Lunch with Tifanis
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Tifanis, 25, is a newly minted yoga teacher and avid home cook. To Tifanis, cooking is both practical and sentimental. Most days, she’s typically done with teaching by noon and has enough free time to prepare her own healthy meals. On special occasions, she loves making indulgent feasts for her loved ones, from scratch as much as possible – noodles, broths, and recently bread. Read on to find out more about Tifanis’s relationship with food and cooking.
"Some people eat to live, some live to eat"
I’m a teacher at Yoga Movement. I teach a range of classes, from basics to power to zen.
off the clock.
I like having down-time at home, not doing anything out of the ordinary. I enjoy taking time to make my own meals at home and lying in bed with a book. To keep up my own yoga practice and supplement my fitness with other forms of training, I try to go for classes regularly.
first prize in (what you are good at / what are you passionate about).
Definitely yoga, both teaching and learning. I love finding out what my body can do and how to communicate that learning process to others on a similar journey.
I also am committed to migrant worker activism in Singapore. I started a couple years ago when I was in university and now help to coordinate small research projects at TWC2. I’m making it a point to stay in touch with migrant worker issues, no matter what stage of life I’m at.
what does food mean to you?
Culture – respecting and experiencing different cultures, and also creating new ones (like fusion/japalang recipes).
A love language — creating the food and serving it to loved ones or yourself.
hawker fare seems to be a deeply entrenched part of Singaporean food culture. what does hawker fare mean to Singaporeans?
Affordable, quick, hearty, and accessible local food. A lot of it is comfort food, for example fishball noodles, cai fan, or ban mian for me as an ethnic Chinese. Other communities’ comfort foods, on the other hand, are like treats and interesting dishes to explore, for example prata for late night suppers, rojak for brunch.
Local hawker food might be low cost but they are so intricate in how they are made and passed down from one generation to another. I enjoy indulging in hawker food just as much, or sometimes more than going to a proper restaurant. It’s comfortable and comforting food. If I have a free day on a weekend I would love to explore different hawker centers, like Old Airport Road, and buy something from a few stores for a little feast.
When I do eat out, it’s usually comfort food I look for. Apart from hawker centers and food courts, I frequent local cze char restaurants, Japanese ramen spots, pizza places, and burger joints.
what are some of your favourite Singapore dishes?
Hands down it’s ban mian. It’s hearty, warm, and satisfying. It has everything you need too! Protein, carbs, vegetables. I usually go for the soup version, but I will occasionally treat myself to a dry one if the stall specialises in it.
favourite type of noodles.
Ramen noodles and handmade noodles. I love the springy, chewy texture.
what do you feel about healthier alternatives to traditional ingredients?
Great! In the example of Wholegrain Noodles, they don’t differ too much in taste or texture, so they’re great for preparing everyday meals we’re already used to having, just a healthier edition. They would allow us to keep in touch with the food of our cultural roots without compromising our health. And when we do want the original, indulgent version, we could just go to the hawker center on the weekend.
quote on food.
Some people eat to live, some live to eat
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