Food Reviews
Tom Yam Goong

Tom Yam Goong

When I first started this homecooking, some people asked me why I didn’t just eat, shoot and post like some famous doctor. These folks probably don’t understand me. First of all, I don’t like to eat out and won’t do so if I have a choice. I enjoy the whole process of cooking and don’t mind the trouble at all.

Next, let’s be very clear about priorities. My priority is to ensure that my kids and I eat well. Taste is important, but more so, the wholesomeness of the dishes. The food stall or restaurant’s priority is to make money. As long as the customer likes the taste and keeps going back, it doesn’t matter if they use good ingredients or cut corners. For too long, health-conscious people have tried to eliminate food groups (demonising fat, carbs or animal protein) in an attempt to improve health. People have begun to neglect whole foods and the process of enjoying them. People start analysing food and wine, trying to isolate active ingredients or chemicals that are good for health. But do they realise that the health benefits of wine may come from the relaxing experience of enjoying it with friends?

The healthiest foods are not the foods which have been treated to remove “harmful” ingredients. The healthiest foods are whole foods prepared at home served with love and enjoyed with gratitude. Still, it is impossible to avoid eating out once in a while and ardent followers have pressured me to offer some recommendations.

I’ve wanted to come up with a list of recommendations for a very long time. In fact, I’ve been thinking of going on YouTube with my own series of reviews. Those of you who know semi-retired and hyperactive me would understand that it has nothing to do with the lack of will, energy or time on my part. The problem lies with good places going bad and bad places going bust. The food businesses these days are run by hawkers overly well-schooled on the strategies to maximise profits

Stories like the one above are just too common. Operators grapple with high rental, manpower issues and government regulations. Another problem rests with Singaporean restaurants that tend to view me either with suspicion, derision or both. I haven’t found any makan place willing to co-operate without any strings attached. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to put up the following list of recommendations under this column of Food Reviews (but I would advise you not to take it too seriously as nobody cares more about what you eat than you yourself). From the main page, the sub-pages will appear when you place your mouse over the main heading. Unlike some professional bloggers, I always pay for my meals at the places I review and will not give a positive review in exchange for free food. I will try my best to keep things current, but I can’t monitor all the places all the time. In case a place has gone bad or shut down before I know it or if you have a new place to recommend, do give me a buzz.

© Chan Joon Yee (陈俊誉 Chen Junyu)

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