2008 In Review

I Finally Shot Myself

For me to sum up the year 2008 in a word, the word would have to be “Change“. This was the year where all aspects of my life changed drastically and not all for the better. Of course, it was not all roses for everyone else what with the economy tanking and nothing really exciting happening in the local food scene.

As we head into the second week of 2009, let do a quick review of 2008 starting, as is so often the case in bad years, with…


…which started with petrol prices reaching US$100 a barrel and China experiences the worst snow storm in history which caused a massive traffic problems because people can no longer afford to upkeep SUVs anymore. Sir Edmund Hilary ascends to the Great Mountain in the Sky. On the local food scene, nothing really exciting happened other than I had a bad dinner experience at Devagi’s which sparked off some of the most classic Ad hominem arguments this blog has seen in a long while.

And speaking of sparks, in…


…the rekindling of the Dead Cow Society began where we tried, once again, to help vegetarians cull the bovine ilk at a spectacular dinner at Zambuca. February also marked the traditional Chinese New Year dinners where we were so pleased with the food and service of Imperial Treasure that we went not once but twice. And the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to deliver the European-built Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.

Speaking of travel, in…


…this blog took a trip down to Bali where the food was excellent and I was in charge of the BBQ and I had to teach cooking. Back in Singapore, out of a desperation born of “running out of ideas”, this blog managed to grab 2 seats at Nanbantei Yakitori which turned out to be very good. Gary Gygax fails his saving throw vs. Death. This month also saw the first of many invites to “try out” new restaurants, one of which was Noor Jannah near Changi Road which introduced the very tasty Bom Prata.

Speaking of new, in…


…Simon wrote to me about his discovery of a new Croatian restaurant called Dubrovnik in KL. In other Eastern European news, this blog tasted real Hungarian Gulyás for the first time; it was excellent. As was Nogawa where the Dim Sum Dolly and I were invited by the Skinny Epicurean for lunch. Nogawa was present and surprised everyone by presenting us with a special Kumquat dessert.

Speaking of delight, in…


…rumor and speculation flew as to where the Island Girl took this blog to a mysterious but excellent Teochew Porridge place. Another major discovery for us was Wo Peng on Macpherson Road where for the first time I gave a restaurant a rating. And after 29 years of squabbling, Pedra Branca was declared to be part of Singapore.

Speaking of international awards, in…


…this blog attended the Food and Hospitality Asia trade show where he accidentally asked an embarrassing question about a Chef’s alleged credentials and was drunk within 10 minutes of meeting up with TTC. Yves Saint Laurent goes to meet the Great Tailor in the sky and George Carlin finally self-destructs and on TV, we still can’t say Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits. This month was also a bad month for quadrupeds as this blog attended the Chaine de Rotisseurs’s “Roast A Steer” Night which featured an entire calf on a spit. I was also invited to taste one of the best hotpots at Chuan Yang Ji on Balestier Road. And after 30 years at Microsoft, Bill Gates steps down to concentrate on philanthropy.

And speaking of last days, in…


…saw the Slow Food Convivium of Singapore have it’s monthly luncheon at Aurum which is closing down for, so they tell me, renovations. This blog finally remembered to bring his camera to the New Ubin Seafood where we had fun introducing visiting Americans (who have never been to Singapore) local cuisine. The 34th G8 Summit was held in Hokkaido where the leaders discussed, among other things, the global food shortage while everyone else discussed the Summit’s menus of the 6-course lunches followed by 8-course dinners which caused a global shortage of vintage Hungarian Tokaji.

Speaking of global events, in…


…the Summer Olympics of 2008 was held in China where countries all over the world gathered together to accuse each other of cheating and Micheal Phelps swept up all the medals. This blog was taken to La Strada to be shown that anything will be tasty as long as there’s pasta and a beautifully cooked egg on top. Umami came to Singapore for an all-too-brief whirlwind visit and all of us had good food at Hokkaido Sushi but not before this blog had his first dim sum lunch of the year. This blog was drawn into a fight between two Hungrygowhere.com reviewers. Fortunately no one really cared and this was soon overshadowed by the discovery of the 6th “taste”. This blog also participated in the omg.sg blog awards in the best photo blog category because there wasn’t a food category.

And speaking of food, in…


…the proton beam is circulated for the first time in the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, sparking fears and questions of does a particle, really, need to go that fast? All of this was forgotten when Yahoo! Invited! This! Blog! To! A! Mooncake! Tasting! At! The! St. Regis! This prompted a few of us to try out their dim sum at Yan Ting too. Speaking of elegance, this blog visited one of the oldest restaurants in Hungary where I experienced the delicious Halászlé spiced with Paprika which, while delicious, was not a good choice in the heatwave of summer. And suddenly, there is something gone forever in Paul Newman’s pasta sauces. In news closer to home, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand declared a state of emergency in Bangkok. And in totally unrelated news, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej was asked to resign by the Constitutional Court of Thailand because the Prime Minister was paid 5,000 Baht (~SGD200) to be the host of two cooking shows. And speaking of shows, this blog was, surprise surprise, in the top 10 grouping of the best photo blog category which surprisingly did not include Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost because the omy.sg organizers moved the celebrity host of many Canon photo workshops to “Most Insightful Blog”.

Speaking of questionable practices, in…


…the global financial crisis got so bad that U.S. President George W. Bush created a 700 billion dollar Treasury fund to purchase failing bank assets. Things started looking up as we finally found someone who could do a Buddha Jumps Over The Wall and Champagne dinner for us. And just when the food scene was getting boring, Wayne Nish restored our faith at a dinner at The Screening Room organized by a PR company.

And speaking of bright spots, in…


… Barack Obama, who has established a long career of running for president, was finally elected the 44th President of the United States. This overshadowed the launch of the Miele Guide 2008 which received mixed reviews. And after a long wait at the lift lobby, this blog finally ascended 70 stories for a quiet but very good lunch at Jaan. This month also saw this blog being invited to a few “restaurant makeovers” which was really fun to do. Another highlight was the annual Oyster dinner organised by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs du Singapour. Unfortunately, this month was brought low by a terrorist attack in Mumbai giving rise to tasteless jokes about Birkin handbags.

And speaking of style, in…


…this blog did a lightning tour to KL, taking advantage of expiring air mileage and a special offer at the KL Ritz-Carlton. There, this blog was savaged by fishes intent on avenging their Sushi’d brethren; it was a blood bath. Otherwise, the food tour was good especially when we saw some Kimchi action. A high point was the invite by a tech PR company to a tasting session at Daidomon with leading lifestyle and golf enthusiast magazine writers. The rest of December was spent with friends and family with plenty of home-cooking.

And there you have it, a year of nothing much happening other than extended doom and gloom. And yet as we move into the new year, there is a sense of well-being, warmth and hope for the future, but that’s probably because we’ve been hitting the Jack Daniel’s and dessert wine.

Have a new year everyone, while it lasts.

White Balanced

Posted on 5th Jan 2009 in Food and Drink, Fun, Musings, Year in review


There Is Only 1 Comment So Far


food.recentrunes.com | The Bali Eat List commented on February 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

[…] though, ever since my trip to Bali, I’ve been trying to consolidate the places that we ate because a) they are really good […]

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