Fuk Tak Chi Temple 福德祠

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During my search for Nam Seng Wanton Mee, I accidentally stumbled upon this Fuk Tak Chi Temple (福德祠) along Telok Ayer Street. If you exit Telok Ayer MRT Station via Exit B, this temple is just right across the road on your left.

According to the plaque at the entrance, this temple is one of the oldest around since the 1820s. The temple, founded by the Hakka and Cantonese immigrants, served as a place of worship and a social meeting place for the two communities. The temple was closed in 1994 and has since been converted into a museum.

Inside, you can find a diorama depicting a street scene outside the temple with the early immigrants going about their daily lives. If you are wondering why there is a pier with bum boats docking along it, that is because this place used to be a coastal area. Much of Telok Ayer is built on reclaimed land.

In fact, the name Telok Ayer actually means "Water Bay".

Nam Seng: Old National Library Wanton Mee

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Recently, misstamchiak posted on her instagram about this Nam Seng Wanton Mee which used to be from the hut under the big tree beside the old National Library at Stamford Road.

Well, the old National Library is no stranger to all Singaporeans since it was, if I am not mistaken, our very first public library that has been around since the 1960s. I have a direct bus from my place to Orchard Road which passes by Stamford Road so I have passed by the library with its iconic red bricks countless of times.

However, watching the library and the hut pass me by from inside the bus is all there is of the memories I have had of them. I have not stepped into the library or eaten at the hut before and I will never have the chance to since both have already been torn down for redevelopment in 2004.

As I am a ardent fan of old school Wanton Mee, I thought why not pay a visit to the stall at its current location at China Street? You know, for nostalgia's sake?

Tai Cheong Bakery @ Holland Village

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Following the success of two pop-up stores and a takeaway kiosk at Takashimaya, Tai Cheong Bakery has finally opened a 60-seat eatery that consisted of both indoor and outdoor seats.

My visit to the bakery was an impromptu one; I was lying in bed one day when my brother called to meet up for lunch. With the Mum in tow, we met up with my brother and we took the circle line to Holland Village MRT Station.

There was no one in the queue when we reached but we waited about ten minutes for a indoor seat. If you do not mind sitting outside, you might be able to get a table faster. 

We can literally feel the heatwave while queuing by the roadside so a outdoor seat is a no-no for us. The thoughtful Tai Cheong Bakery has provided a chilled water dispenser along the queue which we can help ourselves to if we wanted.

As we were shown to our seats, the air-con that hits our face brought some much needed relief from the scorching heat outside.

Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee @ Hong Lim Food Centre

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Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee (亚王咖喱鸡米粉面) is one of the two better-known stalls for selling the same dish at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre.

While Ah Heng is located on the second level, the other competing stall - Heng Kee Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee (兴记咖喱鸡米粉面) - is located directly downstairs on the first level.

What both stalls are selling here is not curry chicken with mee but Hainanese-style poached chicken with curry mee. (Hope I am not confusing anyone here.)

Having eaten at Ah Heng a number of times, I always tell myself that I will try the other stall the next time I come here however, when that time arrive, I will instinctively go up to the second level, bypassing the first level. Again.

And the cycle repeats itself.

Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee (十九街雲吞麵) @ Jurong East

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Two years ago, I learned of a certain Thai-styled Wanton Mee setting up shop at the Ang Mo Kio area and being the avid Wanton Mee lover that I am, how could I not give it a try? However, the mere thought of getting there just for a bowl of noodles convinced me otherwise and I ended up procrastinating for the longest time.

When I found out that they have a new outlet at Jurong East, it got me excited since the location is very much closer to me now.

Unfortunately, I have been to the coffeeshop no lesser than five times but each time I have to turn back in disappointment as they are always closed when I got there.

Keng Eng Kee Seafood Restaurant @ Alexandra Village

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Keng Eng Kee started out selling Hainanese Chicken Rice in a small coffeeshop at Havelock Road in the 1950s. During the 70s, they expanded their operations to the tze char business and moved to the current location after the closure of the former Havelock Road Hawker Centre.

Keng Eng Kee Seafood Restaurant (or KEK for short) operates out of an entire coffeeshop with the outside seating arrangement spilling over to the next block where a small air-conditioned room is available upon booking.

We were there around 6pm on a Saturday and the place is jam-packed with customers. I noticed that a short queue of walk-in customers waiting for a table is already forming by the side.

Business is brisk and it is hard to get a table for a large group without reservations. Thankfully, my brother has already called them the day before to reserve a table for five as well as a crab.

Syonan Gallery: War And Its Legacies

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After a year-long revamp, the former Ford Motor Factory along Upper Bukit Timah Road has finally reopened its doors to a closed-door opening ceremony for invited guests on 15 February 2017.

Renamed Syonan Gallery, its opening was aptly timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.

A highlight of the private event was a weapon presentation ceremony, where recruits from the 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (2 SIR) received their Singapore Assault Rifle (SAR) 21.

I think there is a significant meaning for our own army to take up arms at the very site where the British put down theirs. It is a dark chapter, but one that we must always remember; we can rely on no one except ourselves to defend our land.

We have come a long way and while we treasure the peace we have now, let us not forget the atrocities of the war that our ancestors had to go through.

With a heavy heart, I visited the museum on the next day when it is opened to the public.