Running a restaurant is notoriously difficult business. Especially so in lean and competitive times such as these, in a spoilt-for-choice-food haven that is Singapore. Which makes the story of Singapore’s very own fine dining grand dame Les Amis all the more remarkable.This year, the homegrown establishment – known for its impeccable service, who’s who clientele and fine French cuisine – is celebrating its 25th birthday.Twenty-five silver years, that is, since stockbroker Desmond Lim together with his friends Dr Chong Yap Seng, chef Justin Quek and sommelier-turned-restaurateur Ignatius Chan opened Singapore’s first independent European fine-dining restaurant, right in the heart of Orchard Road.In a time when high-end restaurants were only found in luxury hotels, Les Amis was the renegade breath of fresh air. And its inception, way back on Mar 15, 1994, ended up changing the face of high-end dining in Singapore … [Read more...] about Les Amis pays for staff to dine around the world – so they love their craft more
Coming home tell the world
SINGAPORE: Every time freelance writer Clare Lee, 27, uses a changing room when trying on clothes in fashion outlets big and small, she will take a few minutes to inspect every nook and cranny in her cubicle for hidden cameras before feeling safe enough to undress herself.For 27-year-old Fiona, who did not want to give her full name, she will always double-check that the curtains in her bedroom or hotel are fully drawn such that there is not even a teeny-weeny gap for anyone to peek through, and steer clear of unattended baskets in supermarkets.Freelance content creator Hilary See, 27, would refrain from standing near the edge of the escalator where people can look up her skirt, and try to use either a bag or a file to cover the back of her skirt while climbing the stairs.With spycams and phone cameras taking voyeurism to unsavoury new heights, these women are among a growing number of people who have taken extra precautions to protect themselves and their private spaces.As Fiona, … [Read more...] about The Big Read: Singapore’s voyeurism problem – what’s wrong with men, or the world?
By Katherine Rosman The New York Times Fri., April 26, 2019 LOS ANGELES—Carol Spencer, 86, may be the most influential fashion designer you’ve never heard of. In the mid 1960s, she made a red pencil skirt with a white sleeveless blouse that had red stitching and three red buttons down the front. Short white gloves came with it. Thousands sold. In the 1970s, well aware that the counterculture’s loosening dress code had made it to the mainstream, Spencer designed a red bandana halter maxi-dress and a matching leisure shirt for men. Those designs were popular, too. In the Nancy Reagan 1980s, Spencer aimed for high-end appeal, making a one-shouldered ball gown in blue jacquard with an organza flower at the nipped-in waist and a cape. One of Reagan’s go-to couturiers personally approved the gown to be sold under his name: “Oscar de la Renta for Barbie.” Spencer has made wedding dresses, saris, go-go boots and caftans. All in miniature. … [Read more...] about How an independent, driven woman moulded Barbie’s fashion for the better
As the first and only street venue in Thailand to be awarded a Michelin star, the queues outside Jay Fai’s shophouse are long as gourmets from around the world flock to taste her signature dishes. Since that win a little over a year ago, Supinya Junsuta, or Jay Fai as she is more commonly known, has been no stranger to the media but now she’s getting more exposure that she ever dreamt of with her inclusion in Netflix’ latest |documentary series “Street Food Asia”. Netflix worked with the creators of Chef’s Table on the series, which explores the rich culture of street food in Thailand, Japan, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines, and goes beyond the famous dishes to the sweat and tears that has made the eateries so iconic. Thailand opens the series and takes viewers behind the scenes to listen to the lady herself. “I feel sorry for myself,” says Jay Fai after a long pause when asked … [Read more...] about The lady behind the wok
The anniversary of Bangkok’sdedication as the new capital of Siam, observed once again this past April 21, is in coincidental but revealing near-juxtaposition with Songkran. The latter observation never fails to illuminate the nature of the city. By the time we commemorate the day that King Phutthayotfa Chulalok, first of the Chakri monarchs, declared his burgeoning settlement on Rattanakosin Island to be the new capital for a resurgent Siamese kingdom, the city has returned to its usual boisterous hive activity. But in the week prior, year after year, it’s relatively much quieter, with so many of its inhabitants having dispersed to the upcountry provinces of their origins and ancestry for the long Songkran holiday. The perennial abandonment of Bangkok during this time explains how important the city is to Thai society. The annual Songkran mass exodus and the heaving return one week later are like an exhalation and inhalation, the vast community breathing in unity. … [Read more...] about What Bangkok tells us about Thainess