Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hotcakes

Besides dine-in cakes at the cafe, one may also order whole Birthday cakes from Hotcakes...
Nice!: -)

Hotcakes is located at level 1 of Fortune centre, near the office tower entrance, stretch opposite the Crystal shop, near Tracy Juice. 


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Vegetarian Day on first day of Lunar Year

甜甜蜜蜜的甜汤甜蜜一整年!
Happy Lunar New Year! Start this first day of Lunar New Year with full day vegetarian has been tradition for many. (In fact, especially to non vegetarians! )
Why?
Here is an article in English found at http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/chinese-new-year-festivities.htm that touches on vegetarian on lunar first day:
"A traditional Buddhist vegetarian dish called "Jai" (Traditional Chinese: 羅漢齋 or 齋; pinyin: luóhàn zhāi) or Buddha's delight is prepared on the first day of Chinese New Year using eighteen different ingredients as the Chinese believe eighteen to be a lucky number signifying wealth and prosperity (Traditional Chinese: 羅漢全齋; pinyin: luóhàn quánzhā). Of course, each single one of the ingredient represents a certain symbolic meaning.

Abstaining from meat consumption on the first day is believed to enhance longevity. Additionally, a vegetarian dish helps to purify and cleanse out the body as well as it honors a Buddhist tradition that nothing living should be killed on the first day of the New Year."

Here are more articles in Chinese for sharing...

中国许多地方都有新年第一天吃素的习俗。古人有言,“一日持斋,天下杀生无我分”,“大年初一吃素”或许也与此有关。大年初一吃素,可以为新年第一天增添喜庆与祥和,预兆一年的平安如意。

其实,素食过年并非时尚,而是复古。中国各地都有素食过年的传统,让我们盘点一下全国各地春节素食的习俗吧!

一、海南:初一习俗,吃斋祭祖,寓意吉祥

新年到,挂红灯,贴对联,海口的大街小巷真热闹!春节是我国民间传统的重大节日,它是一年四季中的第一个节日,故特别被人们看重,在海口,大年初一有两件特别的习俗:吃斋和祭祖。

海口人说的“斋”,从广义来说就是素食。海口斋菜煲的制作方法非常讲究,先将腐竹、粉丝、黄花菜、冬菇、黑木耳等干菜分别浸发漂洗干净,在开水中过一下,滤干,再分别用热油炒匀,入味煨熟待用;把黑豆芽、甜菜、水芹等分别洗净切好,煸炒入半味;黄豆腐干切成长条状,热油略炸成黄色,再加味料至入半味。接着净锅烧热,油热后将全部菜料放入,下清水,调入适量生抽、味精、麻油,慢火煮透。然后将煮好的斋菜分别按其原料的颜色间隔摆放入砂锅中,用中火煮开即可上席了。

海口初一吃斋是祖上留传下来的春节习俗,初一是不吃荤的,必须得吃斋,意思来年不杀生,干干净净;初九吃“斋”,图日子平安吉利。初一凌晨,无论老少都得起床吃“斋饭”(即为清净洁白以怀念祖先)。“斋饭”不但类似于伊斯兰教的清真食品,而且正如北方人过年必吃鱼(年年有余)一样,吃的东西还须有吉祥寓意,其中必有清炒茄子(茄子,海南话寓意一年比一年好),清炒水芹菜(“芹”与“勤”谐音,祈望全家在新的一年勤勤劳劳)、长粉丝(寓意过日子细水长流)、黄黄的像金元宝状的豆腐干(寓意招财进宝)……

二、广东:注重初一吃素,祈福增寿

关于初一为何要吃素,通常的说法是:大年初一吃了素,就等于一年都吃了素,意在祈福增寿。

从现代饮食的发展趋势来看,先人们留下的这个习俗,得以让丰衣足食的人们在欢庆新春之余,让疲劳的肠胃得到休养,因而这一传统习俗显得越发时尚。

广州的素食馆越来越火,临近春节,各素食馆的年饭宴早已订得七七八八,尤其是年初一的宴席,连做两三轮已不算什么,有食肆甚至已订出连做十轮的超强“流水席”,仍旧供不应求!

如果你来不及去挤这场庙会般火爆的素食宴,在家做几样讨喜的素菜也不错呢。

素食清淡又美味,就连菜名都带着各种好意头——虽然这是人们赋予的,但能够吃得健康又开心,岂不是功德圆满?

广东人尤其注重初一吃素,当中又以客家人最为尊崇。据客家食客回忆,儿时每逢初一,一日三餐都要吃素,锅里、碗里半点油星都不得残留,连吃一包方便面都算是破戒。老一辈广东人坚信:年初一吃素,可带来整年的素净、平安。

在素食馆里,各种年饭素菜卖相精致,且大都有着动人的名称:竹报平安(板栗烧腐竹)、万事如意(空山松子落)、岁岁有花红(淮山酿杏鲍菇卷)……对“肉食动物”来说,这是闹春之际一次独特的美食体验。

三、山东:大年初一要吃素饺子

饺子是我国北方广大地区春节期间不可或缺的食品之一。大年初一,到底是吃荤馅饺子还是素馅饺子,大有讲究。

山东大学民俗学研究所所长张士闪教授说,大年初一早晨第一顿饭要吃素馅饺子,其意是指第一天“肃(素)静”了,这整整一年也就肃静了,反映了人们祈求平安无事的心理诉求。

据张士闪教授介绍,过去的农村大家庭聚族而居,往往都有十几口人甚至几十口人,妯娌之间难免有口舌之争,但家庭和睦是家族兴旺的重要标志之一,为求家庭和睦“肃静”,达到“家外无官司,家内无纠纷”之境,所以讲究大年初一要吃素馅饺子。

“至于具体是腊月三十还是大年初一吃素馅饺子,各地稍有差别,但其意都是‘求一年肃静,没有烦心事’。”山东省食文化研究会常务副会长兼秘书长孙晨阳表示。

山东省临沂市郯城县居民张兆钦说,鲁东南流传这样一种说法:大年初一“不动荤”。一是因为“动”寓意“动荡”,而且“不动荤”也意味着不动怒。其二在于大年初一吃素馅饺子是祈求新的一年里能过上肃静日子,也就是一年到头都清静、无忧无虑。

相关阅读:中国各地各族素食习俗

◆满族——过年初一至初五吃素

在满族习俗中,从新年第一天至第五天都要吃素。这些素食,大多是模仿寺院的斋食精制而成。

◆客家与闽南人——正月初一吃素

许多地方的客家人与闽南人,正月初一早餐都要吃素。据说大年初一吃一天素等于全年吃素,但这只是一种一厢情愿的想法。有些地方的客家人与闽南人,则会在除夕晚上就开始吃素。

◆水族——端午节吃素

水族在端午节有吃素的习俗。据传水族的远祖从江西迁到贵州三都地区,在此开荒种地、创家立业。某一年的秋后,远祖的四个儿子来探望,远祖上楼取肉款待他们时不慎失足坠楼而身亡。自此以后,水族从端午节的第一天开始,只准吃素,直至端午节结束后才能吃荤。

◆苏州——农历六月廿四开始吃雷斋素一个月

相传农历六月二十四日是雷尊生日。雷尊即雷公,是神话中专司打雷的神。吃雷斋素,就是为了崇奉雷尊而吃素。据说,吃了雷斋素可以消灾避疫保平安。苏州人吃雷斋素,一般从六月初一开始至雷尊生日结束,历时将近一个月。

◆九华山——居民初一至初三吃全素

在佛教圣地九华山一带,居民在腊月三十过所谓素年,当日阖家一起吃素宴,饭后烧香祭拜祖先,大年初一到寺庙拜佛,吃素则是吃到初三。

◆佛教——在家信众学出家人生活在每月六斋日受持八关斋戒

佛教有所谓八关斋戒,《增一阿含经》中称之为贤圣八关斋法或八关斋法,指的是:不杀生、不偷盗、不淫欲、不妄语、不饮酒、不非时食、不坐高广床、不香华脂粉涂身。八关斋戒是一日戒,受持的时间是一日一夜,一般都在每月六斋日受持,即农历每月初八、十四、十五、廿三、廿九、三十日(如逢小月,可改为廿八、廿九日)。这是根据《优婆夷堕舍迦经》中说:佛陀考虑在家信众为经营家计,不能日日受持八戒,因此有每月六斋日受持八关斋戒的规定。
(source: http://fo.ifeng.com/a/20150218/40986315_0.shtml)
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正月年初一吃素的原因:
有關新年正月初一吃素的原因說法有很多,因為各地方風俗不同,大致上都認為新年正月初一的早上或全天是吃素的習慣, 據一些長輩和宗教界的信眾稱:大年初一吃素是源自佛家的齋戒習俗。因尊崇佛教眾生初一,十五吃齋的風俗,後來演化成廣東人大年初一吃齋的習俗。初二開年才吃葷,表達了人們敬佛之意和企盼來年日子富足,不用吃素的願望。正月初一吃素還有“素靜一年”之意。所以中國人正月初一是吃齋和忌殺生。
另外,有些人則認為中國人新年年初一在早餐吃素的講法:以前的農業社會,吃葷家庭需要在正月初一早上吃素的,是對祖先們憐惜萬物的仁愛之心。其實民間相傳吃素的事情亦很多,例如: 正月初一早餐,民間習俗必須吃素,而且不能吃粥、喝湯,據說:「初一早吃菜恰贏吃一年齋」,初一早餐吃粥喝湯則出外會被雨淋。
由於春節期間是一年中最重要的節日,所以產生許多行事的禁忌,例如:大年初一忌吃稀飯,要吃乾飯,民間相信一年之初就吃稀飯,以後一年到尾都得靠吃稀飯過活;也有說年初一吃稀飯的話,一年內若有遠行,便會碰到大風大雨,故吃稀飯不吉利。初一忌煎粿,因為一般煎粿要好吃,多得煎到金黃色,而閩南語意稱為煎到「赤」,赤又與「赤貧」同語意,很不吉利。
現代的想法認為正月初一吃素也是一件好事,因為前一晚(年夜三十晚)的年夜飯佳餚太多和菜太油膩,吃素來清腸胃也有益健康。試想想,正月初年二又要與家人和親友們吃開年飯,如果年初一還是大魚大肉,很容易消化不良,所以在新年的年初一這天吃素清理一下腸胃,才可以接下來幾天再戰飯局。
(source:  https://hk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090210000051KK02281)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

O' Bean The Organic Soya Place

The FB advert on O'Bean had caught my attention that I decided to visit its new premise at 83 Tanjong Pagar Road. It turned out to be at a well-renovated shophouse with a bus-stop just in-front of it near Duxton road.
Claypot Veg Curry looked good on menu and Yes, it tasted as good as expected.;-)


Next, we tried their signature Vegetable Soy Porridge. Can't really taste the soy strongly but was nice Cantonese congee style which we wish it could be a bigger portion.:P
As the name suggests, the food consists of soy and is a unqiue feature. They have friendly service and oh! their CNY Yusheng looks good.

More info on O'Bean can be found at its facebook updates: ObeanOrganicSoyStore

May it and all vegetarian or pro-vegetarian eateries strive well...




Friday, February 5, 2016

4 号斋菜 at Tiong Bahru Market food centre

Wow, the No.4 Vegetarian stall at Tiong Bahru Market Food centre, making it the 5th vegetarian stall around Tiong Bahru Market area. (There is one at corner coffee shop just opposite Tiong Bahru market car-park exit). Differ from their competitors whose core food is Fried meehoon, they embark on cooked wanton mee, laksa, lontong and fried goose mee.
That's a welcome change for vegetarian patrons who like cooked on spot noodles.
Missed good wanton mee for long time, that's my immediate choice when I saw their menu.
THUMBS UP for their flavorful mee, well mixed and cooked! :-)
Oh they advertised long opening hours from 6am-10pm Daily...Cool... hope they sustain then we can have vegetarian  dinner and supper options there.

Located at level 2 of Tiong Bahru Market food centre #02-13, left centre stretch of stalls from up escalator, besides the other left centre located Ding Shan Vegetarian.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

慈缘轩 (Ci Yan Xuan) Chinatown

Salad Spaghetti from Ci Yan Xuan...
Refreshing especially after a hot CNY shopping spree at Chinatown. :-)


Address: 8 Smith Street (shop house near end of Food Street)
Tel: 6225 9026 (If you want to confirm menu of the day:P)

Usual Opening Hours: 12pm-10pm 

Gokul (Fortune Centre)

Back to Gokul for their delicious Fried Kway Teow! :-)
Sinfully nice especially when eaten sizzling hot...

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Mei Jing Vegetarian Food

Mee goreng is not on their original menu of Stir-fry dishes but I tried my luck and the friendly vendor readily accede to request. A spicy flavourful pack of delicious mee goreng was produced. Thumbs up!!!
But sadly this stall known for its economical price has also recently revised its price upwards from $3 to $3.50 for stir-fry dishes and economical rice orders from 3 dishes at $2.50 to $3.:-p.
Hope it remains the price and quality for more years...

Mei Jing Vegetarian stall #01-76, is located at the Beo Crescent market's food centre just in-front of Blk 40 Havelock Road, 2 streets away from Tiong Bahru Plaza. It opens early around 7am to 4pm daily and rests on Sunday.