Friday, December 09, 2016

Teochew Festival 2016 《潮州节2016》

Teochew Festival 2016 was officially opened by Minister for Health, Mr Gan Kim Yong this morning. Organised by Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, the 10-day festival is held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre (Level 1, Hall A) from 9 to 18 Dec. Opening hours from 10.30 am to 9.00 pm daily.

Teochew opera lovers can watch daily performances by Xiaomeihua Opera Troupe from Jieyang and local arts group Nam Hwa Opera Limited.

Besides watching cultural performances, visitors can explore the Cultural Gallery and 3 zones - Food Zone, and Teochew Delicacy Zone and Handicraft Zone.

At the Cultural Gallery where some of these artefacts are loaned from the Museum of Overseas Chinese Remittance in Shantou, I have a quick look at the history of the pioneer Teochew immigrants.

The most crowded place at the festival is the Food Zone. The small food street features 20 vendors comprising local Teochew eateries, as well as food vendors from Shantou and Chaozhou.

Teochew specialities such as bak kut teh, Teochew glutinous rice roll, soon kueh, bak zhang, crystal dumplings, fried kway teow with kailan, beef balls and fried oyster omelette are available daily.

At the Teochew Delicacy Zone, taste some tea and take a look at the large variety of fish maw brought in by a Shantou company.

Watch a peanut brittle demonstration by 77-year-old Master Chua who has more than 60 years of experience making traditional Teochew snacks.

Then there's the delicious teng cang popiah (Teochew sweet spring roll) which cost S$10 for 3 rolls!

At the Handicraft Zone, I watched a live demonstration of oil paper lantern by master craftsman Mr Tan who is from Chenghai. Also on display are the beautiful, golden silk embroidery works and exquisite wood carvings.

To encourage cashless transactions, only NETS payment is accepted at the fair.

Entrance tickets are priced at $10 each. The ticket holder can enjoy a $3 rebate when they make purchases at the Food Zone and Teochew Delicacy Zone.

I didn't make any purchases at this festival because the products sold are too expensive and they do not captivate me, including the Teochew food. Entrance fees to the festival doubled this year, I was expecting a better event with more interesting vendors but it is really disappointing. I bought 2 tickets but used only one. It's not worth paying S$10 if you only want to have a look-see.



文化馆 - 部分展品特地向中国汕头侨批文物馆商借展出。


美食区 - 20个摊位的美食街让大家品尝道地的潮州小吃 : 潮汕灌煎、潮州鸭母捻、潮州牛肉丸、蚝烙等。

土产特区 - 有摊位示范潮州功夫茶道、制作糖葱薄饼、潮州花生糖等。

手工艺区 - 展览髹金漆木雕、潮州刺绣、制作潮州灯笼、工艺陶瓷制作等。

潮州节会场只能通过 NETS 付费。没有NETS卡的朋友可以在潮州节购买限量版【潮州人家己人】现金卡。

2016年 12月9日至18日,
S$10 admission fee 入门票

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Christmas Baked Goods @ Baking Brera 圣诞节蛋糕

I have a young Facebook friend who is a talented baker. I have been captivated by his bread and Christmas goodies since the beginning of November when he started uploading photos of the finished products.

As I am organising a Christmas Eve dinner plus a Christmas Day High Tea for some senior citizens, I decided to make a trip to purchase his panettone, fruitcake and stollen one morning. In Singapore, these Christmas goodies are traditionally only imported but now I can have them fresh from the oven.

From East Coast Road, I took a bus to transfer to Farrer station on the downtown line, but I went to Holland Village instead. LOL.... I managed to find Bakery Brera after some difficulty because it was my first visit to this part of Singapore.

I was greeted by Thrina, the friendly lady boss. After hearing how I get to know her bakery, she brought Barry to meet me. The shy young man was hard at work, baking furiously to fulfil pre-orders.

I bought a stollen and a fruitcake, I was so disappointed that Panettones were sold out that day.  

Thrina offered me some fruitcake and croissant samples for tasting. I was delighted to see pandesals being sold here. I like pandesals and promptly bought some.

I will go back for their pandesals, baguette and croissants on my next trip.

I did a trial run of Christmas Day High Tea one morning and my hubby likes the stollen very much. It was his first time tasting a stollen and he couldn't stop eating it. LOL

Their Christstollen or Stollen contains candied orange peel, cranberry, sultanas and black raisins, lemon zest, spices and marzipan (almond paste), giving it a rich flavour. This fruit bread is not too sweet and it is really yummy.

The fruitcake was rich and moist.... I should keep the fruitcake for a while more to allow it to ripen and mature for a more flavourful taste.

I also did a a trial run of  Christmas Eve dinner, my family members enjoyed eating the delicious pandesals, they are so soft and fluffy. My kids sliced the pandesals into halves, filled each with ham, sausage or baked chicken. Actually, the locally adapted version of this Filipino bread are delicious enough to eat on their own.

Thrina and Barry of Baking Brera. 

I might have to do another trial run of the Christmas meals but we are positive our elderly guests will enjoy the Christmas goodies.

Baking Brera
8 Empress Road #01-05 Empress Mall Singapore 260008.


在我的脸书里看到一位年轻的朋友上传他自己烘烤的圣诞节蛋糕, 就和先生一起摸上门找他。去到店里, 发现他是一位很有才华的烘培师, 我当天也认识了他的老板娘 Thrina。

向他们买了一个德式圣诞蛋糕 - 史多伦 (S$25) Stollen 和一个圣诞水果蛋糕 (S$30)。店里也卖意大利潘妮朵 (Panettone), 不过当天已卖完了。

意外看到他们有卖菲律宾特色小面包 pandesal (原意:咸面包)。经过改良, 这面包口味不咸, 十分松软, 我蛮爱吃的。

这天早上, 我先做了一个迷你圣诞下午茶试吃, 我先生是第一次吃德式圣诞蛋糕。他竟爱上了这个质地细腻,甜度没有想像中高的蛋糕。形状类似面包, 德式圣诞蛋糕内有果脯和杏仁,口感丰厚, 越吃越好吃, 根本停不下来。

看来, 长辈们将会享受这次的圣诞下午茶。

Friday, December 02, 2016

Reskilling for Jobs and Lifelong Learning - SkillsFuture Programme 终生学习和技能掌握之旅

I receive my S$500 SkillsFuture credit from the government on January and have yet to claim it.

Any Singapore Citizen above the age of 25 is eligible for an initial S$500 SkillsFuture credit that we can use to learn new skills or for skills development. These credits can be used on top of any government subsidies, and they will not expire. The government will provide periodic top-ups, so I might accumulate my credits.

I had some difficulty understanding the claiming process initially as it was so confusing with the many courses and different subsidies, I gave up trying until November when I realise the year was coming to an end and I have not utilise my SkillsFuture credits yet.

So on 18 November 2016, I went to NTUC Learning Hub at Bras Basah to consult a customer service representative. She simply told me to "check the website lah". *facepalm*

So my long journey of understanding the SkillsFuture Programme starts all over again.

Not everyone is computer savvy nor has access to a computer, if one has to go through so much trouble to claim the credits, he/she would just give up.

There are more than 10,000 courses to choose from. I decided on what I want to learn and started comparing the training providers and the syllabus of their courses. Glad that the courses I want to sign up for do not need to be related to my work.

I went to Lifelong Learning Institute at Paya Lebar and was fortunate to meet a Ms Lam who guided me on the registering process and gave me lots of info on courses. She was very encouraging and recommended me to Asian Culinary Institute which was on the 3rd level of the building. I went to take a look and was truly impressed by the set up and courses. They have short 1-day courses too.

I was in Jurong East visiting a relative on a Thursday when I noticed e2i West at Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. Curious, I went in to make enquiries and was served by a friendly and helpful Susan who walked me through the various programmes. She even photocopied some course information for me. Wow. Thumbs up!

Our Government hope to encourage workers to "learn at every age". For Singaporeans aged 40 and above, a minimum of 90 per cent of training costs for Government approved courses will be subsidised. Some needy citizens would even be paid for the hours of their training.

Armed with more knowledge and better understanding of using my SkillsFuture Credit, I shortlisted 3 short practical courses and proceeded to register personally at ITE College East.

I am placed on waiting list for one course and am successfully registered for the other two. I am looking forward to going back to school, learning new skills and making new friends. haha....

With over 10,000 SkillsFuture courses on offer,  take ownership of your self-development and career progression by planning your learning journey before using your SkillsFuture Credit.

The credit can only be used for education and training in Government-supported courses. These include courses at PA, polytechnics, universities and institutes. You can also use it to subsidise courses by the Workforce Development Authority, or WDA. Explore the full list of approved courses at the SkillsFuture Credit Course Directory here.

For videos and user guides on claiming your SkillsFuture Credit, click this help 

Have fun learning!

e2i (Employment and Employability Institute)
Telephone: 6474 0606
Operating hours:
Mondays to Fridays: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturdays: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

e2i West
Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability
80 Jurong East St 21, Level 2, Singapore 609607

Workforce Singapore (WSG) Career Centres
Telephone: 6883 5885
Operating Hours:
Mondays to Fridays: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
 Saturdays: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
 Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

Lifelong Learning Institute @ Paya Lebar 11 Eunos Road 8, #02-02, Singapore 408601

今年一月, 每名25岁以上的新加坡人都获得首笔总值S$500的未来技能培训补助, 接下来政府会定期填补款额。这笔培训补助未设使用期限,我们可随时利用补助。 大家可以利用未来技能培训补助进修, 供选择的课程超过一万项,涵盖57个领域。

这些课程包括获新加坡劳动力发展局津贴的新技能资格(WSQ)技能课程、大专学府和工艺教育学院、人民协会、银发族资讯通信中心 (Silver Infocomm Junction)等办的课程。

从网站 查询课程名单, 课程有中餐烹饪、基本电脑课程、一些课程以网上学习为授课方式,也有短期的进修课程。


明天, 设在巴耶利峇终身学习学院的 Asian Culinary Institute 将举行开放日, 到时可以看到名厨的示范。大家可以去看看, 并利用未来技能培训补助进修课程。

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