Excerpts: Taste of the rose (via Hurriyet Daily News)

The rose is more than a rose in this part of the world. The name of the rose, simply “gül” in Turkish, was once used to refer to all flowers, perhaps because it was the ultimate flower, perfect in shape, color, smell and moreover, in taste. Culinary use of the rose dates back to ancient times, but it is the Ottoman, Iranian and Indian cookery that make the most of the taste of the rose.

Rose-water or rose petals are used primarily in sweets and drinks, like the gulab-jamun of India, or rose-flavored sherbets and ices of Persian and Ottoman palace cuisines. Milk puddings, aşure and zerde always have a good splash of rose-water in Turkish cuisine, and the ultimate rose dessert is güllaç, as the name implies, it means “rosy dish”. In olden times, it was also used in savory dishes like meat stews, but this remains a thing of the past now, especially in Turkey. In Iran some salty dishes still have a touch of rose, one delightful example being Iranian cacık, the refreshing cucumber-yoghurt cold soup.

Apart from being a culinary delight, rose is also a remedy. Ottoman medicine praised rose for its curative properties. Ottoman medicine was based on a unique blend of the teachings of Hippocrates, father of western medicine and Avicenna (or Ibn Sina), his eastern equivalent for the Islamic world, who studied the Indian Ayurvedic system, Islamic practice and the ancient Greek medicine. According to Ottoman belief, rose is cool and refreshing; it smells sweet and lifts the spirits up.

Rose is a strong anti-depressant, that’s why rose-water is sprinkled on guests paying their condolences in the funeral house. Rose gives you a sense of light-hearted wellbeing, and that may be the sole reason why we all have a lofty mood when we hear “La Vie en Rose” playing. We may want to forget all our sorrows and heart-broken memories, but rose is also about remembrance. Rose oil is extremely good for memory – that used to be the best kept secret of Muslim imams. Dropping a few drops of rose-oil in between the sheets of Quran: rose aroma helps reciting the whole holy book from memory.

Rose may be symbolic for the Muslim faith, but it is also about the art of drinking. Persian poet Omar Khayyam wrote so profoundly of rose and grape and wine, and strangely rose was the secret ingredient of western drinks, like punches and juleps. The initial punch was actually “penç,” meaning five in Persian, and consisted of five ingredients, rose-water, grape juice (or wine), lemon juice, sugar and ice. It was taken on by crusaders and later travelled all the way to the Americas by the Portuguese sailors, just like julep, having its name from rose-water güllab (or gulab, culab). Eventually the taste of the rose faded away, but its name prevailed.

Things are what they are. In the case of a rose it is only a flower, but it is also about taste and smell; about forgetting and remembering.

As Gertrude Stein has written:

“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose…  but a very tasty rose!”


Article by: Aylin Öney Tan

Source: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/taste-of-the-rose.aspx?pageID=238&nID=67827&NewsCatID=473

Dish That I Crave: Chicken Rice at Staff Canteen – T2 Changi, Singapore

There were times that Singapore may be too much to handle if you plan everything on your own for short visits. I’ve never been to Singapore only for leisure and it has been all about my job back then as a banker and now as a journo/blogger.

Of course, legwork is what you should expect when scouring this city but a little bit of advice here and there would be so priceless so that you can make use of your time even better.

That’s why I was excited, like a lot, when the Alphard brought us back to the airport way earlier after we all finished our trip and that we can have an early dinner together among bloggers and a good friend of mine from Changi Recommends.

Staff Canteen T2 Changi - Chicken Rice 2

The Staff Canteen at Terminal 2 of Changi Airport may be well-known to the locals but to actually reach here may be not for everyone. It is advisable for you to check in your heavy luggage first before heading here because you will need to climb the emergency staircase right beside the parking lot.

So clear your burden, empty your stomach, and prepared to be pampered with Singaporean treats.

The staff canteen itself has a lot to offer but since I had been craving for months for chicken rice (which I found it a bit expensive and not fulfilling in Indonesia), to find a recommended booth that sells it was such a huge blessing.

For a highly affordable SGD 3, you can have a plate full of nasi Hainam topped with big slices of chicken and a refreshing cucumber. Also you should not miss the soup and the sambal as well.

Staff Canteen T2 Changi - Chicken Rice 1

In terms of taste, I find it pretty decent and I was very whimsical back then when I finally encountered chicken rice! I would vote this place for a wholesome experience of enjoying what Singaporeans are really fond of having for lunch.

I was thoroughly fulfilled and the memory of having it was engraved deep inside my mind. I’d be sure to take anyone here from time to time in the future, plus to try something else from this canteen.


PS: I forgot the exact name of the booth that sells this chicken rice, but it’s really nearby the entrance of the staff canteen. You will know where once you’re there. 😉

Foodies Lists: Satoo Red Night (The Foodie Magazine, Jan 2015)

The recently unveiled SATOO’s Red Night redefines the boundary of all-day dining into something that every other restaurant in Jakarta would be envy of.

Find out the reasons why as The Foodie Magazine received the honor to enjoy the red temptations.

Satoo - Red Night 1 Satoo - Red Night 2

As a prestigious all-day dining restaurant in Jakarta, SATOO is popularly known for its vast array of twelve open kitchen buffets comprising quality Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Western cuisines from start to finish.

Recently, SATOO introduces the “Red Night” with a sole purpose to elevate the dining experience for its loyal customers. For this special night, the appearance of SATOO becomes different with so many of infusions of red on every element you can perceive through your senses.

Satoo - Red Night 3 Satoo - Red Night 4

You will become the witness that every little thing from the napkins, the uniforms, the ornaments, and even the lighting mood are colored in red. Needless to say, the Red Night casts its color as well on the very element that will treat our tasting sense into maximum pleasure.

Start yourself from the parade of fresh seafood from the beautiful yellow fin tuna, tiger prawns, oysters, mussels, swimmer crabs, yabbies, white clams, and a creative lineup of sushi rolls and sashimi. These amazing selections of seafood are complimented with an array of special red sauces for guests to choose – from strawberry and mango vinaigrette, raspberry vinaigrette, Thousand Island dressing and also the blood orange emulsion to as far as sundried tomato pesto.

Satoo - Red Night 6 Satoo - Red Night 7

Representatives of Indonesian cuisine are also bejeweled in the color of passion theme with offerings such as chicken in rica-rica sauce, “Merah” sweet and sour fish, beef rendang and red jackfruit curry.

Other international selections such as the seared ahi tuna, red dragon rolls, shrimp bisque, red wine braised beef medallion, salmon roll in spicy Provençal sauce, Singaporean chili crab, Szechuan style beef, Seafood kway tiao and Thai red duck curry with lychees are all waiting to be explored.

Satoo - Red Night 8

To end it with a sweet note, follow the colorful desserts paraded through the dining hall to one corner where the red color reigns supreme over the rest with rich European-style desserts, pink chocolate fountain, as well as the customizable ice cream concoction made upon the cold stone. While it may not be red, be sure to not miss the pride and joy of our culture, a variety of classic power drinks from herbs brewed by the genuine mbok jamu.

Those are the reasons why you should not miss the Red Night at all. Remember also that it is only held weekly every Thursday evening. Book from now and enjoy your dinner!

Satoo - Red Night 10



Halal-friendly (some dishes contain pork and alcohol is served)

Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta, Kota BNI
Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.2922.9999


Opening hours: Everyday, all-day dining restaurant


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Jan 2015 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Foodies Lists: ‘Truff It Out’ by Three Buns (The Foodie Magazine, Jan 2015)

Our neighborhood artisanal burger joint introduces the exquisite, seasonal menu to its ever-indulging array of our favorite comfort food. Say hello to truffles!

Three Buns - Truff It Out

It is a no joke when it comes to devising great burgers and every little good thing that surrounds them for Three Buns’ executive chef Adam Penney. To celebrate this festive season, Chef Adam introduces the ‘Truff It Out’ menu comprising of a finely crafted set from start to finish by playing around with the exotic black truffle as the main theme.

Start right away with the star of the show – Street Truff, the ultimate truffle burger with homemade ketchup, melt-in-your-mouth cheese, onion jam and miso mayo, alongside Truffle Mac N Cheese and the artisanal Truffle Gelato to give that punch you needed as the closure. Additionally, the Truffle Passion – a concoction of fresh, local tropical fruits combined with vodka, or a Truffle Martini – a crafty reinvention of the classic drink would complement this whole mouthwatering set wonderfully!

The truffle gelato comes from a local handmade artisanal gelato maker, Milkbar whose pop-up gelato bar is stationed in Three Buns until the end of January 2015. The gelato bar features original flavors from salted caramel to peanut butter and chocolate-covered potato chips – exclusively made for Three Buns only!

Out of the “Truff It Out” menu, there are also permanent new additions to the Three Buns menu such as ‘Big Krabby Kane’ – a succulent fried crab patty with homemade curry mayonnaise, pickled chilli, coriander and crisp onions and ‘Piggie Smalls’ is a mouthwatering burger made with pork belly are also catered specially for the explorer of gourmet burgers. For the real connoisseurs of truffles, not to worry though, the Street Truff existence will endure much longer in the menu.

Let’s get it on then!


Halal-friendly (some dishes contain pork and alcohol is served)

Jalan Senopati no. 90, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.2930.7780



Opening hours: 
Everyday, 11am – 12am


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE December 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!