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macOS 10.14 Mojave Compatibility: Full List Of Compatible Macs

By | September 24th, 2018

With Apple releasing macOS Mojave today, you’re probably wondering which Mac hardware will support the latest version of macOS? Well, we have the full list for you right here.

Fall season is always an interesting time of year for those lucky individuals who own one of Apple’s Mac computers. On one hand, those individuals have likely had a great experience using the MacBook, iMac, or Mac Pro/Mini on the current version of macOS.

However, on the other hand, there’s also the slight trepidation that a new version of macOS could signal the end of the compatibility for that particular model. It’s for that reason that Mac owners take a keen interest and pay particular attention to supported hardware.

Where compatibility is concerned, you can check out the list below to see if your current Mac hardware offers compatibility with macOS 10.14 Mojave or not (Spoiler: With Mojave being a major update, support for a lot of Macs have been dropped compared to High Sierra):

  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013, plus mid 2010 and mid 2012 models with recommend Metal-capable GPU)

If you do happen to own one of those machines, or are planning to purchase a brand new Mac or one through a secondary sales channel which falls within those models, then you are definitely in luck. It instantly means that macOS 10.14 Mojave will support your hardware on day of the release later in the year. It also means that you are going to immediately benefit from all of the features and underlying functionality improvements that have just been announced alongside macOS 10.14 Mojave.

If you don’t have one of the Macs above and are desperate to get macOS 10.14 Mojave, then it’s probably time you thought about making a new investment into Apple’s modern hardware. Of course, if you are perfectly happy running an older version of macOS/OS X, then sit tight where you are and see what Apple brings to the market in terms of new Mac hardware later in the year.

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Blue Label Pizza, Ann Siang: Atas Pizzeria from Sister Restaurant of Luke’s Oyster Bar

Taking over the space of jazz bar B28Blue Label Pizza (BLP) exists at a back alley beside The Club Hotel at Ann Siang. There is no signboard to indicate the shop name, but from the outside, you can peer through the wide panes to see that the decor is really classy and almost intimidating for a pizzeria. BLP is opened by the same people behind the very expensive and popular Luke’s Oyster Bar (LOB) just down the street. Given how popular and well-reviewed LOB is, we went to BLP with high expectations… that weren’t met.

For starters, we had the insanely priced state fair fries ($ 25), which consists of handcut Idaho potatoes, black pepper gravy, fried egg, aioli, and shaved truffle. But, as you can see from the photo, that is not the usual shaved truffle. The usual shaved truffle looks similar to pencil shavings, but this is shredded like seaweed shreds. Perhaps the menu can be more accurate.

Tastewise, this is fantastic. The fries must have been double- or even triple-deep fried so that they are super crispy, so crispy that even the wet toppings do not dampen them. But by doing so, BLP has sacrificed the nice softness within the fries. For $ 25 fries, they need to be the best fries ever, but unfortunately, a fortnight ago, we had amazing fries, much better than BLP’s, at a $ 35 buffet. Take note: the buffet is a mere $ 10 more than BLP’s fries.

We also got the chicken wings ($ 14 for 3 whole pcs, $ 28 for 6 pcs). There is a choice between buffalo wings or honey-garlic sriracha wings, both of which come with blue cheese ranch. (Keep the blue cheese dip for the fries! They go very well.) We opted for the latter flavour because we thought it is something different, but in the end it tastes like a lighter cousin of buffalo wings.

We asked the waiter about the number of pieces of chicken for $ 14 and $ 28. He said 6 pieces and 12 respectively. Technically, he wasn’t wrong, but really it’s 3 whole wings and 6. Anyway, the wings are just ok. It’s fried too hard on the skin, and the meat has withdrawn into itself that the chicken becomes too skinny, without much meat. Old Chang Kee or any decent cze char stalls have better wings.

For pizza, the bestseller is Summer in San Sebastian ($ 34). Any foodie worth her/his salt knows that San Sebastian, a tiny coastal town in Spain, has the highest concentration of Michelin-studded restaurants. Perhaps the name of the dish has inspired people to order it, because the taste sure doesn’t.

The toppings for this pizza include chorizo ragu, Hokkaido octopus, espelette chili and aioli by the side. If you have eaten pulpo tapas before, this pizza is like the tapas dumped onto the crust; quite an original idea. The octopus is tender and chewy—an excellent element–but the pizza is so spicy I can’t feel my tongue when I’m with you… but I don’t love it… I don’t love it, oh. I had to stop eating for ten minutes before I could continue eating anything else.

The Travis Supreme ($ 31) has ground chuck, sesame crust, special sauce, cheddar-bacon melt. It’s a moist, saucy pizza with shredded cabbage to provide a nice textural crunch. It tastes almost Asian, like takoyaki. This is a good pizza but…

All four of us didn’t like the crust. Yan Dao even declared, “Worst crust ever.” Not sure if it’s the technique (too much oil?) using stone fire or the dough, but the crust has a similar texture as if it is deep-fried; it’s entirely crispy. The edge of a good pizza should be fluffy inside, but here, it’s like an over-fried youtiao on the verge of becoming a good biscuit.

I admit that I didn’t manage my expectations. I went with a mind that LBP would be one of the better pizzerias in Singapore; I had already set the bars high before I stepped into the restaurant. The wonderful service and the classy ambience cemented my pre-judgement and added to my anticipation.

Although I went with a preconceived, idealised notion, when it comes to the food, there is always a “but.” “It’s nice but…” “The octopus is tasty but…” I’m not sure if I should make excuses for restaurants with “buts.”

Including a Japanese craft beer ($ 15) for me, we paid $ 140 for four persons.


Menu


Blue Label Pizza
28 Ann Siang Road, Basement 1 Singapore 069708
tel: +65 9821 9362
M-F 12pm-2pm, M-Sat 6pm-12am
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Price: 4/10
Decor/ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 5.75/10


Here are some better options:
Alt Pizza, Suntec: One of the Best Pizzas in Singapore (Good Draught Craft Beers too!)
Pizza Express, Scotts Square: Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find Them
Pizza Fabbrica, Kampong Glam: One of the Best Restaurants This Year
Amo Restaurant, Hong Kong Street: Excellent Pizzas and Sharing Plates, Best for After-Work and Adult Gatherings


Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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WhatsApp-Shortcut

How To Send WhatsApp Message Without Saving Contact Using iOS 12 Siri Shortcuts

By | September 23rd, 2018

We’re huge fans of WhatsApp here at RP, and the instant messaging service is massive in certain parts of the world. In fact, it’s pretty huge everywhere except the United States, but it does have one minor issue in the fact that you cannot normally send messages to phone numbers without them first being part of your contacts.

That can be a real pain if you just need to send a quick message to someone you’re selling something to, or are perhaps looking to buy their house. It’s a huge pain and can leave your contacts full of random people. Thankfully, this can all be avoided thanks to a relatively simple Shortcut.

In order to use this, you’ll need to be using iOS 12 and have downloaded the Shortcuts app, but assuming that’s the case, you can head on over to the link here then download the Shortcut via iCloud. Once that’s done, you’ll have a new Shortcut that can be run whenever you want. When you do, the Shortcut will check your clipboard to see if a phone number exists. If it does, the Shortcut will use that as the recipient’s number but if no number is found, it will prompt you to enter one.

Once that’s done, the Shortcut will create a new WhatsApp message with that number as the recipient. Super simple, and super slick.

By default, the Shortcut has the country code set to 65, so remember to change that to your local code when you download it but beyond that, there’s no input from you needed in order to get this up and running.

We’re really keen to see what great Shortcuts people come up with and this is just a prime example of one that doesn’t need to be super complicated in order to do something awesome.

We’re really keen to see what great Shortcuts people come up with and this is just a prime example of one that doesn’t need to be super complicated in order to do something awesome.

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Fatburger, Tanjong Katong: Make Burgers Great Again?

Landing this month on our shores is not one but two outlets of Fatburger at Velocity @ Novena Square and Kinex mall (formerly known as OneKM mall). Available in over 200 locations spanning across 25 countries, Fatburger has gained a huge following which includes Hollywood celebrities such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Queen Latifah for its thick and juicy hamburgers.

Fatburger, founded in 1952 with the tagline “the last great hamburger stand”, is best known for its cooked-to-order and custom-made burgers with varying number of beef patties. They source their meat locally and it is never frozen. Using a meat ratio of 80:20 (80% ground chuck and 20% fat), Fatburger does its burgers medium well. However if you would like to have your meat done differently, you can tell them to prepare the way you want it.

Also, if you are a big fan of meat, you could consider going for their Quad (XXXXL) hamburger which consists of 4 beef patties. Conquer that and earn your spot on their Wall of Fame…for eternity.

The veggies here are prepared fresh daily and you can choose either brioche or wholemeal for your buns. The usual suspects of toppings/condiments that you can select include mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, relish and mustard. If you would like to have additional toppings, you can choose from the following at $ 1 each: cheese, egg, beef bacon, chilli, onion rings.

Anyone who is on a gluten-free diet would be happy to know that Fatburger also offers an option of having your buns gluten-free at an additional $ 2.90. There is also a veggie burger ($ 7.50) on the menu to cater to those who can’t take meat. To make it into a set, one can opt to fork out $ 4 more for fries and unlimited soft drink refills.

I tried the skinny burger ($ 7.50), with cheese and egg add-ons (a shout out to fitness enthusiasts – finally a healthy-ish burger) as I was still full from my heavy lunch earlier on. Taking my first bite into the burger, I am pleasantly surprised that the burger is able to hold its form well even without the buns. The burger is ok but it tastes generic. The relish, cheese and egg come in handy as they help to balance the rather dry beef patties.

Sides offered at Fatburger include: fat fries and skinny fries ($ 3.90 each); sweet potato fries, homemade onion rings and chilli cheese fries ($ 5.90 each). Of all the sides, I think the onion rings would be the one that you should save your calories for. It’s made-to-order with individual onion slices dipped into Fatburger’s special batter sauce and fried to perfection. It is sweet, juicy and moreish.

Another staple in all-America hamburger place would be milkshakes. Fatburger’s menu features hand-scooped real ice cream milkshakes with the following flavours: oreo cookies, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry ($ 5.90 each). We are told that they don’t dilute the taste of the milkshakes by adding milk or any fillers. So it’s just blended ice cream. But I thought it defeats the purpose of calling it a “milkshake”. I suppose ice cream contains milk so it’s not wrong in that sense… After having the milkshakes, it’s so sweet that we feel we should measure our blood sugar level immediately. Texture wise, it’s creamy and dense but only for those who want a sugar rush.

For those who can’t take beef, fret not. There are also chicken burgers available, although one can only choose between crispy chicken ($ 7.50) or grilled chicken ($ 7.50). There are also lesser toppings/condiments (lettuce, tomato and mayo) as compared to the beef hamburger for the same price. We had the grilled chicken burger which has a nice char and seasoning (seems like Cajun?) but perhaps the chicken is left a little too long on the grill and it is rather dry. The chicken patty could also have been thicker as I feel the sheer size of the bun overwhelms the meat.

I like the idea that I can customise my burger here and food is prepared to order so I will always get my food hot. Hence one also has to be patient while waiting for your order to be ready as it will take some time. On the whole, the food here is satisfactory, although there are a few hits and misses.


Fatburger
Velocity @ Novena Square, 238 Thomson Road, #01-08/09, Singapore 307863
Tel: +65 6253 2758
M-Sun 7.30am–10pm
Kinex Mall, 11 Tanjong Katong Road, #01-70/71/72 Singapore 437157
Tel: +65 6245 5563
M-Sun 10am–10pm
facebook

Food: 5.5/10
Decor/ambience: 6/10
Price/value: 6/10


You may be interested in…
25 Degrees Burger, Hotel G, Middle Road: Hollywood A-Listers’ Favorite Burger Joint from Los Angeles Now in Singapore!
The Bird Southern Table & Bar, Marina Bay Sands: Not to Be Confused with HK’s Yardbird, This One Sells Atas Fried Chicken
Potato Head Folk, Keong Saik Road: Famed Balinese Beach Club Serves Fantastic Burgers in Singapore
Burger Joint New York, Amoy Street: Always Crowded, So Cool It Is Kitsch


Written by Vanessa Khong. Vanessa is someone who enjoys checking out the local food scene. She believes the way to her heart is through her stomach.

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How To Check iPhone XS, XS Max Stock At Your Apple Store

By | September 22nd, 2018

Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are now available for the first time, with those who pre-ordered early having received their devices now. If you were a little late on the uptake, then you may have to wait a few more days to get your hands on your new pride and joy, but the delays are minimal compared to previous years.

If you don’t have a pre-order in and have plans to chance your arm at an Apple Store, there’s a great way to avoid making a wasted trip by checking stock before you set off.

Here’s how you go about checking whether iPhones are in stock at your store of choice.

Step 1: Head on over to the Apple Store website that serves your country.

Step 2: Select the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, depending on which you would like and then select any carrier or color preferences you have.

Step 3: On the page where you select the storage option, you will notice a “Pickup: Check Availability” link beneath each storage capacity. Click the one below the capacity you want.

Step 4: When a new box appears, enter your ZIP or postal code and the page will show what availability is like for your local Apple Stores.

At this point, you’ll either be in luck or, more likely right now, be told that no stock is available. Now you can either select a different option and hope for the best or just come back and try again tomorrow.

This should work just fine in the following countries, although depending on the location, it may be unavailable currently – in the UK, for example.

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Good luck, and happy hunting!

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Wei Yi Laksa and Prawn Noodle – Could This be THE ONLY Laksa for You?

Can you imagine singing Wang Leehom’s classic 唯一 (wei yi) to laksa? Well, believe it or not, Wei Yi Laksa and Prawn Noodle shares the same name as the song! I journeyed to Tanglin Halt Market to find out if this famous laksa stall could live up to Wang Leehom’s song and indeed be THE ONLY laksa for me.

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I popped by in the morning to beat the lunch crowd but, to my horror, there was already a short queue. And it was only 1030am! Many tables at the hawker centre were occupied by elderly patrons with Wei Yi’s distinctive red and white bowls. This built up my expectations and anticipation for their laksa!

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Wei Yi Laksa and Prawn Noodle has been opened for thirty years and has  accomplished a great deal. They were listed in CEO’s Hawker Guide, and also participated in overseas culinary exchanges in Shenzhen and Tokyo. Perhaps that explains why their menu has Japanese translations! Unlike the typical laksa stall that sends out bowls with the standard fish cake, bean sprouts, and cockles, Wei Yi offers some level of customisation. Here, you can choose from 6 sets, with each set being a different combination of chicken, fried bean curd, cockles and prawns. Wei Yi serves prawn noodles with fish cake too.

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wei yi collage 2
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My mantra in life has always been go big or go home, so of course I ordered the bao ga liao laksa with all the available ingredients ($ 5). I must admit that the laksa looked extremely enticing with its beautiful bright colours and generous serving of ingredients. I dug in with high hopes. But sadly, it failed to match up to expectations. The first thing that struck me was the lack of coconut milk in the gravy. How could such a rich-looking laksa be missing coconut milk? And so I took a second spoonful, third, fourth and fifth — you get the idea. Alas, I could not detect even a hint of coconut milk in the thin gravy. The dollop of sambal chili on the side was also lacklustre, lacking in both fragrance and potent spiciness to bolster the mediocre gravy.

The ingredients in the laksa did a lot better though. The chicken slices were very meaty while the tau pok was nice and fat, soaking up the gravy well. The deshelled prawns were slightly larger than usual, but the meat was rather flaky. Cockles are mandatory in laksa, to me at least, but I found the sizeable cockles too fishy for me. For $ 5, the amount and variety of ingredients were impressive. The portion was quite generous — I struggled to finish it on my own.

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wei yi collage 1
This is personal preference lah but I preferred the All Prawns Prawn Noodle Soup ($ 3) of the two. The prawn stock was savoury, rich, and intense, making it infinitely more flavourful than the laksa. I loved how Wei Yi threw huge, thick chunks of lard into the prawn soup, adding a fragrant greasiness that elevated the taste of the prawn noodles. If you remove the pork lard, the dish will taste almost exactly like primary school tuckshop food— very nostalgic! We chose the standard yellow noodles so the jian flavour seeped into the soup, making it pleasantly sweeter. But understandably, not everyone is a fan of the jian in yellow noodles. Compared to those in the laksa, the prawns were a lot bigger, fresher, firmer, and crunchier. The number of prawns you can fish out from this deceptively small bowl of noodles was quite astounding. Definitely great value for money!

In more ways than one, I was quite disappointed with Wei Yi’s famous laksa. I am someone who needs rich coconut milk in laksa and Wei Yi did not deliver in that aspect. If this crucial element could be nailed, this could very well be a darn good bowl of laksa in the West — bearing in mind its fresh ingredients, generous portions, and great value for money.

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Address: 48A Tanglin Halt Road, Tanglin Halt Market, #01-20, Singapore 148813

Opening Hours: 530am to 2pm daily. Closed on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Wei Yi Laksa and Prawn Noodle. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!

For more yummy laksa, check out the nyonya laksa from Madam Liew’s Recipe!

Yun Xin Chong

After countless hawker food adventures, Yun Xin still finds the familiarity and comfort of home cooked food the best.

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Top Folio Wallet Cases For iPhone XS And iPhone XS Max [List]

By | September 22nd, 2018

Here’s our selection of the best folio wallet cases for your brand new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max smartphone. These cases will not only protect the back of your phone, but the display as well.

if you are planning to ditch your wallet and maybe add some protection to your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, then you might want to consider buying a folio wallet case. Such a case will allow you to keep your phone safe from the front and back while also allowing you to keep your cards and cash within said case. Needless to say that you are taking down two birds with one stone here.

You may also like to check out the following before proceeding ahead:

Let’s dive right into the options we have today.

Spigen Wallet S for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

With two dedicated compartments for holding your cards and a third one for cash, this case has the hallmarks of a wonderfully designed product. The phone protecting part is made of hard plastic so you can rest assured that it will be safe from minor drops or dents.

Buy: Spigen Wallet S for iPhone XS from Amazon: $ 16.99
Buy: Spigen Wallet S for iPhone XS Max from Amazon: $ 14.99

Maxboost Wallet Case for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Compared to the Spigen option, this one’s quite cheap. However, with that low price tag, don’t expect this case to wimp out in any way. It even doubles up as a stand for your phone so you can enjoy your photos and movies in landscape mode while you sit there and sip that hot coffee.

Buy: Maxboost Wallet Case for iPhone XS from Amazon: $ 5.99
Buy: Maxboost Wallet Case for iPhone XS Max from Amazon: $ 10.99

Case-Mate Wallet Folio for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

This one’s in the ‘Apple spectrum’ of pricing, but it is made from extremely high quality materials and has tons of room for your cards and cash. But that’s not all, it offers ultimate protection for your iPhone as well. If you want to get noticed with a folio wallet case, then this is the one you should get.

Buy: Case-Mate Wallet Folio for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: $ 59.99

OtterBox Strada Series for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

OtterBox is synonymous with extreme protection and this folio case has ‘no compromises’ written all over it, something which is reflected by its price tag too. This case will protect your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max from everything around it in a nice little enclosure that’s only made from high quality materials.

Buy: OtterBox Strada Series for iPhone XS from Amazon: $ 28.06
Buy: OtterBox Strada Series for iPhone XS Max from Amazon: $ 59.95

Amber & Ash Mimi Crossbody Folio Case for iPhone XS

Need one reason to buy this case? It comes with a lanyard. That’s reason enough to pick this up. Period.

Buy: Amber & Ash Mimi Crossbody Folio Case for iPhone XS from Amazon: $ 19.99

GUAGUA Wallet Case for iPhone XS Max

The only reason this case managed to find a place in our list is the epic pattern that lives on the front and back of the case itself. It really gives the entire package a wonderful look. And oh, that blue color option truly looks slick and cool.

Buy: GUAGUA Wallet Case for iPhone XS Max from Amazon: $ 11.99

Wopoint Leather Folio Case for iPhone XS Max

Craving for some saddle brown leather look on your iPhone XS Max? This is the option you should go for. It’s reasonably priced, has several slots for your cards and money, and of course, protects your iPhone in the process. In case you’re curious to know, it’s also available in a multitude of color options too.

Buy: Wopoint Leather Folio Case for iPhone XS Max from Amazon: $ 19.97

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Food Artisans in Singapore Who Make Us Nuts

In collaboration with Kenwood, we interviewed food artisans in Singapore. Food artisans are craftworkers who make food by hand using premium and healthy ingredients. In a sense, most homemakers who cook for their friends and families are food artisans; your grandmother who cooks or your brother who bakes.

The common thread between the food artisans we interviewed is that they want to eat something but they couldn’t find a good version locally and so they decided to step up and fill in the gap. They also work very hard and went through many trials before they reach where they are now.


Bake and Bake
8 Telok Blangah Crescent #01-159 Singapore 090008
tel: +65 9670 8007
9am-9pm, closed on Sat, PH, and eve of PH.
facebook

Anson Goh, the owner of Bake and Bake, was a pastry cook for four years and then a customer service officer for twelve years. All the while, he has been baking for his friends and colleagues. Finally, in 2017, he quit his job and concentrates on baking full time. His shop focuses on biscotti, an Italian almond biscuit. He uses less sugar, no butter, and no oil in them. His bestsellers are chocolate biscotti, almond biscotti, and pistachio biscotti.

Why is your shop called “Bake and Bake”?

It’s called “Bake and Bake” because you have to bake biscotti twice. For the recipe, I experimented and finally came up the biscotti on ourselves. We come up with original flavours such as mango-coconut-charcoal biscotti, and wolfberry-red date biscotti, a unique East-meets-West biscotti.

We use two days to make the biscotti. We bake the dough until it’s firm but not fully baked. We wait for it to cool down and then put it in the fridge overnight. Then we bake again. It’s very labour-intensive.

How did your passion in biscotti come about?

When I traveled to other countries, I didn’t know what it was. Then I realized it was very good to munch. In the end, I fell in love with biscotti. When I go to other countries, I always try it.

What are some of the issues you face or have faced?

In the beginning, I couldn’t afford a suitable machine to cut the dough; it couldn’t cut nicely so I had to hand-slice it. Every slice must be of a consistent size and a customized machine ain’t cheap. I had to slice on frozen dough until my hand hurt. But now, we finally save up to buy a machine and now we can take on bigger orders.

It’s always a financial issue. Many months, I didn’t have a salary and it was a struggle last year. I worried a lot about the spending. Although things are picking up, I still have to work harder. Things can be better.

I didn’t know anything about business. Every day I need to learn how to manage the business on the job. I have to learn how to foresee problems, how to plan ahead. I’m probably not as good as those business-minded people, but I’ll do my best.

Another issue is to get the word out, to get people to know us. People don’t have good impressions of biscotti because most people come in contact with it from supermarkets. So it’s hard to sell to people who already have a fixed idea. But once people try ours, we have repeat customers. We have a 91 year-old granny who said, “假牙慢慢吃lor.” I’m doing more events to promote it, but it’s very tiring to travel here and there. Sometimes, the events are quiet and the products don’t sell. Or when it rains, we have to keep our stuff. But when customers give us good feedback, it gives me great satisfaction.

It’s very tiring, but when you work for your passion, it’s fulfilling.

What is your eventual goal?

My dream is to open a bakery-cum-café one day. Because biscotti pairs well with coffee.


Haru Plate
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Chen Shiqin and Irvin Tan are a husband-and-wife team behind Haru Plate, making food for kids from 18 months to six years old. Haru Plate makes sauces, stocks, and jams with whole, fresh, natural food and with no salt, no sugar, and no preservatives. Their products can be used to complement other food such as pasta, pizza, and bread.

Can you tell us about your background?

Irvin: I’m a computer engineer by training but when I graduated, I started as a commercial photographer and gradually found a passion for arts/documentary photography.

Shiqin: He was doing photography for a F&B where I was doing PR. That’s how we got to know each other. And we set up a freelancers’ studio. We’re still doing it… but after we have kids, the creative side of things is harder to sustain because deadlines are crazy. We wanted to do something that allows us to spend more time with our kids. Three, four months ago, we started Haru Plates full-time.

What is the meaning of “Haru”?

I: There is the official meaning. “Haru” means spring in Japanese, conveying a new beginning metaphorically for kids. The real backstory…

S: It’s to do with Ollie [their first child] and his schooling experience. He didn’t like school, always crying it’s not fun, it’s not fun. And then one day, something very simple changed his perspective towards school and it has to do with the word “Haru.” Kids are very innocent. To change their perspective, it’s very simple. Just find one thing.

I: He has a classmate named Haruka. One day he came back and said, “Papa, school was fun today.” What happened? “I have a new friend.” Oh, is she cute? “Yeah.” This is what we wanted for our food, to have something to change his perspective.

S: We want to make eating fun to get kids to eat better. But we try not to tell the story too much. Later, her parents get wind of it and think we are creepy.

How do you come up with the recipes?

S: I can’t cook for nuts. The recipes come from him. I can give feedback. He created the sauces so that I can cook for the kids. Once, he was on a work trip and I cooked salmon for the two children. Ollie looked at the fish, and said, “How come you only cook one thing? Daddy cook a lot of things one.” Then he saw an oregano flake and said, “Mommy mommy, you cook two things.” He had to comfort me that I wasn’t completely useless.

I: We were experimenting cooking food for our children at home. There is the organic market, which 90% of people cannot afford it. There is the mass market, which is loaded with chemicals you don’t want children to have. And parents, like us, do want better food for their kids. That’s where we come in.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

I: We don’t use salt and sugar so it’s limiting. Our jams, we don’t use sugar, and that’s hard.

S: It’s not only in flavours, but in textures. Jams use emulsifiers to have jelly-like texture, but we don’t use emulsifiers, so we have to think about ways of how to create that texture. Also, the taste. When we adults taste it, we think it’s tasty, but when our children eat it, they fail it. You cannot know what kids will like.

I: Kids don’t care about your feelings.

S: they are quite brutal! They don’t like means they don’t like. The entire food experience for kids isn’t about the food; it’s also about colours. They like bright colours, purple, red. But they associate green with vegetables and dark red with chilli, so they avoid it.

L: That’s why we make our “sambal” [there is no chilli in it]. Once we shift kids’ perceptions, they are willing to try new things.

S: That’s how we name our products too. Our “pumpkin sauce” is named “My First Curry” [no chilli, only cumin] so when kids eat it, they think hey curry is not scary and when they are of a suitable age, they will transition to real curries.

I: When we develop our products, we are also thinking as parents educating kids on eating. Another challenge we faced… When we first started, we were targeting pre-schools where our kids spend most of the time. We spoke to school after school. Some of them were, oh good idea but we don’t want to pay for it. To be fair, school’s business is education ostensibly; it’s not food.

S: In Singapore, pre-schools are bogged down by rental. When it comes to food, they don’t think about it as nutrition; they think of it as operational costs.

I: We wanted to shift Haru in schools and at home. But schools are reluctant. Until schools see parents want it and are asking for it, there is nothing we can do. We were really trying out best for the last 3 to 4 months but things weren’t moving forward.

S: Our ultimate aim is to get kids to eat better. They are eating in schools and at home. It’s important to have continuity in schools and at homes so that children can develop lifelong healthy habits.


Holy Moley Dips
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Teo Liwen, a former flight attendant, focuses on healthy, vegan, dairy-free hummus, freshly made with all natural ingredients with no preservatives. The original hummus is lighter than others I have tried. But my favorite flavours from Holy Moly Dips are Marmite & Caramelised Onions and Harissa & Habanero.They also have a dessert hummus dip, made from 100% pure Valrhona chocolate with only 2g of sugar, sweetened by dates.

Why is your store called Holy Moley Dip?

“Holy Moley” is my nickname in school because of my mole! [She points to the mole below her lips.] I wanted a catchy and easy-to-remember name.

Why did start a hummus online shop?

Before everything started, I was flying for four years. I was craving for hummus but I couldn’t find a good one in Singapore. That’s how I develop my interest in hummus.

What is the difference between your hummus and others’?

A lot of people tend to compare my hummus with the ones in supermarket. The price point is a bit different but the ingredients are super different. My hummus uses good quality ingredients and no preservatives. I don’t use canned chickpeas; I use dried ones. Instead of citric acid, I use fresh lemon juice. I use extra virgin olive oil whereas others use canola or other oils.

I also tweak it to local tastebuds. I did many test tastes. We prefer not so smooth and creamy if not we feel very jerlat. Mine has more texture.

Durian and truffles are my most requested. I cannot bring myself to make durian. I love durian by itself, but I’m not sure if it’s good with hummus. Maybe one day.

What are some difficulties you face?

 Starting from scratch, learning everything myself. I am not food trained. don’t have food background. How long should I soak the chick peas?  How long should I boil it and let it simmer? It took me one year to learn how to make hummus. Should I go as a sole proprietor? Food is sensitive, I have to read up on it. I considered food consultants to help me but it’s so expensive. I was caught in the middle because I left the job. I want to go as fast as possible but a lot of things have been stopping me. Since I have my mind set on doing it, I should do it on my first and not rely on food consultants. There are days when I feel discouraged but these setbacks have overall made me a positive person.

Another challenge: When I first launched, not a lot of people know hummus. I got a lot of private messaging to ask about the products. Marketing is very important. I get to meet people and they can try it.

What are your plans for the future?

I definitely want to scale. I left my comfortable job to do this; I didn’t want to make it small. The end goal is every household has a holy moley dip. But I definitely want to maintain no preservatives.


Provisions 杂货店
492 Macpherson Road, Singapore 368199
tel: +65 6909 0824
9am-4pm, closed Sun
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Paul Ng (left) and Nicholas Tan (right) were secondary school classmates who set up Provisions 杂货店 that sells snacks and condiments. Their bestsellers are gula jawa almond brittle and curry cashews, and while they are very delicious, my favorite product is the pickled young ginger. The products are hand-made by them in small batches without any preservatives. One of the things that I really like about them is that they are socially conscious that they use paper packaging, instead of plastic. It’s just one of the little thoughtful things that make them stand out.

How did you come to set up Provisions?

Nicholas: We always have an interest in food and snacks and flavours that are familiar to us. We were both studying in UK at similar time and we missed Singapore food. So we cooked things we liked to eat.

When we came back to Singapore, a friend was getting married and on a whim she asked us to make something for wedding favors. We created the first two flavours, which were hits at the wedding. People were asking us where they could get it. That’s how we started and we finally launched our brand in the middle of last year.

As we R&D and develop more, it’s not just snacks we want to do, that’s why we have pickles and chillis and things like that.

Most of the startups focus on one product. But you have 11 or 12. Do you think you’re taking on too much?

Paul: The reason why we’re called za huo dian is because we want to do things that we like to eat. We have a bit of everything but we will make sure that they are unique. Even though we did a variety of things, we don’t copy others. We don’t do things differently for the sake of it; we do it because we like it. We incorporate new flavours but these flavours are always regional.

N: One of our strengths is ideations, drawing inspirations from familiar things. So for example, our masala lavosh cracker… I really like to eat to muruku, so we reinterpreted and reinvented it. If it comes to our minds, we try it out, explore, and if it works, we launch it. Another food, I have always been going to Hong Kong to get pickled ginger for century eggs, but the lady stopped making it. And I bugged her very often until she gave me the recipe. We tinkered with the recipe; and we want to bring pickled ginger back.

P: We don’t make for the sake of it. It’s usually something that hard to find and we want to eat it, so we make it. We don’t sell things we don’t like to eat. If we put it out, and we feel that it can be changed, we will change it.

Starting a business is always difficult. But it may be more difficult doing it with a friend. How do you manage?

P: Between Nicholas and I, there are many things that make the partnership work. We knew each other since we were 15, we know each other for 19 years. We are both literature grads, and we think about things similarly. At the end of the day, we have good hearts. If there are any small issues, they are just superficial; we have to get to terms.

How do you come up the recipes?

P: Over the past the years, we have different experiences with food, whether it’s cooking or eating at restaurants. We have a base recipe and then we tinker.

N: Going on holidays is always structured around food. Also I subscribe to food magazines.  It’s hard to pin down exactly where we get our recipes from. But our current snacks.. our recipes evolve and improve. It’s a constant evolution. After we have many of trials, we get a sense of what makes it right. We are not set on the recipes, there is always potential to evolve.

Since you have so many products, which one is your favourite?  

P: It’s hard to say. We have 2 and then we have 3, and suddenly we have 11 or 12.

N: They are all our babies. But kafifr lime coconut cashews… How this come about is… I’m thinking of the spices in our rendang. But I wanted to create something fragrant and not spicy. It’s interesting because when people try it, they thought of green curry but my Malay ex-colleagues got rendang immediately.

What are some difficulties you face?

P: Exposure. Exposure is very different to get.  Recently we were at a bazaar and we did very well. It gives us some form of confidence because we are sure that our products are right and there is a market for them. It’s just about getting the word out.

N: Having a store in a central location will help… but certain structural costs are very high. When we started out to expand our range while keeping the business on-going… like marketing and outreach while we R&D because it’s just the two of us. We had to learn things along the way because doing business is new to us.

What do you envision the future of your shop?

P: We want to maintain a boutique-ness but be an established brand in the F&B industry. We want to set up shop for people to pick up gifts for their friends and family here and overseas.

N: It’s a lot more that Singapore as a region can offer and it’s a pity our country isn’t doing it. Eventually, we do want to set up shop in a central area.


This article is presented by Kenwood who supports local food artisans, passionate homemakers, and anyone who cooks with a heart. For Kenwood, it’s about eating fresh food. For more inspiring stories about food artisans and wholesome recipes, please visit Kenwood.

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Dodocool Tech Deals: 7.5/10W Wireless Charger For $10, Multi Plug Outlet With 4 USB Ports For $12, More

By | September 21st, 2018

You can never have enough bargains to choose from, so when we heard that there were three new deals on offer from the folks over at Dodocool, we had to share them with you. With two devices designed to charge your stuff and another built to make any audio device Bluetooth-compatible, we think you’re going to love what we have here.

So with that said, let’s take a look at what we have to offer, shall we?

Dodocool 2-in-1 Wireless Transmitter

Do you have an audio source that does not have wireless capabilities? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. With this nifty little accessory, you can add Bluetooth capabilities to any device that has a 3.5mm audio jack. No need to spend extra dollars on a brand new speaker system at all.

Buy: Dodocool 2-in-1 Wireless Transmitter from Amazon: $ 11.59 with code 392FZVJH | | Original price $ 19.99

Dodocool 10W & 7.5W Qi Fast Wireless Charging Pad

Being able to charge smartphones is pretty important, even with improvements in how long they can last between charges. We’re huge fans of wireless chargers because it removes any friction related to fishing a cable out from behind the sofa and you can have them dotted around the house, too. This wireless charger will charge as quickly as your phone will let it thanks to support for 10w wireless charging.

Buy: Dodocool 10W & 7.5W Qi Fast Wireless Charging Pad from Amazon: $ 10.94 with code TOMMYD88 | | Original price $ 14.99

Dodocool Wall Mount Adapter USB Charging Station 1250W

Wireless chargers are all well and good, but sometimes you just need a way to get power out of a plug socket, and if you don’t have enough of those you’re out of luck. This box of tricks has your back, with four AC outlets and four USB ports capable of charging smartphones and tablets, you should never be short of a charging plug again.

Buy: Dodocool Wall Mount Adapter USB Charging Station 1250W from Amazon: $ 12.95 with code TMDODO01 | | Original price $ 14.99

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Cookery Magic – Ruqxana Puts Meaning into Cooking

The Singapore Tourism Board has launched the next phase for its “Passion Made Possible” global campaign. The campaign celebrates Singapore’s culture, food and attractions, and shines the spotlight on home-grown talents, and how they are making their passions possible on a global stage.

When we speak of Singapore, one of the first things that comes to mind is food. From Hainanese Chicken Rice and Chilli Crab, to Kaya Toast and Ice Kachang, Singapore has it all. The local food scene excites and dazzles not just tourists, but everyday Singaporeans as well.

Food connects people, and is an avenue for us to appreciate the culture that it is derived from. If you truly love food, there are plenty of opportunities in Singapore that will allow you to fuel your passion.

Cookery Magic
Cookery Magic
Cookery Magic

RUQXANA’S JOURNEY

Seeing our local dishes renewed my fervour for cooking. A few weeks ago, I met Ruqxana, the owner of Cookery Magic. For the past 17 years, she has been teaching cooking classes in her home in Siglap, sharing authentic Singapore flavours with many international guests.

Cookery Magic
Cookery Magic
Cookery Magic

Ruqxana has always enjoyed cooking, ever since she was a little girl. Even as a five-year-old, she would tear recipes off Nestlé tin cans and keep them in a scrap book. At the age of seven, she started experimenting in the kitchen, and by the time she was in her teens, she was cooking and hosting her friends in her home.

The 56-year-old said, “Cooking is a creative process. I love that influences from so many cultures and regions can come together.”

I would assume that she is trained as a chef. But to my surprise, she was a mechanical engineer for over 15 years, before she left her job to pursue, and share, her passion in cooking.

Cookery Magic
Cookery Magic
Cookery Magic
Cookery Magic

OPENING COOKERY MAGIC

To date, Cookery Magic consistently ranks amongst the top 5 on TripAdvisor’s list of Classes & Workshops in Singapore.

Ruqxana has an extensive repertoire of recipes comprising dishes from various ethnic groups (eg: Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and more).

“Cooking has allowed me to express myself in so many ways, and to experience so many cultures, through the hundreds of amazing people I have met in my classes,” Ruqxana shared.

We took part in one of her classes and she taught us how to make Singapore Char Kway Teow, Chilli Prawns, and Ondeh Ondeh.

FINDING INSPIRATION IN SINGAPORE: RUQXANA RECOMMENDS

Every morning before class, Ruqxana would head to Geylang Serai Market to get the freshest ingredients. She knows exactly where to get her fresh seafood, meat, and even the flat noodles used for Char Kway Teow. “We cook with whatever local and fresh ingredients we have, and where better than going to the wet market here?” Ruqxana said with a smile.

The exposure to various flavour profiles and cooking techniques in Singapore has inspired and sustained Ruqxana’s love for cooking. “Living in a multi-racial society is the greatest gift Singapore has given me. Every ethnic group is different, so you learn different things from different people. There are beautiful flavours that immigrants brought to Singapore 100 to 200 years ago, and over the years we’ve tweaked them and made them our own,” Ruqxana shared.

Cookery Magic

I asked Ruqxana if there was a local chef whom she finds inspiration from. Without hesitation, she replied, “Chef Mohammed Shahrom! I think his food is very exciting. It’s just so creative the way he comes up with things.”

As for her favourite spot for local food, East Coast Lagoon Food Village is number one on her list. “I love the Mee Goreng!” Exclaimed Ruqxana with bright eyes.

RUQXANA’S PASSION MADE POSSIBLE

It wasn’t my first time attending a cooking class in Singapore, but this was indeed a unique and very fun experience.

Cookery Magic

“What I provide is a different dimension. People come to Singapore to eat, so instead of just trying our food, why not learn how to cook it? When you go home, you can constantly recreate the flavours that you had and it reminds you of your time in Singapore. It’s a nice way of bringing back a unique souvenir.”

For many of us, when we’re taking a leap of faith to pursue a passion, it’s easy to be dissuaded by fear. There were uncertainties for Ruqxana in the beginning too. But she persevered and she has no regrets.

These wise words from Ruqxana will stay with me, “You’ve got to love what you’re doing. You cannot do something you don’t love. Because once you’re able to do what you love, then I think it is successful already. And if something goes wrong, don’t just say, ‘Oh, it’s over.’ Try again because there might be something else that might help you along the way.”

TELL US YOUR STORY

Calling all Foodies! Do you know of anyone who has an interesting story to tell around food? An inspiring story about passionate foodies to share?

Share with me a local eatery, chef, or restaurant owner with an inspiring story like Ruqxana’s and how it exemplifies the Passion Made Possible spirit in Singapore. I will be checking out your recommendation personally! The most inspiring submission will be featured, and the contributor will be awarded a pair of tickets (worth $ 280) to Ruqxana’s amazing cooking class, where you’ll learn to cook 3 dishes in Ruqxana’s personal signature style.

Write to me: [email protected]

Maureen

Born into a family of enthusiastic foodies, Maureen has always loved all things culinary, especially the local cuisine here in Singapore. With a life-long fascination with the rapidly evolving food scene in Singapore, she started this website in 2007 to explore and celebrate all types of local Singapore dishes and to share her love of travel and food with the world. With 4 years of experience as a journalist and producer, she has a wealth of experience in food writing, photography and styling.

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