Today, I am so happy to be sharing with you the lovely shophouse apartment of Linda Solay, maker of Fyall scarves and Philip Solay. Linda and Philip are both amazing people in this world that have traveled to many places in the world and decided to set foot in Singapore for a little while. While in Singapore, they rented a lovely shophouse and started putting love into their home. The home reflects so much of their personality, creativity and life’s philosophy.
If you felt the similarity of my room that is because there a little bit of Linda in it as well 🙂
This bicycle must the pride and baby of Philip. On a quick glance, it looks like a hipster fixer brought straight from the store. But hang on, did you notice the “Phoenix” close to the paddle. This was a junk bicycle that Philipp brought at the side of the road from a old man and took it home to rebuilt it. I want to build my own bike too!!
While working hard to start my wedding business, I have been secretly taking time off to drink at my favorite bar in town, Bitters and Love. The owners, Ernest and Beverly are totally about a great tasting cocktail. He, along with his group of cocktail scientists regularly experiments with different herbs and spices from this part of the world to make Awesome Cocktails. Drop by his bar and ask him for a surprise of the day – you won’t regret it!
Who knew that Cucumber and Ginger would make such a great cocktail – the stuff you put on your eyes when you go to bed. The heat of Ginger is brought down by the cool Cucumber and lime just give it a little kick. It is definitely a great hit to a summer party!
Ginger Garden Cocktail, makes one.
Thumb size Muddle Cucumber
Thumb size Ginger
1 Egg white
1 tablespoon simple syrup (or more to taste)
First slice up the cucumber and ginger. Combine cucumber and ginger into shaker and mash it to extract the juice. Combine the cucumber, ginger, lime juice, gin, egg white and simple syrup. Shake to combine. Add ice and pour the mixed drink over ice. Garnish with a ginger, cumber and squeezed lime.
As I am home, my lady Mama have been stuffing me with glorious home-cooked asian food – I am not complaining but it is not helping in my goal to lose some weight. And, I have been poking my head into the kitchen while all the magic is taking place. Being fascinated by the mysterious Potion rack that make my food so damn delicious, I chose to examine one particular ingredient, the Fish Sauce.
The question started growing in my head. Where does this comes from? Which smart ‘Ah being’ came out with this idea? How was it being made? How can I differentiate good vs bad ones? Is it healthy? Does it even pass safety regulations?
I have invited a good friend, Eric Low to help out. Eric spent the younger part of his life being a ‘Sir Marco Polo of Asia’ sailing through the Europe, Caribbean and Mediterranean, cooking for the riches on their deluxe private yacht. After getting tired of that, he became a mad food scientist in the Research and Development lab of Nestle.
To make fish sauce, fish is fermented in a tank or in the sun from a week to three weeks. Then, you press the fermented fish mass to extract the rawest form of fish sauce. After pressing, the sauce goes through pressurisation. There’s also filtering and adjustments— if the color is not ideal, they’ll add caramel.
The sauce originates from the Han Jiang region of China, a coastal area with an abundant supply of the “trash fish”—seafood that’s too small to be sold—that’s used to make fish sauce. Eric says, “While soy sauce belongs to the entire race of Chinese people, fish sauce belongs to the Teochews. That’s why you see it wherever in the world there are Teochews.
Which is the best fish sauce?
Today, the top fish sauce is rumored to be from Vietnam where the best kind of anchovies for fish sauce is found (in the Gulf of Tonkin). A friend who used to stayed in Phu Quoc island, Vietnam says if the wind blew the wrong way on a particular day, you would not want to breathe!
Vietnam has also a rating system for fish sauce, the “N” number. Standard supermarket bottles are usually N25. But there are also high quality versions, which might run up to N70. Here, in Singapore, you can get N50-60 fish sauce at Victoria Wholesale Market and N45 fish sauce at Golden Mile Complex.
“N” stands for nitrogen and it indicates how much protein’s in the fish sauce. The more protein = the more umami flavour.
The Fish Sauce Test
I have decided to buy some fish sauces and try to understand the mystical power of it. The Vietnamese Fish Sauce is 3 times more expensive than the Normal ones from China and have a nice translucent golden hue. On the tongue, the Vietnamese Fish Sauce seems less salty and more a mild sweet fishy flavour.
I set up a simple experiment using eggs as the base ingredient and added a teaspoon of Sea salt, Soy Sauce and the Fish Sauce to each egg and fried it.
How ‘un’Heathy is it?
Fish sauce is rich in glutamates, and works as a flavor enhancer. Unlike Soy Sauce which is used as a food dipping, only a few drips of fish sauce is used for soup and food dish. I cannot conclude that it is a healthy food but a few drops of it for a flavor boost. Hell Yes, I’ll put it in my soup any day.
I am keeping my experiment as a secret.. Go try it and tell me what works for you. Come back next week and I will release my findings.
The best part of this trip was randomly meeting inspiring people all over the world. Today, I introduce you, Kristen Hoard, an artist and a friend who constantly scared the shit out of me. She is also a Burning-Man preacher, Couchsurfer and a Hella-hardworking individual.
My visit with Kristen in Sacramento, California filled me with awe. She graciously hosted me in her gallery (her house) which even included a Bathroom gallery. I immediately insisted on a studio tour.
Upon stepping in, all I see is HEAVY Metal and foreign looking machine that spits Plasma Rays. If I didn’t know she was an artist, I might call the cops and report the hideout of a Super Villain. Below, is the Lotus flower is what she used on a normal BBQ night for Smores and Sausages which also double up as a Heater in the cold desert during Burning Man. How is it not the coolest-house in California?
Every month, Kristen hunts for scrapped metal at the salvage store and ‘Plasma‘ it into beautiful art pieces at her workshop.
What was usually never shared in most stories is Kristen, despite being badass at her work and selling at art fairs, also hold a day job to pay for her necessities and an assistant. Life is not easy as an artist, she does what she can and loves every minute of it. For that, I respect her. Instead of complaining about her busy life, she works hard to do what she wants as a passion. Every time I imagine myself working with those metal, I suspect that Kristen is Superwoman in disguise.
Hello kiddos, Mr Wise Old Man here is going to share with you some advices, as you young kids would call it “Life Hacks”, to make you become better, faster and stronger in your exciting youth. While I was surfing through the world on the computer yesterday, I found this amazingly smart 13-year-old kid who talks about his ideas on Hack Schooling. This kid has a lot balls (metaphorically) going up on a stage of I-don’t-know-how-many-people, it’s a lot. I have put his video at the bottom, listen to him – he talks a lot of sense.
As my papa once told me “to change the world, you have to educate them”. Today, I shall share some Life Hacks I have learn along the way from the millions of other dumber mistakes. After all, sharing is caring.
That American who invented it, is a Genius. You can buy, sell, get a job, make new friends, ride share, look for roommates, hire talents and for some, finding true love. Best of all, it is in every major city in the world. I used it to purchase used electronics like the Macbook, I am using to type the blog post now. I was also exploiting the “ride share” section to save money when I was making trips back and forth from LA to SF. There are also others similar website like Gumtree (big is UK and Australia) and Hardware Zone (Singapore Electronics Forum).
Yes, I am sure everyone of you knows of YouTube to watch your favorite attention-wasting-videos. YouTube to me, is a online learning platform where you could literally get your university degree of Life there. You could learn how to bake Red Velvet Cupcakes, train your dog, Beatbox, work your iPhone, put on your eye shadow and the list never ends. On the other hand, these contents have not went through a conveyer belt of quality check so you might end up wasting your time. An advice, read the comments section.
Let me start of by saying, Couchsurfing is not for everyone. If you are an Asshole, needs your own space and bed, have no interest for another human being or a highly uninteresting person, Please Bugger OFF. I have been an avid Couchsurfing for 4 years and have traveled using Couchsurfing in many countries. Couchsurfing on the outside, seems like a solution where you could find free accommodations. But more than just that, it is a community of travel addicts that strive for a different way of traveling. Ways that are more authentic, connecting to the locals and to learn mutually from each other. If you embodies these philosophies, take the leap of faith and dive into this beautiful community of Couchsurfing.
You got to read, you need to read especially when you are in your early 20s and 30. If you are not reading, it is going to be a train wreck. Why must we read?
Because older men who has been through a lot, and Succeeded, have spent years of their life, thinking of the Smartest and Highest Quality Ideas that have ran through their brains, and lay it out with EDITORS to make it really good for you to read. And as you are reading it, while living your daily life bombarded with stupid advertisements, smart ideas by this 55-years-old happy Billionaire is injected to your brains. Best of all, you are only paying $20 for a piece of $20,000 knowledge.
I hope you walk in to a bookstore today and no matter what kind of books, just read A Book.
With this new day and edge of modern technology comes the birth of online Super Malls like Amazon, E-Bay and China’s TaoBao. Isn’t it amazing? We do not even need to get out of our home to do shopping. I cannot vow for other company but Amazon has won me over. I have brought most of my books from Amazon and it is much cheaper than your fancy bookstore. It would take a longer time to arrive but it saves me money and effort to purchased it from the store. For the people of Singapore, you can qualify for FREE Shipping on Amazon for purchases above $135. Awesome.
SkillShare is a online learning platform which I believe has only been launched in the recent years. Remember I was learning Calligraphy a while back, I paid for a $20 course on SkillShare and looked where it has got me. SkillShare gathers industry experts to create lessons using videos and notes, incorporating with homework project that allows you to practice your new learned skills. The class ranges from sketching your favorite fashion runway look to business classes by Seth Godin.
If you are interested in any of the classes, email me and I can invite you for a $10 discount 😉
7) Travel Alone
Travel because you can learn.
Travel because you want to see.
Travel because the world is filled with so much amazing things that you could not imagine. Travel because you will learn the truth.
Travel because you will undergo hardship.
Travel because you can truly feel freedom.
Travel because you can be whoever you want to be.
Travel because you will learn about yourself.
Travel because you can.
Noticed I didn’t use Internship because ‘that’ usually comprises of working for free, in a big Corporation doing mundane tasks which are at best, meaningless and, at worst, harmful to your soul. Resist the temptation to get that internship. Instead, find a mentor. They are usually hidden in the smaller companies which requires a lot more digging. In an ideal apprenticeship, you will master the necessary skills, discipline your mind, and transform yourself into an independent thinker, prepared for the creative challenges on the road of Success in life.
I hope you have learn something from this post. Pass it on, and let’s grow together as a community. Sharing is Caring.