fool in the background
The full opera cast
The full opera cast
Carol asked me to take a picture of her while the cast were giving their thank you bow
Carol asked me to take a picture of her while the cast were giving their thank you bow
Tikam wall to win prizes
Tikam wall to win prizes

You can also check out omy.sg’s event vodcast and news article to find out more about the official launch as well as watch the bloggers’ interviews. :)

More about Singapore Food Trail:

Singapore Food Trail, an exciting concept dining attraction which brings back the nostalgic feel and charm of Singapore in the 1960s, officially opened at Singapore Flyer on 25 February 2011.

The more than 800-seat food place will have themed interior design and setting from the past, as well as some makeshift stalls along the roadside to enhance your dining experience. Canopies lining the area will provide comfort and shield for outdoor diners, who can reminisce the good old days while tucking into famous local fares and familiar food of the past, such as the ice balls, kachang puteh and many more. Some vendors include Hill Street Tai Wah Pork Noodles, Boon Tat Street Barbeque Seafood, Rong Chen Bak Kut Teh, and Alhambra Padang Satay.

So take a step back to Singapore in the olden days, and join us in enjoying this special dining experience!

Free Shuttle Service to Singapore Food Trail

Hop onto our shuttle bus from 5 pickup locations and enjoy your lunch at Singapore Food Trail.

Pick-up points: Raffles Link -> Millenia Tower -> Millenia Walk -> Centennial Tower -> opp Suntec City

Timing: 11.45am – 2.30pm, Monday – Friday
Frequency: about 20 mins interval

Free Lunch-Time Parking at Singapore Flyer from 12pm – 2pm Daily

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