A Gourmet Trip To Singapore 美食家带路 狮城寻美食
On A Singapore Mini Food Quest
By Catherine Chia
Mr. Tan Tok Han is the Dean Of General Affairs of the Singapore Kim Mui Hoey Kuan. I had my pioneer meeting with him when he and fellow men came to attend an annual meeting of global clan members at Hotel JW Marriot in Kuala Lumpur last December 15. Over a telephone conversation, he wanted to know the best eats in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. But alas, he has been to each place I tried to recommend. Now, that is one true food gourmet. He is one of our Y3K readers who really tries out all suggested places for food. I met him face to face and found him very pleasant. Belonging to the upper class society does not make him snobbish as he is without a trace of arrogance.
Y3K’s debut issue first hit the streets of Singapore six years ago and readership has been on the steady rise. But till today, we have yet gone in search of Singapore’s best eats or done any in-depth features about their food. My husband and I are from Johor but after residing in Kuala Lumpur for 20 years, we are at a lost when it comes to what’s good across the causeway. I thought of an option. The best-laid plan would be to invite our Singapore reader cum foodie expert, Mr. Tan Tok Han to be our guide around the island. He obliged very willingly and I am very grateful for his help.
Our children tagged along for this trip as they were on a short holiday from study sessions. The appointment was fixed for August 20 at 10:30a.m. He chose an easy landmark, Raffles Hotel. After the meet up, we followed his car driven by his driver to North Bridge Road for lunch at a Malay eatery. That was one busy place as locals flocked there for good food.
Mr.Tan grew up eating food served here as his father simply loved that place. It was definitely an experience for us, trying out a rich Malay meal. Dinner was arranged at a newly opened restaurant in Pasir Panjang. This establishment is owned by the famous chef, Mr. Huang Ching Biao. It is a Chinese restaurant offering some of the best cuisine around town. On the spur of the moment, the boss decided to show us his deft hand with the wok. What an excellent meal we had.
Early next morning at eight a.m., Mr. Tan took us to Katong for breakfast. We had the famous Big Prawn Noodles In Soup. The stock was extremely sweet and I could now understand why locals are willing to travel the length and breadth of this tiny island to satisfy their appetites with this noodle dish. Later that morning, we visited his factory in Changi area and was his home guests for that evening.
He demonstrated his flair in cooking and presented six dishes. All recipes shown has a touch of his homeland grace as being a Kim Mui (this is a sub clan of the Fujian community). We thanked him for playing food guide for the two wonderful days, hosting dinner, sharing home recipes with Y3K readers. Another round of thanks for his generosity in teaching us about company administration, human relationship factors. Many of his life’s events has helped shaped his business and contributed to his achievements. Definitely a businessman with a difference as he is always on the move for foodie trips and yet excels in cooking, a skill picked up six years ago. As a successful entrepreneur, he has his own sense of individual style.