Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Kacang Puteh anyone?

February 19, 2009

During my school days at SJI (now SAM), scatter a handful of peanuts and the pigeons comes fluttering to feed. This was quite a scene at the courtyard of former SJI (St Joseph’s Institution) now known as SAM (Singapore Art Museum). At one end of the school’s tuckshop sat an Indian man selling kacang puteh. In front of him was an array of plastic containers containing a variety of nuts. Cashew nuts, peanuts as well as the  sugar-coated ones, chick-peas, green peas and a variety of other nuts of sorts that catered to our likes. With his paper-cone ready, he will scoop your favourite nuts with a spoon and pour it into the paper-cone filling it to the brim. At only 20cents, you get to munch to your hearts content…and perhaps scatter a few pieces on the courtyard for the waiting pigeons. A familiar sight of the kacang puteh seller were also seen at the lobby area of cinemas. Cinema patrons would buy their favourite nuts and munch away while watching the movie. You may occasionally hear the crunching sound from the cinema patron seated next to you as one grinds away. Mostly plied by the Indians in the earlier years, the kacang puteh seller is now becoming a fast disappearing trade.

^ A kacang puteh seller dressed in white shirt and sarong plying his trade. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, circa early 1990s)

If you happen to travel along Selegie Road, you may still catch a glimpse of the kacang puteh seller. Mr Nagappan, who has been selling kacang puteh for more than 15 years, sits at his pushcart in front of Peace Centre selling your favourite snack.

^ Below is the article published in The Straits Times seen in the above photo displayed on Mr Nagappan’s pushcart.

The Straits Times, Saturday May 21st 2005, by Lin Zhaowei

Sell kacang puteh? It’s a tough nut to crack.
For nine hours everyday, Mr Nagappan Arumugam faithfully stands at his little stall at Peace Centre shopping mall in Selegie Road, selling kacang puteh. His small metallic pushcart is stuffed with plastic bottles containing more than 20 varieties of peas, peanuts and beans. True to tradition, his one-dollar snacks are served in white paper cones.

His day begins at 11.30am, and when he gets tired, he pulls out his plastic stool to sit on. There is no signboard to indicate his presence and many people simply pass him by without a second glance. Mr Nagappan, 62, has been selling kacang puteh for about 15 years. Before he moved to his present location eight years ago, he was plying his trade at the old Hoover cinema in Balestier Road.

Before popcorn invaded cinema here, people picked up cones of kacang from sellers like him to munch through a movie. At that time, these kacang puteh sellers, dressed in their white shirts and sarongs, would roam the streets calling out to customers. They packed their nuts in bags, arranged them neatly in a wooden box and carried it on their heads. They sold the kacang in cones made of carbon-laced newspapers or torn pages from the Yellow Pages. Time has seen their numbers dwindle, as tastes change. The few existing sellers no longer peddle their goods on the streets.

It seems that tougher times are ahead for Mr Nagappan. “Business has gone down in recent years. I used to make about $700 to $800 a month. Now I make only about $200 to $300 monthly.” Mr Nagappan prepares most of his nuts himself in the rented flat he shares with a friend in Geylang Bahru. The rest are bought off the shelf.

He has a wife and four grown-up children in India, but could not convince them to live here with him. He visits them about once a year. He forsees the demise of the kacang puteh trade in around 10 years’ time. “Kacang puteh doesn’t appeal to the younger generation.”

If you still savour munching your favourite kacang from the paper-cone, perhaps this is one place you may still get to relieve the memories of your younger days…kacang puteh anyone?


Lose Fin or Lose Face?

May 10, 2008


In any typical chinese wedding, having shark’s fin soup as one of the dishes served to wedding guests, is considered a status symbol.

‘Most of the couples’ parents consider this dish a premium and without it, they would lose face,’ said Mandarin Oriental’s communications director Ruth Soh.

Read the full text on Shark’s fin: S’pore takes a much bigger bite from today’s Straits Times Interactive.

Do you consider if serving other dishes as a replacement of shark’s fin considered losing face?

Get your free BJ today

April 29, 2008

Don’t think it is true? Here’s the news hich appeared in TODAY newspaper.

Ben & Jerry’s is celebrating its 30th birthday today by giving away ice cream. Simply drop by any of the eight Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops island-wide between noon and 7pm for your free scoop. Said Mr Tan Lee Ken, Ben & Jerry’s brand champ: “Free Cone Day is our way of thanking our loyal fans. Last year, we gave away over 42,000 scoops of ice cream. We’re planning to smash that record, especially since it’s our 30th anniversary.” The ice-cream chain has chosen the Singapore Children’s Society as the beneficiary of this year’s Free Cone Day, and donations can be made at all Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops. — JOSEPH YADAO

A meal for $2 or less? Where?

April 28, 2008

Nowadays, it’s pretty difficult to get a meal at a $2. The usual plate of chicken rice or even a bowl of wanton noodles, previously priced around $2.50 at hawker centres have gone up. Can you get a meal for $2 or less? Read the story Eat for $2 or less- new website tells you where. Perhaps you may find some of your favourite food still at $2 or less at ekampong.

Yummy Yum Yum

March 12, 2008

Received an email from a friend. If you can’t decide what to eat day after day, here’s is something to share with all food lovers from the comprehensive and informative web site on “Best Food Guide”. This site gathers all the best, delicious and tasty food which are all favoured by Singaporeans. Have a try at these food outlets and spread the word around if you find it tasty.


McDonald’s delivery goes online in SG

March 6, 2008

Mcdonald’s has just introduced another means for Singaporeans to get your fast-food…via online. If you happen to be surfing the net and suddenly decides to get your favourite McDonald’s fast-food items, check out the new online ordering service at

Healthy life

January 22, 2008

Have some fruits for a healthy life.

Changi’s Secret Garden

January 21, 2008


For those living in or around Changi area, you may have dined at this restaurant which top my list of places to spend a quiet evening and chill out. Don’t miss the refreshing Red Plum Soda drink. Read SD Food Advisor’s review of The Bark Cafe