Singapore was my first Asian destination on my Gapshida tour. From Rotorua, New Zealand to Singapore was a long journey: it took more than 18 hours from hotel to hotel.
The hotel I stayed at in Singapore was a luxury hotel and the most expensive of all the hotels I stayed in during my Gapshida trip. The hotel fee included 3 meals. They filled the small fridge with cans of soda, teas, and beer and 2 bottles of water everyday. The result? I never skipped breakfast! My mother will be happy to hear this because she always says: “You should eat something for breakfast instead of only having lots of coffee!” : )
Every morning I had their buffet style breakfast. My favorite was their porridge. When I had porridge, I realized: “Aha! I am in Asia!” Asian porridge doesn’t use heavy cream, butter, and cheese, so it’s light. That’s the reason I like porridge in Asia.
Salads, porridge, and coffee for breakfast
The view from my hotel room.
I contacted Hannah who would cook with me and organize my Singapore meetup. She came to my hotel after she finished school. I was very surprised when I met her for the first time because she was much younger than I thought she would be: a 19 year old student!
I said: “Hannah, Oh I thought you were a housewife or at least more than 25 years old!”
Hannah laughed, and said she’s been cooking my recipes for a long time. Her food always turns out great and makes her family happy.
After dinner we went to a Korean grocery store to buy some ingredients for the shoot and meetup: basic ingredients like soy sauce, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, noodles, sesame oil. The lady from the store recognized me!
“Oh, you! YouTube!”
I said: “Yes, YouTube!” I knew what she meant. She probably meant “Oh I saw you on YouTube!” She was very excited and asked for my autograph. But she didn’t know why I came to Singapore, so I invited her to the meetup.
Hannah and I kept in touch by phone or email even though we couldn’t meet everyday. One day she emailed: “Maangchi, one of your fans, Gavin, wants to invite you to taste his home cooked food. I am forwarding his email.” I don’t remember what he was going to make for me but it was like something hot sizzling stew. I called him and asked him to bring it to the meetup so that everybody could taste his delicious food. He said it’s a sizzling stew, so it will be impossible to bring. What a nice person! I was impressed by his offer even though I didn’t have time to go to his house to taste his traditional food. I met him at the meetup later.
Our big day for filming and meetup came. Hannah picked me up at my hotel early in the morning. We were supposed to shoot her chicken and rice recipe video first and then go to the meetup place, the Botanical Garden. Her house was far from my downtown hotel. On the way to her home, we went to a grocery store one more time to pick up some fresh ingredients and things for the picnic preparation: bottles of water, soda, chopsticks, and plates.
Hannah was really good at cooking. She learned this recipe from her grandmother. The recipe video will be posted later.
Chicken rice with duck egg. The duck egg was coated in charcoal and salt. It was cooked and split in half. The chicken rice tasted very delicious.
Hannah’s mom, who’s working at a hospital, complimented her daughter’s cooking: “My daughter has been cooking since she was very young! Her cooking skill is better than mine!”
Alex Ng, our computer savvy cameraman. He’s one of Hannah’s good friends.
The shoot went well and I prepared a few dishes for the meetup picnic. One of them is golbaengimuchim with noodles. We took a taxi to get to the Botanical Garden for the meetup. We were supposed to meet at the entrance of the park. Hannah organized everything and she was constantly communicating with the attendees.
“Maangchi, someone just sent me a text message and said that she can’t make it, but to make sure to let you know that she really apologizes for not being able to come.”
She called her friend from the taxi, to confirm the address of the park. I was impressed with her organizing skills: she communicated with more than 40 people for the meetup!
People gathered at the entrance of the park. “Hi, Maangchi!” They approached me with big smiles. Everyone got together and we went inside the park. Luckily we found a really good place in a gazebo behind the lake. It looked like it was waiting just for us!
Everybody was in a good mood. They brought out their food and we were all surprised by the variety of awesome dishes. All of them were homemade. Colorful cake, pudding, fish, meat, rice cake, fruits, and some Korean dishes. I tried to taste each one. All the dishes were not only pretty but also unbelievably delicious. All of them are real great cooks and the presentation was better than any fancy restaurant food made by famous chefs. The most important thing for me when it comes to food is that it should be delicious.
Our group photo.
Check out their faces! They look very serious as they consider each dish.
The huge container in the center was my spicy whelk with noodles. Everybody loved it.
My facebook friend Jessica Wong and her son Randall. Jessica said Randall loves to watch my videos. I gave Randall my card. Later Jessica let me know: “Randall keeps your card in his special wallet.” Thank you, Jessica and Randall! Next time I meet him, I’m wondering how tall he’ll be.
Kay Kiss and her 2 children. “My mom makes delicious Korean food from your recipes!”
“Can I take a photo with you?”
The lady on the left worked at the Korean grocery store. She brought her Korean friend. Thank you for coming!
Beautiful Jill Ng has been my longtime reader. Eventually I had a chance to meet her face to face. The sun light was too bright, so we frown a little but still smile. : )
Hannah and Denise Wong. Denise is a food blogger. If I had known about her beforehand, we could have done something together.
Beautiful ladies beautiful smiles!
“Maangchi, we have been making all kinds of yummy food from your recipes. I hope we can travel to New York someday and meet up with you again!”
“Yum! Don’t ask me to open my mouth because I have food in there! : ) “
One day, I met up with Jenny, her daughter Xa Xin, and her friend Ling. They took me for some sightseeing in Singapore. I had been looking forward to meeting Jenny, she’s one of my long time readers.
Jenny, Ja Xin, and Ling. If you want to see Ja Xin’s feature on my Korean food fan page, check this out.
Jenny, Ja Xin, and Ling came to the meetup. This is drawn by Ja Xin. The young girl is Ja Xin and the lady holding her hand? That’s me! I hope Jenny’s not jealous of me. : )
Hawker center in Chinatown in Singapore. We had lunch here.
My lunch: rice, chicken balls and salad. Check out the cute lime. The size is like large grape. So cute.
Freshly squeezed sugarcane. Delicious natural juice!
Singapore was another successful stop on my Gapshida tour. It was great to see some of my longtime readers, silent readers, and new fans. It was all too short, and I was soon on the plane for another shoot and meetup in Jakarta!