23 May 2006

Mothers' Day And What It Means To Me

I know that I'm a bit late to blog about Mothers' Day but I have been busy lately and I just have to get this off my chest. I can't remember when mothers started to share a spot with the racing horses on the same calendar:

Also occupying the calendar this year are over 50 other such commemorative dates. That's an average of about one a week! To get an idea of how many such occasions there are, just take a look at this local florist's URL. (Caution: I think the dates are meant for a previous year since those indicated for Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day are wrong - they should fall on 14 May and 18 Jun respectively this year.) If you ask me, the only days that seem to be missing from the list are Mistresses' Day and Myself Day - two days which I would very much like to celebrate.

The reason why there are so many commemorative dates is probably to remind people that the restaurants, florists, shopping malls, jewellery/gift shops, card makers, and loan sharks need to survive and not just the mums, dads, bosses, secretaries, youths, children and mistresses. While this is a noble cause (keeping the economy alive that is and not the mistresses), many people, including yours truly, feel that all these occasions have been over-hyped and over-commercialised. For those who not only have the love but the money, everyday is Mothers' Day. On the other hand, for those who do not have the love, every Mothers' Day is a normal day regardless of whether they have the money or not.

Make no mistake, I am not questioning the need for a Mothers' Day. In fact, I think that you should show your appreciation to your mum while you still can, not just on Mothers' Day but everyday if you can. (Sadly I have lost that chance.) This year, I celebrated Mothers' Day on behalf of my children at a very appropriate place - My Mum's Place. (Not my mum's place - if I went to my mum's place, I would be out of this world.) My Mum's Place is a humble, nondescript and homely eating place that serves dishes that are, in my opinion, closest to a home-cooked meal. Although there is air-conditioning, it could have been cooler. You get to sit on the same types of tables and plastic chairs that are used in a neighbourhood coffeeshop and at funeral wakes. The price is cheaply reasonable reasonably cheap - a small grouper steamed Teochew-style, enough for 4 small-eaters, costs S$15. Although, it is not a swimming-in-the-tank grouper but a swimming-in-the-soup one, it is fresh enough. The bill for a simple meal for my family of 2 adults, 1 young man and 1 child comes up to about S$40-$50. Best of all, there is no 'plus-plus', i.e. no service charge and GST.

They also serve my favourite soup - what the Cantonese call "gau gei tong". This is a simple soup cooked with egg, anchovies and a type of vegetable leaves which are of similar size and shape to curry leaves. When preparing the dish, you have to be very careful when you pluck the leaves from the stalk because the stalks of this vegetable have many sharp thorns. I remember this dish because my mum used to cook this soup and I used to help her pluck the leaves. I obviously have a lasting impression of the thorns because I was painfully pricked more than once by them. This soup brings back memories of my mum.

The "mum's specialty" in this restaurant is fried tau foo stuffed with meat. The taste is simply out of this world, just like my mum, I mean my mum's cooking. You ought to try this dish should you visit this restaurant in Joo Chiat. My wife liked the food so much that our family ended up having dinner at this restaurant two days in a row:

But then again, that is my wife. A few years ago, she just fell in love with the food at a restaurant called "One Place" located in the former Shell Club in Paya Lebar Road. She liked the cooking so much that our family ended up eating most of our weekend meals at this restaurant. It happened so often that I frustratedly renamed the restaurant 'One And Only Place'. One Place has since closed down, obviously not because of poor business since my family kept their tills ringing. It had to make way for a condominium which is almost completed now.

Disclaimer: Neither my wife nor I are related to My Mum's Place, One Place or any other place.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing us to "My mum's place" Do they accept Visa/MC btw?

Lam Chun See said...

You are right. Everyday shd be mother's day. Which means I don't need to wait till next year to blog about mothers. Thanks for the inspiration.

fr said...

I really hope there are more people who love their parents like you do. Unfortunately there are people who do not appreciate theirs, until maybe their parents are not around.

Chris Sim said...

"Myself Day"? Isn't that your birthday?

I could sense your "frustration" with your mrs going to the same eateries time and again. If you're really sick and tired of the food there, why not ask the restaurant owner to rename his shop to "My Mistress' Plac"? Your wife sure won't go again one ROTFL.

Woa, you made the food sounded so delicious... hmmm... maybe I'll patronise it and see how. You're never a food critic, Victor, and never will. Sorry to say that. I must try it personally myself. As the saying goes, the proof of the taste is in the budding. LOL.

Lam Chun See said...

Wait till u guys to to Ipoh. Food there is cheap and good.

I'll probably have to make a trip in Jun hol. Mother-in-law not well.

Victor said...

Alex, do you need an instalment plan? For $40-$50, no need to pay by credit card lah. Although Mum serves hot soft food, I think she accepts only cold hard cash.

Chun See, agreed. Anytime you run out of topic to blog but don't want to talk about sex, you can blog about your mum. :p

Frannxis, no lah very paiseh. Actually my inspiration for this blog was not just because I miss my mum but more because I miss her homecooked meals.

Chris, I may be no food critic but if you visit the restaurant, you'll find that it has endorsements from celebrities like Michelle Chong, Sharon Au and Ann Hui pasted on its wall.

Thanks to all for your comments.

Chris Sim said...

Chun See,
I've do doubt that Ipoh food is good. So do the women from Ipoh. How else do you explain your Ipoh wife? Kidding, of course. ROTFL.

Anonymous said...


Please get in touch with me at profkingsfield2004@yahoo.com.sg. My name is Peter and I like to share your thoughts on what you wrote on November 10, 2005 on Lam Chun See's blog regarding beer consumption in the good old SAF days. I find your memory pretty good about duty-free beer made available at SAFE Supermarket at CMPB.


Victor said...

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your interest in my comments. I have sent you an e-mail. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Victor, I totally agree with you on My Mum's Place. It's very very reasonably priced and the food is SO GOOD! I had the chap chye, this amazing prawn omelette, the fried tau kwa stuffed with meat thingy, and a lovely 'san lo' horfun when I went there about 1 month or so back. And you're right, they only take cold hard cash. You can call in advance to order and then just swing by to pick it up.

Victor said...

Thanks Melissa for your comments. Btw, I am just curious - are you the same Melissa from Friends Of Yesterday whom I know?

Anonymous said...

Yup, I'm an FOY :)

Victor said...

I knew it. I don't have that many girlfriends named Melissa, haha. Oh I remember now, you told me that you stayed around that area. Wanted to give you a lift home that night at NYDC but you disappeared all of a sudden. And left me with a poor substitute - Noel. Wahaha.