Tag Archives: Food

Celebrating Mexican culture – in Singapore


By Manuel Salgado, Mexican

One of the goals was finally met. After several cultural events that showcased interesting facts about diverse cultures that form the Nanyang MBA, from the tasty Korean BBQ, Chinese full-of-lights Mid-Autumn festival, the very rhythmical Indian Bollywood dance, or the traditional songs of ‘German’ Christmas, it was time for the Mexican MBA students, like me to share a little about our culture.

The excuse was perfect: September 16th 2012, the 202th anniversary of the Mexican Independence Day, is around the corner. With a short time for preparation but the best efforts, myself and Allan Perez (Mexican, Exchange Student from EGADE MBA), organised a party gathering among senior students (graduating batch) and new cohort and also with the Exchange Students. The reception to this party was very good as the slots were full in only a couple of days. For me and Allan, the celebration was indeed the best opportunity not only to show a little about our culture, but also to thank all the support and kindness we have received from our Singaporean and foreign colleagues over all.

More than 40 of us, a very diverse group, attended the fiesta (or feast in English!): Singaporeans, Filipino, French, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, German, American, Spanish, among other nationalities. The first surprise they encountered was the possibility to adopt a Mexican Name.  John Rae Philip (Filipino) and Martin Schmidt (Austrian, Nanyang- St. Gallen Double Masters) helped the visitors pick their name based in the translation or adopt one that they liked. They provided a Certificate of Name Adoption to each of the attendees. For example, Hao Wu (Chinese, Nanyang Essec Double Masters) decided to pick Señor Gabriel, which is the name of one of the archangels that he likes.  Harutaka Ichinoki (Japanese,) chose Don José as it is easy to remember.

After the name adoption, participants indulged in Mexican food and beverages. For beverages, it was possible to try Michelada, a beer cocktail that includes lemon, salt, Maggie sauce and chili. For food, they tried Carne Asada (roasted beef) with Tortilla, a combination more popularly known as Taco in Mexico, the most popular food. They had the possibility to accompany the food with a large selection of salsas, from non-spicy to very spicy, and of course, including in that selection the famous avocado sauce, Guacamole. Our Vegetarian peers had also the chance to try dishes that did not include meat.

Tortilla chips, quesadillas and chicharron (fried pork skins!) were also part of the celebration. Some of our classmates were decisive and willing to help out- Steven Quimby (American) and Jaewon Park (Korean) provided a key support in the grill section and showed their BBQ expertise.

For the event closure, two (2) traditional Piñatas were brought in and those who wish to play this game were blindfolded and asked to hit the Piñata with a stick. The reward, when the Piñata was hit and broken is an avalanche of assorted candies- we had fun as we competed among ourselves to try to get as much as possible. Vida Zhou (Chinese,) and Aditi Jain (Indian,) were the first ones brave enough to try the Piñata. Overall, we have fun during this enjoyable evening- eat, chat and play while celebrating Mexican culture. Viva Mexico!








That's me in action.





Taking on Singapore’s famous chilli & black pepper crabs – an experience to remember!


by Teo Eng Soon, Singaporean, Intake Class of 2012

One weekend evening in August, students from the Nanyang MBA made their way to Red House Seafood Restaurant at East Coast Park, one of Singapore’s popular places for a great feast. For some, it was the first time trying Singaporean style seafood. For the rest, it was a time for the class to catch up with one another in spite of our busy schedule.









That’s me in the photo, ready to start with a pair of chopsticks.

The set dinner consisted of several dishes such as drunken prawn (yes!), sweet and sour fish fillet and more. But the highlight of the night was the chilli and black pepper crabs- Singapore is famous for these 2 ways of preparing crabs (the crabs are from Sri Lanka). Some of our classmates find it spicy , but very tasty- some really have to adjust their taste buds, but no one gave up on this ‘exotic’ dish! You cannot say you have been in Singapore and have not tasted this wonderfully delicious dish.

The tricky part of eating crabs was to open the shell. Getting our hands ‘dirty’ with the gravy sauce, was inevitable. The reward was the tender and full flavour of crab meat that lies within the solid, hard shell.

An important precaution to note is when you break open the shells, is to be wary of the other people sitting on other tables around us. The gravy (chilli sauce) can splash far enough to “hit” the clothes of the rest, making them “casualties” in the process. But that’s the fun part of it.











Chilli crabs with fried buns. Love it.                                                 Thumbs up!

The dinner ended with a much healthier choice- a platter of tropical fruits. Special thanks to our classmate Singaporean Josephine, for hosting the dinner and the rest who have helped in one way or another to welcome our international friends!

Burp- Nothing like a good meal in the eastern side of Singapore!

A taste of Korea – BBQ, kimchi and happy faces…

The NANYANG MBA Ex-co organizes BBQ for the AY 2011/2012
By Charles Chua, Singaporean, Nanyang MBA participant intake 2011, VP for Socials Student Ex-Co

No matter where you come from, sharing a good meal in the midst of like-minded company is a great way to spend a weekend especially if it is after a rigorous week in school. It is not a hidden fact that having a delicious meal is one of the many things our cohort enjoys most. With a very diverse cohort that we have, we thought – why not have a BBQ, with an Asian twist? And so, the first BBQ was organized by the Student Ex-Co 2011/12 at one of our classmates abode (and gracious hosts for the night) in a condominium in the Western part of Singapore.

Continue reading A taste of Korea – BBQ, kimchi and happy faces…

A rainbow connection – Celebrating Holi and Songkran the colorful and fun way!

Author: Sujata Sawai and Tai Yossiree, Class of 2011

On a bright Saturday afternoon, some thirty of us gathered together at Graduate Hall grounds to celebrate the advent of spring and celebrate two of Asia’s widely celebrated festivities – Songkran from Thailand and Holi, from India, last 16th of April.   In fact Holi has been celebrated at Nanyang by the MBA students for the last 3 years, while this is the first Songkran event celebration at Nanyang. And celebrating this together is a first too, we believe!

Songkran day is the celebration of Thai New Year, which falls in the middle of April of each year, and it is celebrated all over Thailand. With a long history people gather on the streets with water containers, water guns and white powder and splash or throw them on friends or passerby. However, on a serious note, the main purpose of Songkran day is to pay a visit to family or elders, and also to go to temple for Buddhist activities as Thais look forward to a better year.

Coming from Thailand (yes, that’s me – Tai), I feel that my classmates should not only experience Songkran the way how it is celebrated, but also to create a sense of unity as a family – doing activities outside of academic life like having fun together. Like what Songkran festival is all about – together, we will ‘wash away’ the sadness, tiredness and stress from our studies, and be ready for the new year to come!

Holi, on the other hand, is the spring religious festival celebrated by Hindus and dates back many centuries ago. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and countries with large Indic diaspora populations, such as Suriname, Malaysia, and Guyana, among others. Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), which, for this year, fell on 20th of March. Like Songkran, Holi is celebrated by throwing colored powder (dye powder) and colored water at each other. Traditionally, playful throwing of colored powder and water has medicinal significance, especially during the onset of spring which normally brings viral fever and cold due to change of weather (reference: Wikipedia.com). 

Finding clothes to discard was easy. We had to since we wanted to have fun throwing colored water and colored powder at our classmates- we knew that our clothes will be soiled and will be thrown away after the celebrations. We had a fantastic time splashing one another with colored water!

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Three stooges all soiled up – me (Tai) in the middle with Snigdha (left) and Reynold (right)

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We ran across the huge vacant field beside our graduate residence hall, and no one escaped the flurry of powder and water.

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Esmond’s makeshift shower but making a mess out of Alejandra (left) and Flora (right), while lonesome Scott pretends to be a Red Indian.

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Zos is trying to be serious out here, while Claudia playfully poses to the camera (Thank you both for the awesome photos!)

Everyone was ecstatic with joy as we messed our clothes – some went stumbling down on the ground laughing, diving into a mixture of mud and colored water, while others  chased madly those who have not been messed up with buckets of it (yes, buckets!) and ensured that they are messed up as well. Here at Nanyang, we ‘hit a lot ’ with this joint celebration – we gathered as  family, we cooled ourselves from the hot and humid weather of Singapore during this time and  cooled down  from the stress from studies, as well! Just like how I experienced it in India (Sujata), the day was filled with the spirit of joy, naughtiness, passion and enthusiasm. Even one of our classmates, Claudia, wished that there were celebrations like this in her home country – Germany! As Claudia puts it, “I really enjoyed celebrating Holi & Songkran with my fellow students. It was the first time for me to get to know these celebrations and helped me in understanding and experiencing Thai and Hindu culture. While we were throwing colours and water at each other, everybody was cheering, laughing.  In the end, I was completely covered in all kinds of colours… it was just a lot of fun! I wish we had a Holi and Songkran celebration in Germany, too! The cross-cultural festivals at NBS, like Mid-Autumn festival, Diwali and Holi & Songkran celebration, make my MBA in Singapore a memorable and unique experience for me. I’m looking forward to more of these!”

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Our classmates are having a fantastic time (topmost photo); We still look good despite being so ‘colorful’ – (from left to right) Mandar, Me (Sujata), Sameer and Vidushi.

And to end this day of fun, we had good food to nourish our near-aching bodies [from all those running and stumbling, and getting hit by throwing water]. We feasted on an awesome assortment of Thai and Indian food like Veg Pakoda, pineapple fried rice, Thai fish cake, and Thai banana in coconut milk (Prof Siri, you are fantastic in preparing this for us!). Nothing beats a hungry stomach, so we emptied everything on the table!

A shout out of thanks to our Student ExCo and the rest of our classmates for making this double celebration more fun and exciting! Who says that MBA students are no fun at all?

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Food Paradise

Author : Kelly-Ann, Singapore

I think I can safely call myself a foodie; someone who is discerning enough to tell a ribeye from a sirloin.

Food gives me comfort and for some strange reason, I feel uberly excited as the clock tick closer and closer to the next meal time.

Singapore is just the place for a foodie like me. The great nationality diversity here means the many different cuisines available for our taste buds. Walk into any hawker centre or kopitiam (literally: a coffee shop – one without air conditioning – that sells food and drinks), and you’ll be spoilt for choice. The majority of races in Singapore make up the kinds of dishes you’ll find there: Chinese, Malay, Indian and simple Western dishes.

I’ll start simple, and give you a low-down of what to expect if you’re on a low budget. Nothing fancy, yet.

There is almost always a kopitiam within a few blocks away from wherever you are, in Singapore. If you’re in a suburban neighbourhood centre (affectionately known as ‘Central’ here), there will be a market, a large complex that sells fresh meats, produce, food and drinks. If you’re in a suburban mall, or a shopping centre in the city, you will definitely be able to locate a food court – which has air conditioning and cleaners who help to clear your trays.

These places are the most affordable ways to dine and are usually open until late.

Almost always, you’ll find the below dishes in some or all of these places.


1.Hainanese Chicken Rice: Steamed chicken with soya and sesame gravy. Served with chicken-flavoured rice. If you dare the spice factor, ask for a side dip of chilli, ginger paste and dark sauce.

2.Roasted Duck Rice: Roasted duck served with white rice. Ask for a side dip of plum sauce and chilli paste.

3.Sliced fish soup vermicelli:

4.Bak Chor Mee (Minced Pork Noodle): Thin yellow noodle doused in a mixture of minced pork, mushrooms and dark soya-based gravy. Served with a side bowl of meatball soup.

5.Wanton Mee (Pork dumpling Noodle): Usually eaten dry. Thin yellow noodle with soya-based gravy and topped with roasted pork and wanton (pork dumplings)

6.Seafood/Beef Hor Fun (Stir-fried flat broad rice noodle): Stir-fried hor fun with a starchy gravy with your choice of meat/seafood. Must be eaten with pickled green chilli for extra kick!

7.Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried flat broad rice noodle in dark sauce): A dry version of the hor fun, this dish is usually done with dark sweet soya sauce, and lots of crispy and fragrant pork lard, tossed with bean sprouts, fish cake and raw clams. Ask for no clams if you’re not used to its raw taste.

8.Fried Carrot Cake: Broken pieces of steamed carrot and starch cake, stir fried with sweet dark sauce and held together with egg. Ask for a non-black version if you’re not used to having a sweet and savoury mix of tastes.

9.Fried Oyster Omelette: Fresh oysters loosely fried with a starchy egg mixture which turns into a yummy chewy paste when done.

10.Popiah: A rice paper-thin roll of stewed turnips, shredded vegetables and Chinese sausage.

11.‘Michael Jackson’ drink: Officially known as “Michael Jackson”, this is a beverage made by mixing white soya bean milk with black grass jelly drink.


1.Laksa: A coconut milk-infused curry noodle dish. Topped with sliced fish cake, bean sprouts and raw clams.

2.Mee Siam: A tamarind-based soupy vermicelli dish. Topped with hard-boiled egg.

3.Mee Rubus: Another coconut-milk infused dish that has a strong peanut taste. Served with yellow noodles, shredded chicken and bean sprouts.

4.Nasi Lemak: Everyone’s favourite. Coconut white rice, topped with an omelette, fried fish, fried anchovies and peanut mix, cucumber slices and a dollop of sambal chilli (savoury chilli paste)

5.Mee Soto: Yellow noodles soaked in a chicken-based soup. Served with hard-boiled egg and shredded chicken.

6.Mee Goreng: Stir-fried yellow noodles in spicy paste. Some stalls use instant noodles to make this dish, good for those who cannot appreciate the taste of yellow noodles.

7.Rojak: A mixture of sliced cucumbers, apples, pineapples, raw mango, deep fried dough fritters tossed in a thick peanut-y shrimp sauce.

8.Bandung: A sweet beverage made with rose syrup and sweetened condensed milk.


1.Roti prata: A pancake bread made of lard, egg, flour and water. Usually eaten with curry. A variety of stuffings available like onion, cheese, eggs, and more.

2.Indian Rojak: An assortment of potatoes, eggs, bean curd (tofu), and prawns fried in batter, served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce

3.Fish head curry: A spicy dish, usually eaten with rice or bread. Fish head cooked in a thick curry gravy with chopped vegetables like lady’s fingers, onions, tomatos and brinjals (eggplants)

4.Nasi Biryani: A set of rice-based foods made with lots of spices, basmati rice, and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables.

5.Teh Tarik: Everyone’s favourite frothy tea! Literally known as “pulled tea”, its name is derived from the pouring process of “pulling” the drink during preparation. It is made from black tea and sweetened condensed milk.

Canteen B

Author : Sisca L, Indonesian

Canteen B coincidentally is the canteen housed in the Nanyang Business School, so we call it Canteen ‘B’usiness.

Like any food courts, we have a good variety of food selection at Canteen B; Indian, Malay, Chinese, Western, Vegetarian, Fruits and juices, local desserts, pastries and my favourite, Mr. Bean (a soya bean-based drink stall).

The prices here are largely cheaper than what you will have to fork out at external food courts or cafes. A cup of Mr. Bean soya bean drink costs $1 here (as compared to the $1.60 charged outside).

When the canteen gets too crowded during lunch hour, I will take away food and eat it in my favourite enclave, the MBA lounge (a cozy lounge complete with flat screen TV and a bar, only for MBA students!). Here’s a tip if you’re not local, when you ask for take away, the word to say is “Ta Pao” (It means “pack” in Chinese).

Right now, my favourite dish is “Mexican Chicken Chop” from the Western food stall which also makes burgers and simple pastas. It is a chicken fillet fried to a crispy gold and topped with brown gravy and molten cheese. I love eating it with a side dish of butter rice and coleslaw. Mmm!