Monday, January 31, 2022

Jumbo Penyet Classic from Rayyan’s Waroeng Upnormal @ Amoy Street Hawker Centre [Singapore] #amoyhawkercentre

Taking advantage of a staycation at Singapore's central business district, we decided to check out Amoy Street Food Centre, which re-opened recently after a 3-month long renovation! 

Timing: about 10.15 am; an optimal time when stalls had opened /would be opening for business and you don't get the massive lunch crowd, that descends usually from 11.30 am till 2.00 pm, fighting for tables / seats. 

Rayyan's Waroeng Upnormal, a fusion Muslim food stall, caught my attention for three reasons; the unconventional black signage, and a board with the the header "jumbo bestseller penyet menu". I love ayam penyet! 

The third reason: the container of fried chicken that shone like stars in a black sky! My curiosity was piqued, especially when I also noticed the Michelin Guide 2017 sticker. Guess there must be some standard right, to be featured on Michelin? 

Jumbo Penyet Classic - frankly, it didn't exude that traditional Indonesian ayam penyet feel with the missing fried tofu and tempeh. People unfamiliar with ayam penyet would have mistaken this for fried chicken with rice. p.s. I asked for only half portion of rice

My fist for comparison; no doubt this is the biggest ayam penyet I ever had in my life and at just S$6.50, it was super worth the deal, unless it were to fail the taste test, which would be the major determinant when it comes to food. 

Meat wise, it was nice but lacked the juiciness that could have propelled this to the top of the ayam penyet list. The sambal chilli, only one kind and was both sweet and spicy, played an important role in enhancing the flavor.

When it comes to ayam penyet, I was most concerned with the skin and this didn't disappoint; thin, crisp skin drenched with an appetizing sweet sauce! Satisfying! 

Full - I would ask for no rice next time although I am keen to check out their Balinese Gyudon next time. How would the fusion Indonesian - Japanese food taste like? 


7 Maxwell Rd, #02-86, 
Amoy Street Food Centre
Singapore 069111

As above.

As above.

Jumbo Penyet Classic - S$6.50

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Chinatown Street Light Up for Lunar New Year 2022 - Year of The Tiger @ Singapore #yearofthetiger #chinatownstreetlightup2022

It's just a few more days to the year of the ferocious tiger and I had been so busy with spring cleaning! No joke when you have your own place even though I am thankful mine was just a tiny 3-room flat. 

Anyway, Chinatown was already very crowded when I visited more than two weeks ago. It's good that the government would have stricter enforcement in place given the spikes in cases due to the super infectious OMICRON variant.

My purpose was for a dinner at Oriental Chinese Restaurant with my parents, elder sister and brother in law, but decided to make it a trip to capture the annual light-up too! I heard the centerpiece was gorgeous but let me fill up my stomach first with food. 

Here it is! The family of Bengal tigers with the daddy (said to be be 4.5-meter in length and almost 5-meter in height) taking the tallest spot overlooking the roads leading towards Clarke Quay / Bugis.  

Humans were miniscule in comparison. Trivia on Bengal tiger; it's the national animal of India and Bangladesh and their canine teeth are the largest among living cats at almost 4 inches long! 

The adorable baby tigers with their parents.

Koi jumping out of the "water" and gold coins dropping from the sky; the latter's significance is obvious given that Chinese loves money. For the former, it relates to the pronunciation for the word "in excess", which sounds like fish. 

More photos of the centerpiece, including the back view. I think there's a speaker somewhere that would play the tiger roars every now and then. It's not extremely loud so I am unsure if people would hear it. 

To the back of the centerpiece is also a trail of lanterns that was often overlooked, mainly because it bordered the main road, with cars streaming in to make a U-turn along Eu Tong Sen street. 

With so many life-sized tigers, I bet many would scramble to a selfie / wefie should the street be closed. Which wouldn't be possible I guess since the pandemic is far from over and I doubt the government would allow massive gathering to take place. 

I am impressed with the street lanterns this year; they were beautiful and were the result of a concept input by students from Singapore University of Technology and Design. 

See, even the claws were ready to shred us to pieces! 

The end of the trail although not the only trail around. There would still be the section bordering new bridge road, which I would be covering shortly.

He requested a picture and I glad gave him one! 
Who said Singaporeans are boring?! 

Overhanging lanterns across the New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street. I thought the lion head lanterns had a menacing expression and they looked as if they had been decapitated! 

Prices of Lim Chee Guan bak kwa. No queue as they were already sold out by the time I took the picture. From my understanding, they had already closed for the year. Nowadays, I would just go for other brands that were as good, or even better. For example, Kim Joo Guan and Kim Hock Guan Kiat Kee at Chong Pang.

Stretch of street lanterns alongside New Bridge Road.

Usually, the lanterns here were not as spectacular as the centerpiece but I was absolutely taken aback by the jumping tiger that hurled itself across a valley. Visually, it was captivating.

Especially when you look from across the road, where Lucky Chinatown is. From afar, it appeared as if the tigers were hovering in the air! p.s. please check them out at night as I bet the pole supporting them would be dead visible in the day time.

The hanging lanterns here had me scratching my head. Since I am Singaporean Chinese, I can identify the symbol which should be two fishes. However, they looked odd!

More photos for your viewing pleasure.

Stunning trees even though the green round things looked more like pomelos. Nevertheless, still a feast for the eyes and I really enjoyed how the design try to make the tigers more lifelike with actions like using the trees as a scratching post!

Incorporating designs of ang pow (red packets), fire crackers etc. Fireworks are part and parcel of Chinese festivities but in Singapore, they are banned with strict penalties imposed for those who smuggle them in! 

Time to explore the inner streets although my next objective was actually to check out the street light decorations along the parallel South Bridge Road, which would require me to cut across the streets.

It was already announced that the festive bazaar would be cancelled once again this year and while this would likely dampen the celebratory atmosphere; many bazaar vendors had taken to renting the space from permanent stores to market their products! 

As you can see, crowds still thronged Chinatown! This photo was taken two weeks ago and I can bet the area would be a lot more crowded now that we are nearing lunar new year's eve.

For your viewing pleasure. Only sad thing is that sampling wasn't allowed and this deter us from gauging if a product is good before we buy! I miss those times! 

Fancy a game of checkers with the veterans? 

Sago Street is always quite empty despite being situated next to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (佛牙寺) and near the main entrance of Chinatown Complex, where hundreds of hawker stalls would whet your appetite!

The numerous tiger sculptures in various colors and patterns; "presented by the World Wide Fund for Nature (Singapore) in partnership with Chinatown Festivals Committee and Temenggong Artists-in-Residence", don't they remind us of the elephant parade

Right behind would be Chinatown Complex! I had to resist stepping in as I wouldn't be able to resist the cheng tng! If I haven't had dinner, I would likely go for the teriyaki chicken from Kazan too

Back to Sago Lane again.

First photo - the ever popular shop with its wide range of red pockets. Second photo - I think I share about this shop in my post last year, where paper cutouts were customized for Christianity. 

More tiger-themed lanterns in front and by the sides of Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (佛牙寺); looks like they were sponsored by companies 

Front of the then-closed Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (佛牙寺).

Hanging festive lights across South Bridge Road, with fan-like and pineapple designs. It's been a while since the lanterns along this road impressed me. The best so far had to be the snake year back in 2013.

Nevertheless, I do like the addition of tiger-sprouting couplets at the side of the road even though the eyes seemed a bit weird and the teeth appeared to have been filed down. 

No idea what this artwork was all about until I google. Turned out it's linked to "The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang", a drama about the underworld. 

Iconic People's Park Complex; there were rumors of an en-bloc sale for the 49-year old building and I am hoping it would face the same fate as Golden Mile Complex which was gazetted for conservation late last year. 

Temple Street has two different looks; nearer to the MRT entrance / exit section, it was filled with people but the section closest to South Bridge Road commanded a contrasting quietness, with many stalls closed.

Interested to lease them at 40% off?
Scan the QR code in the photo! 

Some more tiger-themed products for sale. I don't like to buy as that would mean a replacement every time the lunar new year comes, unless I diligently keep them stored up until the year comes up again 12 years later.

Returning to comfort of the crowds! 

So cute to have a young kid manning the stall selling dried persimmons! I always think it's good training to start young although there's a risk of overly concerned individuals calling out child labor abuse. 

More photos! 

I think the pandemic had resulted in more green thumbs as such nurseries seemed to be quite popular! At Chong Pang in Yishun, there are now about a few shops selling plants and flowers; even I had taken to purchasing a mint plant.

Street murals - should I dedicate a post just on street murals in Chinatown?

This was so adorable with its surprised expression! p.s. it isn't a tiger. Rather, its design came from the lion in traditional lion dance. 

I am back at Temple Street again; as I split with the rest of my family who weren't as keen with photo-taking, this would be easiest meet-up point for everyone. Not in the middle of the street of course. 

So many shops offering CNY decorations! My dad would advise you to wait longer as prices would drop drastically as the ox years comes to an end. Disclaimer: popular designs can run out of stock! 

The usual me would get a few packets of the peanuts and melon seeds for my mom but this year, she requested to buy them later. I think she is worried of overindulging! 

Piggy bank in pig design.

Such common designs appealed to me though. Should I secure the humongous one? It only cost S$68 but the problem is I have no idea where to put it at home! 

Tiger piggy bank had the face of a rat! 

Red packets came with English, instead of Chinese words. On one hand, it's good to see designs advancing with time although on the other hand; quite sad that the younger generation just couldn't be bothered with Chinese.

Beautifully designed red packets. The government has been encouraging e-ang bao but nothing beats receiving the physical red packet with its blessings, and cash! Sorry, traditionalist here. 

Picture of Temple Street from the staircase leading to the overhead bridge connecting Eu Tong Sen street and New Bridge Road. At 9.00 pm, the street was a lot busier! 

With barricades preventing people from venturing towards the areas where you can get a better shot of the street light-up; the place was deserted except for those who genuinely needed to cross e bridge.

Remember the leaping tiger that I shared earlier? 
You can have a top-down view from the overhead.

Neon signboards; I recalled a few decades ago that the Singapore government relented on the regulations that disallowed neon lights but the craze never did quite catch on, Maybe because shortly after, cheaper LED lights started flooding the signboard industry.

Want to know your luck for the coming Tiger year? You can read them at Chinatown Point. I personally dislike knowing my fortune / luck in the future as it can make one hypersensitive to any incident. 

My dad joined me for this short photoshoot and he was my trusty model, as much as I am his! With every passing year, I can't help feeling depressed that it's one lesser year I would have with him. Always treasure our parents, while they are still alive. At least when they pass on, our regret would not be as deep. 


Period for Chinatown Street Light-Up in Singapore
Until 02 March 2022

Light Up Timing 
From 7.00 pm till Midnight