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Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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A Taste of Nostalgia: Nam Seng Noodles

Nam Seng Noodles

Nam Seng Noodles

I was excitedly walking along China Street towards a Korean restaurant to satisfy my kimchi craving which I had been harbouring for over a week when I was distracted by a lady eating a plate of noodles by the roadside. It looked so tantalizing. I backtracked ten steps to find out which noodle store it came from. Turns out to be Granny Leong who used to sell wonton noodles at the little hut just in front of the old Stamford National Library. Oh my god – how many times I had eaten those noodles when I used to visit the library as a student! Granny Leong must be 80 over years old by now – and she’s still healthy and cackling orders in Cantonese to her helpers – still a feisty dame! I thought that familiar taste was lost to me forever when they demolished the library along with the little hut in 2004. I was naturally uber-excited, and happily ditched my K meal for noodles. Kimchi can wait.

Nam Seng Noodles

Nam Seng Noodles is located at the corner along a row of shophouses along China Street.

Old Stamford Library Food Hut

The little hut in front of the old National Library where Granny Leong used to sell her noodles. They moved to Joo Chiat after this place was demolished in 2004 to make way for – a road tunnel – before settling at Far East Square.

Old Stamford National Library

Old Stamford National Library
I remember going there as a student. I am actually a shy geek, and loved going to the reference library to read.
Photo: National Library Board

Nam Seng Noodles

The signature dishes are the wonton noodles and venison horfun.
Just get the $5 plate cos’ you just can’t get enough of it. Trust me. I had the $4 plate and went back thinking about it day after day. Oh, the unique taste.

Nam Seng Noodles

Sitting area is along a little alley beside the stall. Talk about sanitized back alley dining. I miss the dirt, heh.

Nam Seng Noodles

The noodles were  DELISH with a nostalgic 古早味 taste just as I remembered it. Springy, chewy with a taste so unique, a chilli diehard like me willingly went sans spicy to savour the original taste. I gobbled it up in no time. I tasted sweetness when I bit into the dumplings. Suddenly, I was a student again, having noodles at the little hut in front of the library, it brought a tear to my eye. Oh, nostalgia!

Nam Seng Noodles - Venison Hor Fun

Venison Hor Fun. I still like the wonton noodles better.

Nam Seng Noodles

Granny Leong – PensiveOh what those eyes have seen
Through the decades of street scenes

Of toil, fulfillment and satisfaction
Of happiness, joy and appreciation

Granny faithfully keeps her trade
Of tradition and of love for a husband

And keeping memories of many alive
Oh nostalgia, how you have touched our lives!

Nam Seng Noodles
25 China Street
#01-01 Far East Square
Singapore 049567
Opening Hours: 8:00AM – 9:00PM (Mon to Fri) , 8:00AM – 5:00PM (Sat)
Closed on Sun & PH



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Au Chocolat – Old World French Chocolate Wonderland

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Au Chocolat – The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

I love adventures. And I can never resist chocolate. Au Chocolat naturally caught my attention when I was at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. I was drawn to the store like a moth to a candlelight. Covering almost 4,700 square feet (4 shop units), Au Chocolate is a locally-conceptualised French inspired Bistro and a Confiserie (confectionary) offering hand-made gelato, chocolates, cakes and lots more to get you on a sugar-high.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Marrying old-world elegance and the nostalgic charm of Paris, Au Chocolat’s prominent façade of French fixtures instils a sense of nostalgia of French antiquated streets, and a perfect photo opportunity. A lot of thought was put into the shop décor – look out for a molten chocolate roof and a miniature vintage train set running across the ceiling, as well as staff dressed in aprons and straw boaters. I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s factory, awed by all the candy I wanted to stuff into my mouth.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

That’s OO the French bulldog (pronounced “oh oh”)

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

From left: Yufa, OO, Danielle,  Au Chocolat’s in-house characters

Opened by the folks behind Ku De Ta Singapore and Spanish restaurant Catalunya, a unique part of its marketing lies in its three cartoon characters, eight-year-old Danielle and her two cheeky dogs Yufa and OO (pronounced “oh oh”) as they wander around the fictional Au Chocolat Town. Created as a way to humanise the brand and make it more endearing to children, the characters will also front the range of store merchandise. The characters are based on Au Chocolat’s chief executive officers’ daughter, pug and French bulldog. There will be an on-going plot revolving around the three cartoon characters where kids can join them in their adventures in-store.  There are plans to produce children-friendly merchandise, a potential online club and even an Au Chocolat Theme Park.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Au Chocolat has quite an amazing range of cheesecakes – NY Style, white choc raspberry, matcha with oreo base, mango ginger and Dutch apple. Maybe chicken rice flavour in the future?

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Cupcakes & brownies

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Pretty!

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

The retail section, which occupies about two-thirds of the entire space, will stock everything from cheesecakes and gelato in more than 20 flavours to truffles made on the spot.

Au Chocolat Confiserie
Patrons can enjoy the ultimate retail experience at the Au Chocolat Confiserie with its own master chocolatier at work in the chocolate atelier creating delectable works of art on site. The Au Chocolat Confiserie also hosts a pâtisserie with a great variety of mouth-watering desserts such as cakes, pies and pastries. There’s also a children’s menu to keep the young ones happy.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Hand-made chocolates

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Gift ideas

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Watch as Au Chocolat’s in-house master chocolatier and patisserie Tai Chien Lin, formerly from the Raffles Hotel, prepare mouth-watering desserts at the chocolate atelier.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Great chocolate gift set

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

I felt like putting my mouth at a spout and gobbling all those jelly beans…

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Old-fashioned candy in a spectrum of rainbow colours.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Sweets rainbow in a bucket

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

The team behind all those delectable sweets and chocolate

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Elegant packaging

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Merchandise based on the three in-house cartoon characters, or join its membership club

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

I can’t agree more

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

This is my favourite retail product.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Au Chocolat Bistro
The bistro will provide an all-day dining menu of traditional French flavours and international cuisine such as an all-day breakfast menu, salads, pastas, roasted meats, and hand-made savoury and sweet crepes. Expect a chocolaty twist on the dishes, such as a hollandaise dressing made with chocolate and wine reduction or a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette. Prices range from S$11 for starters to S$28 for meat-based dishes. The only bummer? You have to pay S$2 to eat the cake you bought at the confiserie at the bistro. Duh.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Since it was a hot, sunny day, I decided to pamper myself with a gelato…

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

How to resist?!?

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

And that’s my calorie indulgence for the day – Sandwich ice cream in chocolate sorbet flavour. Pure cocoa decadence.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Come by soon, woof!

I am definitely impressed with the thought put in to create such a multi-dimensional brand consisting of so many different product offerings, and am excited to see how Au Chocolat develops. I believe it will become one of Singapore’s tourist attractions and will have no problem attracting a crowd amongst the locals too. While prices are slightly on the high side (it’s at Marina Bay Sands afterall), the overall in-store experience is special and friendly wait staff are always on hand to explain the products to you. I will be back to try more stuff. Damn that expanding waistline.

Au Chocolat
Bay Level L1-03 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 800000
Tel: +65 6688 7227 (bistro); +65 6688 7557 (confiserie)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/auchocolatsg
Website: www.auchocolat.com

Open: 11:00AM to midnight daily