Translation loses everything….
We have a new series on goggle box that is aptly named 10 fun facts of Lil Red Dot.
Every week, I get to learn fun facts of Singapore that I never knew of….till now
Fun Fact #1
Chulia Street was once a hill till Sir Stamford Raffles asked for it to be flattened and from it came forth a banking area till this day.
Fun Fact #2
Boat Quay and Raffles Quay were once swamp land till it was reclaimed by Sir Stamford Raffles to build a Chinatown for the migrant coolies. Today it is part of our Central Business District and morphed into a hipster hub for eateries and pubs for business clients and tourists to enjoy as it is now today.
Fun Fact #3
What is the noisiest item in the waters or seas of lil red dot?
Answer: Millions of shrimps!!
Fun Fact #4
Lil Red Dot comprises 20% of land that is reclaimed.
Fun Fact #5
The first land reclamation was made in 1822 by Sir Stamford Raffles, who founded Singapore and saw its potential as a trading port.
Fun Fact #6
Lil Red Dot was built on immigration.
Fun Fact #7
We have 6 races in 1800s.
Chinese, Malay, Indians, Eurasians, Straits and Arabs.
Fun Fact #8
In 1900, Arabs owned 50% of Lil Red Dot.
Streets named included Arab Street, Baghdad Street, Coleman Street and others.
Arabs migrated here with their wealth to invest and developed lil red dot to increase their wealth.
Families such as Aljunied (*a whole town is named Aljunied), Wisma (*Wisma Atria – a shopping mall) and Alsagoff and Alkaff have roads or buildings named after them.
Fun Fact #9
Tan Tock Seng Hospital once belonged to Aljunied and the land where our iconic Raffles Hotel sat on belonged to land from Alkaff.
St Andrews Cathedal belonged to the Alsagoff.
With land rent freeze and land acquisitions by the British, these lands were ceded to the British and later surrended to the first Goverment under Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Fun Fact #10
There are no photos of the swearing in of our first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Oil painter, Mr Lai Kui Fang was commissioned to paint this scene.
Using Heroic European Style, he researched and interviewed the living to recreate this in oils.
PM Lee commissioned it as after 33 years, there were no visual records to historically capture this.
Photographers were banned in the hall as Brotish did not want to show a big country handing a colony to Mr Lee Kuan Yew who successfully negotiated in 1965 for our Independence from British rule.
Another painting of the swearing in of the first Cabinet in 1963 is not completed.
To complete it and sell it, Artist Lui said it would fetch easily USD 5 to 8 million!!
Above from top: Chinese lettuce that is popularly used for popiahs or spring rolls or in steam boats.
2nd row left to right: Xiao Bai Chye, a hybrid of Chye Sim that is great for stir frying.
Collard Greens or a stiff stem we call locally as Kai Lan that is widely served in Chinese Restaurants.
Last row and below photo is a repeat of Xiao Bai Chye.
Our harvest shared with colleagues and friends.
I remember having different types of breakfasts in different lands.
When I first had to work in Stavanger, Norway, I was stunned to see alot of cold meats, fruits, yoghurt, breads, types of milk and cereals. Quite a spread!
There wasn’t much hot food served other than scrambled eggs and mini sausages.
I soon learnt this to be “continental breakfast”
As I lived in that hotel for 2 weeks every quarter, I got used to it so much so that I learnt to appreciate hard, heavy breads that were chokeful of seeds. It was yummy and when toasted with butter, or dipped in olive oil it was scrumptious!
Living in America in my student days, I stayed in an apartment or townhouse of my own.
I tried American breakfasts…McDonalds etc…all bad for health. I decided to make my own toast and cereal but I got bored and my Lil Red Dot roots kicked in.
In Lil Red Dot, you have a variety of choices.
Our Asian choices are best!
There is Carrot Cake (*not your cake you eat in a delicatassen) which is made of glutinous rice flour, fried with eggs, shrimps or mince pork if you like, dribbled with garlic and shallots garnished with spring onions or parsely.
It can be cooked “white” or “black” in sweet soya sauce.
Another top seller is Nasi Lemak. This is rice cooked in coconut milk served with side dishes of fried eggs, fish or prawn otah, deep fried chicken wings, fish cake and vegetables.
Sometimes we eat mee goreng or fried noodles with satay.
We love our savories and not sweets…at least for me 😉
Or Indian pratas with curry.
In fact in lil red dot, breakfast food is anything your fancy.
There is no restriction and we are not one nation that settles for plain toast. It has to be cinnamon french toast ha ha!
Our chains of bakeries have buns on the run, filled with different fillings, ranging from sweet red bean or azuki beans, to sweet roasted pork or plain croissants.
As you see, we are a foodie nation 😉
Breakfast is truly exciting and we eat anytime….anytime is a good time!