We’ve been away for a few days, hence the lack of posts. Now that we are back from Singapore, we’ll spend the next week and a bit with a few posts about our eating adventures. Minh then returns from New Zealand so hopefully she has a bit to show as well.
Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2009
Some of you might have been aware that we were recently nominated in the Best Food Blog category for the Nuffnang Asia Pacific blog awards for 2009. It came as a massive shock, considering how many good food blogs there are who are apart of Nuffnang, not only in Australia, but also in Asia. We still consider ourselves quite below the pecking order as a food blog, but who could knock back a trip to Singapore to represent Australian bloggers ?
Last week, we were flown up to Singapore for a few days as part of the Awards night. It was a massive night and we got to rub shoulders with some of Asia’s finest bloggers from all types of blogs from fashion to food. Overall, us Aussies did pretty well with every Aussie who was nominated in a category taking away an award except for us. Way to go Team es&t!
- Best Blogshop: bonitochico.livejournal.com
- Best Fashion Blog: ladymelbourne.blogspot.com
- Best Parenting Blog: childhood101.blogspot.com
- Best Travel Blog: ironwulf.net
- Best Celebrity Blog: joannepeh.com
- Best Entertainment Blog: kennysia.com
- Best Geek Blog: mrgadget.com.au
- Best Hidden Gem: dedoodleblog.blogspot.com
- Best Original Blog Design: xiaxue.blogspot.com
- Most Influential Blog: xiaxue.blogspot.com
- Region’s Best Blog: xiaxue.blogspot.com
One thing we did come away with was how massive blogging is in Asia-Pacific. If you check on Twitter for the hash tag #nnawards, there was a lot of activity and interest going around before and after the awards night. It was the talk of the town, with everyone wanting a ticket to the awards night. If the same event was to be held here, it wouldn’t of generated the same hype due to the relative infancy of blogging in Australia. Blogging is still regarded as a niche activity, some would even say a nerdy past time. But hey, someone has to do it right ?
This is Xia Xue. Unknown to me before the awards night, she has a massive following in Asia and can be considered an Internet celebrity of some sort. It resulted in her taking away 3 awards, the most of any blogger. One thing to note is that she is a full-time blogger, even though her blog doesn’t focus on any topic in particular. It’s a fascinating career for her, apparently she makes a fair bit of coin too.
Food for the night wasn’t too bad, but the food wasn’t what everyone came for.
One thing I noticed about Singapore was, everyone pretty much has an SLR.
Lunch with ieatishootipost
Meet Leslie Tay, the winner of the Best Food Blog award. I’ve been a long time follower of his blog even though he lives in Singapore, it’s a great resource for finding places to eat if your in Singapore. I’ve spoken to him via email for the past couple of months ever since he asked es&t to give a list of places to eat in Sydney. His blog is amazing, considering the amount of places he has covered in a food crazy country such as Singapore.
One thing to note is that he is a Doctor (GP) by trade and still has the time to consistently blog. The feat itself is a testament to how dedicated and passionate he is with his blog, definitely someone for us at es&t to look up to. He also knows a thing or two about Sydney, having studied here for a few years whilst becoming a Doctor.
While we were in Singapore we were lucky to meet up with him twice over some good Singaporean food. One of the best meals we had was at Siang Hee Restaurant run by the woman in that photo up there. Don’t be fooled by the hawker style kitchen, she whipped up a few innovative dishes which you wouldn’t expect from a road side eatery. It was great having the opportunity to sit and chat with him, he is one of the most down to earth blokes I’ve ever met. Stayed tuned for my full post on Siang Hee Restaurant and lunching with Leslie.
I’m not one who shops that often, but I picked up a few things while I was in Singapore. I went nuts in Zara, TopShop and G2000. Zara has everything, their suits are awesome as they are the only brand which I don’t need anything tapered. My entire work wardrobe is also from G2000, it’s so bloody cheap and the quality is up there and sure beats the living daylights out of brands like Industrie which are three times the price but half the level of quality.
Singapore street food
One thing you begin to realise is that Singapore live to eat and not eat to live. It is a food mad country, and no matter who you talk to, they will have their take on what is the best and worst of food in Singapore. I must admit though, the heat got to the better of me and my appetite wasn’t as big as it usually is during my trip. But fear not, I still managed to fit in copious amounts of meals and I’ll combine all my hawker style adventures in one post in the next few days.
The line for this bowl was huge, naturally I had to join the queue. When I got to the end, an old woman saw my camera and she said to me “you bloggers pick the right restaurants ” in Cantonese. I was shocked to hear it initially as I surprised she even knew what a blog was, once again you never judge a person by their age. I look to one of the walls of the hole in the wall store and the owner has stuck up a few blog posts about his bowl of noodles, word must have got out on how awesome his noodles were.
There was no shortage of these ice cream carts selling ice cream sandwiches on Orchard road. For 80 cents, I expected something tasting cheap and watered down. Instead, it would of gave top line supermarket ice cream a run for its money.
Lunch at Jaan par André
I first saw and heard of Andre Chiang at the World Chef Showcase as part of SIFF 2009. He was running a session with Mark Best and I could already tell that he was quite a special chef from his demonstration. We had enough time for one decent lunch and it was a toss-up between Iggy’s and Jaan. After a flick of a coin we chose Jaan par Andre, I think I made the right choice. He’s trained at several 3 Michelin Star restaurants and you can tell by his food where his influences come from. He also made a debut at No. 4 in the Miele Guide 2009/2010 which lists Asia’s top restaurants, a bit like our Good Food Guide.
I won’t reveal too much and leave it for my post which is coming up in a few days. We went for the 3 course set lunch for $58 SGD which I though was pretty good value considering the type of food we had.
Flying on Singapore Air A380
This was my first time on the A380 so I was quite excited. The food was the usual Singapore Air quality which is a cut above other airlines in my books. For dessert, we even got ice cream which is my favourite part of the flight before kicking back and enjoying a movie.
One thing that has improved dramatically is the Entertainment system. Not only is the screen wider and clearer, the user interface has dramatically improved. To top it off, it has a USB port so that you can plug-in your own devices and watch movies off it, view photos and even listen to your own music. Well done Singapore Air.
I managed to fit in a few movies on my trip : The Taking of Pelham 123, Julie and Julia, Up!, The Land of the Lost and Terminator Salvation. My pick of the movies would be Up and Julie and Julia.
Thank you Nuffnang
Finally, thank you to Nuffnang for flying us over to experience the Nuffnang Awards. Awards aside, Nuffnang are doing a great thing for Australian bloggers by being the first company in Australia dedicated to Online advertising for Blogs. While blogging is still at a relatively early stage of its development life cycle in Australia, it’s good to know that they are around at the foundation level. Hopefully this spurs us on to improve the blog and hopefully be there next year again in one capacity or another. Special mention to David Lee and David Krupp who we have been working with over the past ten months.
Over the next few days we will be posting about what we ate in Singapore, stayed tuned!