Local food? They love it
Kiss92FM DJ Maddy Barber took a trip down a delicious memory lane at ION last Thursday.
Joined by her 11-year-old daughter, Alicia, they experienced the ION Food and Heritage Trail, where visitors can learn about Singapore's history while sampling local food.
The trail, which consists of three parts - going outside ION Orchard for a heritage talk, zipping down to the basement for a tasting of signature local delights such as bite-sized kueh from Bengawan Solo and bak kwa from Lim Chee Guan, and then heading up to ION Sky for a 360-deg view of Singapore's iconic heritage districts - is free for everyone.
A variety of piping hot food, such as chicken briyani, Hokkien prawn mee, ice kachang and chendol, was laid out in front of the mother-daughter duo when they arrived at Food Opera.
As the pair reached for the papadum from the chicken briyani, another dish, bak kut teh, arrived.
Barber told The New Paper: "I love bak kut teh. It is so full of flavour and also very local. It is not overly heavy, so you feel good when you drink it. It warms the stomach and triggers my childhood memories because the peppery smell is so comforting."
She added: "Tourists will definitely find the trail even more interesting. I really do enjoy this part of the trail as it is fun, and there is a variety of choices.
"I think ION Orchard has obviously a wide selection of local food, whether at the restaurants or at the foodcourt."
Other than being on air on Kiss92FM, Barber also has a jewellery business called MADLY. "The business is getting busier, and I think I am overworked, so I need a break," Barber, 43, said, laughing.
"We recently launched a Christmas collection, and in January, we'll be working with local shoe designer Mashizan Masjum for a trunk show. He is very artisanal, and values quality over quantity, just like us."
Do you cook for your family?
Barber: I am good at the Western stuff, such as roast beef and roast pork with crackling.
I am married to an Englishman. Not just any Englishman but a northern one. So you're talking a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so I am always forced to cook meat.
My family loves the roast pork with crackling. I think it is perfect, and that I have to say.
Alicia: Even if it crackles, it doesn't mean it is perfect!
Is anyone in your family a fussy eater?
Barber: My eldest daughter, Elizabeth, loves food. She is a proper foodie and appreciates food.
Alicia is the fussy eater, just like her dad, so it is more of a nightmare to cook for them.
I am trying to get them to eat healthy because they love meat a lot.
I tried to make them eat quinoa, and they complained like crazy. Then I tried to do kale salad, and they complained again.
So it is a daily battle to eat healthy.
Since we are on a traditional food trail, do you think it is difficult for children to appreciate local food these days?
Barber: No, I don't think so. For my children, they do prefer it to everything else. Like for Alicia, she loves beef hor fun and fishball noodles, so I can say that they are more used to it.