plusixfive: A Singaporean Supper Club Cookbook
(Or How to Subvert Singaporean Culinary Misconceptions, Avert Stir-Fry Calamities,Make Your Nyonya Grandmother Weep with Joy and Other Badass Kitchen Skills)
After over a year’s worth of
bickering emails, ignored smses, cold shoulders, terse calls and broken egos hard work, Goz and ShuHan are proud to present to you the healthy, fat and long overdue plusixfive cookbook – Weighing in at a whopping 818g and at 256 pages.
So. What’s this book about and why should I get it?
I am not sure how to answer this suffice to say that this book should just about appeal to everyone unless you have decided to stop eating food and that reading sucks ass.
So, in no particular order of importance, here’s why you’re gonna LOVE this book. Unconditionally. Like a baby:
(a) It’s more than just a cookbook.
Actually its probably unlike most cookbooks you have seen.
Here’s what the press release said:
Structured like a regular supper-club night, Plusixfive: A Singaporean Supper Club Cookbook is packed with stories about plusixfive’s signature dishes, Goz’s memories of his childhood and Singapore and growing up in London and features over 18 guest recipes from the plusixfive team of Jason, Christine, ShuHan and WenLin, my parents and sis, and the likes of Momofuku Seiōbo head chef Ben Greeno, Dave Pynt of Singapore’s Burnt Ends, Matt Abergel of Hong Kong’s Yardbird, food blogger Lizzie Mabbot, The Straits Times food editor Tan Hsueh Yun and our friends who own Bubbledogs&, Sandia Chang and James Knappett. With passion and irreverence, Goz and his team demystify local hawker favourites like satay and chwee kueh and staples of Peranakan cooking like babi pongteh and ayam buah keluak, teaching you how to cook delicious Singaporean food right out of your own kitchen.
Basically its abso-friggin’-unquestionably-lutely jammed pack with all kinds of different sick phat shizzle awesomeness like a dirty messy bowl of the BEST spicy ramen ever…….
(b) …..But yet it’s homely and heartwarming.
Like a plate of steaming hot white rice and bowl of winter melon soup waiting for you at home when its pouring outside.
I pour my heart out in here, dig into the inner workings of my mind, peep into my nooby teenage past, spoke to my parents and found out things about my grandparents i never knew, tell you how the supperclub started, teach you how to start your own supperclub, there’re stories of me growing up in London, stories of how I learnt how to cook, memories of Jason’s nan teaching him life skills, stories of ShuHan’s childhood memories of her mom and a musing on the aural moments of cooking, Charmaine and her coolio dad’s foraging expedition in their kitchen, history of Yolanda’s grandma’s secret (now not anymore) vindaloo, musings of WenLin’s family tradition of making their own moonshine...
This isn’t just a cookbook.
It was never meant to be just a collection of recipes. Honestly, who cares about just recipes. Thanks to the internet a plethora of recipes is all there for you at a click of a mouse. What I wanted was a collection of memories and stories which was accompanied by a recipe. I wanted readers to understand why that dish came about, what inspired it, what ensued in its creation, who made it. Eating isn’t all about the food really is it. Its about the stories and the experience that come along with it as well.
That’s what we aimed to achieve with every supperclub.
And through this book. I hope you come away feeling and appreciateing that too.
If not, and all else fails, it makes a wicked door stop.
(c) It’s made of rainbows, love and unicorns.
Yeah okay, Gordon Ramsay’s books are probably cheaper. So are Jamie Olivers. But like hell did they write it themselves. Or even had a say about a single photo. Reality check please if you think Gordon sits down in front of his computer in between recordings of Hell’s Kitchen wondering if it should be 2 tsp of pepper or 3 tsp.
In here, for the past year, every word written has been thought through by me or the guest chefs, every sentence edited ten times over by Weiling (our lovely editor – who claims she can recite parts by memory by now), every photo curated by ShuHan, taken by us or our friends, each guest chef handdrawn by our talented friend Amanda Lo, even the paper stock was carefully chosen, the layout came out of weeks of bickering between us over Skype, photoshoots and stylings coordinated across oceans (read: ShuHan busting my balls by whatsapp for my lighting/placement/styling) and the recipes tested repeatedly. And to top it all off, my parents volunteered to help out with the distribution.
A lot of rainbow unicorn love has been poured into this and which I hope will keep shining on through like a Carebear on speed.
(d) It’s designed by ShuHan
She honed her craft at Central St Martins, has been named one of the best British food bloggers by The Sunday Times (UK), manages a farmer’s market, runs the fabulously beautiful food blog Mummy, I Can Cook and has also contributed to foodie publications like Cereal, Great British Chefs, Crumbs and Flavour. All by the age of 22. Nuff said.
(e) There’re pretty apocalyptically shiitty doodles in there, dribbles everywhere, and a whole section on the G-spot
See, i told you it wasn’t JUST a cookbook.
(f) It’s truly Made in Singapore
I am proud to say that this book is authored and designed by Singaporeans, about Singapore and Singaporean food, features buckets of Singaporeans, distributed/edited/published by an indie Singapore publisher, and printed in Singapore by a Singaporean printhouse. You can’t get more Singapore in a single sentence.
(g) It has a photo of what Goz looked like when Goz was a gawky nerdy awkward 14 year old thinking he was the coolest kid in town with the coolest haircut. But alas he wasn’t. (So. Basically nothing’s really changed. Much.)
OK! SHUT UP ALREADY! I’M SOLD! TELL ME WHERE CAN I BUY THE BOOK!
The book is available at a variety of places (so you lackadaisical fishfarts have no excuse really unless you are an angry angry person who really really hates us) as follows:
- All good major bookstores in Singapore like Kinokuniya. If it isn’t available in your local one, boycott it, write to your local MP/Stomp/ to complain and throw thumbtacks at them from behind grassy knolls.
- At our dear friends’ super lovely award winning much lauded vintage cafe, Carpenter & Cook at 19 Lorong Kilat, #01-06, 598120 Singapore Tel: +65 6463 3648 (whilst stocks last)
- In Hong Kong, at Island East Markets on 20th October! There will be food too like laksa and things in buns! YAY! Details soooooon! (whilst stocks last)
Without getting too much into the nitty gritty of book economics, in a nutshell, we couldn’t find a sensible economical way to deliver it outside of Singapore/ Hong Kong/ Malaysia. The book is just too heavy for airmail and using Amazon is akin walking up to a mugger and paying him to mug me. We are still trying figure out a way how to sell it outside of Singapore and Hong Kong and to somehow find its way into your grubby sweaty hands. And evade the tyranny of postage. The UK and Aus options are there on the site but its pretty steep.
But we are really trying – we promise. And we will keep you all updated.
If you have any burning questions, exclamations or generally wanna chin wag and discuss the pains and joys of recipe book writing or discuss stocking the book or secret nefarious methods of muling books to far flung lands, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we have enough interesting ones, we will publish them in the next post and YOU COULD BE FAMOUS! WOW! (and you will help me greatly in writing another blog post)
[Please be patient with us about the books and the sales. This whole book distribution shenanigan is pretty new to us! We will try to respond to everyone’s emails so bear with us! THANK YOU!]
[Thank you to everyone who has made this book possible. We tried to squeeze all your names in a beautifully rustic (read shiiitty) handdrawn acknowledgements page so I hope we didnt miss anyone. If we did, we promise to correct it in the next print run and you can smack in the face (lightly) when you next see us k?]
(A) How long will it take and when will the books be shipped to me?
The first tranche of books will be shipped at the end of October. Yes I know what you are thinking SmartyPants you can get it in bookstores earlier but AHAH! you won’t get loving little doodles and goodies which ShuHan and I will be adding to those who order it through the site.
All subsequent orders will be dispatched on a Monday. So if you ordered on a Tuesday… sorry, son but you just gotta sit tight, watch Spongebob reruns, brutally bite fingernails and eagerly anticipate the book.
The short reason is because the distribution centre in Singapore consists of basically one human being, my awesome mother.
She has volunteered to help (*so be nice to her) send out the books and will lovingly wrap and pack all of them before gently nudging these babies off with a teary goodbye to their lovely new homes.
So yeah, there’s recipes from dad, mom, people’s grandmas, recipes from the plusixfivefamily in there and right down to the postage/ packing, this is a proper old skool family affair.
Keepin’ it real like a happy meal, kids.
(B) How come the postage price is what it is?
We aren’t sneakily trying making any money off the postage. The price takes into account (i) postage by registered mail (we figured this is probably the best way to send it so it doesn’t get lost/ eaten by dog/ stolen by cheapskate neighbours) and (ii) the bubble wrap and envelope.
Because of our magnanimous nature, the sticky tape and ink used to write your address is a freebie – it’s on us, mate. *awwww
(A) Waitamin, adding it all up it’s almost the same price as if I bought it in the bookstores, what’s the catch here?
Well done Math Man! Yes, you are absolutely right. It’s the tyranny of non-free postage. You can feel free to go buy it in the bookstores. The book is the same as the one we are selling.
But if you buy through this site:
(i) You won’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to get the book and risk the perils of the journey home (think of all those rampant rabid cookbook snatch thieves).
(ii) You will get copy which ShuHan and I spent a whole afternoon hand doodling, hand finishing and signing. It really doesn’t get better than that. If you are lucky, you might even get one with ShuHan’s big fat kiss in there.
But if you like your book pristine virginal untouched and untainted, go to the bookstores.
(B) Can I get a free book?