Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An honest review: 28 Hong Kong Street


Have you ever met someone that you just didn't click with?  The person didn't do anything outright offensive, but you know right then and there that you're never going to be good friends.  That's how I feel about 28.  We don't click - there's a pretentiousness about it all I don't like (which is funny, because I do frequent openly pretentious clubs like Filter, Mink, Pangaea).  It's probably the hottest word-of-mouth cocktail spot in Singapore at the moment, and the least hidden "hidden find" out there.

With all that said, I'm also the only person I know without a particular fondness for the place, so I am expecting some backlash from this opinion piece.

There are three things I look for in a bar: the drink quality, the staff's knowledge (plus points if they're a good chat), and the vibe of the crowd.  The cocktails are mediocre in quality, on par with the other popular cocktail places in Singapore.  The interior does remind me of a bar you could find in New York's East Village or San Francisco, which is another bit that makes me love and hate the place.  When replicated in Asia, these kinds of places tend to draw the attention of hipster-esque elitists with their fashionably tight pastel-coloured* pants and their I'm-so-in-the-know-about-all-the-COOLEST-hidden-finds-but-look-at-how-nonchalant-I-am 'tude.

*spelled with a 'u', because it's way more cool

The cocktails, like a majority of the cocktail places in Singapore, are painfully overpriced.  28 toots their horn about bringing back the classics and educating their customers about the history of punch and drinks.  As someone who is a fan of sharing and educating, it's nice to see people sop it up, even if it results in these same hipster-esque wannabes who try to one-up each other in their bar talk braggage, "Did you know..."

When I do go to 28, I like to share one of the punch bowls with a group of friends and maybe order a late night grilled cheese.  If you plan to stop by, I recommend calling ahead of time to reserve your seats, since it's consistently full every week and 28 is pretty good about not letting the place get disgustingly over crowded.

Quick summary:  I still recommend the place to people, though clearly I lack the same enthusiasm as others.  The place doesn't jibe with me primarily because of the vibe and overrated drinks.


28 Hong Kong Street is named after its address at 28 Hong Kong Street in SINGAPORE (nothing to do with Hong Kong).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to become a professional food critic

Remember kids, it's not about EXPECTING things.  Don't expect freebies.  Don't expect handouts. 
Practice.  Do your research. Work your ass off.  Never take anything for granted.



When it comes to wanting to become a 'food blogger' though, a lot of people forget one thing: Doing it for the right reasons.

Want to start a blog or intern at a media house simply get free shit or 'fame'?  You're already off to a bad start.  People can smell bullshit and posering (most of the time).  There's a certain special kind fire that comes from writing, cooking, art, photography, sports... when it is done primarily for the love of the craft itself. 

If you have two chefs of equal skill creating the same exact dish in the same exact way, but Chef A is just doing their job solely for the paycheque, while Chef B loves his craft and constantly seeks to learn more.... Well, it's no secret that Chef B's dish will have an inexplicable extra oomph that Chef A's dish won't have.

So remember:

Love what you do. 
But love is never enough,
So you work your ass off for it.

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