Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hong Kong tailor comes to Singapore for 3 days

Hong Kong is known for its quality tailors at better prices.  For three days only, bespoke tailor Moda Republic will be coming to Singapore from August 31 to September 2.  Moda Republic will be here to do measurements as well as taking suit and shirt orders - brand name fabrics such as Loro Piana and Ermenegildo Zegna are available.

If you don't have time to scuttle over to Hong Kong, this will be a great time to get your suits, shirts and jackets made.  Moda Republic specializes in slim fit, European cutting, though are able to customize for more traditional suit cutting styles on request.

Suits will start at SGD $390.  Shirts will start at SGD $65 and includes fully customizable linings, collars, cuffs.  Better yet, this includes free shipping from Hong Kong back to Singapore.  The prices are about 30% lower than the other premium tailors in Hong Kong, since Moda sources their fabrics directly and have their own tailors.

If you are interested, contact info@modarepublic.com with your preferred date.

Location: TAB
442 Orchard Road, #02-29, Singapore 238879 Time: 5:30PM-10PM
Details: We will do a one day pop up store event at TAB (www.tab.com.sg) from 5:30PM-10PM. Come by and get measured for a shirt or suit and remember to invite your friends... first 40 customers will enjoy a free beer! 

5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797 Time: 10AM-7PM (Appointment required, please email info@modarepublic.com)
Details: Visit us in our suite at the Mandarin Oriental to view our fabrics and get measured for a suit or shirt.

5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797 Time: 10AM-1PM (Fully booked already but if you can only make this day please email us and we will try to arrange something)
Details: Visit us in our suite at the Mandarin Oriental to view our fabrics and get measured for a suit or shirt.

Monday, August 27, 2012

So what's going on with Diner en Blanc now?

As a follow up to the last post about the Diner en Blanc controversy, I've since received an email from the host, Clemen Chiang.  In his email, he wrote that he had seen my blog and sincerely apologized if he had offended me in any way.  Their Facebook page has also been taken down, and has since been updating from the Diner en Blanc Singapore website instead.

Gastronommy.com was actually never involved in Diner en Blanc in any way, blogger invitation or otherwise.  My editorial team and I were to attend Diner en Blanc on behalf of our publication (ie my paid job as professional media).  We still have intentions to cover the event, since it is our journalistic duty to cover Singapore on-goings.

Our original contact for Diner en Blanc was THOX Pte, the public relations agency handling the event.  We've since been informed that Thox has "officially disengaged [themselves] from working with the client (Diner en Blanc Singapore) as of last Friday 24 Aug 2012 due to a misalignment of views."

I will state some of my honest feelings about the fiasco. 
I'm not entirely offended by the original restriction of Singapore local cuisine.  If I was arranging for a Singapore Makan Day in France, I'd also prefer guests to bring dishes more suited for the occasion.  Same with the dress code - if a host is throwing a beach-themed party, you don't arrive to the event in a tux.  If I was going to a Slow Food pot luck, I sure as heck wouldn't bring ready-made food.

BUT... just as my previous post implies ("Major PR boo-boo"), the stupid part in all of this was how it was handled.  Huge blunder on the PR's side for bad wording... if there's one thing Singaporeans are particularly nationalistic about, it's the local cuisine!  Save for the actual Paris team, the Diner en Blanc Singapore organizers are Singaporean, or else long time residents.  I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they don't actually think that local food is garbage.  I'm also not sure what the Indian-Givers situation (aka taking back a gift/invitation) is all about.  Perhaps it was related to the blog post that started it all, or maybe it was something else all together.  Either way, it was once again piss poor publicity handling... whoever it was who thought of that bright idea is probably smashing his head into a wall in shame - that or his boss is doing it for him.

If anything, my sympathetic side can't help but cringe on behalf of Diner en Blanc team.  After months of arrangements and media build up, any positive hype was all blown to shit just days before the event... simply by a thoughtless email and an indignant blog post.  The force of Social Media once again shows its muscle.  That stuff can make or break you.

I too have learned something from watching all of this happen.  All-white parties in Singapore must be bad luck concerning the masses.  From the People's Action Party (PAP) to Diner en Blanc, white just doesn't fly with the public!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dîner en Blanc makes major PR boo-boo

More details, along with my opinion to come later.  In the meantime, catch up with the gossip from these links:

France's Diner en Blanc is coming to Singapore on August 31.  The invitations to the exclusive pop-up picnic event are highly coveted.. or were, until this happened:

A food blogger was told to remove his post inviting readers to bring white-colored local food - local Singaporean food was not deemed fit for the picnic.  Subsequently, the blogger says he and his friends were uninvited to the event.  His version here: I Have Been Told to Remove My Blog Post; I have Decided I Won't

An hour ago, the organization has followed up with this announcement on their Facebook page:

 "With regards to the local food statement, we would like to clarify that Diner en Blanc worldwide welcomes local food as can be seen in many international events both passed and upcoming. Menus in Barcelona, Mexico, Kigali for instance, all include local food.
We apologize if there has been any misunderstanding at all in this matter.
To the contrary, Diner en Blanc is a celebration of food culture whereby local food should be included; what is not encouraged is "fast food" which goes against the multiple course meal concept of the event. The 3 hour duration of the event allows for guests to invest their time into preparing a 3 course meal.

As guests devote time and energy preparing for the various aspects of the event, we ask that they also devote time and energy preparing their meal as well. The statement was in no way meant to discourage participants from bringing local food. Apologies for the misunderstanding."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Taiwan: Going beyond Taipei

“My favourite night market in all of Taiwan isn’t in Taipei actually,” says my guide and friend, Paul Chen with the seriousness of a Taiwanese foodie.  “My favourite is in Taichung... Feng Jia night market (逢甲夜市) has such great atmosphere; it’s well organised, reasonably priced and the food is so yummy.”  Jessica, another Taiwanese friend agrees, “Although the food seems similar to any other night market, I think night markets like Shilin are getting more expensive and the food stall owners just don’t put heart into their craft anymore."

Like most countries with multiple seasons, there is something special about springtime in Taiwan.  In central Taiwan, the parks of Taichung are laden with flowers blossoming everywhere. It is here in Taichung where you will also find Chun Shui Tang (春水堂 http://chunshuitang.com.tw), the place where bubble tea was invented.

Catch a bus towards Monster Village (妖怪村, next to http://www.mingshan.com.tw) just outside the Sitou Forest Recreation. As the legend goes, during the early years of the Japanese occupation, a Chinese man in charge of Sitou’s forest production was victim to a landslide.  Saved by two animals, a black bear and clouded leopard, the man affectionately named them his “little monsters.”  He vowed to build a village next to the forest to honour his guardian angels.

Monster Village is quaintly decorated with statues of cartoonish looking creatures, whilst the structures have obvious Japanese influence.  Here you can snack on fresh fruits, baked sweet potato, tea eggs and savour the charm of the forest.

Neighboring Taichung is the mountainous Nantou County--the only province in Taiwan that isn’t by the water.  Through the windy paths, there is a certain tranquility in the farms and plantations in the misty mountain tops.  Nantou, famous for its Oolong and green tea plantations (a bottle of iced tea is cheaper than mineral water), is also home to major tourist attraction, Sun Moon Lake.  You’ll see numerous street side stalls selling tea eggs here--and given the county’s famed tea, the dark boiled eggs are a favourite snack.

Along your trip, you’ll cross Pu Li Restaurant (No. 236 Xinyi Road, Puli Township, Nantou County 545, Taiwan www.puli-eating.com.tw Tel: 049-2995-096), one of the most well known in the county.  The President of Taiwan has been known to dine here.

When you need a break, spend an evening at one Taiwan’s numerous hot springs.  Different types of springs are found, ranging from cold springs, hot springs, turbid springs and seawater springs.  Enjoy the therapeutic effects of the springs in the Taichung suburbs.  While it won’t help you slim down from your gluttonous trip, you’ll depart from the springs with a certain rejuvenation.

3D Joe & Max Street Art

Easy does it.

You may recognize this recent piece, done up in Spain in anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises.

A few days ago, Singapore has seen the return of Joe Hill of 3D Joe and Max.  Thanks to technology (namely, the internet), their street art is known throughout the world.  Joe's missing the London Olympics, instead popping by to see his buddy Dominic Khoo and to exhibit some pieces at 28 Fevrier.

Me, the man himself, and Adam Tun-Aung

Joe, the English theatre-actor-turned-street-artist began with chalk back in the day, but he soon realized that chalk limited the interaction-factor, which is one of everyone's favorite elements about his work.

Like the little monkeys we are, we were immediately sucked in and took dozens of photos -- the evening went by in a flash... or should I say, many flashes.

It's a long way down.
So near... yet so far.

Wax on, wax off.  Daniel-san II


Norman Hartono will soon realize the dangers of walking and texting.
This is Joe's favorite piece.  This is just a start of a new series, taking classic works of art and making them 3D.  His next piece?  Van Gogh's "Chair". 

Watch out for a 3D version of this in a city near you.

 Cybertron piece, done especially for Dominic Khoo of 28 Fevrier, who is a fan of Transformers.  Check out that seriously awesome Devastator toy; it's definitely not a Hasbro-made toy.  It's worth at least SGD$700.

Like a musical.

Find Dominic's art gallery, 28 Fevrier at 5 Jalan Kilang, Singapore.

Other pieces at the gallery I also liked:



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