Hanging Out at Holland Village: La Nonna and Sunday Folks

Signature pizza, crab tomato cream linguine, La Nonna, 26 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, Singapore
La Nonna, 26 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, SingaporeThe 1-for-1 lunch promotion at La Nonna (Lorong Mambong, Holland Village) has drawn hungry students from the nearby National University of Singapore for some time. We had lunch with two of them this week, sharing the signature pizza (tomato, mozarella, asparagus, egg, parmesan, black truffle salsa), salmon e rucola pizza, and two crab linguine in tomato cream sauce.

Sunday Folks cafe, Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Mega Saga, Holland Village, Singapore

Sunday Folks cafe, Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Mega Saga, Holland Village, Singapore
Sunday Folks cafe, Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Mega Saga, Holland Village, Singapore
After the students headed back to school, two of us repaired to Sunday Folks (facebook, 44 Jalan Merah Saga) across the road for their weekday S$10 cake and coffee/tea set.

We were talking about how difficult it must be for pastors/ministers of churches not to show favouritism to the people who themselves treated these pastors/ministers well.

  1. Full-time Christian ministry is a tough job – long hours spent in the study understanding God’s word, more hours spent on your knees for the sheep, and then counselling many with relational/psychological/personal/godliness difficulties, and dealing with the line of people waiting after service to tell them what exactly they disagree with in the sermon or running of the church etc.
  2. So, spending all waking moments dealing with sinful humans could very well be immensely discouraging, and it isn’t surprising that many ministers suffer from depression.
  3. But, said the friend who had been diagnosed with clinical depression, the temptation is to then depend on other people, other humans, for love, support, approval. Sadly, because they too are sinful human beings living in this fallen world, they may betray you, disappoint you, or, even if they were a perfect companion for life, they might die on you (and here the friend cited the Lee Kuan Yew – Kwa Geok Choo partnership). Also: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:6)
  4. Unfortunately, positive thinking, or being thankful for the good things in one’s life falls flat as well – it feel stilted and artificial especially when you’re already very down, and sometimes, objectively, there just isn’t much good in one’s life!
  5. Much better to trust in One who is eternal (won’t die), and who is in control of all things (not impotent to help), and who loves us so much that he died for our sins (more than willing to help).

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:4-8)

 

Sunday Folks cafe, Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Mega Saga, Holland Village, SingaporeThe Sticky Toffee Cake was, as the name suggested, more spongy than the usual heavy-in-the-tummy sticky toffee pudding, and a good foil to the slightly over-extracted coffee.

flat white. Sunday Folks cafe, Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Mega Saga, Holland Village, Singapore

  • beans: Liberty Coffee‘s Speakeasy Blend
  • crema x microfoam: good
  • flavour x body: nutty and a little burnt
  • aftertaste: medium

Molecular Gastronomy in the Heartlands at Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar, Bedok North Avenue 2

Photograph Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar, Bedok North Avenue 2, Singapore by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px “You manage to travel half the world but cannot navigate your own backyard?” is the usual incredulous question when I admit to having gotten lost in Singapore…yet again…

Yes. So while passing Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar (416 Bedok North Avenue 2), wondering where the Bedok hawker center might be hiding, I notice a strange phenomena through the glass panes: there were young people hovering over their tables, peering through phones held aloft. Super Happy Dev House? I thought at once, for no reason at all.

Photograph Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar, Bedok North Avenue 2, Singapore by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px Nope, but there was hacking of a different sort going on.

Photograph Charcoal waffle with butter beer ice-cream and salted egg sauce, Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar, Bedok North A by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Charcoal batter for the waffle was right on the aunty-health trend (something about detoxification, i think). The butter beer ice-cream, inspired by Harry Potter-verse, was made from Belgian beer and French butter. And salted caramel on the plate and the salted egg sauce conspired to keep things interesting. I usually get bored with a whole waffle after a quarter or two of same-same-ness, but this was fun. Not sure about the lavender flower bits though – a nice surprise to bite into a strong flower fragrance here and there, but didn’t think it played well with either the butterbeer creaminess or the salty pair.

Photograph Lime Mojito Sphere, Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar, Bedok North Avenue 2, Singapore by parentheticalpilgrim on 500pxAnd what do you know? Molecular gastronomy in the heartlands! Now that’s what we want – more innovation and differentiation! Doubtless many clone cafes will soon follow, but one of the joys of living in Singapore is being buoyed each successive food-trend wave. Above, basic spherification produced a lime mojito, erm, sphere that was then sprinkled with lime zest and microgreens.

Photograph Banana Nutella, Fatcat Ice-Cream Bar, Bedok North Avenue 2, Singapore by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px Here, blow-torched banana split with nutella powder (the hazelnut spread possibly transformed with malodextrin – like so), and the two cross-section slices topped with cardamon. Interesting separately, but wondered how it was meant to work as a whole.

Glad that the molecular gastronomic food delivery system has been made available to the masses. Loads of potential for playing around! Perhaps more flavour cohesion on the plate might work better, but it’s early days yet and it’s far better to try stuff out and get it wrong than to stick with the tried-and-tested. This detour made me smile more than a carrot cake (black, with chilli) from Bedok hawker centre would’ve.

(A side note: what also piqued my interest was that, when asked for recommendations between plated desserts, the nice wait-staff said,”Oh, I think the strawberry cheesecake looks better.” And later he said assuringly,”We are very big on social media.” Once seated, I checked the usual sources and true enough, there were many posts/tweets/comments commending Fatcat for instagrammable desserts.

Having only just arrived from the technological backwater that is England, I’d only heard third-hand about the social media boom in Singapore. While I think the caution with which older generations approach new forms of communication is understandable, and might in fact be helpful in making us all aware of their impact, the content of their complaints isn’t new. Superficiality, selectivity, etc have all been dangers common to, for example, letter-writing, town-crying, small town-gossip, book-writing, mass media-coverage.

However, I wonder whether the criteria of instagrammability is quite another level – an express and quite shameless priority given to the appearance of the content to be shared on social media. Or perhaps not, Oscar Wilde. Something to think about…)