Sunday, April 17, 2016

Noel Boyd

Is a BIG Earthquake next?

With the recent earthquakes in Myanmar (6.9 magnitude), Japan (triple earthquakes: 4.5 and 6.4 and 7.3 magnitude) and Ecuador (7.8 magnitude), we can't help but wonder if a BIG one is on the way. For the sake of humanity, we can only hope and pray that does not happen.

Let's take a look at some of the strongest earthquakes in history...

May 22, 1960: A magnitude-9.5 earthquake in southern Chile and ensuing tsunami kill at least 1,716 people.

March 28, 1964: A magnitude-9.2 quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, kills 131 people, including 128 from a tsunami.

Dec. 26, 2004: A magnitude-9.1 quake in Indonesia triggers an Indian Ocean tsunami, killing 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

March 11, 2011: A magnitude-9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan triggers a tsunami, killing more than 18,000 people.

Nov. 4, 1952: A magnitude-9.0 quake in Kamchatka in Russia's Far East causes damage but no reported deaths despite setting off 9.1-meter (30-foot) waves in Hawaii.

Feb. 27, 2010: A magnitude-8.8 quake shakes Chile, generating a tsunami and killing 524 people.

Jan. 31, 1906: A magnitude-8.8 quake off the coast of Ecuador generates a tsunami that kills at least 500 people.

Feb. 4, 1965: A magnitude-8.7 quake strikes Alaska's Rat Islands, causing an 11-meter (35-foot) -high tsunami.

March 28, 2005: A magnitude-8.6 quake in northern Sumatra in Indonesia kills about 1,300 people.

Aug. 15, 1950: A magnitude-8.6 earthquake in Tibet kills at least 780 people.

April 11, 2012: A magnitude-8.6 quake off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia triggers tsunami warnings in more than two dozen nations.

March 9, 1957: A magnitude-8.6 quake strikes the Andreanof Islands in Alaska triggers a 16-meter (52-foot) -high tsunami.

Sept. 12, 2007: A magnitude-8.5 quake near Sumatra in Indonesia kills at least 25 people.

Feb. 1, 1938: A magnitude-8.5 quake in Banda Sea, Indonesia, generates a small tsunami.

Feb. 3, 1923: A magnitude-8.5 quake in Kamchatka in Russia's Far East triggers a tsunami.

Nov. 11, 1922: A magnitude-8.5 quake along the Chile-Argentina border triggers a tsunami that causes damage along Chile's coast.

Oct. 13, 1963: A magnitude-8.5 quake in the Kuril Islands triggers a tsunami.

Sept. 16, 2015: A magnitude-8.3 earthquake in Illapel, Chile, killing 14 people.

Dec. 12, 1979: A magnitude-8.2 earthquake near the Ecuadorean port city of Tumaco. It triggered a tsunami.

Recent major earthquakes: April 25, 2015: a magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people.

March 2, 2016: A magnitude-7.8 earthquake strikes in the Indian Ocean, 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of Sumatra in Indonesia. Tsunami warnings were briefly issued for Indonesia and Australia.

April 16, 2016: A magnitude-7.8 earthquake on Ecuador's central coast near the town of Muisne.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Noel Boyd

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert Review

If you find yourself in Chinatown on a hot day like I did yesterday afternoon, you'll love Mei Heong Yuen Dessert. What's up with the weather anyway? It's been so freaking hot lately! So yes, a visit to Mei Heong Yuen Dessert was exactly what I needed. It's amazing what these folks do with shaved ice...

This is just some of the desserts that they serve...

I saw this and was sold!

My 'Mango & Strawberry Snow Ice'. Kinda pricey at $6.50 but I loved it!
Next time I wanna try the Green Tea, Chendol and Mocha.

No. 63 - 67 Temple Street, Singapore 058611
Open from 12.00pm to 9.30pm (closed on Monday)

Please visit to view their desserts. Happy drooling!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Noel Boyd

Unspoken Rules of Sex

Noel Boyd

Ali Nachia Briyani Dam Review

We visited the 'Ali Nachia Briyani Dam' stall at Tanjong Pagar Plaza after my interview with former national player Rafi Ali (click here to read this interview). Rafi's family owns this stall and from what I hear, their nasi briyani is awesome! Their stall used to be at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station but they had to move when KTM's southern terminus was relocated to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint.

We arrived at a packed food court on the second level of the Tanjong Pagar Plaza during lunch time. Thanks to Anthony who arrived earlier, we did not have to wait for table. The prices for briyani is $7.00 for mutton or fish or chicken. 

I loved the chicken briyani! I am not saying this because Rafi Ali is a friend. It's really really good! The chicken thigh which I specifically asked for was well marinated, juicy and rich in flavour right down to the bone. The rice was fragrant, light and fluffy. As Rafi's dad used to be a butcher, he chooses the best parts to create his signature briyani. And hey, this dam briyani is as authentic as it gets!

#02-04, 5 Tanjong Pagar Plaza.
Open from 10.00am to 3.00pm (closed on Sundays)

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Noel Boyd

Coffeeshop Talk with Rafi Ali

In our first Coffeeshop Talk, I sat down with one of the most decorated midfielders our country has seen. The 1.79 meter tall former national player was part of the team that won the 1998 Tiger Cup and the Malaysia Cup in 1994. You'll read what he has to say about the good old days with the Dream Team and his passion for music...

Noel: My oh my it's Mr. Rafi Ali! This interview is certainly one that's an honour to conduct. You were a part of the 'Dream Team' that won the Malaysia Cup in 1994 along with the likes of Fandi Ahmad, Jang Jung and Abbas Saad. If that isn't impressive enough, you were in the squad that won the 1998 Tiger Cup! As a kid, was it your dream to be a footballer?

Rafi: Yes it was always my dream to be a footballer. In every aspect, I am truly blessed that not only did my dreams come true, I was a part of a squad that made Singapore proud.

Noel: Amen to that! Did you always play as a midfielder or did you have another preferred position?

Rafi: Growing up as a kid that played and trained with the MILO soccer school, I've always played as a midfielder but when I represented the national age group, I had to sometimes play in different positions. This really helped me when I joined the senior national team. I can play in defence, midfielder and as a striker but my preferred position is always in midfield because I get a high when I execute a killer defence splitting pass for my teammates to score!

Noel: I have not heard anyone mention the MILO soccer school for the longest time! That program by MILO and FAS helped nurture so many local football greats. Speaking about football greats, what is your fondest memory of the 'Dream Team'?

Rafi: My fondest memory... Well we were all one big happy family and it showed each and every time we were on the field. Singaporeans saw how we fought for each other. We practically did everything together.

Noel: Yes I remember that! The 'Dream Team' was an inspiration to watch. If I remember correctly, you were the interim head coach of Tampines Rovers in 2014. Are there any plans to continue coaching?

Rafi: Yes i was appointed midway through the 2014 season when Salim Moin resigned. It was a good experience working with so many players of different characters. I learnt a lot with that team. I really mean a lot! As for being a coach, I am still coaching at Republic polytechnic.

Noel: Looking at the football scene now, there isn't any excitement nor interest from Singaporeans. I say this because the Singapore Slingers from the ASEAN Basketball League is attracting more fans to their games compared to the SLEAGUE. In your opinion, where did we go wrong?

Rafi: Attendance is better now with the marquee signing so I hope that it will get better and more people will come watch the SLEAGUE matches.

Noel: I don't know if you would answer this but I need to get this out. I was out clubbing a few months ago and I bumped into two senior players from our national team. While I have nothing against players who consume alcohol, they were partying on the same day the national team had a match. Both these individuals played in that match, and well, Singapore lost! Is this acceptable behavior in the Singapore football fraternity?

Rafi: Wow! I have no comment about that.

Noel: Hahaha! I expected you to say "no comment". Ok ok.. Here's one which you will answer because you have a fantastic football programme for children and teenagers. What advice can you give to a young Singaporean that wants to play football professionally? 

Rafi: Football is like life. We need discipline, desire, character, etc... In my soccer school, R3 Soccer Education, we instill discipline that's needed to be an athlete and we cultivate pride in their work. We teach them proper football techniques and most importantly they have to enjoy their football. 

Noel: That's awesome! Let's stray from football and talk about something else that Singaporeans love. Where is your confirm plus chop go-to-place when you're hungry? 

Rafi: Ali Nachia Briyani Dam stall which is at #02-04, 5 Tanjong Pagar Plaza. This stall is owned by my family. (grin)

Noel: OMG I love nasi briyani! I'm gonna head there tomorrow with my girlfriend. Alright so besides food, I hear you have a band now. Tell us more about that!

Rafi: Yes! My other passion is the drums. I have been playing for more then 10 years and my band is called 'The Vibes'. We are currently performing at The Beacon (Marina Square), Mondays to Saturdays from 8.30pm. Come by soon bro! 

Noel: Sure thing!!!

Rafi: In fact it's Beacon's first anniversary this Thursday, 14th April. From 6 to 9pm, it's 1 for 1 for all draft beers and housepours and 20% discount on premium bottles. There will be complimentary canapes too.

Noel: Now that's double the reason to check you and 'The Vibes' out! In this interview along with future ones, we'll end it with this question. What do you think of Singaporean women?

Rafi:  In general, Singaporean women are really nice. I mean that in every sense of the word. (grin)

Noel: HAHAHA! Nice one there. Well that's about all the time we have. Thank you for doing this interview. It's been fantastic talking to you Rafi! I'll do my best to drop by 'The Beacon' tomorrow or in the next couple of days.

Rafi: The pleasure is all mine!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Noel Boyd

I Am... @ Haji Lane - Food Review

After hearing lots of positive feedback about this food joint at Haji Lane, I knew it was time to find out what the hype is about. I am happy to say that the food is fantastic! The men behind 'I Am...' are culinary geniuses! A gigantic selling point is you don't have to spend big to eat gourmet styled food. WOOT!

The story of 'I Am...'Muhamad Jamuri Bin Busori, also known as Jam Ignite, partnered with friends-turned-brothers, Jaffar Bin Sariban and Salle Bin Ahmad – fondly known as Sarong Fly and Salle Aura respectively – to open up ‘I am…’ on 15th August, 2013. The name ‘I am…’ is derived from Amsterdam’s city icon – ‘I amsterdam’ in block, bold, life-sized letters. Walking past Haji Lane, it would be hard to miss the cafĂ© as we have a replica of the ‘I amsterdam’ structure – albeit being scaled down and having the letters ‘sterdam’ replaced by ellipsis.

For dinner, I ordered the Charcoal-grilled Juicy Beef Burger and Battered Squid Rings for our starter. I have mad love for squid/sotong. It's such a simple ingredient to prepare but yet so many can't cook squid even if their lives depended on it! It is usually more batter than squid or it's overcooked. You have no idea how thankful I was when my taste buds met one of these squid rings! It was heaven!

 Battered Squid Rings - $7.90

Hotstuff Original - $8.90 
Gabrielle ordered the Hotstuff Original. It is an 8" chicken sausage topped with onions, relish, mustard and spicy mayonnaise.  I took a huge bite and loved what I tasted. You cannot go wrong with a juicy jumbo hotdog! 

 Charcoal-grilled Juicy Beef Burger - $14.90

This is by far one of the best burgers I've tasted in Singapore. It beats the many supposed burger joints that are popping up all over Singapore. I had a foodgasm with each bite! The signature charcoal-grilled beef patty is topped with pineapple, onions and melted cheese. An absolutely divine combination!

The next time I visit 'I am...', which will be very soon, I will try their Fish & Chips, Cheezy Bombs, Baked Garlic Butter Prawns and Hot Wings. I can't freaking wait!!!

I Am...
Address: 674 North Bridge Road #01-01, off Haji Lane, Singapore 188804
Telephone: 6295 5509

Monday, April 11, 2016

Noel Boyd

Excellent Mee Goreng - Seyed Beevi Muslim Food

Located at Bee Kia Eating House along Thomson Road, is an Indian Muslim stall that serves good authentic food such roti prata, murtabak and nasi briyani. I particularly like their mee goreng. The noodles aren't soggy like most and the spice level is just right.

 The stall sees a steady flow of customers through the day but the waiting time isn't long.

 I rate this mee goreng one of the best in Singapore! This is a bold statement but it's one I'll stand by.
I paid $4 for this mee goreng with mata lembu (bullseye egg). SLURPPPPP!

I know this a horrible photo. Then again how good can tapow nasi briyani look?! This $5 pack of chicken nasi briyani was good! It isn't the best but I'll eat it again.

Bee Kia Eating House (1 Thomson Rd. #01-326)

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