Food-loving Malaysians have been known to debate the best local food spots for hours. Tan Chooi Hong, hunched over a blazing hot wok, hadn’t broken a sweat. Flames from the charcoal sparked and danced up the side of the wok, crackling as he added the ingredients one by one, just as his father taught him almost 60 years ago. Char kway teow, Malaysia’s most famous street food, is a simple rice noodle dish made with soy sauce, eggs, cockles, bean sprouts, Chinese sausage and a couple of shrimp. It’s common throughout the country – devoured at roadside stalls or feasted on at hawker centres – but there is only one “king” of char kway teow, and he’s in Penang. Uncle Tan, as he’s known, is a sturdy 79-year-old with a shock of white hair and an all-knowing glimmer in his eye. He’s been cooking this single dish from a wok-cart attached to a bicycle and pushed into place on the side of Siam Road in central George Town for decades. “I don’t remember how old I was when I started. But char kway teow is all I know,” said Uncle Tan.
Uncle Tan’s unlikely fame began in 2012 when he was interviewed by a local who put the story on Facebook. His decades of cooking experience, combined with layered flavours of smoky-unctuous noodles perfectly balanced with the salty-sweet Chinese sausage, quickly got the younger generation of foodies salivating. Nothing is better than a simple noodle dish with an interesting backstory, and young Penangites ate it up. The article went viral and people began flying to the island just to taste his dish.
In 2015, celebrity chef Martin Yan, known for his Yan Can Cook TV show, visited the stall for his TV show Taste of Malaysia. If that fame didn’t cement Uncle Tan’s title as king, placing 14th (out of 50) at the World Street Food Congress in 2017 certainly did. Today, his roadside wok-cart is a fixture in the food scene and he’s widely revered as serving up the most delicious, flavoursome char kway teow in Malaysia, churning out hundreds of plates a day with people waiting in line for hours.
Uncle Tan is unfazed by his fame and prefers to keep a low profile. Humble and shy, he can’t understand what all the fuss is about and doesn’t think his version is any better than anoyone else’s.
“My dad didn’t go to school to learn any skills. It wasn’t an option. He had to work for his father, so he worked by his side cooking char kway teow every day,” his daughter, Tan Evelyn, told . “And he’s never stopped.”
The ingredients of char kway teow are so simple that it takes a lot of skill to get it right. The main ingredient is flat rice noodles. No self-respecting char kway teow stall would use dried noodles, so Uncle Tan gets bags of the fresh, chewy goodness delivered by scooter regularly.
I watched as he skillfully added one ingredient at a time, just by feel and sight. He threw a large handful of slippery noodles in the blisteringly hot wok and used a wide metal spatula to spin them around in the garlic and lard waiting for them. After pushing the noodles up the side of the pan, he expertly cracked an egg into the middle, breaking it with the spatula to let the yolk ooze into the noodles.
A few soy sauce dashes, a spoonful of chilli sauce and a little water created a silky sauce that the noodles absorbed. Then Uncle Tan tossed in a couple of shrimp and a few slices of sweet lap cheong, or Chinese sausage. Finally, a smattering of cockles got a spin in the wok. He topped it all with a handful of crunchy bean sprouts, chives and small homemade croutons made of crispy pork fat.
He eyed the steaming noodles for the perfect consistency and then scooped them onto a melamine plate and started all over again. The whole process was lightning fast – less than two minutes – and Uncle Tan made it look effortless.
While many stalls use gas, Uncle Tan cooks on charcoal, frying one order at a time for maximum flavour and wok hei, which translates to “breath of the wok”. Wok hei is the smoky depth of flavour that charcoal adds to the dish and is expertly created by cooking the right portion over the right temperature. It’s something that gas heat cannot achieve.
Some people say that charcoal is the secret to Uncle Tan’s success, but, “they like my father’s char kway teow better than others because he’s perfected it over 60 years,” said Evelyn. “Other stalls use charcoal and the same ingredients, but no-one has his skill. Not even my brother Kean Huat who learned from him.”
Others try to attribute Uncle’s success to a secret sauce. “I promise. There is no secret sauce; it’s his wok skill,” said Evelyn. “I also cannot fry as my brother or dad. My brother has been working for years learning from my dad, and his skills are still improving. It takes a lifetime. Just ask my dad.”
“If I give you the same ingredients, you cannot make the same taste as me,” agreed Uncle Tan.
Even though char kway teow has become synonymous with Penang street food, its origins lie in China. In the 19th Century, the Chinese diaspora brought over Teochew and Hokkien people from Guangdong and Fujian provinces on China’s south-eastern coast. During that same time, Penang grew under British rule and it became a bustling entrepot providing greater employment opportunites. The Hokkien people came to work in the rubber plantations and as traders and merchants, while the Teochew found jobs in the tin mines and as fisherman. With them came some of their kitchen staples like soy sauce, bean curd and noodles called kway teow.
In Hokkien, the word char means “stir-fried”, and kway teow means “rice cake strips”, referring to the noodles. What had begun in China’s south-eastern provinces as a simple noodle dish with pork, fish sauce and soy sauce was transformed into a seafood delight once it hit the island’s shores. Initially, it was sold at night by fisherman and cockle gatherers trying to make an extra buck. Instead of the traditional ingredients, they used what was plentiful to create a revised version of the dish. It was a poor man’s food and the other Chinese immigrants devoured it as something fast, cheap and tasty to sustain them for hours under the hot sun. The dish became a labourer’s staple.
“When the waves of Teochew and Hokkien immigrants came from China, they came alone, leaving their wives and families behind. Since there was no-one to cook for them, they survived on cheap street food,” said Nazlina Hussin, a Penangite culinary specialist and author. “From wok to plate, char kway teow takes no time. These men could stop for lunch, eat and be back to work within a few minutes.”
To this day, most of the Chinese in Penang are of Hokkien and Teochew descent. It’s the only place in Malaysia where Hokkien is commonly spoken, which is why char kway teow has remained so closely linked to Penang. And although you can find the dish outside of Penang, locals say it’s not as good unless a Hokkien or Teochew makes it. That’s why people fly here from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and wait in line for hours, in the hot sun, to try Uncle Tan’s char kway teow.
It’s that good.
Plus, he’s one of the oldest char kway teow legends in Malaysia. There is a reverence in that. “Most customers come here for my dad. People say he’s a char kway teow idol. So, if he’s not cooking, they keep on driving,” said Evelyn.
In 2018, for the first time in nearly 60 years, Uncle Tan took a break. On doctor’s orders after cataract surgery, he closed his shop for six months, and his devotees, like those of any idol or guru, went berserk. The whole island almost had a breakdown, with stories in local media lamenting his sudden overnight retirement. “Today we’ve had to endure the greatest loss of mankind,” wrote culinary website Penang Foodie. “Siam Road Char Koay Teow is believed to be closed down for go
Uncle Tan’s son took over for a brief moment and locals weren’t kind to him; Penangites are loyal foodies and they wanted the master’s char kway teow. After six months of ever-more grandiose gossip, “We had to find a place; we couldn’t let the people down,” declared Evelyn. Instead of going back to his original roadside spot, they decided to find a premises on the same street. Today Uncle Tan still cooks from a bike pushcart with a wok attached; it’s just parked in front of his shop.
He’s widely revered as serving up the most delicious, flavoursome char kway teow in Malaysia
“Now, my son and I can take turns cooking. When I get tired, I can sit down and watch Kean Huat try to perfect my dish,” he said with a wink. “It isn’t easy. But he’s a third-generation char kway teow cook, and even though he didn’t start as young as I did, he’ll be able to perfect his skills one day too.”
Uncle Tan’s char kway teow is not only Penang’s history on a plate; it’s his family’s history as well. Hopefully, Kean Huat will live up to his father’s reputation and teach future generations how to follow in the king’s footsteps.
But until then, “I have no plans to retire. As long as I can still stand and cook over the wok, I’ll be here on Jalan Siam,” laughed Uncle Tan.–BBC
Why is jewellry important in fashion?
Jewellery has the ability to add beauty and style to you and whatever ensemble you are wearing. Whether it is costume jewellry or fine jewellery it is the wearer’s delight as it further highlights their personality with the look that it adds to your ensemble. You’re all dressed up and on your way out when you glance in the mirror and realize… something is missing. The outfit is flawless and the shoes are perfect, and then you spot it: A gorgeous bib necklace will make you look even better in that dress! Whether you’re on a date with someone sweet or dressing to impress a potential boss, you can use statement je ellery to transform your wardrobe.
“Jewellery has the power to be the one little thing that makes you feel unique.” — Elizabeth Taylor
The human love affair with all things sparkly has a long history Jewellery has always made a fashion statement.
Some of the earliest statement jewellery was found in Egypt. Collar necklaces, dangling earrings, and thick, cylindrical rings were all prevalent in Egyptian jewellery boxes.
The Romans loved their jewels too, but they preferred rings. These rings were made with heavy stones for winter and lighter, more delicate materials for the summer. Regardless of composition, the important characteristic of Roman jewellery was history, not value. As is the case today, in ancient Rome, a bauble could be priced higher if it had an illustrious history behind it.
Coco Chanel began creating her own elaborate jewellery in the 1920s, using crystal or coloured glass in varying sizes as the Egyptians had. Coco is often credited with popularizing the concept of “costume jewellery,” creating seasonal items that mixed real and imitation stones and pearls.
Vivenne Becker, an antique jewellery veteran, talks about “The Cocktail Style” in her book, Fabulous Costume Jewellery: History of Fantasy and Fashion in Jewels. Popular during the ’30s and ’40s, this jewellery era was all about big, jewellered rings, multi-strand pearl necklaces, and extensive use of gilt metal and rose gold. She describes “cocktail jewellery” as “bubbly and extravagant, like the alcoholic concoctions from which it took its name. It was assertive, bossy, jewellery to show off in.”
While making a statement in the ’50s meant throwing on a charm bracelet, jewellery in the ’60s had a bit more punch. Designer Paco Rabanne fully embraced statement jewellery, experimenting with cheap materials like plastic and PVC and using bright colours. He said, “I made jewellery for the alternative side of women’s personality, for their madness.”
It’s a crime to talk about statement jewellery without discussing the woman whose accessories always have something to say: Madeleine Albright. In her book, she tells the stories behind some of her favourite pins. In one tale, she recalls the first pin she wore to send an intentional political message. The pin was a gold snake wrapped around a branch, which she wore after being referred to as an “unparalleled serpent” by the Iraqi press. Dr. Albright still enjoys collecting pins, though she mentions she receives many as gifts
Modern day statement jewellery is big, bold, and full of many elements from previous decades. Today, we love pieces that incorporate the glitz and glam of the ’30s and ’40s, and the colours and materials of the ’60s. Most of all, we love statement jewellery’s eternal ability to make heads turn.
Fashion trends constantly evolve, but jewellery steadfastly remains an accessory that women turn to. Nothing can make an ensemble shine quite like jewellery can. It also makes the perfect statement for self-expression.
Jewellery changes the way your outfit ‘works’. Whether you wear an extravagant ring, or a simple necklace, a statement bracelet or subtle stud earrings, your choice of jewellery has the power to elevate your look to a whole new concept. In fact, fashion designers and jewellers have long since been working together to create various styles. Also, gemstones are no longer simply embellishments – they are pieces of art. Jewellery is definitely a big part of fashion. Here are some reasons why:
New look every day
Love your white shirt and end up wearing it too often? That’s ok! Make it look different each time with different jewellery! For a formal look, pair it with gold studs or drop earrings; for a Boho look throw on some chunky bangles and stack rings, or look casual and laid-back with tassel and pom pom earrings. You can also wear your pieces to match your mood.
Certain pieces are called conversation starters for a reason. Bold or quirky, intricate or chunky, such pieces of jewellery naturally draw attention and spark friendly discussions.
Accentuates your personality
Jewellery is a great way to express yourself, so select pieces that match your personal style and personality. It also allows your creativity and individualism to shine through and speak for themselves.
The biggest question probably is, how to choose jewellery that will complement your look, your mood and your personality. Also, how to style the pieces so they will enhance your wardrobe. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you dazzle!
Jewellery styling tips
. Define the focus of your look: jewellery or clothing?
When you start dressing, decide on this first. A simple outfit can be transformed into something spectacular with the right jewellery, or a statement piece. If the focus is on your clothing and it is bold, then choose small, subtle pieces as highlights, such as the Bliss solo stone bracelet with a mother of pearl.
Layer and stack
Experiment with layering your necklaces and stacking your earrings, rings and bangles! Mixing different lengths, shapes, textures and colours and seeing what works is a lot of fun! Layering necklaces of differing lengths can bring focus to your face. You can also stack rings in different gemstone colours or combine ear cuffs with hoops for an interesting look. Mixing your jewellery on your wrist can create a friendly jangle as you move your arm.
Experiment with mixing metals
Wearing a silver necklace? You don’t have to pair it with other silver jewellery as a rule. Contrast your pendant colour with its chain, or stack rings with different metal or gemstone colours. Try the same with your bangles and bracelets. If it looks good and makes you feel confident, just go with it!
Don’t follow trends blindly
Evolve your own style. Whatever accessory you choose, own it, flaunt it, be confident wearing it. Pick jewellery that suits your style, looks good on you and complements your colouring, and mostly, your personality.
Don’t overdo it
When you’re enthusiastic about jewellery, it’s easy to sometimes over-accessorise. So just watch out to make sure you’re not cluttering your look with excess. For instance, if you’re drawing attention to your neckline with a statement choker or layered necklace, don’t stack too many bracelets that compete for attention. Or, if you’re wearing bold pendant earrings, then a simple, matching necklace should be enough – or even no necklace.
How to match jewellery with your outfit
If you’ve ever been stuck wondering what jewellery to pair with which outfit, then this is for you! Just go with these handy hints:
Consider where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, when selecting your jewellery If you’re dressing up for work and will be using your keyboard most of the day, avoid jangling bangles and hanging bracelets. Wear the longer, dressier earrings for formal events and parties and the more flamboyant pieces for casual outings.
Choose jewellery that
complements your skin tone
Jewellery is a great way to highlight your skin tone. Warm skin tones go well with yellow so gold is a good choice. Silver and white gold illuminate natural tones.
Pair busy patterns with
You get a confused, gaudy look when you marry a busy print with loud, ornate jewellery.
Instead, consider simple, solid pieces.
Highlight your face with
If you want the spotlight on your face, then don a pair of statement earrings. Go for the flashy, glittering ones that make your eyes sparkle! Also, consider the shape of your face when choosing your earrings. For instance, studs and triangular earrings look best on an oval face.
From runways to red carpets, clogs are making a major comeback
In case you haven’t noticed, clogs are having a moment – and we’re here for it. These ’90s “it shoes” have been popping up everywhere, from runways (Alaïa, Givenchy and Gucci to name a few), to social media, and even on the red carpet (Justin Bieber wore the Balenciaga Hardcrocs to the Grammy’s.) Although they may seem like a relic of the past, the folkloric footwear have been reimagined time and again with modern twists. This time around, designers chose rubber materials, unconventional colours and cozy textures as some of the ways to update the traditional style.
Even if your aesthetic isn’t all about the ’90s, clogs make the perfect shoes for any occasion they’re stylish and comfortable enough to wear all day long and easy to slide on and off. But they also add an interesting element to jazz up your outfits as the new season starts.
Whether you choose to pair them with a flowery dress or a pair of oversized jeans, there’s something about the quirky slip-ons that people can’t get enough of.
Clogs have emerged as one of the top footwear choices for pandemic living. They function like a slipper (comfortable and easy to get into), but with elevated style (and height) — and soles sturdy enough to wear for hours.
Doctors and nurses rely on them for long shifts, as do chefs and anyone else who stands at work all day.
They look cool, giving off equal parts art teacher, with-it parent, and fashionable ceramicist. Clogs are popular from the stylish ones worn by famous people to the hippie-ish ones preferred by men.
If you’ve seen a celebrity in clogs, chances are those clogs were from No.6. It’s the brand worn by Claire Danes, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, and Maya Rudolph, who wore several pairs in her Amazon show Forever.
Although No.6 clogs are no longer trendy, they’re not passé either. The brand has become so ubiquitous they’re practically canonized. Its clogs come in a bunch of different styles, including sexy high heels, flat heels and come in different colours and patterns .– Hello
How Does Your Sense of Style Change as Your Age?
Life is an adventure about constant discovery, and the longer you live, the more you learn about yourself. And this is no more evident than in the style of clothing you wear.
As kids and young adults, clothing is about freedom, mobility, and daring to show skin. Fashion choices are riskier and in tune with current trends. At a young age, our personalities and sense of style are not fully formed yet, so a lot of experimentation is to be expected. This is both thrilling and a chore, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Our Growing Sense of Style
As we move into our twenties and thirties, styles become more about personality, a sense of self-promotion, and respectability. Careers are blossoming, date nights are still regular, and hangouts with friends keep the social calendar filled.
Kids also start to enter the picture here and while the social activities may see a decrease, the need for quality fashionable looks does not. Even if your days are spent following the young ones around, dressing up for yourself improves your wellbeing. Get into the fashionable athleisure look that is dominating casual comfort. Casual tees, joggers, and a pair of fashion sneakers elevate your style, improve your mindset, and are still practical for everyday wear.
Movin’ Up in Years
Moving forward into 40’s and 50’s style becomes more sophisticated with key pieces worn exceptionally well for a put-together look. At this point, you will have learned that fashion isn’t about cost per wear but rather joy per wear. It’s important to cast aside the old mantra of when you hit 40 fashion dies. Stick to what you know and experiment with some new styles and you’ll stay in the game for life. A staple tee, pair of shorts, and hat are the perfect summer go-to, at all ages.
From 60’s onward, style changes into comfort with exceptional style. However, you get a second wind of showcasing personality now that there is more time to focus on yourself again without kids or a job in the way. From fancy lip colors to new shoes to bright jackets, women over 60 are finding fashionable accessories to pair with their looks for a fresh and invigorating look.
A Modern Sophisticated, and Stylish Approach to Aging
As you age your sense of style becomes more modern, sophisticated, and stylish in a way that is uniquely you and fits into your lifestyle. However, when so many stores predominantly offer clothes for a more youthful market, it can be hard to find the pieces that your lifestyle requires.
To keep up with style, shift your focus from trending items to fabrics and looks that stand the test of time. Classic white tops, black pants, and a belted dress are a must-have. These choices lead to a more refined look with more sophisticated that make your style timeless no matter what decade we’re in.
A Changing Focus
As your style changes over the years, the appeal of dated and trendy looks diminishes, and rising in its place is a desire for an effortless and classic look to fit a greater variety of occasions. The tendency is to choose styles that distance ourselves from childish appearances, such as the frills and bows of our youth. Styles for more mature audiences focus more on clean lines, well-fitted items, and classic colors and patterns.
Changing Body Shape
One aspect of an evolving style as you age that tends to redefine how we dress is body shape. Body shape changes that occur with age is a natural process of life, especially if kids are in the picture. Your choice of style should complement your beautiful shape, and leave you feeling confident, comfortable, and ready for anything that life throws your way.
This doesn’t mean you need to wear baggy clothing. In fact, wearing well-made, tailored clothing will make you feel most comfortable. Choose styles made of fabrics with a little built-in stretch for more flexibility. Another great option is to choose pieces that are versatile, such as a jean jacket, a tunic top, and the everyday jean. It’s an important facet of changing style as aging occurs to continue to embrace yourself and have confidence in the growing maturing and self-awareness you possess. Be stylish, and be comfortable. But mostly be you and pick clothes that fit into your lifestyle, not the other way around. You’ll be much happier in the end.
Celebrate the Journey
You can tell a lot about someone’s personality and age by their style and choice of dress. Every detail about your presentation communicates something. So it’s important to be aware of this and celebrate yourself and your message as you age. Many changes happen as you go through life from lifestyle to body and even coloring preferences. It’s important to enjoy the process of styling and dressing as you age because it’s a reflection of you and channel for self-expression.
The media might try to tell you that fashion and style all about age. But the truth is that fashion gets even more exciting as you mature, so celebrate your journey.
– Lifestyle Mag.
Canadian declaration of ‘Tamil genocide’ may influence European parliaments, EU – Maj. Gen. (retd.) Gallage
Shoriful ruled out of SL Tests with wrist injury
Is it impossible to have hope?
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
U.S. Congress to probe assets fleecing by US citizens of Sri Lankan origin
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
Sports6 days ago
CA committed to Sri Lanka despite DFAT travel warning
News4 days ago
BASL reiterates call for abolition of Executive Presidency
News6 days ago
President asks SJB if it will join interim Cabinet
Features5 days ago
Whose saviour is Ranil? Sri Lanka’s or the President’s
Features4 days ago
Sri Lanka: Debt crisis, neocolonialism and geopolitical rivalry
News5 days ago
Political horse trading in full swing alleges JVP
News3 days ago
Unprovoked attacks: AG asked to consider taking legal action against MR, others under ICCPR
News4 days ago
Canadian HC: SL sets gold standard for political humour