I Am Not A Food Blogger: Some Food In Our Hood


Our Food Patriot K.F. Seetoh still hasn’t wiped the foam from his mouth from ranting about food bloggers, which is why I’m telling you now, I’m not a food blogger.

I don’t know how to write about food except to tell you I like it or not. But there’s a chance I might like a restaurant or cafe simply because the people who run it are nice, and are passionate about the things they make.

But there are places where we would probably have avoided if we looked closer before making a reservation.

Saturday afternoon offered one such place. We’d driven past it several times, and the location had once been a Swiss-German restaurant we liked. So I made a reservation, and picked up the family to go there for lunch. It looked like a pretty hip place from the outside, with the raw, distressed metal and glass and cement finishes.

Plus, it served ribs and wine, because from the name, you’d know it did. But once we opened the door and got in to be seated by the very friendly and attentive wait staff, we knew we were in trouble.

First, they piped-in Kenny G! In place of what you’d expect a hip rib joint to play! Secondly, we were the only people in the restaurant apart from the staff.

Then, when we asked for recommendations, the (really friendly and attentive) waiter obliged by giving us this, his only suggestion: “If you don’t mind spicy, then you should try our spicy pork ribs”.

Thank goodness for the Kenny G muzak, or else we might have had our brains working.

Then came time for us to dabao what we couldn’t finish. We were told, “Takeaway container is 50c”. There would have been complete silence at that moment if not for Kenny G.

We found the food to be pretty ‘meh’ considering the price, but don’t rely on me to tell you, because like I said, I’m not a food blogger, and maybe they’re better known for their wines.

Good Review

Good & Bad Review

Vegetarian food can taste this good

Once in a while I hanker for a steak, done medium-rare, and I used to think I wouldn’t survive a day without meat. I also have a sensitive stomach, about which Naomi loves to talk with some glee to her friends and relatives.

We read somewhere awhile ago about ‘eating for your blood type’, and that because I’m type A+, I should avoid meats, especially red meat. And though it’s been rubbished by some people, I decided to give vegetarian diets a try about two years back. Wouldn’t you know it, the tummy aches and explosive diarrhea more or less disappeared.

You’d think it’s as simple as converting oneself right away to a completely vegetarian diet, but when you’ve got meat eaters in your family, it’s hard not to put some meat on your plate. Plus, I like my steak, roast pork, charsiew, and sometimes, I feel like it’s worth the tummy ache.

But Naomi and I have decided again, whenever we’re at home – because it’s usually just Kai and ourselves, to eat as much of a vegetarian diet as possible, with just a little meat on the side, instead of the other way around.

If you’re omnivorous like us, and you’re considering switching to a vegetarian diet, don’t think of it as having to give up good tasting food, or having to suffer Chinese vegetarian horrors as “mock duck”, “mock abalone” and “mock pork” at some vegetarian eateries. I think it’s ridiculous that vegetarian dishes are made up to be facsimiles of meat ones. It’s not supposed to be a sacrifice.

We’ve been fortunate to have friends who’ve given us tips on where and what to eat – and the restaurant we lunched at yesterday is one of the places we’d recommend highly.

Naïve is at 99 East Coast Road, opposite Katong Mall, and when Naomi called to make a reservation, she was told not to worry about that and just walk in. Walk in we did, and stand and wait we did for a table for about 15 minutes before we over-ordered, overate, and then lugged our full vegetarian stomachs around for the rest of the afternoon.

If you were teetering on whether to turn vegetarian (for whatever reasons – to save the planet is a good one), a meal at Naïve could tip you over the edge. The food is that good. It’s even more amazing that not only are their dishes meatless, they’re also MSG-less, egg-less, onion-less and garlic-less.

If you over-order and over-eat, expect to pay about $30+ a person.

Cheeky Monkey - monkey head mushrooms with crispy oats

Olive brown rice

Sambal broccoli

Hong Kong fried noodles

Just follow the instructions

The decor’s nothing to shout about, the ventilation is horrible, the waiting staff aren’t trained to smile but the food is still good. Naomi and I had one of our first dates there, announced our engagement to our would-be wedding party there, and of course, ate till we burst each time.

Last night, we took Naomi’s mum and aunt from overseas to Shashlik Restaurant because we couldn’t think of anywhere else to go to that didn’t require too much traveling, and then we remembered, when you’re out of ideas for a good meal, just follow the instructions:

Prepare to smell like cooked beef!
Beef Shashlik medium rare
Banana flambee

Here’s hoping that this institution will be around for our own kids or grandkids to take us out to, even if we have to get them to mince the beef for us.

Shashlik Restaurant
545 Orchard Road #06-19
Far East Shopping Centre (map)
Singapore 238882
Tel:6732 6401, 6734 3090