A Star on Sentosa Island – Capella!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

All food photos are of REAL food with no photoshop

The irrepressible and intrepid Travelling Gourmet TM goes to an island to stay where…

MARTHA Stewart, “America’s Mummy” stayed when she visited sunny Singapore! CAPELLA is a resort 5 Star hotel in lush tropical gardens with not one, not two but THREE swimming pools! Capella is actually the name of the largest star in the Auriga Constellation. Yes, The Travelling Gourmet TM is also a bit of an astronomer…

1°14’59″N 103°49’26″E.

Check-in was a breeze…despite the many guests also checking in for the Hari Raya long  weekend. Perky Jenna from Perak brought me on a tour of Capella, with the main building being a National Heritage site…and then to where I would stay. Perched in the corner on the topmost floor, which is the 5th floor, it was the luxurious Sentosa Suite. Wow! A really nice suite and with my own personal outdoor al fresco Jacuzzi no less! I was delighted!

 

 

Capella Singapore
1 The Knolls

Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297
Tel: +65 6377 8888

 

To be continued…

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The Travelling Gourmet TM interviews Caitanya Tan…

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

All food photos are of REAL food with no photoshop

The suave and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM interviews Caitanya Tan who stars in Mediacorp’s “Tanglin ” TV series at the…

MARRIOTT over scrumptious English Afternoon Tea in the salubrious Lobby Lounge. For those who do not watch the MediaCorp TV series “Tanglin” which is on Channel 5 every Monday to Friday, actress Caitanya Tan plays Captain Goh Yiling in “Tanglin”. Clad in a clingy black dress, charming Caitanya was very frank and disarming when she answered my questions in an exclusive interview with The Travelling Gourmet TM.

Capt. Goh IMG_20170615_141929_550

 

 

Caitanya Tan in her role as Singapore Armed Forces Captain Goh Yiling

 

The Travelling Gourmet TM: What made you want to be an actress?

Caitanya: I was a pianist first actually. I passed my Grade 8 at 16. Both my brothers and my father are musicians. Then I was a singer…then when I was 22 I moved to Hong Kong to work for Hong Kong Disneyland for 2 years. They had a show called “The Golden Mickey” and I was the compere and host called “Bebe”! As “Bebe” I sang and danced and presented the Disney characters who won the awards in this show to the audience. I also do Travelogs for companies like AirAsia.

The English Afternoon Tea was served by Helen who is always very good at service…I selected sustainable Williamson Kenyan Caravan Tea while Caitanya went for TWG Pink Flamingo which is Green Tea with Hibiscus notes. My piping hot Kenya Caravan Tea was most refreshing with notes of apricots and Acacia Honey. Williamson in the UK has been tea farmers since 1869 and have Tea Farms in the heart of Kenya, East Africa. Truth be told, Marriott’s English Afternoon Tea is really jolly yummie! There are splendid Smoked Salmon Sandwiches, Ham Sandwiches, crunchy Cucumber Sandwiches which I adore, sinfully rich Chocolate Opera Cakes, sweet and sexy Macarons, Fruit Tartlets, mini Chicken and Beef Puff Pastry Pies, Quiche Lorraine with Spinach and lots more, all presented on an impressive 3 tier stand! The Scones with Strawberry jam and Clotted Cream are also delicious. The piece de resistance which I simply must highlight is the “Mocchaccino”. This is a golf ball sized Chocolate praline studded with milk chocolate bits and there is…super-yummielicious liquid “Mocchaccino” inside that explodes on your palate when you bite in to it! You scoff off fine Royal Bone China with Cutipol Portuguese steelware. If you wish they will serve you with more of the “goodies” that you like. The ambience is also very salubrious and soothing.

Marriott Afternoon Tea20170605_151654_resized

 

Opera Cake Marriott20170605_164413_resized

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro! The classic Opera Cake!

 

The tempting food had arrived and as Caitanya speaks French I wished her, “Bon appetit!”

Marriott Fruit Tartlet20170605_155624_resized

Fruit Tartlet with Strawberry and edible Fondant Flower to rob a bank for! Never ever say that asinine phrase “to die for” because when you are dead you cannot taste any food nicht wahr!

 

In between mouthfuls of yummie food I asked, “Do you have a back-up plan? We should all have a back-up plan…I always have a back-up plan.”

 

 

Caitanya laughed, throwing back her long jet black hair and said earnestly, “I have no back-up plan! My father always told me that when you have a back-up plan, you will use that as an excuse not to do what you really want to do! When I went to study Musical Theater at La Salle School of the Arts (BAHons 2010), I had no back-up plan so I put my heart and soul into it. I also went to Los Angeles to study acting in the Margie Haber Studio which is an acting school.”

Incidentally, Margie Haber taught actors like Brad Pitt and Halle Berry who played curvaceous CIA officer “Jinx” in the James Bond movie “Die another Day”.

The Travelling Gourmet: Your name Caitanya is very unusual. What does it mean?

Caitanya explained: It comes from the Sanskrit word “Chaitanya” and means consciousness, spirit and energy.

Oh La La! Very profound indeed!

The Travelling Gourmet: What hobbies do you have?

Caitanya explained animatedly: I love cooking! I make my food from scratch.

She promptly showed me photos on her handphone of her cinnamon rolls, dumplings and cute pancakes which she had made.

Caitanya continued with a grimace: Due to my Acid Reflux, I don’t take yoghurt, cheese, butter, dairy products like milk when I have to sing and perform. I make Bechamel Sauce with Soy Milk. When I am not performing, I love Cheese! I have to take anti-acids sometimes due to the Acid Reflux. I love fruits too.

Taking a sip from my glass of Valle Belbo  “Cesare Pavese” Moscato d’Asti Italian wine with honey and floral notes, I asked Caitanya, “How about wines and spirits? What wines do you like?

Caitanya: I don’t drink…except for Tequila when I’m partying which is few and far between!

The Traveling Gourmet: As an actress, you play many different roles like SAF Captain Goh Yiling in “Tanglin”. Is it confusing to be yourself?

Caitanya: I “switch off” to cope with the different roles I play.

The Travelling Gourmet: What life mottos do you have?

Caitanya: I never fail. I either win or I learn.

And on that very positive note I ate a jolly nice Caramel Macaron! Life is like ice cream, enjoy it before it melts! 🙂

 

English Afternoon Tea from 2pm to 5pm daily

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

320 Orchard Road 

Singapore  238865

 

History of the French Opera Cake!

Way back in 1955 the renowned French pastry chef Cyriaque Gavillon worked at the legendary Dalloyau Pattisserie in Paris. Dalloyau having been around since 1682 were suppliers to the Royal Court of Versailles. The perfect match was created when Cyriaque, a patisserie genius and artist who created the most amazing cakes & sugar decorations, collaborated with Dalloyau.  When inventing the Opera cake His aim was to create  a cake which…when you take just ONE bite you would immediately enjoy a taste of the whole cake. Finally Cyriaque came up with a sublimely sophisticated layer cake. His wife told him it reminded her of the Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera House…thus the Opera cake was born!

 

 

 

 

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Singapore Airlines signs Buckingham Palace Declaration

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

On Tuesday 6 June, 2017 –  73rd Anniversary of the D-Day landings aka Operation Overlord to liberate Europe from the evil Nazis..

The indomitable and intrepid Travelling Gourmet TM tells you some good news about…

MARVELLOUS airline SIA who has SIGNED THE BUCKINGHAM PALACE DECLARATION AGAINST WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING   Singapore Airlines has signed the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce1 Buckingham Palace Declaration in support of efforts to prevent trafficking and transportation of illegal wildlife and their products. The signing took place at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Cancun, Mexico (5 June 2017, Cancun Time).

The Declaration2 now boasts 38 airlines under its umbrella, all of which have pledged to fight against transportation of illegal wildlife products in the hope of clamping down on the trade chains for such wildlife worldwide. More information on the Taskforce and Declaration may be found at http://www.unitedforwildlife.org.

 

Image result for sia singapore girl
SIA’s iconic Singapore Girl!
Do not fly British Airways where all the computers break down!
Do not fly United Airlines where they beat you up!
Do not fly Quantas where the flight stewardesses look like male WWF wrestlers!
Fly SIA!
Singapore Airlines you are a great way to fly!
…and a lovely way to dine too!!! 🙂
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1st POLISH FOOD FESTIVAL

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The audacious and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM goes to Sentosa Island  to see a Polish…

MOVIE and taste Polish cuisine in the Garden Restaurant of Sofitel SO Resort and Spa! The Garden restaurant is quite far away from the main building of the hotel so I had to take their shuttle bus. It was my second dinner of the night. Earlier I had to attend another lavish dinner in the Singapore Island Country Club. Yes, it is a tough job being The Travelling Gourmet TM but somebody has to do it! 🙂

Charming and helpful Katarzyna Kryczka from the Embassy of Poland welcomed me warmly as did His Excellency Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, the Ambassador of Poland to Singapore. Zenon asked me with a disarming smile, “So do you like Polish food?” I replied without hesitation, “I love Polish food!” The special Polish BBQ with a Polish Movie Dinner was the last event in the 1st Polish Food Festival in sunny Singapore. The dinner was well attended and the movie was shown on a big screen al fresco by the swimming pool. A very stimulating Polish Cocktail was served! It was concocted with Sobieski Premium Polish Vodka made with 100% Rye plus Apple Juice garnished with slices of red apple. Delightful and most refreshing! The other Polish Cocktail that I tried was made with  exotic Zubrovka Bison Grass Flavoured Vodka and Cranberry Juice.

Foodwise, I liked the traditional Polish Potato Salad which is similar to the classic staple beloved of Germans…Kartoffelsalat. The main difference is that the Polish Salad is made with Smoked Polish Cheese which gives it more of a “bite”!

 

 

To be continued…

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Zucchini versus Courgette! Doppelgangers?

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The elusive and audacious Travelling Gourmet tells you about the…

MUCH loved Zucchini and Courgette…

The raison  d’etre for the confusion between the humble zucchini and the upper class courgette is because they come from one and the same family of Vegetables! Both are summer squash vegetables belonging to the Cucurbit vegetable family (Cucurbita pepo). Some are canary yellow whereas others are jungle green.

The etymology of the zucchini vegetable comes from the Italian word zucchino, which literally means a tiny squash or undeveloped marrow. On the contrary, courgette is obviously of French origin. It can also be regarded as the French term counterpart for the word zucchini itself.

Zucchini and courgette may be similar plant vegetables but they called different names depending on the dominant language of the country. The first is usually used in territories rich in English, which is Northern American or Australian in nature. Zucchini is of course the name used in sunny Italy! Courgette is being used for French and British English users plus the English speaking public residing in New Zealand and South Africa.

Zucchini and courgette are different from each although they pertain to the same vegetable family. They are growing in different stages of development. In this regard, the market has made a standard definition for both veggies. During its infant growth, these baby plants can already be harvested after reaching a dimension of about 14 by 4 centimeters in length. This size is actually comparable to how small a typical cigar is. At this point, this veggie is best termed as a courgette.

In the latter part of this vegetable’s growth, it can already be regarded as a zucchini after growing some more as it grows to about 15-20 centimeters. This veggie is preferably served cooked contrary to its cucumber counterpart. Lastly, there is also another term for this same plant that has almost matured and has reached its maximum size. At this time, it is already more suitable to call it a marrow. Overall, courgettes are smaller and younger whereas zucchinis are older and bigger in size.

In very SIMPLE terms, a courgette is a small baby zucchini capische!

Summary :
1.The term Zucchini has an Italian origin while courgette is relatively French.
2.Zucchini is used by those people who speak North American and Australian English whereas courgette is used by those who speak French, British, New Zealand and South African English.
3.Zucchini and courgette are the same plant veggies but are used to refer to that same plant, which is growing across its different stages of plant development. The courgette is smaller and estimated to be about 14 x 4 cm long whereas the zucchini is bigger, which is estimated to grow as big as 15-20 cm.

 

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The search for the Colston Bun!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

On a gastronomic safari in Europe, the tenacious and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM embarks on a search for the classic bun of Bristol, the…

MARVELLOUS Colston Bun!

BRISTOL, Gloucestershire

Latitude 51.454513      Longitude -2.58791

Yeast-raised sweet bread plump and round with sweet spices, lemon and a little dried fruit and candied peel. Made in a large size with (typically) 8 division markings and a small, individual, form known as a starver.


Children eating Colston Buns


Edward Colston

Named after Edward Colston, 2nd November 1636 to 11th October 1721, a Bristol merchant and Tory Member of Pariament who endowed a school and almshouses, and who is commemorated each November at a service in Bristol Cathedral where schoolchildren are issued with the buns…

Alas, Colston is now in disrepute in this crazy time of asinine politically correctness…for being a successful slave trader. People forget that in his day slave trading was perfectly respectable like buying and selling motor cars today! However, Colston was also a philanthropist who helped a lot of people, and gave great sums of money to the city of Bristol. How about Jardine Matheson of Hong Kong selling Opium to China in the days of “gunboat diplomacy” then??? Do you want to close down Jardine Matheson???

Truth be told, Edward Colston is like a “cult figure” in Bristol. There is Colston Street and Colston Tower is on Colston Avenue. There is the Colston bun, which you are meant to eat on Colston’s Day. There is Colston’s Girls’ school where statues abound everywhere and three ceremonies are held every year to celebrate his life.”  There will be one less Bristol institution bearing his name in 3 years time. The concert venue Colston Hall will reopen in 2020, after its refurbishment, with a new name. The asinine politically correct Libtards fail to take into account that Colston Hall was built almost 150 years after Colton’s death, and was actually named after its address, which is Colston Street. I for one, to be brutally frank am not into political correctness aka hypocrisy. To me it is a load of Balderdash! I digress…so..

Where is the Bun?

Mon to Fri: 8am till 5pm, Sat: 9am till 5pm, Sun: 10am till 4pm

OPEN 7 days a week! Maybe the owner Mark Rind who has been running Cafe Revival since 2012 has Chinese blood? 🙂 Mark, please make the Colston Bun! It will be a best seller! You can call it Bristol Bun to be politically correct…wahahahah! 🙂

I also went up in a hot air balloon up to 2000 feet ASL in Bristol…but that is another story…

Das Leben es ist unbestimmt, isst erst den Nachtisch!

 

Bristol is a port city hence the intrepid Royal Marines Commandos playing “A life on the ocean wave”. Per Mare Per Terram

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Security Screening at Airports

The intrepid and resourceful Travelling Gourmet TM explains what Security Screening is all about so you can…

MAKE your way to your flight seamlessly with minimum hassle and inconvenience.

What are they looking for in a Security Screening?

Pistols

Knives

Sharp Scissors

Box Cutters

 

X-ray of a bag containing a gun Stock Photo

Xray image of a Beretta 92FS 9mm in a bag

IEDs

Having travelled far and wide on special assignment I can let you know that there are three components needed for any IED ot Improvised Explosive Device:

  1. Triggering mechanism – This is what sets off the bomb. There are lots of ways to go about it from what I understand. It could be a timer, or something pressure sensitive, or via some remote radio signal, etc. The key thing we need to know is that triggering mechanisms are generally electronic.

2. Detonator – A detonator is a usually small amount of highly volatile explosive material that is easily lit off and provides the boost to detonate the main explosive charge.

3. The main explosive itself – The main explosive is some compound that is relatively stable so that it can be transported in high enough quantities to cause a significant explosion when ignited by a detonator. Explosives come in a variety of different materials and densities from liquids through to solids. Quite often plastic explosive like C4.

Because all three of these things need to be present in a bomb, we can use this info to pack our luggage so that it is obviously not a danger and is more quickly screened and cleared by TSA and other Airport Security Screening especially by X Ray.

X-Ray Screening of carry on luggage

The primary luggage screening tool typically is some sort of x-ray machine. So when we pack luggage we should think about it in terms of how the stuff we are packing might look to an x-ray machine on the monitor.

When I talk about “how things look” here, I mean how do they appear on  the monitor screen when viewed with some type of x-ray machine.

Potential Triggers

Here are some common suitcase items that could potentially be seen as triggering device components:

Personal electronics
Hair driers
Curling Irons
Electric Razors

iPods
Connecting cables and wires
Battery chargers

Cameras

Mobile phones
Basically when it comes to triggering mechanisms and their components we’re talking about anything that is electronic or electrical.

Camera tripods and selfie sticks can also look like gun barrels on the X ray machine

Explosive Material Look-a-likes

There are a lot of things that often get packed in our suitcases that have similar densities to potential explosive materials. Here are some of the more common items we’re talking about:

Shoes (especially shoe soles)
Books
Toiletries
Shampoo
Soap
Hair care products
Paper reports
Books
Lotions
Perfumes
Food stuffs (like peanut butter for example)

Cakes like Durian Kueh – a type of cake made from the Durian fruit. It looks like C4 platique.

Fruit Cakes
The list is pretty long, so I’ve just included some of the more obvious ones. Basically we’re talking about anything that has a density of a liquid, gel, paper or soft plastic.

Strategic Packing

If there is nothing in our suitcase that could be a component of a trigger that is right next to or physically touching anything that might be the same consistency of a potential explosive then our bag can usually be cleared automatically by one of the TSA machines without needing to be opened up by one of the TSA employees.

The key is to pack your suitcase in such a way that we keep anything that might appear to be a triggering device physically separated from anything that might be mistaken for explosive material. That means we need to keep some distance in our luggage between our consumer electronics and electrical devices and any of those things which has a similar density to potential explosives.

Fortunately we can use our clothes to pack in between them and provide that physical separation. In the TSA screening machines clothes are obviously not either component so you can use your clothes to provide the physical separation you want to expedite the screening process.

If you follow these tips your Security Screening should be hassle free!

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