In hindsight, life seemed like a bed of roses until a virus crushed our beds. It has been 8 long roller-coaster months (and counting??) of anxiety, akin to a Mother carrying a child in her belly. My beloved late Mum used to say with precision, “I carried you for 9 months 10 days”. Does that mean there’s hope after Christmas? In 2021….?
It’s a long dark tunnel we’re travelling in, but I have to believe there’s redemption in the darkest of circumstances.
Guess what? I’m going to paint the tunnel with the colours of the Rainbow! We need happy stories more than ever in this oppressively bleak moments.
Shall we play a game then?
It was Sunday, 11th Oct. G, the last person I know in our group chat who would be sharing photos of food dishes, suddenly bombarded our chat group with her amazing platters. She confessed, “I really wanted something that reminds me of home kopitiam food”. 5 other charbors couldn’t agree more especially so when G is now with 2. Et voilà! 😉)
The prolonged lockdown or house-confinement has magically transformed many noob cooks to unsung heroes with their unimaginable sleight-of-hands in the kitchen. Colourful platters were virtually shared. THAT is the Rainbow I was referring to.
C: I miss Yong Tau Fu and Pan Mee
G: We should all come up with ideas on what Asian food challenge to cook next
A: Good idea!
D: I’m in! O, you’re also included in the challenge, ya 😉
X: OK. Let’s do it but first I need to buy Kway Teow 😅
And then, silence prevailed for a few days and suddenly, one message popped up in our group chat. X texted, “The best 007 has left us” *sob*
From Food to Bond. Very intriguing combo, indeed. Ha ha ha …
Wait a minute! Was it not exactly 5 years ago today when 6 girls met in Antwerp, had Cantonese-style yin yang rice noodles at Da Jia Le and coming out of the cinema humming to the tune of Sam Smith’s Writing on the Wall (aka Spectre with Daniel Craig as 007)?
Well, well, well…. History has repeated itself, albeit in an extraordinarily different way. On this 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, 6 “Bond” charbors could not meet physically, but shared their moments virtually, a reminder of the delectable lunch they had in Antwerp on 11th November, 2015
And so the story goes … 5 very determined ladies showed off their take on a noodle dish (with a story to tell) that any 007 would swoon over. But little did they know that their dishes would be judged from North, South, East and West by the mysterious “M”
5 entries were submitted, in no particular order …
Huh? It didn’t add up innit? There’re 6 charbors, but only 5 entries? Hmmmmm where’s entry number 6??
Well, somebody had to play “M” and that’s moi! Sorry, charbors 😜
While the 5 “Bond” girls slogged away with their prized platter, the mysterious “M” carried out a secret Mission. She had to pick the winning platter.
Which of the “Bond” girls won, you think?
Drum roll please….. and the winner is …..
Damn, that’s NOT easy. “M” knows the girls too well. Not fair lah! So the mysterious “M” called upon 18 Secret Agents from Europe, Asia, North America and Oceania to co-judge the winning plate.
Drum roll (again) please…
And the WINNER is …
Erm … hidden in the comments from the 18 judges, hereunder …
Can you decipher? 🧐🤔
“All look so yummy, how to judge? Especially when they are dished up differently”
“See photos only and not tasting, difficult lah. Maybe it doesn’t look nice but taste nice?”
“If I’m not saying right, no hard feelings ok. It’s just the presentation”
“Well, if you ask me to judge on which dish I’ll go and grab first based on the look, I would say this picture. Based on presentation, I would say the top right photo. Looks clean and decent”
“How the dish is presented, can be deceiving. Let me taste all first, lah …”
“I feel that I must have a criteria to judge”
“I am sure many will choose their favourite dishes”
“I base my judgement on photo presentation”
“I’m not a very noodle person”
“Oh dear, I’m very bad at this.. ”
“I don’t really like all the wet, wet noodles. Only the curly kolo mee”
“This one is always my favourite”
“I ranked them in order of how they looked and the seasonings in the noodles”
“Give me 1 and 2 anytime. Yum “
“How to judge? In terms of presentation or which one looks appetizing?”
“I’m not a good cook so I really can’t decide. All looked yummy. Anyway, the best is the 1st photo”
“Wait, since this is based on presentation only, I will have to look closer.”
“The plating for E is not pretty, but I bet the bee hoon and pork tasted superb”
“This plate is missing some greens, otherwise, it will be my no 1”
“Dry mee always comes first for me, except laksa ”
“I prefer bee hoon, mee pok, finer and thinner type noodles”
“If this was kway teow, automatically no 1”
“Looks delish ‘cause of the veg, fresh coriander, crispy shallots and meat”
“I like bee hoon with bean sprouts, carrots, omelette strips, spring onions or chives for colours”
“Looks delish, but noodle looks bland”
“This colour is not enticing. Meat looks ok but again the presentation and colour not attractive”
“My ranking depends on the season. In these cold days, I would say …”
“Looks like Thai dish, interesting!”
“Cantonese kway teow! My favourite!”
“3rd picture looks like dry foochow noodle? Looks great! Sweet black sauce, yums!”
“Toppings look amazing, but noodles look plain”
“Minus points for no greens. Noodles look too plain but meat looks perfectly cooked”
“This looks ok, but too dry and colour not attractive”
By the way, did you manage to de-crypt the winner and the winning entry? 🧐
For now, my lips are sealed …🤐
As a bonus, 2 early birds sent the Mysterious “M” the best virtual desserts ever imaginable. Both entries deserved the highest accolades. Without being able to taste the desserts de facto, M made the conclusive decision that both plates were EQUAL winners. Period!
The journey of Life is a perfectly surprising CIRCLE; you never know when the BEST PART comes back to you because the end of one journey is the beginning of the next. We are all connected in the great circle of life – FRIENDS!
The magic of the the 11th day of the 11th month was re-visited when 5 girls sent their VIRTUAL LOVE in sync 💞
Well, it takes a virus to bring us back together, stronger than ever before 💪
Stay safe and take care
Virtual hugs 🤗