Jelly so pretty they make your heart go bloom

PRETTY: Ms Janet Hsu (left) admires a jelly peony made by retiree Wendy Heng (right).
PROUD: The students and teachers with the finished art pieces. Each student creates two pieces every lesson.

The class of eight chattered constantly as they stirred coloured liquids in cups. Instructors walked round, answering the students' queries and guiding the students in their art work.

The classroom was a kitchen in Toa Payoh Industrial Park. Most of the students were middle-aged women.

These students were creating a 3D jelly cake, an art piece made out of konnyaku jelly. It is an edible dessert that looks like colourful flowers suspended in clear gelatin.

The classes are conducted twice a month by baking and cooking school The Vanilla Bean.

Ms Janet Su, 55, who started the classes in March this year, said the jelly cake was first made famous in Vietnam in 2014.

A clear jelly is made as the "canvas". Using special tools, the students carve out petal-shaped holes in the jelly. Different coloured jellies in liquid form are injected into the holes, forming the flowers.

One of the students at the Tuesday afternoon session was retiree Wendy Heng, 64.

PRETTY: Ms Janet Hsu (left) admires a jelly peony made by retiree Wendy Heng (right). TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA

Speaking in Mandarin, Madam Heng said she found out about the jelly cake from her friend, who was also in the class.

She said: "I feel proud to be able to do it and I want to go home to surprise my children with my jelly creation."

PROUD: The students and teachers with the finished art pieces. Each student creates two pieces every lesson. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA

Another student was craft teacher Jenny Hoo, who is in her 50s.

Shelearnt about the lessons after seeing her friends' pictures of their jellieson Facebook.

"It is very interesting because it is both a food and an art piece. Looking at it, I actually can't bear to eat it," she said.

Each session, which is about 3½ hours, costs $150 a person. The classes are taught by Ms Annie Neo, a full-time sales consultant. Ms Su, an administrative executive, assists her.

She said 100 students have attended the lessons so far.

CAREFUL: A student lifts up her container to check on her jelly art. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA

Ms Su first learnt about the jelly cake from a friend last year. She then helped Vietnamese 3D jelly artist Miss Tran Thi Hoa Truong organise two lessons here in March.

DETAILED: Instructor Annie Neo injects green liquid jelly into the holes to form leaves. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA

Ms Su said: "I thought it would be a one-time event, but inquiries kept coming, so I decided to conduct more lessons.

"I draw a lot of satisfaction when I see my students' faces sparkle after the lessons."

THINK PINK: Ms Jenny Hoo draws jelly into a syringe before she carves out the shape in the jelly. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA

It is very interesting because it is both a food and an art piece. Looking at it, I actually can't bear to eat it.

- Ms Jenny Hoo on the 3D jelly flower cake

Why is it so popular with couples? Love

Park Mall's management has decided to redevelop the premises and existing tenants have been told to move out by the end of September this year. Fish & Co's iconic Glasshouse is also affected by this move as the management has decided to demolish the structure built in 1992. Regular patrons are upset that their favourite family restaurant will be demolished. Lovers also visit the seafood chain for the last time to relive old memories. Get the full story in our print edition (June 30). Subscribe to The New Paper in print and digital at www.tinyurl.com/getTNP

BY THE numbers

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Foodcourt worker lost kidney in stabbing case

Man, 66, jailed for stealing knife and stabbing foodcourt worker

RESTRAINED: (Above) The civilian officer with the Singapore Police Force standing over the attacker, Taib Saleh (seated) in the foodcourt.
RESTRAINED: Ms Noraisha Abdul Rahman (wearing white cap) after the attack.
"She is feeling a bit better, much better than last time. But still Amin (what she calls the victim) cannot work and it makes me so sad for her because she has a child and she has no husband, it must be so hard." - Madam Yuliana (above), who works in the foodcourt stall with the victim, Ms Noraisha Abdul Rahman

The married man believed he was in a relationship with the woman he later attacked.

Upset with her because he thought she had broken up with him, he stole a knife from a hypermarket, went to the foodcourt stall where she worked and stabbed her twice in the abdomen.

He had to be restrained by a civilian officer with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), but the damage had been done.

Even after emergency surgery, her left kidney had to be removed.

Yesterday, Taib Saleh, 66, a security guard, was jailed 28 months for stabbing Ms Noraisha Abdul Rahman, 44, and for stealing a knife from Giant Hypermarket on Feb 26 this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ho Lian-Yi told the court that investigations revealed that Taib had known Ms Noraisha for many years.

Taib claimed to the authorities that they were in a sexual relationship, but she denied this.

On Feb 26, Ms Noraisha sent Taib a series of text messages, which Taib interpreted as her breaking up with him. At about 1.30pm, he went to the Kopitiam stall selling popiah, goreng pisang and vegetarian food at VivoCity where she worked as a helper.

He became jealous when he saw her speaking to another man.

Taib went to the Giant Hypermarket in the mall, stole a knife that had a 12cm blade and hid it in the right pocket of his pants.

He returned to the foodcourt and approached Ms Noraisha before stabbing the left side of her abdomen once with the knife.

SCREAMED FOR HELP

The stall's assistant manager, Madam Yuliana, 38, who goes by only one name, screamed for help.

Taib stabbed Ms Noraisha again.

A civilian officer of the SPF, Mr Larry Liem, 40, was nearby and rushed over to disarm Taib.

He also restrained Taib until police officers and a paramedic arrived.

Ms Noraisha was rushed to Singapore General Hospitalwith abnormally low blood pressure and she had to be resuscitated.

She also underwent surgery on her abdomen, was hospitalised for 12 days and was given a total of 61 days' medical leave.

Taib was found to be suffering from major depressive disorder.

He also told the authorities he wanted to teach Ms Noraisha a lesson after hearing voices telling him to do so.

He pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt by a dangerous weapon and one count of theft in dwelling.

Yesterday, Taib, who was not represented by a lawyer, told the court he was sorry for the offences and that had an ill wife at home to care for.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan noted Taib's psychiatric condition, but said the court could not ignore the vicious assault.

The judge added that Ms Noraisha had lost the use of a kidney for life.

When The New Paper visited Ms Noraisha's stall yesterday, her colleagues said she had not been back to work since the incident.

Madam Yuliana told TNP she last spoke to Ms Noraisha, who is divorced with a child, about a month ago.

She said in Malay: "She is feeling a bit better, much better than last time.

"But still Amin (what she calls Ms Noraisha) cannot work and it makes me so sad for her because she has a child and she has no husband, it must be so hard."

He sent nude photos of her to her work chat group

CONVICTED: MHA officer Adrian Goh Guan Kiong was jailed six months for stalking.
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Winners of Best Unit Competition 2016

Active Units: Best Combat Unit: 1st Commando Battalion Best Infantry/ Guards Unit: 3rd Battalion, Singapore Guards National Service (NS) Units: Best NS Armour Unit: 458th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment

Get the full story in our print edition (30 June). Subscribe to The New Paper in print and digital at www.tinyurl.com/getTNP

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