Monday, June 20, 2011

It’s a delightful sensual culinary world of chilli...

It has never ceased to amaze our friends from Hong Kong whenever we asked for a second helping of cut chillies or hot chilli sauce at the yum cha lunches together. “How can you enjoy the delicate taste of those dim sums when you have numbed your taste buds with chillies!” they exclaimed. Just as it is difficult for them to convince us to give up on the chilli with every mouthful of dim sum and enjoy the delightful morsel as it is presented, it is even more difficult for us to eat without chilli. Well, unless you are true blue Singaporean, the likelihood of you to understand this spiritual experience or otherwise is out of the window. There is simply nothing quite likes it – it’s a delightful sensual culinary world of chilli. This usually begins with a tingling wave when the chilli first comes into the contact with the tongue. It gradually gives way to a warm heat but soon passes into a numbing, almost anaesthetic feeling on the tongue. For those who are not accustomed to this eating habit, it can be a burning sensation but to many Singaporeans it is peculiarly addictive because it is purported to give them a spiritual lift to go with that sensual experience.
Buying chilli can be expensive, yet the plants are perfectly easy to grow even in the cool temperate regions of Sydney. You can grow plants from seed but it is easier to buy seedlings from the local nursery or Asian stores and it no time you’ll have all those wonderful chilli to harvest and eat. There are several different varieties of chillies, which lends their own characteristic flavour to their spiciness of their particular regions’ dish. The Thai and Korean cuisines usually demand mainly hot chillies, whereas we prefer the medium to hot chillies for the simple cut chilli to go with most Singaporean dishes such as kuih teow soup or beef noodle soup.


  1. Hi Uncle Phil

    Victoria School is celebrating our 135th anniversary this year. A Grand Dinner organised by OVA will be held at our beloved old Tyrwhitt campus (now the site of PA) in Jalan Besar on 18 Sep 2011. There will be a total of 135 tables, and the response is tremendous. There will be chilli galore on the dining table. Nil Sine Labore! From Fellow Old Victorian

  2. Hi Fellow Old Victorian,
    An old classmate has organised a table of ten for the 135th Anniversary of our beloved Victoria School and I have booked a flight home to attend.I am looking forward to have dinner with my old schoolmates especially those whom I am still in contact for more than 50 years.I would be pleased if I can see you there. Are you in the "class of 1965"?
    Nil Sine Labore,

  3. Hi Uncle Phil

    I am from 'class of 1966'

    I find your blog very interesting, and follow it regularly. Pleased to learn of your VS heritage in the process.

    It's wonderful to know that Victorians are a close knit community.

    Nil Sine Labore

    Fellow Old Victorian

  4. Hi Fellow Old Victorian,
    Say no more. I have always been biased when I hear from a fellow Victorian. Thanks for reading my blog and above all, sharing the same spirit of being Victorian..."For others came before and went,
    And carried to the world,
    Victoria's fame and our intent
    To keep her flag unfurled."

    Nil Sine Labore!


    Do send me an email to add you into my List of Victorian.

  5. Hi Uncle Phil,

    I'm impressed that you still remember a good part of the beloved Victorian Anthem after all these decades. Goes to show that it is true that a Victorian is for LIFE! And as the anthem goes: "Victoria, thy sons are we, and we will not forget...".

    A new song titled after the school motto Nil Sine Labore (Nothing Without Labour) was composed to commemorate the 135th Anniversary and to celebrate the great Victorian Spirit.

    It's uploaded on YouTube for Victorians to learn the song and to access the music score. Here's the YouTube link
    or search under YouTube Nil Sine Labore

    Hope you can post it on your blog for Victorians and others to listen to as well.

    Cheers to Victoria!!

    Another Old Vic

  6. Hi Old Vic,
    I heard and sang the new song when I attended the 135th Anniversary with my fellow schoolmates. Thanks for the link on Youtube and I'll will definitely keep her flag unfurled. Please email me, so that I can add you to my List of Victorian.

    Nil Sine Labore!