The boundaries of free speech as a foreigner

Photo from the internet

Photo from the internet

My thoughts on the Edz Ello controversy and the boundaries of free speech as a foreigner. I’ve changed the headline from what was originally posted on Rappler. I’m using OFWs as an example but I think it’s a common concern for anyone living abroad regardless of their nationality.

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Filipinos are no strangers to making the headlines in Singapore.

Last June 2014 a Philippine Independence Day celebration in Singapore was the subject of xenophobic heckling and harassment online, causing the organizers to cancel the event.

(READ: Pinoy group in Singapore drops Independence Day event plan)

A few days ago the couple behind The Real Singapore, a popular alternative news site, was charged with sedition. The cause? They allegedly claimed that a Filipino family caused an incident during Thaipusam, a Hindu festival celebrated by the Tamil community.

Online forums are regularly flooded with comments referring to Filipinos as “foreign trash” or “cockroaches,” making Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) feel angry, ashamed or even apathetic. These derogatory comments are nothing new. The question is whether OFWs should feel obligated to defend theirkababayantooth and nail in a nationalistic effort to change the narrative about Filipinos abroad.

But the controversy sparked by Edz Ello, a Filipino nurse working in a government hospital in Singapore recently charged with sedition and lying to the police for posting hateful comments about Singaporeans online, paints a different picture.

Instead of defending a fellow Filipino, the OFW community too condemned his actions, to the extent of saying that he deserved the strict consequences that followed.

RACIST COMMENT? Filipino Nurse Edz Ello, an OFW in Singapore is fired from his job for allegedly making these racist comments on Facebook. Screenshot from Facebook

RACIST COMMENT? Filipino Nurse Edz Ello, an OFW in Singapore is fired from his job for allegedly making these racist comments on Facebook. Screenshot from Facebook

The unspoken rule: don’t bite the hand that feeds

Most OFWs believe that it’s a privilege to be working overseas, especially in Singapore, where the earning capacity tends to be much higher than back in the Philippines.

Regardless of your nationality or income, the bottom line is that every expatriate and migrant worker is a guest in a foreign country. It’s an implicit agreement – that locals expect respect and sensitivity from those who would share their home.

In the case of Edz Ello, both Singaporean and Filipino netizens alike felt that the hateful comments he posted reflected the exact opposite. They said, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds,” an unspoken rule about not offending your benefactor that OFWs are all too familiar with.

Boundaries of free speech

While OFWs are used to a culture of freedom of speech back home, once we venture beyond our borders the boundaries become gray. Living abroad makes us more self-aware of our actions, especially online, not merely out of fear of being deported or arrested, but also out of respect to our host country.

Singapore, on the other hand, is known for its strict laws about voicing opinions publicly.

The priority of the government is to preserve harmony in a multicultural society, where race is a major social identifier for locals. As mentioned by Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, “You have full freedom of speech [in Singapore] but it doesn’t extend to offending somebody else.”

So similar to how religion is a popular yet sensitive topic in the Philippines, such inflammatory comments along national and racial lines can elicit controversy in Singapore. This is increasingly relevant amidst growing concerns about the influx of foreigners in recent years, with an almost 40% foreign population.

Goodwill ambassadors

172,700 Filipinos work in Singapore, according to the latest publicly available Philippine government data. As part of the foreigner population in Singapore, the responsibility of OFWs is to become goodwill ambassadors for the Philippines.

We are guardians of the Filipino name for the world at large, whose only points of reference about the Philippines are sweeping generalizations and often negative stereotypes. That’s why the OFW community did not speak up on behalf of Edz Ello. They agree that his actions unfairly represented Filipinos. Even some locals echo the same sentiment – don’t let the actions of one Filipino paint the wrong picture of an entire race.

The Ello controversy reminds us that nationalism goes beyond our bloodline, heritage, language and the color of our skin. It’s about knowing that we can be better Filipinos, while holding our fellow kababayansaccountable to that very standard.

As an OFW, that means doing our utmost best in protecting our name abroad. Then perhaps, we’ll be making headlines for all the right reasons.

Beyond the skyline – A Singapore beach getaway

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On the not so distant islands of St John and Lazarus, just off the coast of Sentosa Cove, we discovered a place where the Singapore skyline meets the sea. An anonymous piece of city paradise to actually dig our toes into the sand and wade in all shades of aquamarine.

The beach isn’t decorated with sun-kissed locals who live off the sea. No bangkas nor wooden boats delivered coconut juice or San Miguel beer up to our boatstep. Instead we found city folk kickin’ back their Havaianas for a day trip of frolicking in their bikinis, with tan lines leaving a mark on their air con weathered skin.

For my friends it was a welcome break from the concrete corporate playground we know Singapore to be. While the beach doesn’t compare to those back home in the Philippines, it was lovely to actually be able to jump off the boat and melt into one of the untouched coastlines in the city. Even until now, after 3 years of living here, Singapore can still surprise and delight. Two islands – St. John’s and Lazarus island – beyond the skyline and a beach getaway just a short ferry or boat ride away.

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A ‘glocal’ Thanksgiving

A holiday tradition is rooted in culture, heritage and religion. Catholics and Christmas. Muslims and Ramadan. Americans and Thanksgiving. Back then these traditions used to be celebrated in silos, compartmentalised by upbringing, limited to the country of birth and the generation who passed down the practice.

Now enter the age of the internet and social media, mobility, cheap and interconnected flights and the burgeoning desire to experience the world. Tradition is no longer preserved through lineage, from the past to the present, grandfather to daughter. It’s perpetuated laterally through the networks of foreigners and locals who are interacting. More people are getting exposed and the result is a new generation celebrating glocal (global + local) tradition. These are rituals adopted and experienced while living abroad and traveling.

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I am a Filipino, but since moving to Singapore I have celebrated holidays I would otherwise not have been able to do before. Last February I got a red packet for Chinese New Year. Last month I flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand to take part in the buddhist Yi Peng Festival or Festival of Lights. This weekend I will have Thanksgiving dinner with my friends, despite a majority of us growing up as catholic Filipinos/ buddhist Singaporeans who don’t usually celebrate Turkey Day.

Yi Peng Festival, Thailand

Yi Peng Festival, Thailand

Thanksgiving might be a Western holiday, but gratitude is a universal value for many cultures. Since I normally write my list of gratitude for my year end review, here are 4 things I’m thankful for about living abroad instead. What are you thankful for?

Expanding vocabulary 

Every country has their local vernacular. There are nuances in language and behaviour that you can only pick up by living somewhere for a long period of time. Words not only have a definition but a context. Aside from learning bits of broken Singlish, I realised that two people speaking in English might not necessarily understand each other.

Ex. ‘Take away’ and ‘take out’ both mean to have your food packed, but are mutually exclusive. Each phrase only has meaning in Singapore (take away) and the Philippines (take out).

What I’m thankful for: Learning how to understand, adapt and communicate with people in various contexts. 

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House warming’s and potluck

For me this has replaced clubbing and going out on the weekends. Going over to a friend’s house is nothing new, but the vibe feels more personal when someone has their own crib. The helper is not preparing the food. Someone is cooking and everyone contributes drinks and food. This is a new experience for Asians who don’t typically move out until they get married.

What I’m thankful for: The friendships that grew stronger from playing Cards Against Humanity at someone’s house. 

Accountability

It’s harder to slack off and take your job for granted when your salary pays the bills. You become more accountable to your life, the roof on your head, the food on the table and ultimately the good or bad decisions you make.

What I’m thankful for: Professional and personal growth because of how much living abroad challenges who you are and tests who you want to be.

Tioman, Malaysia

Tioman, Malaysia

Travel

When you live in Singapore South East Asia becomes your playground. It’s easier to take weekend trips to neighbouring countries where the flight is cheap and the cost of living is lower. If the regional air pass from Air Asia pushes through, and I can fly to 10 different locations in S.E.A. in one month, I’ll never be in Singapore on the weekends anymore.

What I’m thankful for: Being able to travel around the region effortlessly (thank you Changi!) 

Discernment 

The stakes are higher when you live abroad because you’re on your own. So you learn how to trust your gut and filter through your real friends.

What I’m thankful for:  Family who are always there for me. Old friends who will always keep me grounded. And new like-minded spirits who make Singapore feel less lonely.

A lesson on hawkerism

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The humble hawker center is the great equaliser. A public space that doesn’t give a damn about who you are and what you do, but only that you are hungry for local eats. Anyone, from the gray-haired auntie who sells tissue to the corporate ang moh during his lunch break is not only welcome here, but is also treated the same way. The only special care is given to the one commodity that can be enjoyed by everyone: food.

I’ve always admired how the love for affordable, yet delicious food transcends race or class in Singapore. Sure we Filipinos love our food, but our food is still segregated by the principle of the 99 and 1 percent. Not every sosyalite eats kanto food or grabs lunch from the sari-sari store, unless you’re in Boracay. And no, choriburgers don’t count.

While in Singapore this open-air food court is literally a melting pot of different cultures for different cultures.

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Endless stalls of dishes representing the 3 main ethnic groups in the country – Malay, Chinese and Indian. Chicken rice is for noobs and tourists. Pick your MSG poison in the other foodporn worthy dishes. Nasi Lemak. Beef hor fun. Ayam Penyet. Prawn mee.

Seating is first-come, first-serve, with absolutely no reservation nor pretension. Navigate your way through the maze of stalls during rush hour, past the tables that are marked by the packet of tissue paper – the local symbol for ‘this area is occupied.’ Never in your wildest imagination will you ever expect to feel the hangry rage towards the trivial tissue paper, which stands between you and ordering your food.

For the longest time I tried really hard to discover the other side of Singapore, beyond the manicured façade of Orchard and industrious skyline that expats and tourists flock here for. (Read: The Unlikely Character of Geylang)

I wondered who the Singaporean was without the kiasu, on their day off from work when they aren’t busy with being busy.

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One Sunday morning I finally discovered my answer at the tip of my chopsticks,  while devouring my plate of wanton mee and sipping my glass of teh tahrik. Hawkerism is the kind of consumerism that I can stomach. No politics or money. Only the love for good food.

The Liebster Award

liebsteraward Thank you  A Restless Traveler for the Liebster Award nomination!

“Liebster is a word with German origins meaning dearest, sweetest, kindest, and beloved. The Liebster Award exists only on the internet, and is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. The award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. The purpose of the Liebster Award is to recognize and discover upcoming talent in the blogosphere through a Pay it Forward initiative.”

What I love about the blogosphere (and the internet in general) is that it promotes paying it forward. If you like a blog, article, Instagram photo, Tweet, you share it. That’s how people stumble upon great content and helps artists stay motivated to work on their craft.

Thank you Restless Traveler for believing in my blog :) It’s also a nice break from the writing-grind to answer some fun questions.

There are some rules involved with this award:

  • You must link back to the person who nominated you (but cannot nominate them)
  • You must answer the 10 questions given to the nominee before you.
  • You must select 10 blogs with under 200 followers to answer your 10 questions.

Now, here are my answers:

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Why did you start your blog?

Blogging has always been my constant companion, through adolescence, teenage angst, post-graduation anxiety, twenty-something contemplations. It goes along with me wherever I am, living in Manila, Singapore, traveling across the region. My blog is my way to discern, a reminder of who I am and want to be. I started my blog because I love to write, but I continue to blog because I want to share my stories and hope that others will draw inspiration from what I’ve learned.

What’s your favourite part of blogging?

I love the personal nature of blogging. It’s what differentiates it from other mediums. I love being able to relate to someone through their blog and seeing them grow through time.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about blogging?

Blogging is historical. Your blog is a way to capture a moment in time in a particular place in time. This is what I’ve always believed to be its greater purpose.

When was the first time you traveled?

I don’t remember actually, but I have fond memories going on adventures with my pops. When we go on family vacations, we’re always the ones exploring somewhere uncharted, taking the car to some undisclosed road.

Where are you going on your next adventure?

I’m going to India in January for my friend’s wedding. I am so psyched! I’ve always wanted to 1) attend an Indian wedding and 2) go to India.

A favourite dish that’s not from your country?

I love ramen but I have yet to try authentic ramen from Japan itself. Aside from that, my favorite drink is Thai milk tea.

Favourite songs to listen to on long bus,train or plane rides?

I usually stream my music, so I don’t have a playlist when I’m not connected to internet. I either sleep,  think or read. A lot.

If you could be anywhere right now where would you be?

I would be in India just because I’m so excited for my trip already!  

Travel photoblog or well written post?

I love words, so a well-written post with lots of pictures to help tell the story. Although a well-written post can stay on draft for awhile because it takes time to write properly.

What advice would you give someone about to start a blog?

 Starting a blog is easy. Continuing a blog is the hardest part! Make sure you have enough motivation to keep writing. Trust me, it will be worth it especially when you look back at what you wrote.

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My nominees (I have less than 10 because I realised a lot of the blogs I read already have a lot of followers or don’t blog regularly anymore :( )

Slouching somewhere

Slhando

Carlo Chong

Pushy for Sushi 

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My questions:

Why did you start your blog?

What has blogging taught you?

Photo-blog or well-written post?

What motivates you to keep on writing?

If you could live in one country/ city for a long period of time where would it be and why?

What’s the best travel/ blogging advice you have received?

What’s your must have travel companion?

Do you prefer traveling alone  or in a big group?

Favorite dish that’s not from your country?

Any tips or advice for people who are looking to start a blog?

The different phases of Ikea

"I didn't know I needed all this stuff until I went to Ikea."

Buying furniture is the first step in making your apartment feel like a home, but it’s practiced in various phases of an expat’s life.

Bare basics:  “I need to stop eating my dinner from the floor.”

Storage: “How can I store all my crap?!”

Settling: “I might be in x country longer than I thought I would be.”

Nesting: “I need to make a home away from home.”

Ikea noob: “I didn’t know I needed all this stuff until I went to Ikea!”

Moving, 2012

Moving, 2012

Last weekend my sister and I made a trip down to Ikea to buy new furniture for our home. It was somewhere between settling and nesting. We’ve been to Ikea a few times in the last two years, but this time was kind of a big deal. When you live abroad the concept of home is always temporary. How much time, money and effort you put into furnishing a home shows how long you envision to stay. The less you invest, the easier it is to move on, both mentally and physically. Buying a table is not only about buying a table. It represents roots, having something to leave behind or bring along depending on the next venture in life. Traveling teaches us to pack light for the transient ride but migrating makes it necessary to unpack the boxes even if you’ll eventually end up leaving again.

Settled in, 2014

Settled in, 2014

Buying furniture makes you think about how serious you are with where you are. It’s not something we take seriously within the first year because we’re still experimenting and having fun. But I guess after you pass the 2 year mark it’s only natural to start deliberating, planning and in this case, start decorating.

The other crab of Singapore: the hairy crab

Chilli crab is the poster crustacean in Singapore. It’s readily available in every high-end restaurant or lowbrow hawker centre at every time of the day, drunk or sober, you name it. Over the last two years I’ve met the relatives of the chilli crab — black pepper, salted egg and butter (my favourite) crab. I thought I met everyone until just a few days ago.

Introducing the hairy crab — the crustacean visiting from overseas. I’ve never heard of or tasted this autumn delicacy before until I attended a food tasting at The Sheraton Towers for Lifestyle Asia. Apparently the hairy crab is a seasonal dish anticipated every October- November. Now I feel robbed of the last 2 years of living in Singapore without trying it.

Unlike Chilli crab, which I love partly because I get to dip my mantau bread in the chilli sauce, the hairy crab doesn’t need any condiments. You just suck up the rich and creamy crab roe found within the shell. Your heart will stop, partly because of the cholesterol, but mostly because it’s that good. It also has a cooling or yin effect on the body so they usually serve ginger tea to warm you back up afterwards.

The hairy crab definitely deserves a seat at my dining table. Try it out while you still can.

Me: Have you tried hairy crab before? Ed: Nope, I prefer my crabs well groomed.

Me: Have you tried hairy crab before?
Ed: Nope, I prefer my crabs well-groomed.

Braised King Prawn and Sweet Potato with Hairy Crab Meat and Crab Roe

Braised King Prawn and Sweet Potato with Hairy Crab Meat and Crab Roe

Wake me up when September ends

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Everyone needs a check-in. 

While I love Instagram because it encourages me to appreciate the moment, it’s important to have regular check-ins for the bigger picture.We can’t always wait for the New Year, Christmas or our birthday to reflect on the year that was, or the year that’s to come.

My check-in is blogging/ writing. While I don’t write as regularly anymore, another good exercise is posting a collective set of photos on a monthly basis. It gets harder to remember what you did last week, what more last month because life goes by so quickly now. So posting a monthly photo album is a good montage to see your life at a distance and realise how much you’ve lived and learned.

September was a big month.

I just finished uploading my photos of September on Facebook. Posting those photos are proof of how crazy it was. From my best friend finally visiting me in Singapore to participating in my first major gangbang of a pitch while simultaneously launching my first ever campaign by myself and a major campaign for one of our biggest clients.

I hit some important personal and career milestones this month. But September was a big month because it wasn’t easy, and I learned a lot. 

I always thought maturity was a product of time, when the ‘mistakes’ don’t feel as fresh and there’s enough distance to not be attached and laugh about it in retrospect. But I think part of growing up is learning how to experience and process your emotions simultaneously in a healthy manner. We don’t always have the luxury of time to react. Sometimes we need to make decisions on things that immediately demand our attention to the best of our judgement and ability at the moment. Clients calling. Stakeholders to manage. Deadlines looming. Expectations to meet. Reality.

September wasn’t easy but here are some key things that kept me going until I could hit those milestones. Some things I realised on my own. Some I owe to my sister, Ed and close friends. I’m glad that September is over. Looking forward to a new month.

– RF

1. Live. Learn. And Let go.

2. Me:  *Rant* I think I’m getting disillusioned at how the world really works. How people really are.  

Ed: That’s not disillusionment. That’s enlightenment. #PositiveThinking 

3. Ate Pia: The most successful people work hard and have good judgement. 

4. It’s pointless to dread or run away from something. Time will always pass and you have to address that battle sooner or later. 

5. Rajiv: My rule of thumb is that it’s okay to make mistakes. Just don’t do it again.  

6. “Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will you have crossed the mountain.”

7. People may argue and disagree but in those moments remind yourself that we’re all trying to achieve the same thing. 

LIFESTYLE ASIA: 5 best concept cafes in Singapore #Review

Challenge: Write a cafe/ coffee review and round up without using hipster. This was a fun story that I pitched to Lifestyle Asia. If you’re into coffee and cafe’s (nowadays who isn’t?) then enjoy!

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It’s tempting to label every café or artisanal coffee roaster popping up in Singapore as hipster. Charming décor, coffee art and freshly roasted beans imported from all over the world— they come standard with every cuppa joe served by your neighborhood barista.

But nowadays it’s not enough to satisfy café patrons with only their artisan caffeine fix enjoyed in Instagram-worthy indie cafes. They delight in experiences that understand their appreciation for high quality coffee and complement their lifestyle.

Luckily the specialty coffee movement in Singapore has introduced a cast of cafés for various personalities.LifestyleAsia Singapore has handpicked these characters worthy of your idyllic weekend afternoon of artisan coffee.

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For the urban executive: Kith café 

Kith is the all-around café to relax in, catch up with friends and people watch. Because the daily grind is so hectic, café goers will enjoy Kith for its no-frills experience. It’s all about the food, the company and of course the coffee.

What we tried: While the flat white traditionally has more coffee than milk, a proper blend doesn’t leave a bitter taste in the mouth.  The flavor of the Kith Café flat white (S$4) is distinct because the espresso dominates while allowing the milk to breathe for a silky blend.

7 Rodyk Street, Watermark @ Robertson Quay #01-33, Singapore 238215, +65 6341 9407,www.kith.com.sg 

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For the curious cafénista: Chye Seng Huat Hardware 

This hardware store turned coffee bar is serious about the art of coffee. The open island bar concept is a great place to observe the baristas in action who are tinkering with caffeinated concoctions. Customers can get lost in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from the moment they step into the store. The Coffee Retail, The Retail, The Roastery and The Annex are also available for the cafénista to further satisfy their coffee curiosity and craving.

What we tried: Their espresso+milk drink (S$5.50) perfectly describes the ingredients of a delicious full-bodied and well-balanced café late that is not too sweet or milky. The milk blends the stronger espresso flavor in a way that doesn’t drown the drink.

150 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207563, +65 6396 0609, www.cshhcoffee.com

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For the quintessential date: Stranger’s Reunion 

If coffee shops are the perfect venues for love to manifest, then the sunny disposition of Stranger’s Reunion sets the right mood for coffee lovers: homey, warm, and welcoming. The cosy interiors are brightly lit and accented with flowers and art in yellow hues for a charming first impression.

What we tried: The golden ratio of milk and coffee is found in Magic (S$5.50), their signature drink. It’s a mixture of a double ristretto and milk. Despite the strong and short shot of espresso flavour typical of a ristretto, there was a savoury and salted caramel undertone that we loved.

37 Kampong Bahru Rd, Singapore 169356, +65 6222 4869, www.facebook.com/strangersreunion

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For the discerning minimalist: The Plain 

The Plain is an unassuming coffee sanctuary for those looking for an escape and yearning for some long overdue quiet time to reboot after a tiring week of work. The interiors stay true to its name, with simple furnishings and large communal tables that feel like a friend’s home.

What we tried: There’s a fine line between being too milky and bitter. While The Plain’s café latte (S$3.80) doesn’t overdose on the caffeine, it might be too milky for coffee drinkers who prefer a stronger taste

50 Craig Road, #01-01, Singapore 089688, +65 6225 4387, www.theplain.com.sg

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For the laid-back adventurer: Wheeler’s Yard 

What’s striking about Wheeler’s Yard is how it effortlessly marries the world of coffee and cycling. The outcome is a huge industrial warehouse turned spacious café cum in-house bicycle workshop. The exposed floor, mismatched tables and barrel chairs add to the do-it-yourself and down-to-earth charm. It’s a leisurely pit stop for cyclists and parents who are taking their family out for the weekend.

What we tried: The café latte (S$5) is bitter, even after adding sugar, so the ratio to milk and espresso still needs to be adjusted.

28 Lorong Ampas, Singapore 328781, +65 6254 9128, www.facebook.com/wheelersyard

View original article here.

 

LIFESTYLE ASIA: A taste of Michelin-starred cuisine at The Cliff #Review

We enjoyed the hearty seafood flavours present in the soup in the style of menudo and pozole.

We enjoyed the hearty seafood flavours present in the soup in the style of menudo and pozole.

Eight-time Michelin-starred chef Saul Bolton from New York whips up some chef-d’oeuvres

There are many challenges of being a guest chef in a foreign kitchen — unfamiliar culture, and not knowing the source of local produce — and it takes a truly talented chef to master the odds to work in their favour.

One such chef is the Michelin-starred Saul Bolton, who makes an appearance at The Cliff at The Singapore Resort and Spa Sentosa this July. His restaurant, Saul, has held a Michelin star rating for eight consecutive years and is one of the top restaurants in New York.

Bolton tells us that preparing the special 6-course menu for The Cliff is like “arriving at someone’s house to cook your mother’s recipe, but they were the ones who bought all the ingredients.” He rose up to the challenge, and experimented with unexpected ingredients to create an unusual menu of global epicurean chef-d’oeuvres.

Starters inspired by flavours around the world

Among the starters we tasted, it was the chawanmushi or ‘steamed tea cup’ of sea urchin that stood out for its smooth texture and rich flavours of seafood, custard and warm black truffle vinaigrette. Unlike other thicker custards, the soup-like texture of Bolton’s chawanmushi blended the umami of the East and the musky earthiness of black truffle known in the West.

Saul Bolton’s version of the chawanmushi is a refreshing take on the popular Japanese dish.

Saul Bolton’s version of the chawanmushi is a refreshing take on the popular Japanese dish.

Then, the soup in the style of menudo and pozole  (a thick, hearty meat stew that’s popular in Mexico) transported us to the South. Instead of tripe or beef stomach, which is traditionally used, the broth is seasoned with fruits de mer, or an array of seafood. While the menudo was rich, it was a tad bit too salty for our liking.

Main meat: Australian Lamb

Foodies can choose between two mains — the Australian lamb with almond and currants or the North American hard shelled lobster with coconut rice and curry.

The Australian lamb has just the right amount of tenderness and the use of spices adds a zest to the dish.

The Australian lamb has just the right amount of tenderness and the use of spices adds a zest to the dish.

While lamb is usually devoured alone, Bolton provides the perfect companion of North African and Indian spices. Adding to that interesting combination is yoghurt on top of a risotto-like grain that was not too mushy. Those who love their lamb will not be disappointed, especially with an additional tender lamb shoulder on the side.

Delightful desserts

Towards the end of the dinner, we were treated to two yummy desserts. We liked how the use of creamy coconut complemented the mango and passion fruit sorbet with tapioca, strawberry and lychee, and the pleasant lingering taste of orange in the cheesecake.

This orange-scented cheesecake is fluffy soft, unlike the cloyingly rich ones that are usually served.

This orange-scented cheesecake is fluffy soft, unlike the cloyingly rich ones that are usually served.

Verdict

Bringing together various ingredients and cuisines from all over the world in a single menu is not an easy feat to achieve. When we asked him for his personal favourite dish, Bolton surprised us by revealing that he’s the guy who doesn’t like anything, even if it’s his own concoction. He admits there’s always room for more potential.

While his menu at The Cliff was not perfect, there were definitely more hits than misses to remember.

For details, menus and reservations please visit www.singaporeresortsentosa.com. Chef Saul Bolton is the third in a series of Michelin starred chefs coming your way at The Singapore Resort & Spa Sentosa. Look out for British chef Alyn Williams, who will be coming to the resort from 13 to 17 August 2014.

The Singapore Resort & Spa Sentosa,  2 Bukit Manis Road,  Sentosa, Singapore 099891, +65 6275 0331,www.singaporeresortsentosa.com

View my original review on Lifestyle Asia.