July 20, 2011 § 4 Comments
Spending part of my childhood in Japan meant that sushi and sashimi were a staple, and I never thought twice about the bento boxes with beautifully presented sushi some classmates brought to class. They were a given.
So when we first returned to Singapore, – back in the days before Sushi Tei existed – I missed the ready availability of sushi boxes and bright colours of ebiko (prawn roe), japanese cucumber, pickles and more. Thankfully, my mom’s pretty good at making home-made sushi, so that’s what we had when we didn’t want to go to the restaurants.
On a side note, my sister recently got happily hitched to her boyfriend of 5 years. He’s one of the sushi chefs at Hide Yamamoto (MBS), so big big smiles and potentially full tummies all around! Good job, Jie. And yes, of course we like him for far more than his sushi-making /octopus-slicing/tempura-frying skills…
Since there are no other sushi experts on the marrying horizon, I figured learning the technique might be the way to go.
July 12, 2011 § 9 Comments
Every Chinese New Year, my family heads back to my dad’s old kampung. After a day’s lo hei and steamboat stickiness, the cool of the night brings with it the one thing that remains constant year after year – the clacking of mahjong tiles against one another, my mother and aunties laughing in between the “Pong!”, and “Hu!”
My dad’s never been keen on my sister or I learning mahjong, so it was quite priceless to see his face when I told him I was going for a government-sponsored mahjong class (courtesy of OurCommunity.sg ). Of course, that mirth lasted only as long as my first game.
Turns out, I have a long way to go before I become Wong Fei Hong of mahjong. I seriously had a headache 1/2 hour into the practice session. Tip of the week: Don’t geh-kiang. Go for the beginner classes or learn the basics from your friend. Don’t dive straight into practice sessions.
By the time my mind absorbed the variations and combinations of qing yi se, hun yi se, peng peng hu, ji hu, ping hu, the different “winds” that you had to be, the number of dice throws to determine the dealer, the anti-clockwise counting of people, the clockwise counting of tiles, the different dai that determined how much you’ve won when you gamed (there are 2 different tiers of payment, depending on if you were the fool that gave away the winning tile), which flower tiles gave you a level up, which animal tiles paired with which…………….let’s just say, at the end of 3 hours of non-stop play, you could tell me the sun rose from the west and I would nod along most enthusiastically.