Wednesday 29 January 2014

We would love Lorde to come to Singapore!

While New Zealand is still celebrating the success of 2 time Grammay Award winner Lorde, thought it might be a good chance to see if we could get her to come to Singapore.

We would love for Lorde to do a concert in Singapore!

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Full of Crab - Media Launch

The following is a guest post by 'Canto Girl . . .

It was with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation that I accepted my friend E.’s invitation to be his plus-one at the media launch of Full of Crab, Singapore’s newest ‘seafood in a bag’ joint, Cajun in origin as I later found out.

The concept is simple, various types of seafood – mainly legs of crab, unshelled shrimp, crayfish – cooked in a garlic butter or Cajun or garlic butter AND Cajun… gravy (?) with corn on the cob and potatoes thrown in for good measure, wrapped in a large clear plastic bag and served on a communal table space where everyone digs in to get down and dirty.

My trepidation had more to do with my own ethno-culinary bias than anything else; Cantonese even wealthy ones rarely eat seafood on a regular basis as it’s thought to be bad for cholesterol levels, so if we do eat seafood it tends to be at restaurants where it’s cooked the traditional Cantonese way or the newer Singaporean style à la Roland Restaurant. Hence seafood and I have never had an hearty relationship, what more an entirely new style of cooking to me.

I’m not one to turn down free food and drink however, so I went along with an open mind and empty stomach; the latter turned out to be quite important. Bit of background on the place: commercial pilot Nigel started Full of Crab with the help of family and silent partners, and as an ACS boy he could count on lots of alumni support and patronage, E. being one of them! ACS (Anglo-Chinese School is one of Singapore’s oldest mission schools; it is a long-standing joke the whilst Raffles boys rule Singapore ACS ones own it, and full disclosure my own familial affiliations run deep). There’s even a tribute to ACS on the wooden ‘drawing’ wall, the opening lines of their school hymn, quite touching:

We had another ACS old boy, Chef Jeremy, he of Preparazzi fame and his wife join our table, which means that hopefully my opinion is fortified with his professional insight!

The décor is whimsical, almost homespun in its eclectic selection of wall hangings, built around the concept of a wooden boathouse. Along one stretch of wall are booths and along the other modular seating to accommodate larger groups.

Now on to the important part, the food! To satiate our growing hunger they served us some Heineken (free flow, not complaining) and ‘Twiggy fries’ because they were really quite skinny. They were SCRUMPTIOUS. I’m not typically one for fries of any sort but I inhaled my serving. Just the perfect balance of crisp, salty, mildly spicy and addictive. 

I had to keep very hard from asking for another serving because I really did want to keep my stomach as empty as possible for the main attraction…

800g of King Crab, Snow Crab and shrimp in a bag.

You get a bib, a crab cracker and a seafood pick; the rest is up to your hands and determination. Rings and watches are best removed as I found out later to my rue, and short sleeves are advised.

All of us guests were given the ‘Fully Loaded’ gravy, a garlic butter and Cajun mix, into which Jeremy proceeded to dunk a handful of sweet potato fries ‘to soak’. I followed suit. Long story short, the four of us proceeded to have a ridiculous amount of fun tearing apart our seafood and getting our hands downright filthy.

King Crab

I was told the crab was of the Alaskan breed but from Australia, not that I’d be able to tell the difference. This was my favourite of the three crustaceans despite its prickly exterior that caused my fingers a bit of pain, but otherwise no gain as the saying goes! The flesh separated easily and came out in a long, smooth piece that I dipped into the calamansi-salt condiment provided. It was spectacular – sweet and firm. Other experiments involved placing a piece of meat on a hunk of baguette, topped with gravy-soaked fries. Heart attack on a bruschetta, if you will.

Snow Crab

Had never tried this breed either, but I didn’t like it as much as the king crab. The flesh was a lot harder to separate from the shell and the texture reminded me of stingray, although very sweet I must say.


Prawns more likely, in British and local parlance, and of the giant tiger variety but you’re better off checking with the staff what exactly they were. Nevertheless they were quite tasty and I polished off the five or six I was given in very little time. After having been soaked in the Fully Loaded gravy, the head of the prawns are sweet as.

Cob of corn and taters. By the time I finished the seafood they were more of an afterthought, and I really wasn’t up to finishing them anyway.

Verdict: Travelling Hungryboy prefers this joint to Crab in Da Bag or Cajun Kings, and I tend to take his opinion seriously. Chef Jeremy thinks it’s great. I think I’d treat my parents to a birthday dinner here. And why not? The prices are fairly reasonable, understandably always listed ‘market price’, and the ambience is fun and homely. Leave elegance and clean hands behind, and you’re in for an evening full of crab. Visit them at 195 East Coast Road, Singapore 428900 (opposite Holy Family Church).

Disclaimer: This was written out of sincere appreciation for the food and service provided, and a willingness to support the ACS / MGS network in any way I can.

Monday 27 January 2014

Lorde wins two Awards at the Grammy's 2014

New Zealand and New Zealanders around the world are currently riding on the wave of Lorde's (Ella Yelich-O'Connor) success at the Grammy Awards 2014.

Born and raised in Devonport, Auckland makes her a 'true blue' Kiwi. Some have mistaken her for a Brit. I'm sure it won't be long before the Aussies start calling her their own.

Lorde was nominated for Four Grammy Awards this year:
  1. Best Pop Solo Performance - "Royals"
  2. Best Vocal Pop Album - "Pure Heroine"
  3. Song of the Year - "Royals"
  4. Record of the Year - "Royals"

Whilst she didn't win the award for Best Vocal Pop Album and Record of the Year, which went to Bruno Mars and Daft Punk respectively, she did pick up two awards for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year.

Lorde - accepting the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance

This is her acceptance speech for her Best Solo Performance Award, which starts at 0.15. I decided to post up this video because I miss the Kiwi accent.

Ella Yelich-O'Connor and Joel Little accepting the Grammy for Song of the Year

In case you missed it, or you just want to see Lorde's stunning performance at the Grammy Awards 2014, check it out here . .

Well done Lorde!

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Titans of the Past – Dinosaurs and Ice Age Mammals

Take a time machine to the prehistoric period at Titans of the Past exhibition with your family and friends this holiday.

The family-friendly exhibition features two international travelling dinosaur exhibitions:

1. The Growth and Behaviour of Dinosaurs

From Museum of the Rockies (MOR) USA Montana – where Dr Jack Horner, one of the key figures behind the perennial favourite Jurassic Movie series, is a curator – and real life animatronics from Kokoro Japan. 

One of the key highlights of the exhibition is a real fossil of the largest T-Rex skull ever found and this is the first time that this fossil will be featured in Singapore. It is also the only exhibition to showcase ontogeny (growth phrases of dinosaurs).

2. Ice Age, The Exhibition from Aurea Exhibitions, Argentina.

See life-sized mammals from the Ice Age that would strike a familiar chord with the Ice Age movies. One of the key highlights is a massive exhibit of a gigantuous cast of Argentinosaurus, the largest Sauropod ever found.

There are also several educational corners for children, such as a sand pit where they can ‘dig’ for dinosaur skeletons, watch videos of the dinosaur age and other kid-friendly stations that further augment the learning journey for the family.

This exhibition is from 25 January until 23 February 2014. For more information and for purchasing of tickets, click here.

Friday 17 January 2014

The Jar of Good Things that Happened

Remember our blog post from January 2013?

No. Then this picture will jog your memory . . .

Did you manage to fill your jar with good things that happened throughout 2013. Did you have an "Awesome Stuff in the Jar" party on New Years Eve.

Leave us a comment and tell us what awesome stuff happened in 2013 and what you have planned for 2014.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

In just over two weeks, we welcome the Year of the Green (Wooden) Horse.

We would like to wish all our readers -Gong Xi Fa Cai and all the best for a prosperous Year of the Horse!

Expat Kiwis x

For etiquette on giving Hong Bao, please click here.

Chinese New Year - Year of the Horse

On the eve of 30 January 2014, we say goodbye to the Snake and welcome the Year of the Horse.

Chinatown always comes alive during Chinese New Year. Wander down the Festive Street Bazaars and soak up the atmosphere. Don't be alarmed when stall owners shout at you to show you their wares, or shout at you to sample their product. The stalls remain open well into the night, closing at approximately 10.30pm each night until 30 January 2014.

I suggest you start at Temple Street, then wander on through Trengganu Street, Pagoda Street, Smith Street (note that half of this street is closed due to construction) and Sago Street.

Here are a few pictures that from my recent visit to Chinatown.

Temple Street, the starting point of your CNY Experience

Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong)

Fatt Choy Pumpkins. These are not meant to be for consumption,
they are used for offerings to the Ancestors and God during prayers
The God of Wealth and the Lucky Cat

Selection of Jellies

Red topped plastic containers filled with almond cookies, pineapple tarts,
arrowhead chips, dragon cookies, love letters, etc.

Selection of peanuts, seeds and other snacks

Words that are hung either outside the front door or within the home.

Roasted Chestnuts

Horse. They Chinese Zodiac for 2014.

For more on what to see and do in Singapore during Chinese New Year, check out the Your Singapore website.

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Project World Colours 2014 - January: Rainbow

Project World Colours is back! A new year, with new rules. You can check out their new plans for 2014 on their brand new website.

The theme for the month of January is "Rainbow."

Party flavours to welcome in 2014.

Hundreds and Thousands sprinkles.

Colourful display in Chinatown to welcome in the Year of the Horse.

Look at all those colourful lollies, just in time for Chinese New Year!

Colourful M&M's

Magnet Masks at The Intan

Rainbow Chopsticks

For our World Colour posts for 2013, click here.

For details on how to participate in Project World Colours, click here.

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