LiHo!! – Lychee Jing Syuan Tea

Way back to the start of June 2017, we were all greeted with the shocking news that Gong Cha,one of Singaporeans’ favourite bubble tea brand, was going to be replaced with new local LiHo brand. This brave move to close down one of the most popular bubble tea chains in Singapore is a strategic business decision made by RTG Holdings who felt “betrayed” by business associates, and decided to build a home-grown brand as Gong Cha’s parent company in Taiwan, Royal Tea Taiwan, was recently sold off to Gong Cha Korea, resulting in changes in contractual terms.

LiHo is a made-in-Singapore creation with a new menu, including cheese tea drinks. It will rely on completely different suppliers for its tea and other raw ingredients, as well as using different methods of making its drinks.

The top picks at Liho include Lychee Jing Syuan Tea ($3.30, $4.30), Fresh Lemon Juice Kanten and Golden Ai Yu ($4.00 and $5.10), Golden Yuzu Juice and Golden Ai Yu ($3.70 and $4.70), and Vitagen ‘n’ Peach ($4.10, $5.40).

My personal favourite from LiHo will be one of their top picks – Lychee Jing Syuan Tea. I like it a lot because it tastes really refreshing, especially during our ‘summer’ period in Singapore. I top it off with white pearls, making it a total of SGD$4 (medium). I personally feel that we are paying for the cup because, unlike Gong Cha, LiHo drinks come in plastic cups of better quality and plastic lids, different from the usual plastic seal on most bubble tea. Although it may be expensive as compared to Gong Cha, the cups can be recycled and used for other purposes after washing which makes it worth the money. Although I have yet to try their cheese milk tea and royal milk tea, I have been hearing both good and bad comments and these drinks have been constantly compared to another known brand – KOI.

I really encourage you to try out the Lychee Jing Syuan Tea from LiHo in this hot weather!

 

Sources:

http://mothership.sg/2017/05/heres-a-look-at-lihos-full-menu-and-some-of-their-drinks/

http://mothership.sg/2017/05/gong-cha-closing-down-in-spore-rebranding-as-liho/

http://danielfooddiary.com/2017/06/01/liho/

Rachael Fong

3T

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Short Stories/ Poetry: If time could stop

Germaine Poetry

i.

it will be

with the strange softness

that we set off with 4:27 pm on

our minds, an ever lingering

sensation of your racing car heart

and the tension on my mind.

 

ii.

i dream a dream of a dream,

of people floating into a void

of memories, and

of the quiet, where we venture

into the open space of a world

where worry is a word that

lacks a meaning

 

iii.

but reality is a flash of a photograph

sweeping us off our feet.

and we float (yes, we float)

on storm clouds like water droplets

to rain into the universe of the

hopefully serene reality.

 

iv.

these days we sit in hallways,

legs crossed and heads bent,

craned in the search of sound.

but only the quiet returns.

Sources: https://fineartamerica.com/shop/prints/port+jefferson+harbor

Germaine Ong (3 Purity)

Music Favourites: Stranger in the North (飘向北方)

Stranger of the North Renee.jpg

Amidst the rising popularity of Mandarin-pop songs in our school, many have been mesmerised by JJ Lin’s voice and Jay Chou’s raps. I, on the other hand, have been obsessed with Stranger in the North, a poignant song written and performed by a newcomer to the musical scene – Malaysian rapper and songwriter Namewee. He also collaborated with famous singer-songwriter Wang Lee-hom. This sensational duo has created a music video which garnered a strong support of 1.3 million views within a day of its release.

The lyrics were penned with the purpose of voicing up about the plight of migrant workers, particularly in the scene of Beijing. This song was also speculated as a story about Namewee, being a Malaysian who went on to studied abroad in Taiwan. To me, the music tells the story of migrant workers in general, and is in fact very relatable to us. Someday in the future we might also have to leave the comfort of living in Singapore and travel abroad for extended periods of time to further our studies or for other reasons. It would be difficult to adapt and many of us will certainly miss home. However, this song serves as a timely reminder that we have to stay strong. Furthermore, it forces us to reflect on how we have been treating our migrant workers in Singapore.

One characteristic of Stranger in the North that I find very admirable is the fact that it manages to be both harsh and uplifting at the same time. The skilfully chosen choice of words directly highlights the harsh conditions that many workers face having to leave home for someplace alien as a means of survival. However, at the same time, the tune has a hip-hop rhythm to it that manages to bring my spirits up. Furthermore, its strong beats and the singers’ strong vocals amplify the emotions channelled into it. This creates a song that has the power to successfully emanate positive energy and remind many migrant workers that they are not alone. It is one of the many ways this masterpiece in the music industry stands out among the rest of the top hits.

I was never a fan of mandarin pop songs, but this song has found its way into my heart and left a deep impression on me ever since I first heard it over the radio. While there are still many of us who are not fans of mandarin-pop, I hope you will still give it a go. It is a song that will definitely tug on your heartstrings and I guarantee you that you will not regret listening to it!

 

References:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/showbiz/article/namewees-stranger-in-the-north-featuring-wang-leehom-goes-viral-video

https://thecoverage.my/news/stranger-north-namewee-complimented-wang-lee-hom-great-work/

Image from Google Images

Renee Ong (3 Unity)

Places Less Travelled: Tsukada Nojo

I am sure many of you have eaten Ramen before, and I have eaten ramen many times at many different places. There is one Ramen restaurant that is really special.

(Just a quick disclaimer, this is not a food review, it is a review of the restaurant)

This restaurant is called Tsukada Nojo, and the particular branch that I would go to was at Plaza Singapura.

At the entrance, there are steps that lead you down to the tables. Due to the space constraint, the tables and chairs were arranged in such a manner that there was only enough space for one waitress to mover around. Despite the tight space and limited amount of tables and seats, the restaurant had a warm and cosy ambience.

When I was there, I ordered the soya Ramen, and I highly recommend it. It was served with a platter of other ingredients that other Ramen restaurants did not serve- there was chicken, seaweed and even yuzu slices! You are supposed to drop all the other ingredients into the pot at a pace in which you pleased, I found this way of serving the ramen very clever as some customers may not want to eat a particular ingredient. The last thing that I like about this restaurant is the type of dessert they serve- they had creme brulee and yuzu ice-cream served on glass bowls that were filled with pink and blue water.

My first dining experience at Tsukada Nojo was definitely a memorable one, so I definitely went back a few times. I highly recommend this Ramen restaurant if you are looking for something different to try as you would be eager to eat here again.

Address: #03-81 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, 238839

OPENING HOURS

Daily: 11:30 – 15:00

Daily: 17:00 – 22:00

PHONE

+65 63365003

 

Ashley Tung (2 Purity)

References:

https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=tsukada+nojo+singapore&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKhprF9JTVAhWGfbwKHb-vA6cQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=662#tbm=isch&q=tsukada+nojo+singapore+soya+ramen&imgrc=pChdvw-2F5DgsM:

https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=tsukada+nojo+singapore&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKhprF9JTVAhWGfbwKHb-vA6cQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=662#imgrc=a9XSPbteRetGXM:

 

Short Stories/ Poetry: Why did you not?

Poem Yen Chi

Remember that day

I dented your new Ferrari?

I thought you would murder me,

you did not.

 

Remember that time

I spilled wine on your new carpet?

I thought you would hate me,

you did not.

 

Remember that day

I dragged you to the beach?

It was raining like you said it would

I thought you would say “I told you so”,

you did not.

 

Remember that time

I did not tell you the party was informal?

You came in a suit and leather shoes

and I thought you would abandon me,

you did not.

 

There were a lot of things

you chose not to do.

You put up with me,

loved me, protected me.

 

I remember that day

I wanted to do something for you.

I waited for your return at the airport,

you did not.

 

I remember that time

I cried myself to sleep and

told myself I did not love you,

I did.

Ang Yen Chi (2 Unity)

Book Review: Into the Water

Into the waters book

“Its name carries weight; and yet, what is it? A bend in the river, that’s all. A meander.” ~ Danielle Abbott

Into the Water delivers an urgent, satisfying read that hinges onto the stories of the past that we tell and how they have the power to destroy our lives now. It depicts the death of Nel Abbott and her estranged sister, Jules Abbott. As Jules struggle to understand the circumstances behind Nel’s death, it is known that the previous deaths of women all linked to one common factor -the Drowning Pool. In a bid to find the truth, Jules had to face her past and cope with losing a loved one, albeit in strange conditions. The book is a good read, particularly in the way the author elaborately illustrates the troubling past of Jules’, how the author orchestrates the seemingly normal death in a way to be shrouded in secrets and the truth behind the quote that the past will eventually come back to bite you.

The troubling past of Jules is a complex one. She hated Nel- she despised her for her beauty, her parents’ favouritism towards her and Nel’s devilish schemes. Jules left her past behind in search for a new identity, but is forced to face the facts that her sister had gone. In the search for an answer, Jules stumbles across her sister’s records of her neighbours and the past of the Drowning Pool. She finds that despite their broken relationship, she still had feelings towards her sister and wanted to forgive her no matter what she did, even if she had done harm to others. This puts Jules in a conflicting situation where her morals clashes with her feelings towards her sister and gives us a fresh perspective on how our emotions may influence our decisions in the process as well as how the past can sufficiently help to develop the character in the story even though it is tricky to pull off. I should say that development of Nel Abbott as a character was shallow- she was portrayed as evil through and through whilst giving her no chance of redemption for what she did. It could have been interesting to see things from her perspective, why she did what she did, as well as the actions that brought her down to her demise.

The orchestration of the entire plot was delivered excellently- it led us to continue reading on about the truth of the accidental “drowning”, and gave us a twist we never did expect. Sean, a policeman in the story, is forced to come to terms with the family he never had and the morals that had no true foundation. Secrets were found- Nel Abbott, an innocent woman, was never that innocent. Jules Abbott, a life that never came to fruition was instead broken down and reduced to its fundamentals where she had to question the existence of her sister and even doubted herself, believing herself to be the catalyst of all the chaos that happened thus far. Mark Henderson, a normal teacher related to another girl who also died, was found to be involved in a sexual relationship with the girl. It gives us twists at every corner and is so unpredictable that we as readers have to keep reading to construct images in our head, giving us our own interpretations of the events that occurred.

The past is shown to eventually come back to bite a person, regardless of what they may have accomplished in their current life. Nel fell prey to her own past where she was involved in gossip and made trouble for herself. Jules rejected that one phone call and had to endure the pain of losing everything she ever had just for her sister. Mark had a relationship that was forbidden and lost one of his students for his own selfish purposes. Every little action they did in the past had a consequence, consequences that would eventually bite them back in full force and make them suffer for the rest of their lives. The wrong decisions started a chain of events that never would have happened had it not been done, proving fully the moral that the past can easily destroy your future.

Overall, this thriller read is worth reading. Paula Hawkins has managed to captivate me in a way where the book could hold my attention for hours as I wished to finish the book. It has given a strong interpretation of a value that many still deny exists and through the usage of words conveyed yet another brilliant concept that was refreshing and satisfying. I highly recommend this book for all to read and would definitely persuade you to pick up the book either in the library or bookstore to get a taste of what a fresh concept could hold for one’s adventures in a book.

Yeo Hui Min Mandy (2 Unity)

Places Less Travelled: Miyahara Ice-Cream Shop

Located at Zhongshan Rd, Central District in Taichung City, Miyahara ice-cream (宫原眼科) is beautifully decorated. The building, previously an ophthalmology clinic owned by a Japanese man named Miyahara during the Japanese occupation period of Taiwan, was restored to its former glory by Dawn cakes after it was partially destroyed by an earthquake and typhoon years ago. Its high ceilings, glossy polished floors and large pieces of wooden furniture made the shop look highly sophisticated – some have even suggested that it is reminiscent of Harry Potter world. With its classy exterior and interior, it exudes an air of elegance that extends to the exquisite menu of ice-cream flavours.

Photo on the right is from http://twotofu.blogspot.sg/2015/10/travelogue-to-taiwan-part-1.html

A long queue outside this shop is a common sight, not only because of its popularity amongst locals and tourists alike, but also because the excellent service customers are given. The dedicated and patient staff offer customers the opportunity to sample numerous flavours, and suggest exotic ice-cream flavours complementing the customer’s preferred tastes as they weave through the wide variety, including 17 types of chocolate ice-cream, and an equally staggering range of tea and fruit ice-cream flavours. ice-cream is priced at 90NT, 150NT and 225NT for single, double and triple scoops respectively, along with toppings of your choice. Toppings offered include pineapple pastry and cheesecake, which are specialties also sold at their retail area.

The ice-cream shop isn’t all there is to visit – the retail area is also magnificent. It gives off a sophisticated antique vibe, enhanced by the one-of-a-kind packaging for their pineapple pastries and other traditional Taiwanese goodies. Numerous boxes of such pastries are packaged as antique Chinese books and displayed prominently on bookshelves, whereas other intricately designed boxes have a Christmas theme to it – apt for the holiday season during which I visited the shop. The staff were all decked out in green and red festive attire, and extremely helpful in suggesting suitable gifts to bring back home, making every customer’s shopping experience a comfortable easygoing one.

Despite having already feasted on ice-cream earlier, the restaurant situated on the second level was simply too tempting a meal to pass up. Given the amazing quality of ice-cream and service provided earlier, it was almost a given that the exorbitant prices put forth in the menu would be worth it.

 

Indeed, this was proven right when the platter my family ordered was served in fancy dishware and the standard of the food way surpassed our expectations. The server was outgoing and friendly, even initiating a quick chit-chat with us about our holiday experience and where we were from. None of us thought too much about it, however, until the ice-cream dessert was served with a Singapore flag and a tall droplet-shaped cotton candy glowing softly from the device underneath as the masterpiece. This truly memorable experience certainly was the highlight of my trip to Taiwan.

 

Should you happen to visit the area, do drop by Miyahara ice-cream Shop for a treat you will never forget.

Chloe Kho (3 Truth)

Reference(s):

https://www.rtaiwanr.com/taichung-city/miyahara

Book Review: I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosín

I Lived On Butterfly Hill

Meet Celeste Marconi. She is eleven years old. She reads Pablo Neruda. She says good morning to the pelicans that fly by her house. Then, warships start docking on her hometown, Valparaiso, classmates start disappearing without reason, her parents leave, and the bottom of the world falls out from beneath her feet.

Few children’s books are brave enough to take on the theme of loss, but this book does it – and does it well. Celeste’s parents leave Chile to save their lives as they were prominent supporters of the old President, before the government was overthrown by a military dictator, and Celeste feels real loss for the first time in her life. It is especially haunting to hear Celeste’s fearful thoughts in her school, once a place filled with laughter and joy, but now overseen by a blank-faced military officer between four white, joyless walls. Before long, Celeste is shipped to the States to live with her aunt to ‘protect’ her, but Celeste can only miss her friends, her home on Butterfly Hill, and her parents. When Celeste returns from Juliette Cove a few years later, the dictatorship has ended, but her parents have not returned home. The novel then follows Celeste’s journey to trace her parents’ footsteps and bring them home.

I Lived on Butterfly Hill expertly weaves the bone-chilling horrors of the Chilean dictatorship and a young girl’s naive narration into a stunning piece touching on war, loss, friendship, and growing up. Her novel has wonderful imagery of hope and love, and a beautiful profusion of vocabulary too. Not only does Celeste hold on to her dreams even throughout the dictatorship, she is extremely intelligent and sharp, and seems to have more experience than her eleven years. The book explores what one will do for family, as well as a first-person narrative about growing up through difficult times. As a person who loves historical fiction to the ends of time and back, my review of this book may be the slightest bit biased, but nonetheless, the book is an amazing read.

 

Reference:

http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/I-Lived-on-Butterfly-Hill/Marjorie-Agosin/9781416994022

Chua Wei Ting

3 Purity

Jokes and Pickup Lines

meat up

As we begin a new semester and slowly ease back into our (sleepless) school life, let’s try to stay awake with a classic form of jokes- puns

-What do you get when you cross the Atlantic with the Titanic?

About halfway

 

-What’s the strongest days of the week?

Saturdays and Sundays (because all the rest are week (weak) days :DD)

 

-What do you call Santa’s little helpers?

Subordinate Clauses

 

-What did the hat say to the hat rack?

“You sit here, I’ll go on ahead (a head))”

 

-Argon walks into a bar.

The bartender says, “We don’t serve noble gases here!”

Argon doesn’t react.

 

-How come a nose can never be 12 inches long?

Because then it would be a foot.

 

-The calendar’s days are numbered

 

-What is the difference between a coyote and a flea?

One howls on the prairie and one prowls on the hairy

 

-Why did the algae and the fungus get married?

They took a lichen to each other

 

-What do you get when you put a sheep on a trampoline?

A woolly jumper

 

Source : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMs_JcuNozJYOfHXHGTtHse4XYvnygc8A

Chen Yu Yang

2 Truth

 

Music Favourites: Borders

Borders Article

[verse one]

All these people here

Staring and looking at me

Shaking their heads eyes

Down strong on me

What’s wrong with me?

Can you tell me now?

What’s wrong with me?

Can you tell me, now?

There’s a high chance you had never seen these lyrics let alone know who composed and sang them, that comes as no surprise as this song is neither an album song nor a single. “Borders”, composed and written by Amber, is a synth English hip hop song. The song is “a raw and real story about reality”, according to Amber, with no glamorous concepts or attempts to make it a hit.

She delivers her hopeful message that if you continuously pursue your goals, not giving in to limitations and hardships, someday you will achieve them. This song is something extremely personal and deep for Amber as she have been struggling with her tomboy image since her debut days and very few people have been supportive of her choices through the years. However, Amber never stopped or throw in the towel during her years in a girl group, although she had cleared up the misconception about her sexuality, she continuously emphasise that “love knows no limits” and that she was able to empathise with those facing prejudice as she was once mistaken and placed in their shoes.

This song was written and uploaded on SMTOWN’s Youtube channel for Amber to share her story and experiences through the beautiful lyrics, the amazing thing about this song is that it can be analysed and interpreted differently as all of us have our individual perspectives of her choice of vocabulary. It is definitely a song that everyone should check out. Personally, I enjoy this song very much as I interpret this as the challenges girls face as they go through puberty. The fear of the unknown and those who might judge and how we should stay strong to grow and get through this phase.

[verse two]

Oh fear not ‘cause

I know I’m in his hands

Though I can’t see

I know there’s a plan

So thick the fog but

I know I can trust

The feelings that

I feel when the roads rough

[pre-chorus]

I gotta be tough with my eyes down

Eyes down, eyes down

Strong in my stance with my eyes down

Eyes down, eyes down

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNT-zFJKifI

Ang Yen Chi

2 Unity