Hot Pot Culture’s Buffet at Marina Square Suspended for Business after a WHOLE Rat was Found in One of the Dishes

Hot Pot Culture at Marina  Square
Hot Pot Culture at Marina Square.

Grossed as the post title might seems, National Envoirnment Agency (NEA) has suspended Hot Pot Culture in Marina Square following reports that a rat carcass was found in one of its vegetable dishes from a porridge buffet.

Ms Caron Chan was the unlucky customer that have found the shocking discovery. After finding a rat’s tail in one of the vegetable dish, she scooped up “a chunk of meat” which was a rat carcass.

The supposed to be value-for-money porridge buffet for the group of colleagues and turned into a stomach churning experience after Ms. Caron Chan allegedly spotted the dead rat.

Why Did Staff Wants to Serve a New Batch ?

While she had approached one of the staff member, there wasn’t any immediate reaction taken and she was handling something else before asking the help of another employee to remove the dish.

She apologised to Ms Chan and said that they will serve a new batch.

Ms Chan was completely turned off by their find and together with her colleagues they left the restaurant without paying and informed the table next to them about the incident, which they had already eaten the dish.

The lady at the table next to them was still charged by the restaurant. She lodged a complaint with the NEA as well.

Why No Actions Being Taken to Stop Serving Customers ?

While the following day, Yahoo Singapore called in to Hot Pot Culture, the manager on duty said she was unaware of the rat incident as the manager on duty just told her that the dish was not fresh and they had to replace it.

Ms Chan was also puzzled why didn’t the staff stopped the buffet line, but instead of making replacement for the dish.

The words of the “rat findings” has been widely spread in Singapore media, such as Facebook, Stomp, All Singapore Stuff and many other more.

Photo from The Real Singapore.

IKEA to Recall Two Pasta Products – Due to Undeclared Soy Content

Swedish furniture retailer on 1st October 2014, Wednesday announced its is recalling two pasta products – Pastaalgar Fullkorn and Pastaalgar – after detecting soy content that is not declared.

During the press release, IKEA said analyses of the pasta products indicated presence of soy, which is not declared on the packagin. Soy is an allergen and those who are allergic to it may experience an adverse reaction if consumed. However, IKEA added that it is safe for anyone who is not allergic or sensitive to soy.

“Safety is of highest priority for IKEA and as a precautionary measure, products with all date stamps are recalled,” the company stated.

All customers allergic to soy or otherwise concerned are welcome to return to the Swedish Food Market at their nearest IKEA store for full refund.

This is the second product recalled by the furniture retailers. In September 2014, IKEA issued a global recall of its Gunggung children’s swing, saying it poses a risk of serious injury.

Sourece by Channel News Asia

Cold-pressed Juice A Upcoming Trend in Singapore

Founder of tea company TWG and investor of Fresh Pressed Mr. Manoj Murjani, dismissed cold-pressed juice as another health food fad. He said, I think it is about what consumers are looking for these days. They are seeking to improve their diet and their nutrition, and how to incorporate more of that into their daily lives.”

Using high levels of pressure, up to five times of nutrients and enzymes from fruits and vegetables are apparently retained from cold-pressed juicing, said co-founder of Fresh Pressed Mr. David Ratner.

Using high levels of pressure to extract nectar from the pulp, nutrients and enzymes from fruits and vegetables are apparently retained from cold-pressed juicing.
Co-founder of Fresh Pressed Mr. David Ratner explained the process: “Essentially, what you are doing is that you are slowly grinding our or pressing out the juice from the fruits and vegetables. The main reason for doing that is because cold pressing retains up to five times more vitamins, minerals and live enzymes as compared to the traditional juicer.”

The so-called goodness also comes at a price. “Cold pressed is a labour-intensive process, which makes everything goes a little more slowly. It takes manpower and you need more time doing it.” Mr. Ratner added. His company sells each 500ml bottle for S$12.

These new age juices are not just happy to serve you your daily dose of vitamins, they are hoping to make it a way of life – by delivering to consumer too busy to come to them. “I am going to position Fresh Pressed like the traditional milkman. When you have your delivery in the financial district or residential area, people will come. We will create a trend that people will want to latch onto,” Mr. Murjani revealed.

Mr. Adren Lim, who sells cold pressed juice too, is taking a simpler route. He is setting up a stall at a hawker centre with an investment of S$20,000. The founder of Absolute Juice said: Cold-pressed juice tends to be a higher end juice, but I want to introduce it to more Singaporeans. So in a hawker centre, I try to bring it down to a reasonable yet competitive prices, compared to the normal juices. I can create more awareness and in a way, more people will be willing to try cold-pressed juices.”
Cold-pressed juice drinker Ms. Izzah Amalina said she does not mind paying a little bit more for a healthier juice as “its has a lot of benefits to my health”. While the verdict is still out on the actual advantages of cold-pressed juices, one thing is for sure – consumers are games for anything that promises better health.

For those interested in cold pressed juice, you can find them below

FP Juice
501 Cluny Road, #01-05B, Cluny Court
Singapore 259760
Tel: +65 6314 1601

Absolute Juice
7 Maxwell Road, #02-114
Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: 10am to 3pm daily


AVA recalls Yangban brand Korean-made rice porridge after harmful bacteria is found

Consumers have been advised not to eat Yangban brand Korean-made rice porridge with abalone after it was found to contain a harmful bacteria.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Read the statement from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) here:

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) informed the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) that they had recalled Yangban brand Korean-made rice porridge with abalone from retail sales in Canada. The batch of product was recalled because it was found with Clostridium botulinum and it may potentially permit the growth of the bacteria. As there is import of the implicated product, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore had informed the importers of the affected product to recall it from sale immediately.

AVA advises the consumers who have bought the implicated product to discard the product and not to consume it. Alternatively, consumers can return it to the retailer. Details of the affected product are as follows:

Product Name: Yangban brand Korean-made rice porridge with abalone

Package Description: Red round 288-gram container featuring Korean characters

Package Size: 288gm

Date Marking: Expiry date 2015-01-24

Batch Identification: Batch Code 09:46 YA-02

What is Clostridium botulinum?

Human botulism is a rare but potentially life-threatening disease caused by a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, which can be 

found in soil, the environment and contaminated food.

Symptoms associated with the ingestion of food contaminated with botulism toxin can include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, blurred or double vision, dry mouth, respiratory failure and paralysis.

Manpower Crunch Close Down History Long Tong Seng Coffeeshop

It is a saddening news when you heard that a long serving Coffeeshop are closing down due to manpower issue. While the government has been strict particularly on foreign workers working in Singapore, it has been a hard task nowadays to look for locals to really take over traditional cultural food. 

Furthermore, with the spur of restuarants that are coming up in the precinct, people are looking more on the “packaging” of the Coffeeshop rather than the “contents” itself.

It will be sad to see that our future young generations will not be able to enjoy such traditional food anymore. 

Below is the article I saw from AsiaOne News App.

Yesterday, Tong Seng Coffeeshop owner Ong Choon Seng expected the largest turnout at his halal eatery in its 16-year history.

After all, he gave away free meals during lunch and dinner to say thank you to his loyal customers before Tong Seng rolls down its shutters for good – another casualty of the manpower crunch.

“We planned the closing to coincide with Hari Raya Haji, so our customers can have one last meal here before the public holiday,” said the 36-year-old Mr Ong, who has been running the business with his 34-year-old brother Choon Hui under the supervision of their father.

Yesterday, every customer was entitled to one free drink and a choice between chicken rice, laksa, fishball noodles and wanton mee, as promised by Mr Ong.

These dishes have been staples at Tong Seng, which has gained a following for its affordable halal versions of local fare, a rarity in town areas like Bugis. That explains why its patrons come from a broad cross-section of Singaporean society.

It is common to see smartly dressed executives tucking in alongside labourers in paint-flecked trousers along the shop’s narrow five-foot way.

Located along bustling North Bridge Road, the four-level shophouse built in 1927 has served as a budget hotel.

Instead of backpackers, the second storey now sees salesgirls on their lunch breaks jostling for seats with national servicemen who make the trek for Tong Seng’s famous fried dumplings.

Those who will miss the coffee shop most are its regular Muslim customers, who often gather there to break fast during the Ramadan period.

For civil servant Zainal Abideen Abdul Wahid and his wife Jumiliati Chadiri, the coffee shop has served not only as a dating spot for a dozen years, but also as a place to dine with family. “We will really miss this place, especially the chicken rice chilli,” said the 35-year-old.

Technical operations manager Hasbullah Ali, 27, also fondly recalled how he bumped into several long-lost secondary school friends in the 10 years he has frequented Tong Seng.

“Many of them are motorbike riders, so they arrange to meet and grab a bite here because there’s parking,” said Mr Hasbullah, who lives in Woodlands but heads to Bugis every week for his favourite chicken rice.

This “kampung” spirit is strong not only among patrons, it is also what gels its 40 employees together. Half of them are foreign workers who live together in the upper storeys of the shophouse.

The thought of having to leave her workplace of 10 years and return home to Malaysia brought server Zahara Awang to tears.

“Of course I am sad to go. But I will go back to relax for a while,” said the 41-year-old, in between booming out orders in the Hokkien she has picked up from her colleagues.

For 59-year-old Chen Tuck Kwang, it will be hardest to bid farewell to the Ongs, who took him on as an employee although he had diabetes.

“Even after I was hospitalised for a month, they still let me come back. They let me go for my medical appointments, no questions asked,” he said. “My wife and I are very grateful to the boss here.”

Saying goodbye to his staff and customers has not been easy either for Mr Ong, who spent his teenage years helping out at the shop.

But his family, who bought the shophouse a decade ago for under $4 million, has received attractive offers. While he declined to reveal how much, real estate expert Ku Swee Yong estimates that the property could fetch between $15 million and $18 million today.

“Given that it is in a prime district, has great visibility and is located near an MRT station, it would be attractive to tenants and investors,” noted the CEO of real estate company Century21 Singapore.

The decision to shut down was also driven by the rapid change in Bugis and the rest of Singapore.

Mr Ong believes the time for his coffee shop has come and gone – its signs have faded and its walls are well-worn with age. Meanwhile, new eateries have sprouted up all around Tong Seng, further down Liang Seah Street and across the road in Bugis Junction shopping mall.

“To compete, I would have to renovate and turn it into an indoor restaurant, which is not what a coffee shop is about,” he said.

The tightened inflow of foreign workers has also led to manpower woes for Mr Ong, who points out that good help is getting harder to find. The daily grind goes on from 6am to 11pm, with workers getting one rest day every fortnight.

“We have to cut back on foreign workers and hire Singaporeans, but the job is too tiring,” he said.

As news of Tong Seng’s closure spread in the past month, customers have thronged the coffee shop daily, eager for a last taste of its food. Traffic has surged by as much as 80 per cent, said Mr Ong.

The outpouring of support has spurred him to open his doors to them even after the official closing on Sunday – for a final free meal.

“It’s our way of saying thank you for being with us all these years.”

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