Sunday 29 June 2014

Chicken rice restaurant that is older than my lao bey (father)...

Recently I am getting a bit "retro". After the success launching of my Ding Ding Candy recently (check my previous blog), I just tried making Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu (冰糖葫芦; sugar coated fruits) today with much success. Will do another blog about my bing-tang-hu-lu attempt.
After the successful attempt and complete sold out for the first batch of our Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu, we decided to end the day early and go for our dinner! Since we are all so into "retro mood" recently, we have decided to go to places with some history. So we end up at Yet Con, the "ancient" Hainanese Chicken Rice that being around since 1940.

At the entrance of the door is this old signage that reminds you of those old Hong Kong Cha-Chan-Tang (茶餐厅)...

At the door was two tourists (sounds like from Hong Kong) contemplating on where to eat and looking at the same signage as I was. So I kapo-ed a bit and told them this is an old restaurant that worth a visit, hence they walked in almost immediately hearing what I told them.
As usual, this place is fully packed... Luckily enough, my colleagues that came together went in earlier than me (while I busy taking photos outside) and earlier than that two tourists too, end up i just have to walk in and have a seat while that two tourists waited almost few minutes before they got a place...

This place serve very traditional Hainanese style chicken rice...

From the wall tiles to the utensils used, even the lightings reflect how "historical" this place is! This place doesn't have upbeat music, no karaoke LCD screens... just very vintage tables and vintage chairs you will find in coffee shop of the 70s.

And the old uncle behind the cashier (still wondering is he the boss?) still uses abacus to calculate the price!...
And of course, i am honoured to have a selfie with him... errr... does he knows i am taking a selfie with him?
And one interesting thing we observed, the whole place is run by old aunties and old uncles. It was always rumoured that this place will stop eventually since these old uncles and aunties cannot find people to take over the restaurant too. Being in the service and retail line myself, i understand why is that so. Nowadays youngsters like to be seated and served, but the dilemma is the youth doesn't want to serve.

Time to order my food...
Didn't order a lot... just a mini steam boat for two, roast pork and chicken for two. Of course... Chicken rice is a must.

Not easy to find chicken rice with so thick meat nowadays. Usu nowadays the common trick is using the chopper to smack the meat to looks wider yet thinner... At Yet Con, the chicken is still served thick and meaty. The chicken doesn't serve with sauce on it thou... a little bit dry to my standard. But you can taste clearly the taste of the chicken meat. The roast pork is a little bit saltish but goes really well with the rice. Below the roast pork belly is some sourish vegetables. Compliment the oily pork belly pretty well too.

Chicken rice is nice. You can see from the photo how nice the grain is. And every piece of rice is nicely coated with chicken taste. Gives you the strong chicken fragrance chicken rice should have.

Steam boat is nice especially the soup. It taste really clean, clear and yummy. At the time i writing this blog, i don't feel thirsty which is a good sign of either less msg or no msg. The soup taste really like a house cooked one, making the overall dining a very pleasant one.

Overall, the dining experience is a complete one. 
From the decoration till the taste of the food. 
It really brings you back to the early years of Singapore.

As I leaving the place, it makes me wonder... Will I still have the chance to come back again?

 My little neighbourhood lolly shop is located at Plaza Singapura, and surrounding me in the mall are lots of interesting eateries and restaurants. I have seen many restaurant come and go. Some of them closed down overnight without us knowing why. All these taught me one thing, cherish whatever restaurant or food you have when you have it. Even if I don't have a chance to come back to Yet Con, I must say I had a wonderful dinner today. Nothing beats the feeling of properly seated and have a proper meals with all the beautiful people in my life. While appreciating the services these old folks are giving us... should we also reflect... where are all our youth? When all the youth only wanted to be served, and eventually the older ones will leave us all... who is going to serve?

Yet Con Chicken Rice and Restaurant
Address: 25 Purvis Street Singapore 188602

Saturday 28 June 2014

When a candy is more than just a candy & when your life, is more than just alive...

Awhile ago, i shared with reader what motivated me and why i started blogging. After reading it, i have friends who came down just to take a look at my lolly girl Izzati, but due to her many commitment (overseas trip to do opening of cafe, giving speech at camps, overseas visitation etc), a lot of my friends missed the chance to see her in person. Honestly, we being having a crazy and busy month during the school holiday with people buying the lollies off the shelves faster than our staff can pack and refill it on the shelf.... hence all of us at my little lolly shop miss Zati VERY MUCH too, since her presence always means the whole shop will be in proper order. period.
(You really have to read the previous blog to know how strong this girl is and what went thru with this little girl and her attitude towards life.... She was diagnosed with a terminal cancer which doctor says she have at most 2-3months of life during March this year... and still, she is pressing on... )

Nevertheless, life is moving on for her.. At the moment I writing this blog, she came back from an overseas commitment and having herself down with stomach pain and fever that never seems subsides, hence she is at A&E now. But don't worry... before she goes A&E, she is strong enough to drop by to say hi to us at my little lolly shop... strong girl indeed. And of course, she here to collect some of the Zati.Lolly to be given out free to those who bought her book "Izzati; My Amazing Journey"...

Still not too late to order from her if you are keen... email her personally at
She had her book launched few weeks ago with a press event...
And among the guests... Mr Teo Ser Luck and actress cum business lady Apple Hong was presence too. Of course, the launch will never be complete without her family around...
And Zati had a wonderful day signing all the books for her fans...
And if you happened to email her to buy her book, don't be shy... tell her what you want her to autograph for you on the book. Be it a motivational words or be it a  little note for your loved ones, according to her, she will be more than happy to do it.

And officially, at my little lolly shop (also known as LollyTalk), we started selling her lollies.. yes... HER lolly. The series is known as Zati.Lolly by LollyTalk in collaboration with Nur Izzati Bte Kamisan... in short... "Zati.Lolly".
The whole series is designed by her and plan by her from the choice of colours, design, flavours, message... even to the details of the packaging is under her direction. When asked... what is Zati.Lolly all about... she says "Is about cherishing your life, dreaming big, accomplish your dream and love yourself and love your life".... in short... "A Celebration of Life"...
So... "Zati.Lolly; A celebration fo Life"

This series consist of 6 design. 

Can't start introducing the 6 designs without mentioning this one...
The first one "Love Zati"...
The flavour chosen is Sugarcane Lemon. Yes... something new. Never try mixing this flavour before but I find it a very nice pleasant flavour.  I also find the flavour very appropriate since sugarcane is a very strong plant (yes, it is a strong plant hence whenever i hear people talking about "organic sugar", i can't help but feel that is too marketing gimmicky), just like Zati is a strong girl... and mixing with the lemon gives you a bit of tangy taste which just like Zati's character... out of her strong self, she is a bit witty and fun going. The flavour itself is also very localised, just like we love to drink sugarcane squeezing a slice of lemon in it (and that uncle charge S$0.50 extra just for that slice of lemon... opppss....wrong topic here).

Beside "Love Zati" lolly, we have "Love Life" lolly...
When asking Zati what flavour to use... she says she want something sweet because life is sweet. Hence we chosen Strawberry Peach. Partly because that flavour is what we used to make "Double Happiness" lolly (something used in wedding favors) in my little lolly shop... hence we associate that flavour to sweetness too. And yes... Zati still think life is sweet and never blame life.

We have one that says "BIG DREAM" or it can read "DREAM BIG"...

She wants the youth to cherish their life. Love themselves and at the same time dare to dream big and having big dreams. The lolly reads both ways intentionally. And the flavour she chosen is... Peppermint. She mentioned to us a few weeks ago how her classmates love the peppermint when brought to school LollyTalk's "COOL" lolly which happens to be peppermint flavour. In this little act of choosing flavour, you can tell how Zati always think about those around her too... a very considerate girl indeed.

And in the mix, we have "BELIEVE"... yes... big dream, dream big... and BELIEVE you can do it!

And "BELIEVE" lolly is in green!! Zati's favourite colour.

And in this mix, we have also the rainbow pillow and rainbow smiley...
(Photo showing Rainbow Mix)
Very appropriate to have the rainbow pillow and rainbow smiley since Zati is always so bright, so cheerful and so colourful in her life.

Even the packaging is following her original concept...with the personalised 32mm round sticker label adapted from her design... "Life is Beautiful"...

but of course, we added a little more information. And without say... the design was guided by Zati herself too...

Part of the proceeds will goes to Zati in her fight against cancer as well as her medical bills. 

To find out more about Zati.Lolly checkout
You can reach Zati personally at, she loves to read your email, so do drop her a few lines of encouragement if you feel touched to do so, k?

Thursday 26 June 2014

Ding Ding Candy... bringing back bits and pieces of our sweet childhood memories...

Everyone of us will sure have some fond memories of our glorious past. And at certain point in our life (usu during mid life like I am now), we tends to have a "period" (guys and gals apply;pun intended) where we enjoy reminiscing the good old days. As age catching up, one tends to reminisce more than before.

Friends of mine who visited me at my house knows how much I like to keep old vintage & retro stuff. This is my precious SINGER sewing machine mummy left me with (you can still see the two old oil lamps mummy left me too) displayed in my living hall....

These are some nice "old" stuff that laid in my store room... And I managed to dig them out while cleaning up the house few years ago....
The two bottles of tea you saw above, are what I bought during my secondary school's field trip to Cameron. And it is still around nicely shrink wrapped.

And all these stuff are nicely display on my shelving at my dining hall, each with its own stories to tell...

Beside enjoying keeping these little old stuff of mine.... I love to explore "old taste" too. Recently, I started to explore on traditional candy making recipe....  and I start to like the idea of replicating some of these "old feel" too with some old equipments used during those earlier days.... I am playing with my childhood candy... Ding Ding Candy (叮叮糖).

It all started when I was a kid. I still remember daddy and mummy bringing me to shopping while buying ding ding candy at Chinatown. Somehow the memory of this old uncle selling the candy stays with me till now. i remember this old uncle who used to sell a kind of "poh pia" look-alike candy in an old tin too, on the sheltered-bridge leading to the chinatown OG. If my memories didn't fail me... he was selling ding ding candy too.

Few years ago during a leisure photo taking trip to Melaka with my friend Anasri Oon, I saw this old man at Jonker street...

Once again... i inspired and told myself... this is what I wanted to do one day when i grow old.... Yes... I wanted to be the sweet man that makes the world sweeter with our childhood taste!

The past few years while I was travelling in and out China (due to work and leisure), whenever I see street vendor selling ding ding candy, i never fail to buy them and try.
(Photo taken few year back by me at Xuzhou, China)

Interestingly, ding ding candy, even thou sharing the same name, having the same look (somehow), and having the same familiar ding-ding motion of chiselling the candy... it doesn't taste the same from one country to another... and even in the same country, it taste very different from one uncle to another. And after much research with rounds of trial-and-error.. Finally... we came out with a balanced recipe at my little lolly shop....

At my little lolly shop, we finally comes to recipe we feel would suits the local taste buds yet maintaining some of the "retro-taste".

Some trivia fact you might not have noticed... do you know that ding ding candy contains ginger
hahahah... i doubt you noticed. When I was a kid, I think i myself was too busy trying to get the candy that stuck between my teeth separated than to notice the presence of ginger.
(above photo source from the internet)

Also the fact that the traditional way preparing it, some of the ding ding candy loses its ginger strength due to the process used in the preparation.
Sometimes knowledge does kill the fun a bit. After consulting some TCM, we have managed to modify the cooking process to such that we retain the goodness of ginger yet maintaining the taste of the candy at a optimal condition. (but that also means the ding ding candy might not be that yellowish in comparison).

Some health benefit of ginger you might not know before, and of course, these are the health benefit of my ding ding candy we make at LollyTalk too...
(Extract from "Food Matters; You are what you eat"... 10 healing benefits of Ginger... with some additional comments)

1. Ginger allows you to regulate your appetite and fire up the digestive juices.

2. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.

4. Ginger helps when feeling airsick or nauseous? Preferably tossed in a little honey.

5. Ginger helps reduce flatulence! (Something that always work for us working at my little lolly shop)

6. Comfort tummy moaning and groaning under cramps. (Some lady friends of mine can vow to that!)

7. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil in your bath to help aching muscles and joints. (errr... don't try soaking our ding ding candy thou)

8. Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.

9. Ginger gets rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!
10. Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Psst...the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties)- ermmm... can you believe? Ding Ding candy having aphrodisiac properties?
The traditional ding ding candy tends to be more yellowish due to the over-cooked ginger. The ding ding candy over at my little lolly shop (LollyTalk) is a bit more whitish... interestingly, the white appearance of the lollies are obtained by working the sugar on the hooks... another word... it DOESN'T USE ANY COLOURINGS... this make our Ding Ding candy truly all natural.

Why do i say "truly"? because I am never an advocate of fully natural candy due to many reasons (i can write another 10 pages blog talking about the marketing gimmick behind "all natural"), but some candy in supermarket tends to claim they are fully natural while using citrus acid in making their sweet... pretty amusing to me since citrus acid is not a natural ingredients at all. While some factories use citrus acid in their sweet, yet they still says its "fully natural"... BUT hor... my DING DING CANDY DOESN'T CONTAIN CITRUS ACID! hahahah... so that makes our Ding Ding Candy a "truly" all-natural candy! Beside the Ding Ding Candy, we do have a range known as ATC series  too that contains natural ingredients with some (such as Honey Lemon) using natural colourings too.

I guess even thou with all the health benefit of ginger added into my ding ding candy.... i must still honestly say something... no matter how good a food is... please eat with moderation.

Beside the difference in appearance, my Ding Ding Candy have a stronger taste of ginger too due to the difference in the cooking process to retain the goodness of ginger. Generally the feedback is pretty good thou occasionally, so auntie complain ginger not enough and some youth complain ginger too strong. But I personally think we are "just nice".

Another difference is the texture. Our ding ding candy is slightly less sticky compared to the traditional ones. Is out of intention since nowadays we are more cautious on our oral hygiene hence by making it less sticky, lower chances of sugar trapping in between the teeth. And also, i always feel that when a hard candy is sticky, its yucky.

I am doing a giveaway... like all my good-blogger-shifus (teachers who guided me in blogging) who always shared with me about blogging experience... try doing some giveaways to reward thosefans who supported my blog... So here goes my first give-aways....

Now is the chance... you will be given 6 packets of Ding Ding Candy if you LIKE my little lolly shop's Facebook page (LollyTalk's Facebook page)... 

Follow my little lollyshop's Instagram page @LollyTalk ...

Once you done the above three... email me... with
your particulars (instagram id, Facebook id, full name, contact number, valid email)

The first ten (10) person who does the above mentioned can win for yourself six (6) packets of Ding Ding Candy,  compliments of the Sweetman of LollyTalk*... so what you waiting for?
*Terms and conditions apply. All prizes to be collected at my little lolly shop. 
More instruction/information will be given in my email when I reply you shortly after you send me the details. Only the first 10 person walk away with the free Ding Ding Candy I made! :)

Visit or Ding Ding Candy by LollyTalk Facebook page for more information about Ding Ding Candy by LollyTalk. You can also find out more from LollyTalk's Website or LollyTalk's Facebook page.

Thursday 19 June 2014

A Visit of my Dancing Khakis that brings back memories of... my Salsa years.

Today a friend of mine came to my little lolly shop to visit me. She is going to relocate to the states soon, San Francisco to be precise. Suddenly lots of memories came back to me after she left.

I know her during my prime years while I was crazy over Salsa dancing. And she is one of the girls i always invite to dance when i saw her in the club. In just a very short half an hour break away from my work in the shop, we didn't talk a lot, but enough to bring back lots of memories of those salsa days. 

In fact, every time both of us catch up, we never fail to laugh at ourselves for those crazy days. During those days, I was a carefree man. Crazy over dancing and dance almost 6 days a week.

And cannot forget those time when i used to perform with a dance team who probably the most "happening" team during that time.

And because of some interesting opportunities,  I had some collaboration with the organiser of Los Angeles Salsa Congress due to my business/trade, I wasinvited to Los Angeles during the Salsa Congress and given a booth to promote my products. And because of the special arrangement, it gives me chances to get close to pretty babes... like this...

Those days are clearly over... but the memories will stay. Days of dance and roses....
And days of intensive training before performances with many nice friends....

Honestly speaking, i hope to say the skill stays too, but it doesn't. I used to have 999,999 Salsa moves in my head while i can have a dance consecutively for an hour without repeating a move.... but now i struggling to even remember one.

Never regret having those crazy days, and hope more beautiful days are ahead of both my friend and me as she relocate to San Francisco. Bon Voyage! Really hope to see her soon and by then... will i still reminiscing my salsa days or will i be recalling today meeting her when i was crazy over making lollies?