I can has Freitag

Dear Ivan of idyllic Singapore your Order number is: 000watever

We‘re honered to announce that you soon will be proud F18 REX owner. We do everything within and beyond our power to make sure that in no time a charming delivery man will ring your bell to hand over your personal piece of FREITAG!

Later this evening we‘re going to celebrate your shopping skills till dawn and we will drink at least 17 times to you. Therefore again, thank you very much!

Best regards
Your FREITAG Online Team

My 21-litre messenger bag broke on my after 10-years of heroic service. I use it to carry wines, my camera, a laptop and other road-warring foodie essentials. It was like a part of me went missing.

I searched high and low for a worthy replacement and finally, out of despair at the lack of quality messenger bags, I bought a Freitag.

For the mainstream peeps, Freitag is one of the toughest messenger bags available and it is made from recycled Truck tarpaulin, car seat belts and bicycle tire inner tubes. Uber Cool.

I just love their notification email (which I posted above) and the charming delivery man called earlier to notify me of the GST charges. Alas, cool and green doesn’t come cheap.

But I am happy and contented at last.

Posted on 20th Apr 2009 in Fun, Mail  |  2 comments

Regarding The Circus At Newton

I've Been Labelled "Food Critic"

Apparently, this has got to be the last food blog to write about the recent brouhaha(haha!) about overcharging at the place formerly known as the Newton Circus Hawker Center.

Fortunately, an alert reader from Germany (no less), Ping, pointed me to the article by Shuli Sudderuddin that was published last weekend. Previously, Ms. Sudderuddin sent me an email which resulted in a short phone conversation (about 10 minutes) regarding my views on the hawker center.

My friends were surprised that they dedicated almost 2 inches to my comments. While I usually bend over backwards to beat around the bush so as to leave no stone unturned, the journalist would, in a supreme effort of separating the Gist from Goulash, write something like: “Ivan thought it was good”.

After all the sound and fury, I think what was lacking, as is so often the case in financial scandals involving governments, bankers and touts, is simply accountability.

Continue Reading…

Posted on 27th Mar 2009 in Food and Drink, Mail, Musings  |  3 comments

Free KFC Breakfast Voucher From Weber Shandwick

Kartini wrote:
Hi Ivan,

Trust that you have received the press release and images of KFC a.m. which was forwarded to you recently when KFC launched its breakfast menu.

Perhaps you may have already tasted the hearty and great tasting selections on the menu.

If you have not, then it’s time.

KFC is going to send you a breakfast voucher which is valid until February 28. Please let us know your mailing address if you’d like it to be sent to you.

Otherwise, you can collect it from our office at the below address. Do give me a call beforehand to arrange for collection.

Warm Regards,

Weber Shandwick
40A Orchard Road
#07-01 The MacDonald House
Singapore 238838
D: +65 6825 8008

Continue Reading…

Posted on 16th Jan 2009 in Fun, Mail  |  19 comments

That’s Innovative Pte Ltd Seems To Be Harvesting Email

Nurul Jannah of That’s Innovative Pte Ltd emailed:

“can i get the email for the website editor of this web?”

It was an innocuous email from this address (deotherme1989@gmail.com). I responded and I got this reply:

“Hi, I’m working for that’s innovative pte ltd. i needed to come up with a media list and so i needed ur email. 🙂 thanks.”

I called That’s Innovative Pte Ltd and it turns out that Nurul Jannah is an intern and she did what she did under orders from Leonard, her supervisor. She didn’t know Leonard’s last name, which is interesting as it speaks volumes about the work environment at That’s Innovative.

This is interesting in terms of being able to deny any responsibility of Nurul’s actions as she’s just an intern. This reminds me of the story of a MNC whose sales staff sold a risky product to unsuspecting customers most of whom could not understand the literature. When things went south, the MNC fired the staff and reported their names to the Government regulatory agency thus shutting out the staff from ever working in the same industry.

This harvesting of email by That’s Innovative Pte Ltd does not sit well with me as I think it is not entirely honest in its approach and I am not sure of its intent and purpose. But what I am sure of is that I will be more careful next time.

Posted on 12th Dec 2008 in Food and Drink, Mail  |  Comments off

Regarding The Miele Guide 2008

Hi Ivan,

I’m Rebecca from The Straits Times and am writing an article about The Miele Guide for this week.

I’m wondering if you’ve happened to have a look at The Miele Guide yet?

Did you vote for any of the restaurants in there? Also wondering if you thought the results were skewed? — 48 of the restaurants were in Singapore.



I’ve not gotten a copy yet but I’ve looked at the top 20 restaurants and I must say that while I agree with most of the choices, most of the food and service levels of those restaurants are about the same as what I get from most restaurants in Europe as a walk-in.

And I am very sure that using the word “most” 3 times in a sentence is excessive.

Of course, I am more used to the tire maker’s guide criteria than the domestic appliance manufacturer. Having said that, the Miele Guide positions itself as an authoritative and independent guide but that begs the question of independence from whom and authority from where?

Continue Reading…

Posted on 7th Nov 2008 in Mail  |  4 comments

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