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No Name Ban Mian Stall (Teban Gardens)- What’s Their Special Weapon?

One day, I was asking my mom if she had any food recommendations, to which she excitedly exclaimed: “Yes! Got a ban mian stall above Sheng Siong at Teban Gardens that is nice! It’s run by a Chinese couple.” I was skeptical — ban mian is ban mian, how good can it get?

teban gardens ban mian group shot

Located in Yong Sheng Coffee Shop above Sheng Siong, this ban mian stall had the simple name of Ban Mian. Fish Soup. We tried both soup and dry versions of the ban mian ($ 3).

teban gardens ban mian soup
teban gardens ban mian soup closeup

The auntie told me that they use handmade ban mian, which explains the chewy, QQ texture of the noodles. The ban mian was firm, with a good bite, while the broth bore the sweetness of minced pork chunks, cabbage and fried ikan bilis. You can request for the egg to be cracked directly into the ban mian, letting the heat of the hot broth cook it. You may find the ban mian average tasting at first. But as you eat it, you’ll gradually realise that this simple bowl of hot noodles is actually quite addictive and comforting. After trying so many mediocre ban mian in food courts and hawker centres, this is admittedly one of the better ones around.

teban gardens ban mian dry
teban gardens ban mian dry closeup

If you want something more special, the dry ban mian is the one to order. The first thing you will notice is how the seasoning taste starkly different from that of most ban mian stalls. The distinctive sour tang of the vinegar made the ban mian more appetising, but the real special weapon was the chilli. The auntie revealed that high-quality Tungsan chilli is used in the seasoning of the dry ban mian. The seasoning sure packed a fragrant spicy punch. The Tungsan chilli coated the minced pork chunks nicely, making them taste different from the ones in the ban mian soup. The minced pork were sizeable and chunky, so I asked the auntie how she made it so tender and delicious. She wryly smiled and shared that the minced pork is marinated with a special sauce. Pork lard is not used in the seasoning which is concocted with just vinegar, dark soya sauce and Tungsan chilli. It was pretty amazing that the ban mian was perfectly moist.

Good ban mian should be readily available in every part of Singapore so that those seeking comfort food can easily get their hands on some. I am sure that there are many other good ban mian places in Singapore, and this unassuming stall at Teban Gardens has just been added to my list.

teban gardens storefront

Address: Blk 61 Teban Gardens Road, Yong Sheng Coffee Shop (above Sheng Siong), Singapore 600061

Opening Hours: 8am to 9pm daily.

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

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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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Getting Grayed Out Speaker Buttons On iPhone 7 Call Screen? Here’s What’s Going On

By | June 15th, 2018

If you own an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 7 Plus and notice that some of your audio-related buttons are grayed out, you might want to look at getting your device to Apple or an Apple authorized repair center, following reports that there is an inherent problems impacting those particular devices.

Reports coming out of multiple sources, including Motherboard, suggest that owners of Apple’s 2016 iPhones may noticed that buttons such as the speaker button or Voice Memos icon have become grayed out, preventing them from being tapped during a call.

In more serious cases, an iPhone could also find itself stuck at the Apple logo during startup, often after users also noticed the grayed out icons as well. This apparently happens to aging iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 handsets and as time ticks on, more and more devices are falling foul of what one repair shop owner calls “loop disease.”

As it turns out, the whole issue appears to be caused by connectors failing. Specifically, connectors which are attached to the audio chip. These connectors fail, causing the audio-based issues people see with grayed out buttons and then ultimately preventing the iPhone from carrying out boot-up checks when powering on. This in turn causes the boot loop issues some users experience.

The fix? Unless you’re pretty keen to get the soldering iron out yourself, the only fix is to take your iPhone in for repair. The chances are that your warranty will have expired by the time this issue crops up, but we’re told that you can expect to hand over up to $ 150 to get the required work done.

While that’s less than ideal, it’s better than having to buy a new phone outright, so if you’re experiencing these issues get yourself into a repair shop and see if loop disease is your problem.

(Source: Motherboard)

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iOS 10.3 Beta 2: What’s Changed?

By | February 7th, 2017

Now that iOS 10.3 beta 2 is available, are there any changes or new feature additions in this latest beta seed for iPhone and iPad?

Apple today rolled out the second beta release of iOS 10.3 to developers and as those same developers set about making sure that their apps continue to work with the new software, everyone else is picking it apart to try and work out what Apple has changed not just since the last public release of iOS, but also the first beta of iOS 10.3. We’re no different, and after poking around for a little while, here we are.

Right off the bat, the big changes in iOS 10.3 beta 2 appear to be more based around bug fixes than anything else, which we’re pleased about. New features are all well and good, but it’s the resilience and stability of iOS that we feel sometimes gets overlooked, so bug fixes are just dandy in our book. It’s not all about fixes though, because there are indeed some changes in this build.

As an example of that, there’s the fact that Apple has again re-enabled call-blocking extensions. They were disabled in beta 1 for unknown reasons. Additionally, the recently announced Wi-Fi Calling for UK network Three is now enabled as of iOS 10.3 beta 2.

Getting back to fixes, Apple appears to have fixed an issue that impacted the charging of the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil, too, which is great news for owners of the little stylus. It’s not all good news, though – Apple’s release notes confirm that LAN Asset Cache functionality may not work as expected in this beta. So if your app needs it, that might be a problem!

General changes as of iOS 10.3 as a whole include the ability to locate missing AirPods, SiriKit enhancements, the new Apple File System (APFS), in-app App Store reviews, the ability to change app icons without an update, a new Podcast app widget, and more.

All in all, this promises to be a worthy update and we look forward to it being released to everyone, though that is likely to take some more beta releases.

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Hoshino Coffee: What’s New on the Menu

Strawberry French ToastStrawberry French Toast

Hoshino coffee is one of the few cafes which I frequent quite regularly.  The dark wood decor and wait staff dressed in black and white has that touch old school quirkiness about it which I really like. My usual order is a portion of the pot baked curry rice followed by the vanilla souffle and a pot of tea.

Baked curry riceBaked curry rice

So far I have kept it pretty much under the radar because it was the cafe I like to go to after buying my camera accessories at Plaza Singapura.   I would often go there after my shopping to relax and catch up with friends without having to frantically take photos.  I have been there so often that I actually know some of the wait staff by name. On the weekdays, I look forward to meeting Nancy who always has a nice smile for me.   She is a good example of why any company should consider hiring matured staff.  With her kids all grown up, matured wait staff like Nancy are relaxed, personable and are so more than just a pair of hands on legs.

Hoshino

Our society is in such a rush that we are forgetting how to relate to each other.  This is especially the case for the younger generation for whom answering a message on the smartphone takes precedence over the person right in front of you.  This mindset has affected the service culture of a whole generation of younger Singaporeans for whom being a waiter is simply taking orders, serving a meal, settling the bill and getting your pay at the end of the day.

I often see young people behind the counter on weekends dishing out ice cream and bubble tea with stoic faces.  That is when there are customers.  When it is quiet, the same stoic faces are hidden behind their smartphones.  There doesn’t seem to be the understanding that service is more than just being able to make a cup of bubble tea and collecting money for it.  If only they knew the power they wield to make someone’s day better!  A cup of coffee with a smile and a short conversation, no matter how trivial, serves to remind the customer that we are all living in a friendly and gracious community!

As a country trying to become a food hub, a lot more needs to be done to train our own people to become competent service staff. When I dine at Din Tai Fung, the Taiwanese wait staff always have a smile on their faces and serve with such passion!

Fuwa FuwaFuwa Fuwa

Anyway, coming back to the food….

When Hoshino wrote to me about some new dishes they were introducing to the menu, I immediately agreed to attend the tasting. Although I liked the food at Hoshino, I have always felt that their savoury items were a little limited.  I was told that in Japan, the locals go to the cafe for their coffee and souffle pancakes.  But when they expanded to Singapore, they discovered that Singaporeans prefer a full meal rather than just coffee and desserts.  So, they are slowly expanding the food menu.

Omu Rice Beef StewOmu rice with beef stew

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the curry sauce which I enjoyed so much was actually made from scratch from spices which the company imports from India!  They also make their own demi-glace from scratch with beef bones and vegetables.  This is quite impressive as I know that even in Japan, a lot of places would used commercially available curry roux and demi-glace.

Matcha SouffleMatcha Souffle

Their demi-glace is delicious and they use it in quite a few of their dishes like the beef stew with rice and fuwa fuwa (which means “fluffy” in Japanese) which is essentially the beef stew with rice topped with a mountain (ok, hill) of meringue which is then baked. The meringue does add an interesting dimension in texture to the dish.

Of the desserts, I found the french toast a little too dry.  The souffle pancakes which are their signature dish is also a tad on the dry side, although some readers have commented that the standard varies between branches.  The souffles are done very well and are still the one which I would order.

Conclusion

Hoshino is one of the few mass market cafes which I go to regularly.  Their house made curry sauce and demi-glace is very good as is their souffles. I like the Japanese style European decor of the place and the prices are pretty decent.

*This review was done at their newest branch at Holland Village

NB:  This article represents my opinion based on my personal observations only and is not intended to be an objective assessment of Singapore’s service standard as a whole .  There are, of course, excellent local service staff who should be commended for their service standards.

Disclosure

This was a media invited review.  This means that the meal was free but there was no fee paid nor was there any obligation for me to write unless I felt the food was worth writing about.

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