Worst eating places in Singapore according to Reddit.

/u/kronograf
What’re your personal dining-out nadirs? Maybe we can crowdsource a list of places to stay the fuck away from.

For me:

The Ramen House @ Selegie – truly the mediocre-st ramen I’ve ever had locally. Flaccid noodles, blander soup than Maggi, straggly chashu…

True Blue @ Peranakan Museum – horrendously, horrendously overpriced basic-bitch Peranakan food

Yeo Keng Nam @ Upp Serangoon – taxi-driver disputes aside, hawker centres have better chicken rice than this

https://www.reddit.com//r/singapore/comments/786f6m/the_terrible_singaporean_restaurants_thread/

/u/Malvagor
Answer: My sister and I don’t understand how Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe has so many outlets all over, the food is terrible and not cheap at all. Is there a particular dish or something that has a cult following?
/u/not_haha_funny
Answer: Menya Musashi: The last time I was there, I thought it tasted like Ajisen’s. Sure enough, when I was footing the bill, I saw they were both under the same group.

Sushi Express: I guess you get what you pay for. Really low quality stomach filler.

Kinza-ya: Just don’t.

/u/littlefiredragon
Answer: One of my very worst restaurant meals was at Som Tam in Orchard Central. I ordered the “Tom Yum Prawn” burger i.e. “Prawns topped with cheddar cheese & Thai Tom Yum Spices”.

No burger buns so changed to rice buns, I said ok. Ended up getting 2 bowls of plain rice (LOL?), 2 slices of supermarket plastic cheese unmelted (wut), and no fucking tom yum sauce on those prawns. It’s one of their recommended items btw.

Made Ajisen look like a Michelin star restaurant.

Sent them a complaint letter and negative review, they apologised, but the damage was done. My date and I never went back.

/u/DarthDanial
Answer: I have a irrational hatred for pastamania. I cant put my finger on it
/u/Jammy_buttons
Answer: Jamie’s is terrible for the price.
/u/gottaname
Answer: no saeki sushi on this list?

food quality is so bad you its worse or on par with food court japanese food.

/u/lizhien
Answer: Can we agree that anywhere that has that 10% service charge and 7% additional above the menu price counts as a restaurant?

Sometimes.. The service is so appalling.. I don’t know why I pay that 10% for.

/u/keltzerlandarts
Answer: not a restaurant but burger king standards dropped also. last time was so nice like it was real quality and then they suddenly just went to shit. idk why tho.
/u/NutTheChipmunk
Answer: Thai Express. How dare it compare itself to Thai food. Really bland and 0 spice. The food is also very tiring to eat. (Ni in Chinese. Is there an English equivalent of that word?) No balance of flavours.

Even at Golden Mile, a lot of the Thai food is bad. The one that is most popular with Singaporeans is Diandin Leluk. Probably the biggest restaurant tenant on the ground level. Flavours are changed to suit local tastes and the food ends up tasting really weird. Also, very expensive.

Special mention to Nongkhai Eating House beside Diandin Leluk. Oily and fishy and very…ni.

So far I’ve found Nangfa Cafe and Beerthai House Restaurant to be the better ones at Golden Mile.

/u/thegreatnoobcac
Answer: Ramen Play – The Ramen I had was tasteless and unauthentic

Swensens – Mediocre, I only go there when I receive Swensens gift cards from insurance groups

18 Chefs / Hot Tomato – Cheap food but poor quality and really basic. Only good for students on a budget

/u/j_fat_snorlax
Answer: EIGHTEEN FUCKING CHEFS. Why would anyone pay for rice in cum sauce and literally 1 hot dog cut into 4 pieces? Because free ice cream with student meal? REALLY?!
/u/lewloy
Answer: Menya musashi – the ramen taste like Maggie mee… Like, seriously, it shouldn’t even called ramen. It’s insulting.

Fei fei wanton mee – used to taste good when I was younger, but the father passed his arts to his children. Then it got worse over with time, e.g. noodles became more soggy, chilli became worse… Especially after all that franchising came about – this kind of thing not supposed to franchise one.

I don’t mind sushi express, though. Where else can I eat 18 plates of sushi at quite an ok cost?

/u/penguinQP
Answer: Royz et vous at Telok Ayer. Took a Muslim colleague there for a lunch treat thinking it was “atas” but ended up apologizing to her because the food was so bad.

In fact, a lot of halal western / eastern places (ie non Malay / Indian) are terrible – Swensen’s only got really terrible after it became halal. And don’t get me started on halal dim sum……

/u/guyuntian
Answer: bbdc canteen commits crimes
/u/Treetrunkcustard
Answer: Woo ricebox. Overpriced and tasteless. They make worse Taiwanese fried chicken than shilin and they dont even cut the chicken for you while making you use plastic cutlery.
/u/kukubirdsg
Answer: Toa Payoh KFC.
/u/loverangel1
Answer: Pastamania

Eighteen Chef – standard and portion size dropped so much

Soup Spoon – tried it recently after a long break. Was served room temperature soup

/u/Cubyface
Answer: Wheelers Estate.

Just go there take pictures can liao, no need to waste money on their food.

/u/redcountrybear
Answer: Paris Baguette Bugis – go if you like to get snubbed by cashiers.
/u/PM_ME_OWLPICS
Answer: Soup spoon – their soup doesn’t taste great, servers are a bit rude

Old town cafe – I’m sure its only popular because Mark Lee owns the business. Their food is bad and their coffee is subpar and has a weird taste

Kuriya – its owned by Ichiban sushi but why are their standards **SO DAMN DIFFERENT** ?!?!?!?!? (But then again it’s not like Ichiban sushi is good either) Is Kuriya even trying?!?!?

I see a lot of ppl hating on sushi express like?? The miso soup is not great but it’s still my fav place for cheap sushi

/u/Enterland
Answer: Outback Steakhouse! Like ewwwwwww. Terrible food portion for the price you paid and the steak isn’t that great either, even though it is their specialty.
/u/r3lvalleyy
Answer: 18 chef and hot tomato
/u/daveo18
Answer: Any Soup Spoon. The amount of dicking around that goes on by the cashiers when the business model involves getting a ladle or two of soup into a fucking bowl is horrendous.
/u/angelorohit
Answer: I’m gonna toss in The Manhattan Fish Market, the one at Junction 8. I ordered the Grilled Glory Dory and they served me this wet microwaved mess. Service was horrible too.
/u/DavlosEve
Answer: Jin Ho Mia of Alexandra Retail Centre. Blatant rip-off of Jiak Pa Lang, and food is fucking horrible.

It’s owned and operated by the same people who used to run Atmosphere Bistro at the same premises. Just like before at Atmosphere, the food was colder than LKY’s corpse and the staff clearly didn’t give a shit.

/u/backpfe1fengesicht
Answer: ITT; various cheap restaurants, people expecting more than what’s paid for.

I don’t like Singaporean ckt. Each one I’ve tried seems so be a too mealy, powdery, oily or everything at once.

18chefs on a bad day is especially bad.

Hot tomato is a little on the trim side of what you pay for but at least the food is slightly above average.

Sakae sushi can DIAF. Genki all the way. Sushi express at 1.5 a plate really is pay what you get, unless you’re the kind that goes to standing bar sushi on Mondays and Thursdays to whack the salmon big time.

Don’t eat anything else at tang kitchen (that green one at simpang bedok) other than the deep fried bee hoon, or if no choice you’re there at 3am, good luck

~~Zam zam~~ that serangoon gardens place. I also for curry they give mutton curry then charge me $4. Man, I should have known better.

That Maxwell food ctr chicken rice. For the wait, you’re better off eating something else yeah. Go when there’s no q.

There’s this odd ramen place near haji lane that’s filled with msg and shitty noodles.

Pastamania can DIAF.

Kfc can DIAF.

Astons express on a busy period is horrendous.

Fei Fei wanton mee tastes weird at 4am.

/u/sodiumwaste
Answer: Fish and Co – the fish and chips are the worst. Everytime you eat it, it just gives way too easily in your mouth. Not sure what I was thinking when I ate a few times at the one beside Park Mall (closed).

Hans – I cant remember what I ate at Hans that one time I went but I hated everything there. All I remember is that the food was bad…

/u/dodgethis_sg
Answer: Long John Slivers
/u/FantasyBoudicca
Answer: KFC. Half the chickens they cook died of old age and everytime they say “OMGGGGG THIS IS THE SPICIEST THING WE’VE EVER CREATED” about their chicken, kena it’s so mild that even those who can’t eat Curry Maggi Mee can eat it no problem.

Ajisen – ugh. I’m a bit spoiled by Tonkotsu King and Baikohken but hot damn that is bad.

Himawari gets dishonourable mention purely for its very slow service.

/u/shian243
Answer: Nobody mentioned four fingers? A complete ripoff. Dunno why the queue so damn long, the portions are pathetic, and then to top it off and remind you of terrible NS days they serve you in the fucking army mess tin
/u/helloseb
Answer: Saizeriya
/u/SkittyLover93
Answer: Just Acia. I barely consider it food. I think even fast food is higher quality.

Ajisen. Also very mediocre ramen.

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I work in a Chinese restaurant kitchen, AMA r/Singapore

Question: I remember your delightful and very detailed post. I enjoyed your descriptions of the job breakdowns. You are a good writer. There was a [recent post about typical Kopitam economic rice stalls](https://www.reddit.com/r/singapore/comments/74lycq/the_dirty_secret_behind_economic_rice_that_you/). The poster there said they don’t wash vegetables enough. How true is that in your experience in high end restaurants?
Answer: No lah, not true at all at Chinese restaurants. Of course we wash our vegetables. It’s the saikang that is done by the butcher and/or prep cooks like me.
Question: 1. What is your favourite kitchen equipment or gadget?

2. Favourite kind of knife?

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

4. ‘Never trust a skinny chef’ – how true is this?

5. What do you have for lunch and dinner daily? Do you meal prep or eat whatever’s on the menu for that day?

6. Favourite disney movie?

Answer: 1. Sounds boring but the strainer. Strainers of any kind. They are indispensable to any kitchen. We need them so much, all the time. BUT I WILL TELL YOU MY ABSOLUTE WORST NIGHTMARE – chopsticks. Fucking hate chopsticks. But Chinese restaurant cooks always plate with chopsticks. I always choose the tiny tongs over chopsticks. Fuck chopsticks.

2. This is quite a standard and trusted brand, can find at Sia Huat or Lau Choy Seng – http://www.chanchikee.com/ChineseKnives.html

3. Hopefully I get promoted in two years! In 5 years I’ll still def be working the 8-ish am to 1030pm life

4. No lah most cooks are rather thin/slight/lean from the work.

5. Omg I don’t want to disappoint y’all but we mostly eat rubbish lah, outside of staff meal we eat nonsense like maggi mee and bread. A lot of us steal from dim sum. Staff meal: If non-hotel, we have a dude who makes our staff meal every day. It’s almost always cabbage/bittergourd/spinach/lettuce with chicken (steamed/braised) and white rice. If hotel kitchen, we have canteen food, which is basically cai png. I’m not complaining! I’m happy for any food at all, most of the time I’m hungry by the time I get to sit down and eat.

6. Mulan forever and ever amen.

Question: What most surprised you about the restaurant industry/commercial kitchens?
Answer: Very few people talk about the kitchen’s mundane discipline.

I’ve watched Chef’s Table etc but like any good TV series they focus on the creative process of the head chef/owner, their inspiration, their back stories. But the food that is served to your table was made by moments and years of muscle memory, of routine distilled by repetition and crushing pressure, by a team of cooks junior and senior.

Every day is war. Our work is about sorting through chaos. An average day for me starts like this – I come in at 830am voluntarily. I am early, the first one in. I must first gather all the steel bowls, trays, and saucers I need from the dishwashing area, over to my work area. I wash my cloths and the rice cooker. I have a look at the preorders for the day. Already there’s a table of 10, 8, 8, 6, 2, 3 with their preorders scribbled in barely legible Chinese. I switch on the power, lights, gas, wok pilot lights. I put seasoning racks back in place, set up each wok station with potato starch, ginger juice, egg yolks and whites, new cooking oil in steel drums. I check all my garnishes, for spoilage. I guesstimate how many trays of eggs I’ll have to crack and separate, how much ee fu noodles to give wok 2 to blanch, etc etc. This is maybe the first ten minutes of my day. Most of the time I scribble notes to myself like “cucumber slices long and short, mandolin baby radish, kungpao sauce ” that make absolutely no sense, or mean anything to an outsider, but would be absolutely critical to my dinner service war.

Question: What’s a dish to stay away from
Answer: Okay if you’re the squeamish type who doesn’t like people touching your food with their bare hands, stick to old favorites like fried rice, hor fun, etc. Don’t order the more elaborately plated items at fine dining Chinese restaurants. At peak hour I promise your plated wok fried Australian lobster for 8 pax has met our fingers. I’m sorry.
Question: I’m curious about [(social) class in Singapore](http://www.asiaone.com/business/peeling-away-spores-class-layers) – so could you talk about that? If you need some elaboration:

1. [You’ve come from an upper/upper middle class background](http://www.tnp.sg/news/others/she-gives-law-studies-train-be-chef), while kitchen staff are usually seen as working class – do you feel that there is a different perspective between you and your colleagues? Does that affect how you interact with them? What was the biggest difference?
2. Do you feel that your colleagues/people treat you differently because of your class background?
3. Do people treat you differently now (between when you were a university student and when you were a cook)?
4. Do you feel that your colleagues and, for example, the people you met in NUS Law (usually associated with upper/upper middle class) had different concerns/perspectives?
5. Do you feel that there is still social mobility? Do your colleagues feel that there is social mobility?

Answer: This is the best question of this thread.

1. Yes. From their perspective I’m insane, and I don’t blame them. To them it’s like “gurl why why do you choose this life, if I had your options I would 100% stay far away from this line of work, you are stupid, and you are throwing your future away”. They are correct, but I stand by my decision. I think I enjoy a sort of financial security (no dependents to care for, living rent free, parents in good health and far out-earning me) that allows me to treat work like an internship/bootcamp.

2. When I first joined Crystal Jade my colleagues were very wary of speaking to me, or giving me tasks to do. Half a year later, over drinks, a senior colleague said “we laughed when the head Chef told us some daughter of some doctor was gonna join us. The day you showed up might’ve made history, this company’s history at the very least. You won’t understand. For all of us it was the first time in our 20 years of experience working with a woman. Let alone some girl who’s gone to school.” In general they sayang me a lot but I didn’t come to work to be coddled. I forcefully take over tasks until they just let go of that responsibility to me.

More on 3-6 later, I’m in this company orientation thingy :3

Question: What dish do you not put MSG in?
Answer: Hahahaha nothing. When we say “lok mei”, 下味, the general term for “season the dish”, we refer to the Four Heavenly Kings of sugar, salt, chicken powder, MSG. For vegetarian dishes we omit chicken power. But unless the customer specifically requests “no MSG”, there will be MSG in it. Except, I dunno, sweet and sour pork? Because there’s technically no MSG in the formula, just yknow a shitload of brown rock sugar slabs.
Question: What’s the most fun dish to prepare/cook?
What’s the most annoying dish to prepare/cook?

What are your long term goals? Opening a cze cha place soon? Or do you want to head a Michelin Chinese restaurant one day? Or both?

Have you ever thought of the western side of the kitchen? Do you ever think if it would have been a better choice than your current choice of working in a Chinese kitchen?

Answer: I still enjoy making fried bee hoon, because I like to eat fried bee hoon. Also I will always remember the first dish I ever learned to make at the wok – stir fried cheong fun. I like getting a nice sear on the cheong fun, and then the challenge is to get the seasoning + soy sauce + dark soy sauce distributed evenly without breaking/damaging the cheong fun.

I hate making wok omelettes. Hate urgh much difficult to flip, digs up all my insecurities and personal failures

I just want to see how far I can go in this line, and then when I’m older and I’m ready for it, I want to teach at culinary schools, but I’m not sure.

Question: Thanks for doing this AMA! Actually, I’m curious as to why you’re willing to be so open about your work (down to naming the restaurant). I feel like most Singaporeans would shy away from doing so for fear of getting in trouble with their management or just not wanting to self-dox.
Answer: I’m actually under a non-disclosure agreement so this might be a violation but I try not to reveal too much, and also I make sure I don’t say anything bad about the company
Question: My sauses are too thin and a corn starch slurry doesn’t seem to work. Should I use more corn starch? Also how can I get super crispy chicken bits? Coat in corn starch Only? Egg bath? Double bread?

Also what’s it like being a women in the cooking world, in the states it is a rather male dominated field and very rough.

Answer: 1. Try potato starch instead – commonly sold as 风车粉 at any supermarket or mama shop. Mix with water, it behaves like cornstarch. Here is how to thicken successfully – once your sauce boils, switch off the heat. Trickle in the starch water slowly with one hand. With the other hand, stir it in. Only after stirring it in, turn up the heat. Your sauce will come to a boil and achieve magical, glossy thickness. If it is not as thick as you like, repeat the process. Switch off the heat, trickle and stir, turn the heat back up until it boils.

2. Here is a widely recognised technique for making crispy sweet and sour pork, that -stays- crispy – take your marinated pork cubes and add some potato starch and water. Mix it in. Add a bit of egg, mix well. Now dump the cubes in dry potato starch and coat them evenly. Deep fry in very hot oil until cooked and insanely crispy.

3. I am a person who isn’t afraid of heat and fire and knives, and I think I have physical presence (tall and quite an athletic build). Men always try to patronise me and baby me when they first get to know me. Eventually I gain a reputation for my intensity and endurance :3 I really despise men who tell me to smile more/ get an office job/ quit this life because my hands won’t be nice and pretty anymore. It’s not funny.

Question: What do customers usually order?
Answer: Yuppies often come in small groups (2-5) and order off the set/tasting menus. Families with children and old folks often order old favourites like Yangzhou fried rice, seafood hor fun, garlic kailan, century egg porridge if in the afternoon. We have big ticket customers with their very specific and unique orders, like this rich guy and his posse who would always order his tomato braised red snapper in a claypot, followed by an egg gravy hor fun, with hokkaido scallops instead of our regular assorted seafood. Once the manager comes in and says “Mr XX is here” we know what to do.
Question: What culinary school did you go to? How did you apply and any tips to get accepted? I’m taking A levels this year and I hope to get into a culinary school
Answer: I went to VJC, graduated 2011 :3 no need A levels lah. I went to At-Sunrice and all they wanted from me was O/N levels. It’s easy to get in, but many don’t stay in this line of work after they graduate.
Question: I’ve always wondered, but for someone like you who graduated from culinary school, what are your working hours like and what is the average salary?
Answer: An average work day is 12 hours with a break in between (the split shift). Some of us work 5 days a week, some 6, very few of us get weekends off. Salary really varies, I’ve seen graduates bag >$2k straight out of school, mostly at Western kitchens. They tend to pay more humanely. Entry level Chinese cooks are worth very little money. When I first entered Crystal Jade I was getting $1600 take home, when I left recently I was getting $1900. I left for this hotel job and they tried to give me $1300 but I negotiated earnestly and now I get $1500. If I work more than 5 days a week, I get OT, but they try not to let that happen.

Please don’t rat on me. We can leave this thread here on reddit but if you know anyone in the hotel line personally, don’t alert them. :3

Question: What’s the secret of fried noodles! I get them to taste really CLOSE to the restaurantones but.. something is missing
Answer: Have you tried Maggie seasoning? :3
Question: How important is knowing how to speak Cantonese in the kitchen?
Answer: Very – but for a junior level person, it’s enough to be able to listen, no need to speak fluently. That’s me, I can understand some, but not enough to speak. It’s okay though, I don’t have to speak very much at work, just listen and follow instructions.
Question: I was wondering, someone like you who seems pretty good at writing and from relatively good academic background, why did you choose Chinese cooking and the hierarchical route?

Many young people interested in the culinary world take shortcuts like start their own cafes etc. what do you feel about that?

Answer: Correct, because I am a glutton for punishment. It’s actually true, I chose this life despite repeated warnings. But I regret nothing

At Crystal Jade we had this other Singaporean girl, in dim sum. She left in her…8th month? To open a bistro with her friend- Marble at Everton Park. This girl is a woke badass, I loved that she was so confident all the time, I’m comparatively an insecure mess. Good for her, my dim sum girl. I don’t have an opinion, just you do you lah

Question: 1. How was culinary school compared to your other educations?
2. How did you manage to obtain a job in such a professional/high end kitchen? was it because you were good in your culinary school?
3. How is the aspect of being a cook in terms of finance and providing for the future? ie. your salary and do you plan to climb to higher positions or start your own restaurant in the future?
Answer: 1. Written and practical exams in culinary school were designed to help you pass, the whole point was to pass, not to beat some bell curve. Most of our learning happened during our internships, not really in the classroom or school kitchens. Culinary school was a very male environment (women mostly concentrated in pastry programs), but I was used to it. There were rules about your uniform, whereabouts, smoking zones etc, arbitrarily followed and arbitrarily enforced.

2. Nah all I did was call up HR. It was like “hello 我想问一下你们中餐厨房现在有没有请人?” (hello I’d like to ask if your Chinese kitchen is currently hiring). Then HR was like “oh you are asking for a friend or…?” Then I was like “no for myself” then there was a pause. Then she scheduled me an interview and the rest. All places were like that. I would call or show up at the door, they would pause or gawk or ask repeatedly if it was -me- looking for a job. Is okay, I’m used to it.

3. My take home pay is def less than 2k. It doesn’t bother me now but ideally I should be hitting 3k by 35 or that would be sad. The pay in this line is generally very sad, das why most cooks are in it by circumstance (ie. poverty and lack of formal education), or by vey deliberate choice. I would be a very shitty business owner, I am a much better writer and tutor. In 10-15 years I strongly believe there will still be plenty of opportunities in these areas. But I intend to work like this until my body just can’t.

Question: why did you dropped out from uni back then?
Answer: I was studying law at NUS, it was never what I wanted, and I was a resentful miserable asshole about it for 3 semesters. My parents were upset for a while but we’re cool now.
Question: Ahh so you are person behind that website! My friend linked it to me awhile ago and i really enjoyed reading the content inside, the way you described each workstation is very detailed and easy to understand.

I do have one question, if you come up with a new recipe, will the head chef even consider it or every recipe suggestion gets shutdown?

Answer: For most larger organizations (as in strongly hierarchical, not indie, not small or start up), junior cooks never produce recipes. It’s just not in our job scope. The head or sous Chef do that. This is 96% because minions like us have enough on our plate, there’s never enough time to complete our never ending prep lists, most of us try to survive from service to service.

There’s also a very social element to knowing your place, as in why would you be testing a cool idea you had when your fellow minions are prepping garnish, tidying the walk-in chiller, etc.? There’s a common refrain that means something like “hey you’re being paid to get shit done, not to playact Dai Lou (head chef)”

Question: I’ve been to numerous Chinese restaurants where they simply serve the same Tze Char dish with rather similar quality but at a more expensive price. What are some of the signature dishes at your restaurant, which you think people would not be able to try at Tze Char stalls.
Answer: At Golden Palace there is this braised fish by the name of 半煎煮,it’s lovely. The fish of choice (whole live fish, or some customers prefer filets of pomfret, or cod) is flash fried and then braised with white radish, scallions, Chinese celery stems, our rich shark cartilage stock, milky broth, sesame paste, fermented soy beans. 100% would recommend, very Teochew, not easy to find, tasty and rich, exactly my sort of thing.

Also I think you can order this at some obliging tze char but – there was this group of rich regular customers at Golden Palace who would order 麦片豆根. I love it too, I always keep the leftovers for myself. (If anyone wants the exact formula for the cereal premix, we can PM :3 )

At Summer Pavilion, the 生抽皇生虾 is very popular. Prawns are flash fried in smoking hot oil, such that their shells are brittle and crispy enough to eat. They are tossed in a simple sauce made of superior soy sauce, maggi seasoning, fish sauce, sugar MSG chicken powder, and LP sauce.

Question: What is your favorite Chinese restaurant and dish in SG?
Answer: I am very loyal to the fried bee hoon at Fatty Fong’s, Bedok market block 58 tze char
Question: What is your favorite Chinese restaurant and dish in SG?
Answer: Also the 猪手焖米粉 at 老友记, Tiong Bahru. Amazing amazing stuff, too bad I don’t go back because it reminds me of a kitchen dude who hurt me bad.
Question: What dish is popular amongst foreign customers or tourists but the staff would avoid?
Answer: Foreign customers like Yangzhou fried rice, but both kitchen and service staff are so tired of even the sight of the dish. Same for XO sauce stir fried carrot cake, century egg porridge, the very very popular dim sum lunch items. Just…sian lor, as cai png dude said.
Question: I’m curious about your worklife balance. How do you find time to run errands, spend time with your family & friends and basically get things done?
Answer: Aw man there’s really no time. There was barely enough time for this AMA. My friends and family never see me much, and I squeeze all my errands into my weekly day off. It’s true that there’s not much balance in this lyfe, we go to work to get off work to go to work again.
Question: Are you also the one who’s good at eyeballing weight/volume and does post-shift stouts and porters?
Answer: Yes ;3
Question: what’s the secret for the chilli oil? 😀
Answer: Okay if you would like, I could PM you the exact formula ((:
Question: What is the heaviest dish to prepare. Weight wise.
Answer: Soups/porridge for large groups. One time there was a group of 40, I think we had to have the Laoda and sous work on their sharks fin simultaneously, each of them making a roughly 20 portion batch. Something like that. Imagine if they ordered a fried egg noodles with gravy, dat gravy would be legit heavy
Question: Really admire your courage to follow your dreams. Is your father a famous surgeon?
Answer: Not sure if he’s famous but I respect and admire my dad for being excellent in his chosen field (colorectal surgery). He’s also a punny cheeseball which I appreciate very much.
Question: Do you only think you’ll be cooking/preparing Chinese food for the long haul?

What sort of food from other cuisines do you like? Bonus points if its meaty!

Answer: My favorite other cuisine to eat is Indian, north and south and everything. I love it because it’s so rich in flavour and texture. I have a heavy palate. I like the brisket at Meatsmiths Telok Ayer, and I love love love Moosehead as well. BURRATA FTW.
Question: Is the cleanliness of chinese restaurants (such as kitchen environment and food storage/preparation) something that people should be concern of?
Answer: Different places different rules lah. All of us been through food hygiene courses and we operate with common sense, so for example if the chillers stopped working overnight and we found out in the morning, we would throw out all our perishable items (all meat cooked or raw, cooked vegetables), and only keep sturdier sauces (kungpao; other acid-based sauces) and raw vegetables.

We abide by established practices – store cooked foods above raw, raw meat always bottom most shelf in the chilled, cooked rice left overnight can only be used for fried rice and never served to customers, etc. First in first out principle applies all the time.

For old kitchens like Golden Palace, equipment and work areas could be cleaner, could use more frequent deep cleaning but. Hotels are different, we outsource deep cleaning, that’s how we keep our area sparkling clean.

Question: What’s the “scrambled eggs” or “tamago sushi” of Chinese cuisine? Referring to the dish that is simple to cook yet difficult to master and allows you to immediately judge the skill of the person cooking. Like a daiquiri for a bartender for example.
Answer: Some people argue that it’s egg fried rice, some people say it’s beef hor fun (dry), but the latter is a very specifically Cantonese example. I did a practical trial for my current job at Summer Pavilion and I actually made a fried rice and that beef hor fun. An entry level cook isn’t expected to know how to stir fry but it’s just hiring procedure at a hotel.
Question: You are not OP!!!
Answer: ACHERLY both also can. Cold or hot rice is not the point, in fact at Crystal Jade the wok people much prefer the rice hot straight from the rice cooker, because it’s looser and less clumpy than cold rice. But at Summer Pavilion I learned that we always steam two separate trays of rice with separate moisture levels. The rice served to customers is regular softness, which is a bit too wet for fried rice. We steam a separate tray of rice with a bit less water. This rice is slightly ‘harder’ than ‘service rice’, and we wait for it to cool completely before scooping it into a steel bowl to use throughout war.
Question: That’s a really quick reply heh, thanks for the insight.

Also can you help solve a debate? For large steamed fishes, how often do you serve the fish liver together with the fish? Friend of mine claims he has special service with a chef he knows in the kitchen and they’ll always give it to him. He claims most of the time the kitchen keeps it to eat

Answer: Nah where I work(ed) we don’t eat it. Some customers want the liver served together, so the butcher lets us know when he sends over the fresh kill. If he doesn’t say anything about the liver, we discard it. Maybe I’ve never worked with anyone who fancies the liver!
Question: wow you got into law and opted to drop up into culinary school? which school did you go to and how was the experience?
Answer: I went to At-Sunrice. I’m glad I got that diploma, it made it easier to get that hotel job. But everything that I ever learned how to do in a Chinese kitchen, I learned on the job during my internships, at Crystal Jade, and now here at this hotel job.
Question: [deleted]
Answer: My dad gets some semblance of balance only because he’s in private practice. When I was younger he was at a public hospital and I barely saw him. So nowadays if I inform him early “hey dad I’m off today” we could schedule dinner.

If we’re talking about number of days/hours off, he has more time off. But if we’re talking about eveyday predictability, I have more stability and structure. I know that 6 days a week I block out 8am – 1030pm for work and that’s it. My dad probably has to pull an all-night surgery followed by a presentation any day of the week, but during the weekend he might go to KL to see my grandma, or he goes to godforsaken Maine or Vladivostok for some surgeons’ conference.

Question: so what’s your favorite stout/porter
Answer: La Trappe Dubbel, also Rogue hazelnut brown nectar, and Hitachino Nest’s XH. They’re all in the Belgian dubbel/brown ale/strong ale category, not stout.
Question: Msg is the poor man’s substitute for savoury flavouring. E.g. oyster sauce, chicken stock, etc. back then when food was scarce during the 50s in China. Then msg became popular among peasants and now if you go to those villages in China and order at the restaurant, there will be a cup of MSG beside the usual soy sauce, vinagar, chili oil etc.
Answer: Thanks for this! I’ve always wondered as well.

Salad Youtiao 沙拉油条

You Tiao (油条) is a fried cruller that is usually ate for breakfast. It is usually accompanied by porridge, soya milk, Bak Kut Teh or Tau Suan.

Youtiao

I’m sure many people have tried the basic youtiao, but I doubt they have not tasted the Salad Youtiao. This is an underrated Singapore dish, often overlooked by guide books and foodies.

Salad Youtiao - Source: http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/

It is a simple dish. Basically crispy youtiao stuffed with shrimp or fish paste and served with lashings of mayonnaise. These golden brown pieces of greasy goodness may not look impressive, but I assure you they are a definite must-order at any zi-car place!

The Curious Case of Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey is produced by Western honey bees feeding on the nectar of Manuka bushes that can only be found in New Zealand and Australia.

western honey bee
Manuka honey is coveted for its anitbacterial properties discovered by Peter Molan.

Then Molan discovered there was something special about manuka honey. It appears to have antibacterial properties, unlike other honeys in the world, and some studies suggested it could heal wounds and help boost the immune system. (Specifically, the antibacterial property found in other honeys comes from hydrogen peroxide, which is broken down quickly in the body, whereas the non-peroxide form found in manuka honey isn’t.)

The manuka honey industry is highly lucrative. In New Zealand alone, manuka honey exports are worth NZ$315 million (~USD230million). The intense interest has led to a “manuka crime wave”, as warring beekeepers resort to beehive heists and massacres to edge out the competition.

The biggest consumers are the UK and China. 1,800 tonnes a year of the honey are now consumed in the UK each year, with prices ranging from £40 to £50 for 500g. China imports 1,500 tonnes a year and it sells for up to 1,789RMB ($279) for a 500g jar.

In total, 10,000 tonnes of manuka honey are sold worldwide, whereas only 2-3000 tonnes are produced each year. The New Zealand government has implemented measures to safeguard the authenticity of their prized export. However these tests seem to be ineffective in reducing the volume of fake manuka honey in circulation and major honey producers have called for a revision of these standards.

There is no single standard for manuka honey, instead there are various grading systems being used by different brands and countries which leads to much consumer confusion.

So how do you tell if your manuka honey is the real stuff?
I honestly don’t know.

Why do beans have less protein after cooking?

Q. If you boil beans, they lose their protein?

According to google search, 1 cup RAW of pinto beans is 41 grams of protein, but if you boil them they become 1.9g / cup. Why is this so?

The discrepancy in protein per cup is due to the difference in volume between a dried bean and a cooked bean.

When the dried beans are cooked or soaked, they absorb the liquid they are cooked/soaked in, which causes them to expand.

From a quick google search, dried beans can expand up to 2-3 times their original volume after an overnight soak and 3-4 times their original volume after cooking. So if you started with 1 cup of dried beans, you will on average end up with 3 cups of cooked beans. i.e. On average, 1 cup of dried beans will contain 3x the protein of 1 cup of cooked beans.

The same applies to other dried food stuff such as grains, legumes and lentils. The only difference is the amount of water they will absorb. To make it easier and less confusing to track these calories, weigh them raw and log them  based on the raw nutritional information for that ingredient.

Related reading:

Recipe book and cooking advice for beans, legumes and lentils:

http://www.extension.uidaho.edu/adaefnep/Efnep%20pdf/BeansSplitPeasLentils.pdf

Cooking Dried Beans,Peas and Lentils:
https://www.uaf.edu/files/ces/publications-db/catalog/hec/FNH-00360.pdf

Bean conversions:
http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/bean-conversions/

Dried grains to cooked conversions:
http://wholegrainscouncil.org/recipes/cooking-whole-grains

Nutritional aspects of women strength athletes

Nutritional aspects of women strength athletes
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564387/
J S Volek, C E Forsythe, and W J Kraemer

Abstract

Strength training elicits sports related and health benefits for both men and women. Although sexual dimorphism is observed in exercise metabolism, there is little information outlining the specific nutritional needs of women strength athletes. Many women athletes restrict energy intake, specifically fat consumption, in order to modify body composition, but this nutritional practice is often counter‐productive. Compared to men, women appear to be less reliant on glycogen during exercise and less responsive to carbohydrate mediated glycogen synthesis during recovery. Female strength athletes may require more protein than their sedentary and endurance training counterparts to attain positive nitrogen balance and promote protein synthesis. Therefore, women strength athletes should put less emphasis on a very high carbohydrate intake and more emphasis on quality protein and fat consumption in the context of energy balance to enhance adaptations to training and improve general health. Attention to timing of nutrient ingestion, macronutrient quality, and dietary supplementation (for example, creatine) are briefly discussed as important components of a nutritionally adequate and effective strength training diet for women.

TL:DR:

  • Strength training = good
  • Women utilize more fats and less carbs than men during exercise
  • +ve nitrogen balance required for LBM gains
  • Adequate fat intake required for health gains and optimal hormonal profile
  • Carbs essential for performance -emphasize mico-nutrient-rich and unprocessed whole foods as source of carbs
  • Protein recommendation: 1.4–1.8 g/kg
  • No adverse effects of high protein intake in healthy individuals
  • Good idea to pad workouts with protein-rich meals
  • Creatine = good

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