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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2009

Congee simpang (mixed) SG$3.00

Welcome to Singapore.

We step off our Singapore Airlines jumbo from Sydney to Singapore only to be hit by a wall of tropical 30C heat and 75% humidity.

Suze and I waste no time in looking for food once we check into our hotel. We explore the surrounding streets and end up at a corner cafe/eating house which will become our regular haunt over the coming days.

Hong Kong Jin Tian Roast Meat Eating House

A steaming bowl of congee may not be the first thing you'd think of when faced with tropical heat, but after four hours of sleep to catch the early flight, I find the soupy rice concoction is simple, soothing and reviving. Strangely, I do find myself cooling down with the hot meal, something my grandma had always told us to do ("drink hot soup to cool down!" she'd lecture) which we'd always dismissed as crazytalk.

Wonton mee SG$2.50

Suze has the wonton mee, a generous muddle of fresh egg noodles served with pork and prawn wontons and slices of charsiu barbecue pork. She's delirious with pleasure at being reunited with her favourite drink Sarsi, a sarsparilla drink which she will pursue with dogged determination at each and every meal in Singapore.

The price of food is staggeringly cheap. All manner of roast meats with rice are SG$2.50. Kaya coconut jam on toast is SG$0.60 per slice. We promise each other we will return in the morning for a kaya toast breakfast. In the meantime, we have to rush off to get ready for the evening's spectacle, the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

Suze's ingenious bathtub of Pringles had won her flights, accommodation and tickets to the Awards ceremony in Singapore for two, and joy of joys, she chose me to accompany her (thanks Suze!). We arrive at the Pan Pacific Hotel to find a red carpet entrance, a glammed up ballroom and 400 bloggers and guests dressed to the nines and going crazy with photos. Facing a tidal wave of SLR-wielding bloggers was both surreal and kinda cool at the same time!

Ballroom floorplan

Table set-up

Pacific Ballroom

I love blogging sweets

We loved the jars of sweets set at each place, complete with custom messages commemorating the blog awards as well as the common sentiment "I love blogging".

Bread rolls

Our Master of Ceremonies for the night was Allan Wu, a Chinese-American actor based in Singapore who hosts the Asian version of The Amazing Race. Whilst award ceremonies can often be long and drawn out, the summary videos highlighting the blog finalists in each category were punchy and entertaning.

And of course the food kept us entertained both with photography and eventual consumption.

Light cream of asparagus and green peas topped with a chive mousseline

Marinated smoked tuna with feta, herb salad and balsamic olive oil

Rosemary marinated chicken breast
with saffron cheesy mash, potato and balsamic reduction
and Mediterranean vegetable in mango coriander salsa sauce

Dessert: Praline hazelnut gateau with raspberry jelly

My favourites of the evening included the smoked tuna and the dessert. The praline hazelnut gateau had a light and fluffy texture with a sweet biscuit base. A fine chocolate spear on top was visually impressive too.

And the winners? Here they are:
Special mention also goes out to the Australian finalists who did so well out of 13,000 nominated blogs across the Asia Pacific region:
Congratulations everyone!

MC Allan Wu with Xiaxue (in pink)

Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Award Finalists crowd the stage

Thanks Nuffnang for an amazing start to my first taste of Singapore. Stay tuned for more Singapore eats and treats...

Grab Your Fork travelled to Singapore as a guest of Nuffnang Australia for the Asia-Pacific Blog Awards.

View Larger Map

Hong Kong Jin Tian Roast Meat
Blk 58 Eng Hoon Street, Singapore
Tel: +65 9383 1318 or +65 9733 0673

Open 7 days 7am-8.30pm

Read the next Singapore 2009 entry
10 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/31/2009 09:35:00 pm


  • At 10/31/2009 10:17 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    good to see lots of aussie blogs in the finalists list :-)

  • At 11/01/2009 1:15 pm, Blogger Y said…

    I haven't been to Singapore in more than 20 years. Reading yours and Howard's post has made me want to visit :)

  • At 11/01/2009 2:13 pm, Anonymous PlanningQueen said…

    It was fabulous to meet you in Singapore Helen. Love the photos!

  • At 11/01/2009 5:53 pm, Anonymous The Ninja said…

    I like congee,
    I like char siu,
    I like chendol and many other things too...

    Seeing your and Suze's posts sparks off so much nostalgia. Can't wait to go back and hit up all the old spots again :D Although I must say, I prefer 100-Plus.

  • At 11/01/2009 9:45 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    You reminded me why I have to make plans to visit Singapore again!

  • At 11/01/2009 10:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love sarsi too!


  • At 11/02/2009 12:21 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    man your congee looks soooo tasty right now and sadness i miss sarsi

  • At 11/02/2009 12:39 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    Despite the heat, congee is Singapore tastes pretty good. The frog leg one which we tried was surprisingly good!

  • At 11/02/2009 12:41 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hee hee looks and sounds like you guys had a blast ^^! LOL at all the shout poses in the last pic hahah and go ES&T for joining in! (well Howie shouldve done it too imo!)

  • At 11/02/2009 2:10 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - Yup the Aussies did really well, and we came away with a lot of winning trophies! Aussie Aussie Aussie!

    Hi Y - Singapore was so much fun, although everyone tells me that Malaysia is even better. lol!

    Hi PlanningQueen - Lovely to meet you too. I'm in awe that you can blog and parent - both could be full-time jobs!

    Hi The Ninja - Ha, we tried 100-Plus at the Malaysia Fest. I think I prefer sarsparilla (but my first choice is root beer!).

    Hi YaYa - Oh yes, Singapore is great. Gotta start saving those pennies soon so I can head back soon!

    Hi AV - I'm more of a root beer fan. Sarsi tastes too much like medicine! lol

    Hi chocolatesuze - Congee soothes all ills, and we so have to find you a sarsi wholesaler!

    Hi Howard - I love congee. Always my first port of call when I'm feeling under the weather. The frog leg congee was tasty!

    Hi FFichiban - Did you expect anything less from a bunch of food bloggers? lol. I think the EST crew had all the moves down pat. I think Howie has a secret calling to become a K-mart model :)


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