Eighteen Chefs

Eighteen Chefs is a cafe that takes in ex-convicts during their last few months of their jail sentence to train them in necessary skills so that they can have a new start in life. It is opened by Benny, an ex-convict himself, who believes that it was God’s grace that pulled him out from his heroin addictions and numerous jail sentences. When it was first opened a while back in Singapore, the cafe had been highly raved about, mainly due to the inspiring stories behind Benny, and also the great tasting menu that was often raved about by food bloggers.

imageJames and me happened to walk past one of the outlets at AMK Hub today and I was excited to give it a try! The cafe operates differently from the normal cafés though. There is no waiter waiting upon your table. Rather, you are given a chit sheet together with the menu upon sitting down at your table. After filling in the chit sheet with your orders, you then proceed to order and pay at the cashier. You also have to take your own utensils to your own table.

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I ordered Aglio Olio and top it up with a soup and garlic bread, while James ordered Japanese a Curry Rice. The Aglio Olio was too dry and it was by far, one of the worst I’d ever tried. No kidding. The soup tasted just like any Campbell soup, so I doubt it was homemade. The meat used in the Japanese Curry Rice was not the typical chicken meat used, but rather, it tasted like beef. Many Singaporeans do not consume beef due to religious practices, so a note on the menu that the meat was beef would be much appreciated. Again, it was just another average dish.

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Setup of the place was another setback of the place in order to maximize occupancy. The tables were too closely placed beside each other for my comfort, which mean I can practically hear the people sitting at my next table conversing all the time. I’m not too sure if it was due to us visiting on a weekday afternoon, but the place was jammed packed with rowdy students. I couldn’t wait to gobble my food down to leave that noisy place, so I didn’t enjoyed the entire dining experience even though I had wanted to chill out initially. Will I go back again? Well, the answer is pretty obvious. I personally think the food had been over rated. If only the effort taken to prepare the dishes were as inspiring as the story behind the man and his cafe…

My Greatest Sorrow is My Greatest Joy

“enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things”

It’s 3am. An hour earlier, Enya came over to my room to wake me to sleep with her in her bed, again. I was frustrated with her. Why can’t she, at 3 years old now, not sleep through the night, but still wakes up daily in the middle of the night to get me over her bed to sleep with her? Why does she has to make my parenting life so difficult? Feeling frustrated as I’ll have difficulty falling back to sleep immediately once being waken up. Chanced upon this blog while battling with my insomnia, and made me want to hug her now.

May my trio’s (hubby and my 2 girls) little things be my big things in life, always.

Strengthening the Soul

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~ Robert Brault

She’s dying. My 9 year old daughter is dying. Today I can say it without crying, but not necessarily tomorrow. Each day is filled with up and down emotions. Some days I am hopeful for a cure, but many days I am filled with despair and an indescribable sadness. My heart aches. My tears burn. My head and my body are tired.

You see, my daughter Abby was recently diagnosed with a rare, genetic disease that is terminal. There is no cure or treatment. No cure. 100% terminal. Every child diagnosed with this disease will die. I have never felt so helpless. As mothers, it is our job to nurse our child’s boo-boos, dry their tears, teach them how to deal with sorrow and upsets, and give them hope…

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Embracing the present ME!

My last blog entry at http://www.tohgina.blogspot.com was in Dec 2012! That’s almost 1.5 years ago. I’d been wanting to revive the blog but I’d been giving myself way too many excuses not to do so! Anyway, 1.5 years later, many things have changed in my life. An unhappy event during this time made me discover myself, allow me to live again, with a new discovery and definition of the people and relationships around me. I am no longer that same lady 1.5 years ago. Today, with my age passing the big 30s, and recent experience, I am a woman. I still may not be as mature and wise as I hope to, but with the new discovery of myself, I have learnt an important lesson – to love myself more. Only after I have love myself, I can afford to love others more. So that’s how I decided to start a new blog with a new start, because I’m a new me today.

A lady at age 23

A lady at age 23

A woman at  age 31

A woman at age 31

I used to dread aging and the big 30s. After half a year, I’d not only accepted it, but I’d learn to embrace it. I used to be worried about aging and I know I certainly don’t look as youthful and pretty as I was in mid-twenties. But I learnt over the past one year that no one can define me except myself. I will absolutely give no one the permission to define who I am anymore. I am God’s child, not a perfect work, but a piece of clay in process. I am His creation. I am His works. I am who He made me to be. I am who I choose and define myself to be. I am who I am. And I love myself.