93.8 Live got me choking

I usually listen to Medaicorp’s Radio 93.8 Live Gets You Talking — when I’m driving. As a result, I’ve become quite familiar with some of its programs and presenters — at least by the latter’s voices.

So, you could have knocked me down — or I could have knocked down someone — when I heard on the Foodie Lunch Pick program, a well-known Singapore culinary “expert” waxing lyrical about some dishes she’s just discovered when she ate at Prima Tower’s revolving restaurant recently.

Worse still, the presenter, Eugene Loh — he of the mellifluous voice and Slice of Life fame — was literally hanging onto every morsel of information that dropped from this “expert’s” mouth.

I won’t mention the expert’s name in case it embarrasses her, but when I heard her exhilirated descriptions about what she ate — as tho “Eureka!” she’s hit new found land — I wanted to call the station to say ” ‘allo Auntie, where u been all this time?”

93.8 Live, you really got me choking.

Because the first dish that got the expert smacking her lips is none other than the rather common dish comprising egg white with dried scallop (sometimes with fish slices added) and topped with a raw egg yolk.

Prima's version

Prima's version

Almost any of the outlets in the Crystal Jade chain have been serving their version of this dish for years. To many Chinese of my generation, it’s commonly known by the rather flowery name of “100 birds have returned to the nest”.

Another dish that got the program host and his guest apparently salivating is the drunken chicken dish. Again, most, if not all, Crystal Jade outlet serves it as do other Chinese restaurants, too many to enumerate.

But it was probably popularised by the defunct Jade Room which had its glory days on the very site that now sits the uber-ex and uber-grande Paragon Shopping Centre in Orchard Road.

And the recipe for the hic-hic chic has been extensively written about, notably very well by veteran S’porean food-blogger known as Kuidaore and here’s a screenshot to prove it.

hic-hic chic

hic-hic chic

Now if the gushing over the egg white and drunken chicken dishes didn’t take the cake, the “expert’s” rave about the dessert — the common toffee banana dish — certainly did.

I’ve eaten it umpteen times at the Jade Room in my salad days and on and off at many other Chinese restaurants.

And yes, the recipe for this dessert — fritter, coat while hot in melted toffee or sugared water and then plunge into a bowl of water with ice cubes before serving — isn’t exactly rocket science and is widely available on the Internet.

93.8 Live’s curious, misplaced enthusiasm for fairly standard Chinese restaurant fare got me thinking: can the experts who the program interviews as well as the presenters be so “suaku” as not to know what they are talking about? Couldn’t they have checked the Internet first?

Or, are programs such as the one I listened to mainly directed at the ang mos and other non-Chinese expats and tourists in Singapore who may not know better and hence will take as gospel the recommendations dispensed? 

And go away thinking they have tasted true blue unusual Chinese dishes when nothing could be further from the truth. 

Taken from this perspective and if I allowed my wicked sense of humour full rein, I could concede that 93.8 Live got me chuckling! Trouble is April 1 is still almost four months away.


8 thoughts on “93.8 Live got me choking

  1. Eh they really damn suaku loh. I live in UK for dunno how long also ate those dishes (and probably more) and know about them. Sheesh. Want to know abt unusual Chinese dishes? Shd have watched one of those culinary docu’s on Phoenix channel before they did their radio show.

    How embarrassing.

  2. Exactly, Areya! That’s y I was so surprised! I’ll eml u this “expert’s” website when I recall the name by n by. She isn’t Chinese but I think she’s a born n bred S’porean. That’s y I sometimes wonder abt these so-called experts including those who go around awarding Michelin stars. Btw hope bundle of joy is coming along fine. Take care n hugs!

  3. I’m afraid not every one has the kind of extensive knowledge that you do about food, so I don’t see why you should be cooking up such a big fuss about the programme.

    Besides, the expert is entitled to her own views, and she has her own limitations. For example, she has been on the programme for so many weeks and is unable to pick a place that has been featured in the show’s really long history. And that’s not easy.

    Meanwhile, if you think you’re better, and more than willing to spend 15 minutes of a particular weekday every week to be a foodie expert, why not contact 938LIVE.

    Don’t just talk the talk, walk the talk.

  4. Writer, who ever u r, u seem to know the program very well. u r not Eugene Loh r u, hehe?

    Anyway, the tack u take with my criticism is rather childish, tho perhaps understandable, if u r closely associated with the show. But throwing challenges at me isn’t going to improve the quality of the program. Let those running it aim for improvement in situ.

    1) the dishes raved abt in the show are common garden varieties; no specialist knowledge needed. If Areya in London too knows all abt them, wot more Singapore-based Singapore listeners.
    2) if the expert can’t find a restaurant abt which food she can speak with some authority, then she shld give the program a miss. Otherwise so malu! Or she can try and cover herself with a disclaimer.

  5. As much as I’d like to be him (with the mellifluous voice and all), I’m not Eugene Loh. I’m just another regular listener of the station. Except that I think the people at 938LIVE are not getting the credit that is due, and have to be subjected to this sort of criticism.

    Anyhow, go ahead and take offence at my criticism, for I did with yours anyway. But at the end of it all, I just hope you realise that it is not easy being a foodie expert. You might think it’s easy, but it’s not.

    Besides, when you have to pick 3 dishes every week (starter, main and dessert), and have been on the show for countless weeks, sometimes even a common dish will do. But consider this: maybe this common dish is different, maybe it’s the first time this critic has tried this version.

    I just hope you realise these factors. It ain’t easy, and you have to give the benefit of the doubt sometimes to these volunteers. You can’t always have great reviews everyday.

    One last thing before I end: like I mentioned earlier, if you have feedback pertaining to content aired on the station, just write in to them. I’ve done it before, and I’ve received personal emails from their Programme Director. That way, at least your feedback is noted.

    Ranting on your blog doesn’t improve the quality of the programme. That, is childish.

  6. Dear “Writer” For a casual listener to the 93.8 Live food program u seem to know a mighty lot abt what happens back stage. Bully for u!

    The volunteers can’t be doing the “volunteering” just for fun, yes? After all, 93.8 Live is a commercial station n not a charity. So what do these volunteers get out of going on air and be subjected to the stress of producing 3 brand new dishes to natter abt for weeks on end? To listen to Eugene Loh’s wonderful voice? Give me another!

    And what makes u say with such certainty that I haven’t written to Mediacorp with my observations abt the show that got me thinking “how malu”? Moreover blogging is everybody’s right, unless u intend to take over the govt in S’pore?

    Like I’ve said be4. No one is expecting an “expert” to be an “expert” for all cuisines. Just when u choose to talk abt one, then do some research or just say, “some of u may eat this everyday, but this is my first time and I want to awake in u again all the wonders of this drunken chicken” etc…

    Still, Writer, Reader, by whatever name, thanks for dropping by, really! 🙂

  7. You are right in saying that these “volunteers” don’t do it for fun, though they all seem to love their food (don’t we all?). I suspect they get publicity for their blogs/ businesses in return.

    Anyhow, I’m glad to hear your point of view in any case. We might not agree with each other, but we’re entitled to our opinions, so good on you on holding your fort.

    And no, I don’t intend to take over the government. That is a bit of a stretch. My comments were aimed at telling you to try sending your feedback directly to the station. I’m glad you’ve done as such (or at leats you made it seem that way).

    Regarding the point on giving a disclaimer eg. “some of u may eat this everyday, but this is my first time and I want to awake in u again all the wonders of this drunken chicken”, I’m not sure that will work as they’ll be saying that everyday, no?

    Nonetheless, I think you get my point of view. I got yours too 🙂

  8. Pingback: I won a 93.8 Live prize « FOOD fuels me to talk…

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