Emporium Shokuhin

Hopped into the highly anticipated Emporium Shokuhin (facebook. Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard) between meetings. A scattered number, also in office attire, appeared to have the same idea.

Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore

Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore
Wondering about the promise of “Singapore’s First Integrated Japanese Emporium with Live Seafood Market, Japanese Gourmet Grocer and 8 Unique Dining Concepts”, friends asked if the “Japanese Gourmet Grocer” bit could top a combination of Meidi-ya, the Japanese sections of supermarkets, and even Daiso. A quick walk-through a limited selection gently suggested it might not, other than some Ehime products.

Japanese milk. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, SingaporeJapanese milk

natto. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singaporenattō shabby a choice

Points of differentiation were:

Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore
the aged beef deli

A5 Miyazaki Beef. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore
that featured A5 Miyazaki beef (currently selling at a promotional price of S$33.90/100g),

and the Live Seafood Market:

Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore

the occupied tanks contained mostly:
Alaskan crabs, Live Seafood Market. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore
Alaskan crabs,

live oysters, Live Seafood Market. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore
with a side tank of an assortment of French oysters (Veules Les Roses, Le Belle Quiberon)

Then there were the “8 Dining Concepts” – a collection of different restaurants:
Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore
Umi + Vino. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, SingaporeUmi + Vino

Burosu Honten Gyoza & Ramen. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, SingaporeBurosu Honten Gyoza & Ramen

Tsukeru shabu-shabu. Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, SingaporeTsukeru shabu-shabu

Possibly having completely missed what was meant to be novel about the whole thing, we legged it back to the office.

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King and Linguistics

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, Paya Lebar Square, SingaporeWhile I inhaled the Black Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen Special at Keisuke’s Tonkotsu King branch (Paya Lebar Square), piling on heaps of complimentary beansprouts and peeling many free boiled eggs, ST explained what linguists got up to when not annoying people with Buffalo buffaloes buffaloing Buffalo buffaloes. Alot, it seems, from deconstructing sentences as one would expect, to nipping into a lab, to hanging out with psychologists and sociologists:

syntax – how words combine to form sentences

syntax trees – how to parse sentences (I do love a good garden-path: “time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas”, “the horse raced past the barn fell”, “the old man the boat”)

morphology – how words can be modified

semantics –  the meaning of words and how these combine to form meaningful sentences

pragmatics – how culture / context affects the meaning of words / sentences

neurolinguistics – how the brain acquires, stores, uses language

psycholinguistics – psychological factors in how people acquire, store, use language

conversation analysis – how people interact (socially) using language (and visual mass media)

discourse analysis – how meaning of the words/sentence is affected by context

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, Paya Lebar Square, SingaporeThis was all very useful just as I was bemoaning Paul (the apostle)’s use of vague pronoun references in Ephesians 1.

Useful not so much to flummox people with all sorts of otaku linguist jargon, but so that instead of flying by the seat of my pants (“pants” having the meaning outside a British context) when comprehending Bible passages, I might be better able to analyse what exactly is going on in my work parsing the passage, and correct that. And in so doing, be better able to teach more clearly, discerning how other people are attempting to understand the passage themselves.

gyoza. Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, Paya Lebar Square, SingaporeNow, how does one parse a bowl of ramen? Surely most food reviews inevitably require a Platonic form, against whose shining standard one attempts to measure the current selection?

At Keisuke Tonkotsu King, I would suggest that as almost irrelevant.

The order form puts the onus on the customer to decide what how salty they want the tare タレ, how much chicken oil they want floating on their broth, how al dente the noodles, and what sort of toppings they prefer. This shifting of responsibility would ensure consumer higher satisfaction, failing which, creates a situation where the customer is estopped from grumbling. They deserve the bowl they elect. “I don’t want to hear any more complaints.” Brilliant.

Of course, one might still consider the form of the flavoured egg (ajitsuke tamago 味付け玉子) and the pork (char shu). I’m pleased to say that they were very much out of the shadows and into the light.

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, Paya Lebar Square, Singapore

The Sushi Bar (Far East Plaza) and the Non-objectivity of Moral Theory

Dinner at The Sushi Bar (facebook. #04-28, Far East Plaza) was, in the end, a happy affair. L grumbled at first about how the prices compared with Sakuraya Fish Market, but was later won over by the quality of the sashimi – fresh and sweet.

The Sushi Bar, Far East Plaza, SingaporeIt was not without a tinge of sadness though that it became obvious that we had little in the way of common topics of conversation now, despite being roaring good friends a decade ago. I should have found a way to talk about my current intellectual obsessions – but they probably aren’t L’s cup of tea anyway…

Was chatting with NC tonight about my frustration at how discussions about moral theory fall into the same problems as that regarding the existence of God. And while it is easy to state the negative – what moral theory must not be based on (usually, Organised Religion), it has been more difficult for philosophers to state positively what common objective morals are (Dworkin’s morons?) and how they can be derived. All efforts trip themselves up with a priori presumptions.

NC claimed that one can speak of moral theory without referring to ultimate values, and sent me over to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on justice in public reason. The objections in paragraph 7 articulated much of my own views on the theories. NC also recommended John Rawls’ early Outline of a Decision Procedure for Ethics.

The Sushi Bar, Far East Plaza, Singapore Sadly, none of this was satisfactory. The strategy of a procedure for ethics is questionable: after all is this “reasonableness” that the “competent” judge is to have? What is  the “rule of common sense” that he is to apply?

It comes back to the fact that there is a inviolable three-way nexus between ontology, epistemology, and ethics (of which, I assume, moral theory is part). Any heuristic device needs to address all three of these guardians. There is no point trying to trying to prohibit the use of divine revelation if one runs into problems of a similar kind using human reason. The Sushi Bar, Far East Plaza, SingaporeDoes this mean that most discussions must inevitably be apologetic and evangelistic?

“Look, mate. It’s not that I want to bring religion into the public square, but how can we even begin to talk when you think you have complete autonomy to construct your own idea of right and wrong, and I insist that only God determines what is right and wrong? Therefore, we need to talk first about who’s mad and who isn’t.”