Monday, September 29, 2008

Braised Duck Noodles : Lost & Found

Monday morning is always a tricky day to think about what to have for breakfast at Tiong Bahru.

Many food stalls at the Tiong Bahru Market are closed on Mondays and my favourite coffee stall (No. 238) is closed as well.

I recalled Benjamin Tan calling me up last Saturday evening to tell me quite excitedly that he found his favourite duck noodles stall within the Tiong Bahru Estate!

He had been eating that duck noodles since his childhood days and ever since that stall moved out from the Silat area, he had been craving for that familiar taste!

So it was no wonder that he was extremely elated when he found it at Block 57 Eng Hoon St.

This stall (Sum Long Teochew Braised Duck) is located within the same coffeeshop that sells Tiong Bahru Famous 3 day old Curry Rice.

I decided to check it out this morning.

My wife went for the Bee Hoon soup while I went for Ben’s recommendation, Mee Pok Dry.

Frankly, I’ve never eaten duck noodles with the Mee Pok combination but since Ben mentioned it, I gave it a try. (I always thought duck noodles is only available in the noodles and kway teow combination)

The taste was awesome and the soup was good. (Since I’m not a food critic, I have very limited vocabulary to describe that sensation to you. So you gotta try it to know).

I really don’t mind going back to have another bowl tomorrow morning!

Benjamin Tan of Block 78 Guan Chuan, thank you so much for sharing!

I just hope that locating a place to sit down would not be a challenge in future....but then again, I live in the Tiong Bahru Estate, I can always “TA PAO” (doggy bag) it back home to savour it.

Am very very very hungry now!

On a totally unrelated topic, I noticed some orange paint had been peeled off at the base of the columns while I was waiting for my noodles.

The exposed part shows the original GREY finish.

If you are going there to check out the duck noodles, do take some time to check this out while you are waiting for your meal.

You can kill 2 ducks with 1 stone this way.

Friday, September 26, 2008

This Morning

6:24am :
Awaken by the sound of thunder and sprang out from my bed to close all my windows.
It was raining so heavily and the sound of thunder was at times annoying and at times 'humbling" (I've got this irrational fear of the sound of thunder ONLY when I'm half awake)

7:33am :
Finally dragged myself out from my bed to ready myself so that my part time home cleaner who is coming at 8am will not get to see me in my 'pyjamas'.

7:41am :
One of my tenant in Tiong Bahru SMS me to tell me his home is flooded as water is seeping out through his windows. Not sure what was the problem but gotta get the window contractor to check if the window seal is broken or something else.

Open my door to get my daily news fix and found this!

(My neighbour's newspaper)

My unread papers (Soaking Wet)

Blogging about my rather eventful morning.

So how was your morning today?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monkey Business

Click on the picture to enlarge it

I found this flyer stucked on my windscreen along Eng Hoon Street and I thought this activity is cute enough to be published here.

Check this out if you are free this Saturday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reviving the Tiong Bahru Bird Corner

This sight may be revived very soon!

I was delighted to hear from Ms Julia Lim of the Link Hotel about how they are serious about resurrecting this Tiong Bahru Heritage.

As coffee and tea are a must for this corner, they are now bogged down with the usual red tapes in getting F&B licences.

Link Hotel is also working hard to source for the right tables & chairs so that the right ambience is agreeable to both the Birds and the People.

Once these things are put in place, Link Hotel will be organizing a Bird Singing Competition and that would probably happen later part of this year.

To get acquainted with the Birds’ enthusiast culture, Ms Lim had been burning her weekends to visit various Bird Singing Competitions to find out what it entails to organize such competitions.

She mentioned that Link Hotel will be very receptive to Expert’s opinions as the judging criteria can be quite mind boggling to people who are not familiar with such competitions.

I could sense that they really serious about reviving this corner this time around.

In Ms Lim’s own words:

I hope the first bird-singing competition organized by the hotel will be a great success in bringing back the bird lovers and in resurrecting the ‘kampong’/ ‘kopitiam’ spirit of the area.

I look forward to Link Hotel’s success with the Bird Corner as their success is also a Tiong Bahru’s success.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wayang at Tiong Bahru Monkey God Temple

Missed the sights and colours of the recent Monkey God's birthday at Eng Hoon Street?

Relive it here at Budak's Photo Blog : Wayang at Tiong Bahru Monkey God Temple

Thanks a Million Budak.

Friday, September 19, 2008

GETAI @ Eng Hoon Street

Can't get enough of the show 881?

You can experience it LIVE tonight & tomorrow from 7pm onward!

Trod on down to the end of Eng Hoon Street where the Monkey God Temple is located.

The show is organised by the temple to commemorate their PATRON’s birthday.

Don't miss this colourful event!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Still in Service

Found this Ancient Ironing Board in a very old conditioned home in Tiong Bahru.

That unit was sold by the owner’s children and this Board would probably be tossed out by them.

Anyone might want to keep this for a "probable" Tiong Bahru Museum?

I can try asking the occupants. (But I hold no promises that they will give it to me.)

Vandalism in Tiong Bahru?

Caught in the act!

These vandals had the audacity to commit this anti social act in broad daylight!

Wait a minute!

It was just some filming by some local film producers.

I’m sure they will clean up and no one will even know what had happened earlier.

This is just another typical day in the HOOD.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tiong Bahru Heritage Club

Finally, a club that is formed for the betterment of the Tiong Bahru Estate!

This club is made up of existing Tiong Bahru Residents who are passionate about their estate and are willing to go the extra mile of rolling up their sleeves.

I applaud their selfless sacrifice to meet regularly to discuss and provide constructive feedback to the Tanjong Pagar Town Council (TPTC), Tiong Bahru Community Centre (TBCC), Tiong Bahru Resident’s Committee (TBRC) and any other Tiong Bahru stakeholders.

The short term objective of this club is to be an agent of the community in deciding an exterior colour scheme while the longer term objective is to conserve and preserve Tiong Bahru’s heritage through various programmes.

To find out who’s who in the club and to be plugged into what this club is doing, click on the image above or the following link: Tiong Bahru Heritage Club

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Valuable Insights

Kelvin Ang has once again done us folks in the Tiong Bahru Estate a great favour by asking a Pre-1970s Tiong Bahru resident for his recollection about the colour scheme back then.

That person is none other than the popular blogger, Mr Peter Chan, from the ever popular GoodMorningYesterday blog.

Here’s the reproduction of Mr Peter Chan’s reply to Kelvin:

Peter (05 September, 2008):

Ok I hope my memory is good.

1. Your present colour scheme for pre-war SIT flats were different from my time. There was no such thing as mustard colour for the trimmings. The beigy colour is still too "dark" shade than the past. The past I mean up to 1980. Of course HDB painted the estate every 5 years, so the beige colour was either darker or lighter than the last painting job. Your mustard colour in the past was a slightly darker beige than the other beige to give an impression of the trimmings.

2. Post-war SIT flats at Lim Liak were never the same colour than pre-war SIT. In fact I believe was white background in the 1960s and light grey for the trimmings. When you compare post-war and pre-war, post-war seem more "modern" in its colour scheme. Those at Kim Tian after King's tend to follow post-war but use light blue for the walls and slightly darker sky-blue for the trimmings.

Much earlier in the 1950s, SIT (before HDB) used black colour as a skirting on all ground floor units and above was beige colour. Now you use the mustard colour. Back then the black skirting was not so high, probably about 1 1/2 ft in height.

The round pillar at the ground floor sometimes gad 2 tone or single colour depending when the painting job was made. If single tone was beige also. If 2-tone was beige at the top and grey at the bottom.

The common staircase in the backyard was beige also.
If there were window grills like the jail-type in the old days, it was painted grey.
I got an old photo dating back to 1973 for the front of our flat.

I saw the latest where there are different colours covering even the bare wall. It reminds me of pop art. It’s horrible when you flash colours like that. Looks like someone got idea from AirAsia.

Besides probing people for valuable insights, Kelvin also snooped around the Tiong Bahru Estate to “excavate” for more clues.

He observed an interesting outcome from the doorway removal. (See previous post: The FRAMES of pain).

When the door frame was removed, layers of paint have flaked off and we can now see what seems to be the original wall colour - which is a pale mustard shade!

Very French/Cambodian/Vietnamese colour” Kelvin muses.....

This picture is contributed by Kelvin Ang

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Lesser Half

We had a great session at the Tiong Bahru CC yesterday.

The turnout was fabulous and the sense of a close knit community could be felt within the conference room.

Kelvin Ang and Terence Yeung did a fabulous job. (BIG APPLAUSE!!!!)

I'm very proud to be living in this ONE OF A KIND neighbourhood in Singapore.

Only one issue disturbs me greatly during the session.

The Pre-War residents may not have felt it as they were the majority and they were the more vocal ones.

Most of the handful of POST-WAR residents like myself, were just participating passively.

There seems to be a lack of appreciation for the POST WAR Tiong Bahru units during the meeting.

Some Pre-War residents even wanted the Town Council to differentiate the 2 sections with different colours.

I don't mind having two different set of colours but those colours should complement each other, not compete or divide the Estate.

The current scheme between the Pre-War and Post War section is a good example of complementing colours.

Though the ORANGE are not of the same tone, it still nevertheless gives a sense of UNITY between the two sections.

In my opinion, this PERCIEVED UNITY is a very important point for all residents here to consider.

If the HDB section (Post War) is perceived as a lesser part of the Tiong Bahru Estate, it would be so much easier for the authorities to en-bloc that section when demand for prime land override the need to preserve or conserve.

We have already lost those beautiful KIM PONG flats as well as those walk up apartments that used to sit next to Tiong Bahru Plaza. Let’s not let this erosion go unabated.

The more the POST WAR and PRE-WAR flats are perceived as ONE, the higher the probability of keeping the entire Tiong Bahru Estate as it is now.

Let's face it, if the POST WAR section gets knocked down, I can bet with you that the ambience here will never be the same.

So I urge everyone here to see the HDB side as a valuable part of the Tiong Bahru Heritage as well.

The FRAMES of Pain

The notice has been served

Awaiting the Destruction

The Destruction has began

Evidence Erased!

I just got back from a 2 week vacation last Friday and was craving for some Hor Fun.

On the way to Ting Heng Restaurant, I had to walk past Eng Hoon Street and I was puzzled to see these metal frames being ripped out from the door ways.

My suspicion about the residents here not being consulted if these FRAMES were important was confirmed at the
Tiong Bahru Re-painting Meeting.

I know these are the FRAME of pain to some of us (
See previous posting).

But it kinda upped the quirk quotient of living in Tiong Bahru.

Once in a while, we will see anxious tenants or owner trying to figure out how to maneuver the bulky furniture through.

The process of getting the furniture through those doorways is certainly painful and frustrating but if we manage to outwit those FRAMES, the feeling is indescribable! (You may not agree with me on this)

Anyway, we were told by Mr Loy Sai Sai, senior property manager for Tanjong Pagar Town Council, has been in charge of this estate since 1991,that many residents had complained about those seemingly useless frames that gets in the way during their moves.

And since it has no utilitarian purpose, they have decided the remove them.

Some were upset enough to voice their concern during the meeting at the Tiong Bahru CC.

Frankly, I don't envy Mr Loy.

Turn left he gets damn, turn right and he also gets damn.

Maybe all he needed to do was to ask first before turning.

The Brand New Tiong Bahru Bird Corner

Calling all “Caged” Bird Lovers.

The Tiong Bahru Bird Corner is now ready for bird lovers to display their feathered pride.

I suppose they would have to bring their own kopi and kaya toast.

And yes, their own stools to sit around as well.

We are counting on them to resurrect this 'world' famous bird corner for Tiong Bahru!