Sunday, March 18, 2007

Exclusive feature of The Popiah Party

Eastcoastlife has been very kind to invite several bloggers to a Popiah Party at her place. This post shall be an exclusive one, since I figured that all the other guests won't have experienced the popiah party the same way as I did.

The other invited bloggers were:
Chris
Paddy Tan - BAK2u and his wife, Izel
Victor
Cool Insider
and some of them came with their spouses and children.


Maybe I am generally not a party-person by nature, so folks, please pardon me if I were to disclose to all of you that the Popiah Party was my first Popiah Party in my entire life after having lived more than two decades.

For the benefits of those who like to find out what a popiah is, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popiah, "it is a fresh spring roll... As a fresh spring roll, the popiah skin itself is not fried."

If one were to read more about the ingredients used for the fillings of the popiah, one might realise that it is actually quite a healthy food. I also realised much later that it must have been rather time-consuming to prepare the fillings in the first place. The turnip and the carrots have to be sliced or grated; the eggs have to be boiled and mashed, the Chinese sausages have to be sliced fine, then the lettuce have to be torned into portion.

I beg your pardon please, I would have rather buy popiah from a popiah stall so as to save all the preparation-time. As such, I am grateful that in this world, there are people who are willing to put aside time to prepare good food for people around them to enjoy. I know my maternal grandmother is one of those lovely folks who do so. So here's a special thanks to these people, and that includes Eastcoastlife.

Eastcoastlife's husband probably realised that I was rather helpless with making my own popiah, so he kindly made me one delicious roll of popiah, sliced specially for me. While he was making the popiah, I tried to watch from afar how the process was being done so that I could attempt to do so on my own, later.

Here's my very first attempt in making my own popiah using the prepared-ingredients provided:




To serve as a comparison, I shall show you a photo of a popiah that I have bought when I was at a shopping centre, Coronation Plaza, for a quick dinner:

Popiah from My Cosy Corner, Coronation Plaza.
I guess I still have to practise more before I get the skills to roll nice-looking popiah. But if you were to know me well enough, I will rather practise more on the double bass!



There is something special about the popiah skin. These are handmade popiah skins from Kway Guan Huat located at 95 Joo Chiat Road, made the traditional way. The skin has a unique texture somehow. Do read Victor's post: Joo Chiat - Past and Present (1) to find out more about Kway Guan Huat.


The handmade popiah skin.


Courtesy of one of the guests, Paddy Tan - BAK2u, who kindly became my model, I have the privilege to put into photographs some of the initial steps of making a popiah. Now, I shall leave it to your imagination to figure out how to roll a popiah.





I can't help but to write about the kueh pie tee casing, which I learnt were purchased from Kway Guan Huat too. The kueh pie tee casing at the party today has a very nice, crunchy texture. I learnt that these kueh pie tee casing were freshly made just in today morning. Gosh, Eastcoastlife has certainly pampered her guests today.


Kueh Pie Tee casing


Kueh Pie Tee

Despite having an injury, Eastcoastlife nevertheless went the extra mile to prepare for the guests a strawberry cake, mango pudding, pizza, porridge and her speciality durian puffs!

The strawberry cake has a nice fragrance though I find it rather sweet for my liking. The pizza was average, and Eastcoastlife was telling us that her son makes much better pizzas.





Cool Insider
's son seemed to love the wolfberries that Eastcoastlife had generously sprinkled over the delicious porridge. I must say those wolfberries tasted wonderfully nice. They are so good that you can simply eat them on their own.


The Wolfberries



Like any party, there were social exchanges going on. I prefer to be a listener for today. We even had the honour to tour Eastcoastlife's place.

Since I don't have any other plans for the rest of the day except for practising on my instrument, the double bass, I wasn't in a rush to leave and continued to stay after all the rest of the guests had left. The reward for doing so was that I had the chance to taste Eastcoastlife's durian puffs. To clarify, it was definitely not intentional on the part of our generous host that I was the only guest who ended up sampling these durian puffs.

These durian puffs are very delicious and yummy! You can see that a lot of durian puree had been used to fill the durian puff such that the puree oozed out so beautifully as one bit on it.


Eastcoastlife's durian puffs, made with tender-loving-care.



Special thanks to Eastcoastlife's husband for his patience in helping me hold the durian puff.


Eastcoastlife revealed to me the secrets behind her delicious durian puffs: She only uses the best, freshiest and tastiest durians to make the puree. In addition, she added coconut milk to enhance the taste and texture of the durian puree . Her husband also revealed that he and Eastcoastlife think that Bentong durians are the best kind of durians around. In fact, they find Bentong durians taste better than D24 durians. I learnt that Bentong is a town in Malaysia.

I was pleasantly surprised that the creamy texture and rich durian taste of the durian puffs continued to linger in my tastebuds even after I had bid farewell to the host and her family.

In addition to the durian puffs, I had the pleasure to taste a salak, which is also known as a snake-skin fruit. If you were to take a closer look at the skin of the fruit, it really does look like the skin of the snake, doesn't it?




It has a crunchy texture and a mildly sweet taste. Today's my first time eating a snake-skin fruit. Thanks to Eastcoastlife for giving me this experience. I learnt that this fruit is commonly found in Indonesia. Her domestic helper advised her that the sweetest salak comes from Bali, Indonesia.





Eastcoastlife and her husband also shared with me photographs of their son when he was much younger. I can sense that they have taught their son very well, and they are proud of him and his achievements.

I learnt that their son sometimes help to take guests to visit various parts of Singapore. I figured that their son may know Singapore better than I do, so I better catch up in touring and learning more of Singapore before he surpluses me too much.

Time had passed so fast that I did not realise that I had spent about five hours at Eastcoastlife's place. Fearing to hold the hosts up too long, I bid farewell. Furthermore, I have to make time to practise later the night after visiting the library@esplanade.

Here is a special word of thanks to Eastcoastlife and her husband for being wonderful hosts. Thank you very much.

***
(Edited)
Here's what the host and the other guests have to share about the party:
My 1st Bloggers' Popiah Party by Eastcoastlife
Popiah Party - EastCoastLife's house by Paddy

***
References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popiah
http://www.chennaionline.com/hotelsandtours/recipes/recipes/recipes21.asp
http://www.stomp.com.sg/stfoodiesclub/taste/14/index.html
Joo Chiat - Past and Present (1) by Victor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bentong
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salak

Also read:
Kuih Pie Tee. Recipe by Amy Beh

3 comments:

Cool Insider said...

Hi Peiyun,

Thanks for the nice post on today's gathering. I really enjoyed the hospitality and the relaxed conversations that we had, while chasing Ethan up and down. Both eastcoastlife and her hubby were very good hosts and the food was both delicious and plentiful! Certainly look forward to a next blogger gathering....

Simple American said...

Sounds like you had a marvelous time. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint. You being a novice Popiah Party attendee, your detail is probably greater than an experienced partier. I really know what occurred. Thanks. :)

Now I just need to try a durian as well. The missus does not like these so I may have to wait until I am in your part of the world.

eastcoastlife said...

Wah!
What a great post! Very exclusive!
Hope to have another session again.