Every month, we feature a Singapore food blog or instagram: (1) to cultivate goodwill and camaraderie among the online community; (2) to encourage more people to blog and instagram about food; and (3) to empower bloggers and instagrammers through an insight and understanding to their lives.
I have not met All About Ceil but I’ve been reading her blog for almost a year, and in that time, I’ve become a huge fan. I read almost every entry. She’s honest, direct, and independent, but the thing that I most admire about her blog is her strong and opinionated personality. She’s not afraid to be angry and she is not afraid to tell it as it is. She doesn’t follow trends. She’s everything a food blogger should inspire to become.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am just a simple girl who loves to eat and enjoys photography. And I firmly believe in myself.
Why do you blog mainly on hawker food?
I have met many hawkers and some have become friends. I appreciate the amount of effort that they contribute to preserve our hawker culture. That’s the main reason why I choose to blog mainly on the local hawker food in support of them.
After following your blog for some time, I read in an entry that you work for Makansutra. Has working at Makansutra influenced your blog in any way? Do you think there is a conflict of interest between working at Makansutra and blogging since KF Seetoh, the founder of Makansutra, is known to be against paid bloggers?
I am indeed blessed to have met KF Seetoh and I am thankful for the opportunity given by him as well as for believing in me. It is all about responsible writing and that is the key to keep it objective.
You were rather indignant when Seth Lui and The Hungry CEO took your photos. You implied that they draw up lists from hearsay, without visiting the places. A writer with integrity should eat at all places before drawing up a list so they should have photos of their own. Can you explain why you’re indignant over the photos?
I am a Stock Photographer and perhaps that somewhat explained why I do not like my pictures to be used without my given permission, even if they provide the link to be directed back to my blog.
I actually made special effort to shoot that particular picture used by the writer from Sethlui.com. That picture is taken at Tien Lai Rice Stall at Taman Jurong Food Centre and that stall is usually sold out by noon. In order to get that picture, I had to be there rather early and queued for 30 minutes so it just doesn’t quite make sense for them to just use it. It is again about responsible writing so it does not justify nor encourage such action.
When I write negative reviews of hawker food, some readers abuse me, arguing that since hawkers work so hard, they should never get negative reviews. Why do you write negative reviews of hawker food? And what would you say to people who abuse you for your honesty?
Though I have written many negative reviews, I have yet to be ‘abused’ for my honesty as I have always attempted to be as diplomatic as possible when writing it negatively. I do not accept invited or paid review so far so as to remain objective.
What is your favorite eatery in (a) Singapore and (b) around the world?
I am a frequent traveler to Hong Kong for work. I have been going back to ABC Kitchen at a Cooked Food Centre in Sheung Wan. The must-order there are the Spanish style Roasted Suckling Pig and Moroccan Lamb. I also enjoy the Braised Pork Chop with Luncheon Meat Noodle at Bing Kee in Tai Hang and the Curry Beef Brisket Noodle from Kau Kee in Central.
Sebastian Fusion Cuisine is one of the local eats that have left an impression. I am deeply impressed by the level of passion and dedication demonstrated by Sebastian Ho, the chef that helms this unassuming hawker stall in a coffee shop at Everton Park. Some of his signature items are Chicken Katsu Cheese Curry Rice, Striploin Steak Rice with Mushroom Sauce and Ribeye Steak with Black Pepper Linguini.
Definitely going to Sebastian Fusion Cuisine! Thanks for the interview.
You may also be interested in interviews with these bloggers and instagrammers:
Jan 2016: Iris Goh’s Easily Satisfied, Hard to Please
Feb 2016: Chef-Blogger Hairil Sukaime’s Eat Food, Live Food
Mar 2016: Ipoh Boy, Ridzuan Khaw @Mr.Duwe
Apr 2016: Criminal Lawyer, Sunil Sudheesan
May 2016: Universities’ Dining Clubs, NTU Deli Aprecio Club @NTUDAC and SMU Gourmet Club @SMUGC
Jun 2016: Actress-Singer Cheryl Wee
Written by A. Nathanael Ho and Cecilia Joven Ong.