French Food at Hawker Stalls and Warnings About Hell
We read last weekend’s Sunday Times write-up on Saveur and Le Cuisson with mixed feelings: these are places you’d want to tell your friends about if they were of similar culinary persuasion, but you’d hope they wouldn’t tell their own friends for fear that widespread popularity might cause quality to decrease in proportion to price increase.
Saveur is helmed by Dylan Ong (Shatec + demi chef at local French restaurant) and Joshua Khoo (Shatec + Commis 1 Chef at local top French restaurant). Menu includes foie gras on bed of lentils, angel hair pasta topped with kombu and Sakura ebi, leg of duck confit with citrus segment and boulangere potato. Sous vide in a coffeeshop where you can order teh si kosong peng from the drinks uncle and passersby stare at the white porcelain on your table.
The Le Cuisson chefs, Ang Wee Siong and Kenneth Lin, hail from db Bistro Moderne. But the media reports are silent as to their role in Daniel Boulud’s Singapore kitchen. Menu includes foie gras* as well (the size of this seems to vary, and it was once overcooked),
grilled steak (with house pepper mix, mesclun salad, pomme puree, green pepper sauce), seabass (i think!), and chicken roulade.
Yesterday, we looked at news that could be told without detriment to the benefit accrued or to be accrued to the speaker. In fact, it is news that must be told by anyone who has any humanity and compassion about him:
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said,’Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not do so, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house — for I have five brothers — so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said,’They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said,’No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him,’If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'” (Luke 16:19-31)
- Popular culture sees Jesus as a bit of a hippie – all about universal love and acceptance, but a quick search shows that he mentions hell the most in the New Testament.
- We usually talk about everyone (Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, young children, soldiers killed in war, beloved pets) going to heaven without stopping to consider that there may be an admission criteria for heaven and that the alternative could be a place/state called “hell”. Well, whether or not the rich man believed in hell or any sort of afterlife, he experienced it as reality eventually. Hell is described throughout the New Testament as a terrible place where there is the gloom of utter darkness (2 Peter 2:17), the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12), and from this passage, where there will be no hope of any sort of relief from suffering.
- The rich man’s problem really wasn’t that he was rich since Abraham himself was fairly wealthy; it was his refusal to acknowledge God as God and worship him and to obey his commandment (the gist of “Moses and the Prophets” = the Old Testament, being love the Lord your God and love your neighbour as yourself). If we are defined by our money or career, or the approval of others, or the pleasures of life, or the mark we have made in this world, and not by our relationship with our Creator, then we are in a wee bit of trouble.
- If what Jesus says is true (and Abraham and the Prophets have already been saying the same thing for hundreds of years), then all this talk about hell isn’t part of some scare tactic to get people to join the Christian club. Rather, it is a real warning of coming disaster and the right response would be to try to avoid it at all cost.
- The Bible isn’t an instruction book on how to win friends and influence people or to get rich/blessing quick with handouts from “Daddy God” or about fighting spiritual wars with parking lot attendants and people who block your promotion at work; much more important than that, it warns us to avoid hell at all costs (eg. Matthew 5:29-30) and tells us how to do so – John 3:16 “for God so loved the world, he gave his only Son – that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.
- This is the news that needs to be told.
Current opening hours:
Mon – Tue: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Wed: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Thu – Sat: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sun: 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
*studied available evidence. Not convinced that ducks who swallow spiky fish whole are terribly put-out by being force-fed grain. Probably erroneous to anthropomorphise every thing. Anthony Bourdain is more emotional about this.