Back in Singapore for a while, escaping the craziness of Vietnam. I had a mad, mad time, but it was great fun. First, I returned to Hong Kong and was invited to visit the Eu Yan Sang factory. I was inspired by the many new activities developing on the TCM horizon. EYS is the first Chinese Pharmaceutical company to register and trademark all the fingerprinting of their herbs, creating the first collective database and guidelines for TCM regulations and standards. It is a vital resource platform from which hopefully, more teachings about the theories and practices of these old traditions will find roots in the Western world.
Undeniably, the future of our health depends on the measured intake of food and nutrition, minerals, and even TCM’s that can boost and strengthen any immune system to help us prolong a healthy existence in an increasingly polluted environment. I will design a few TCM snack ideas and pitch them forward. Hopefully, they will encourage more consumers to become familiar with the benefits of healthy eating.
Talking about it, I went to a few eateries in Hong Kong, even the famous COVA http://www.cova.com.hk/ and was somewhat disappointed. For a pricy place, I expected much better service. I arrived with a local friend, and we sat comfortably at a nice table. Although the a la carte menu is invitingly presented with Italian classics, the filet mignon was our choice, for we stumbled into the restaurant searching for a simple good steak. My first course, a Bisque of Crab meat, was salty and the lesser quality crab meat with the uncomfortable harsh bits of shell in it. My friend Anto’s Garpachio looked much more likable but did not impress us. Hey, I may have a simple taste. When the Filets arrived, both of them were medium rare, and I was disappointed. I like mine perfectly medium, with a delicious roast on the outside and the elegant meat part inside… but instead, it was a bloody mess on the plate. Anto could not eat this, refusing to return it and double-bake a filet. He left his medium-well bleeding plate behind. There is always a dessert to cheer things up, but when the signature tiramisu could not pull us out of the disappointment, we fled the place after paying too much for too little.
Two days later, I sat in a diner in Ho Chi Minh City that made that menu look fantastic; I read the photos on the menu card, and I had great fun. Indeed, out of curiosity about the mystery, I ordered items I had never even heard of. It was all okay, not too spicy but fair for the price paid. My friend Ivan Rodan, the F&B manager for the Khai Silk Companies’ luxurious restaurant chain, invited me as a guest chef to return in April. I am very excited to represent RWP as a TCM chef in Saigon.
I took a motorbike ride through the infamous traffic in the city, risking my life but having great fun. It’s much easier to drink in the many nightclubs, although one has to get used to the stern and serious-looking security people standing alongside the walls. Apparently, to protect my kind… from what?
Back in Singapore, I am busy creating special events menus for RWP restaurants; check out the Chinese New Year’s draft or, even better, come by and say hello if you are in town.
I’m flattered that even the local media published my face in Singapore Straights Time… Although they had to mention that I am a 44-year-old bachelor. Richard Q will get a kick out of that one! My next few weeks will be spent developing ideas for EYS Hong Kong, bringing a series of TCM snacks into the public marketplace, and possibly designing a new series of health-maintenance elixirs. I’m up for all the challenges the future lays before me.