Jiak Ber: Porridge at MacPherson Road

I don’t remember who told us about this place already. And the weather in Singapore is so hot, and porridge hardly comes up as an option… But when it does, we bring ourselves to MacPherson Road. 

We usually order four dishes but as you can see, that day, Siew was feeling hungry. 

We aren’t teochew porridge connoisseurs and we don’t go around hunting for them. We used to patronize one along East Coast Road but it closed down. I remember being brought to different ones in Joo Chiat, in Alexandra / Bukit Merah / Beo Crescent, by different people, each claiming that this is the one they love. 

I think this MacPherson one shall be mine to recommend. There is an awesome home-cooked flavour that speaks to us. I love the curry chicken, and the steamed fish. And each time we come, we take home a tub of the ikan bilis. 

This teochew porridge is located at 554 MacPherson Road. You can park at the carpark accessed via MacPherson Lane. The nearest MRT is Tai Seng station. 

In case you need a visual reference, here is a picture of the store front. 

Ferry Boats!

We sailed from Oslo, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark. Siew was planning the Scandinavian trip, and every day, the cities to go to and the route between them seem to change. But somewhere, the plan settled, and then the idea of taking an overnight cruise to get from Oslo to Copenhagen was mooted, and I said, “Okay, why not?”

Siew bought tickets from DFDS Seaways, and we took the Commodore class cabin. It costs about S$500 for the cabin, which can take two people.

The check-in process is very civilised, and there is staff on each floor when you first arrive to direct you to your room. There are many cabins on each floor! We were pleasantly surprised by the state of the room, and the water pressure in the shower is good.

Before the cruise departs, someone comes by and asks if you want to reserve a table for dinner. Which is great. We got ourselves a table at 7 Seas, which serves a buffet dinner. Before dinner, I took an anti-histamine (which apparently should relieve motion sickness), and then we set off to explore.

Dinner was awesome! I don’t do well at buffets, but this one was so good (and diverse) that I managed to enjoy myself very much. Siew went to the crustacean section countless times. I didn’t even get to the Black Forest cake because I was too full.

After dinner, we completed some gift-buying at the duty-free shop, and then watched TV to while the time away. (The coverage on American primaries was very entertaining.)

Overnight, we slept the best we had on this trip! The next morning, there was breakfast and more photo-taking. The breakfast selection was not as wide as the stupendous buffet spread, but it was a good breakfast.

I was worried that taking a cruise would not be that pleasant, but now if anyone asks me, this is a good way to get from Oslo to Copenhagen. Even though we had “sea legs” that day and the next, we enjoyed our cabin and we had fun.

Every Chinese New Year: Nian Gao, Please

Last week, my mum said you know Chinese New Year is coming, when the wind rushes down and about the block’s corridor. She said my late dad told her that. I look around the flat and take in the memories, timelessness, and the age of the place. I associate CNY with nian gao, and remember that I took some photos of my mother making fried nian gao last year. I think I wanted some photos for memory’s sake. 

I found them, and thought they were so precious. My mother will no doubt make them again this year, but I remember her posing for me, she smiling at the silliness of it all, and she very earnestly asking me whether I want a shot of this or that stage. 

They look so bashed up but its irresistible sweetness and the love that went into them make them the prettiest food.