Sunday, July 27, 2008

From my inbox

I had a couple of pleasant surprises in the email this past week.

(1) Royal Singapore Flying Club

Bob Nobbs sent me this 1952 photo of the Royal Singapore Flying Club. Can you recognize the building? If you are have been reading this blog for more than a year, you probably would. It was the subject of one of my Old Buildings Quizes. Bob wrote;

“I spent three years in Singapore during the 1960s (Tengah) and I am still in love with the place. I still hope to come back one day although I know it’s changed beyond all recognition.”

Bob. We certainly hope to see you in Singapore. I guarantee you will not recognize Chua Chu Kang Road. John Harper was here last year, and Brian Mitchell will be visiting next year.

Thanks again for the photo. And thanks also to my friend and regular guest blogger, Peter Chan for this even older photo of the same place. It was taken in 1936.

Below is a photo of the Merdeka Bridge/Nicoll Highway courtesy of Memories of Singapore.

For the purpose of comparison, I post here some 2006 photos of this building which at one time was the headquarters of the Singapore Netball Association.

(2) Troika Restaurant

In some of the earlier articles about food and dining, the name Troika Restaurant was mentioned by you the readers in the comments section. For example my article about Coffee Houses and possibly, Peter’s article about Dining in the Old Days, and perhaps also on Victor’s blog.

I was indeed pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Arwyn Rees who wrote from England.

Dear Mr Lam Chun See,

The wonders of the Internet have brought us together in a most unusual way. I was looking through a scrap-book which I had kept from nearly 40 years ago when I had the great fortune of living in your wonderful City. The scrap-book contained an advertisement card for the Troika Restaurant, a place I visited many times for the wonderful food. My interest made me put the name into the computer to see if it still existed, and looking through the pages a reference was made to your blog site that apparently mentions the place. I consequently started reading your Blog with nostalgic interest. I enclose a copy of the advert for the Troika that may be of some interest to you. Thanks for a enjoyable hour of reading.

Best Regards.

Arwyn Rees (England)

Arwyn. On behalf of all readers at Good Morning Yesterday, thank you for that picture of the Troika Restaurant. We certainly hope you visit again.

And as usual, Peter’s memory proves to be uncanny. As you can see from the picture above, Troika was located at the Liat Towers in Orchard Road. In case you want to make a reservation, their telephone number is 371833.


peter said...

A soh those were the 1960s/70s days. Liat Towers had many notable tenants - Cycle & Carriage which and a showroom displaying the Mercedes cars (ground floor at the right corner), Donald Moore Art Gallery (of course selling art pieces and books) and Chase Manhattan Bank (if you stand on Orchard Road facing Liat Towers today, it will on the ground floor at the left corner)

Do you know the name of the building before Far east Shopping Center? Hint: selling cars.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes, I remember the Chase Manhattan Bank. An old friend of mine used to work there. I also remember the MacDonald's outlet there. If not mistaken, it was their first outlet in Spore. At one time, that outlet sold the most number of hamburgers in the world for MacDonald's; so I read.

Cannot recall the other building you mentioned.

JollyGreenP said...

Message to Bob Nobbs, although a lot has changed I am sure that you will find that the new Singapore is just as enchanting as your experiences of Singapore in the 60s. I have been back several times, my first return was in 1989 some 30 years since we had left in 1959. I was slightly worried that I would not enjoy going back but very soon accepted that there had been changes and many of them for the better. I found that I still loved the place as much as I did as a twelve year old child. It is well worth going back. You may be interested that the RAF Seletar Association which also covers RAF Tengah are hoping to arrange a visit next year and they are trying to include a visit to Tengah Airbase. The association also accepts those of us that were there as schoolchildren as well.

John Harper

Lam Chun See said...

Actually, Kevin was also right when he said that Troika was originally at DBS Building in Shenton Way. Out of curiosity, I did a search and found that it is now called Shashlik Restaurant located in Far East Plaza.

"The restaurant hasn't changed very much since it was opened in 1986 by nine former employees of Troika restaurant at DBS Building in Shenton Way, which closed down the year before."

Thimbuktu said...

Yes. I remembered the Troika Restaurant. It used to sell the best chicken pies in town.

I have fond memories of Orchard Road in the early days before it became the "happening street" for tourists. The Fitzpatrick supermarket was the favourite shopping place for many British servicemen and their families before the Naval Base was handed over to the Singapore government.

Those who have read Tan Kok Seng's autobiography "Son of Singapore" will remember the Orchard Road market, where the author was once a hawker assistant.

Anyone still remember the Pavilion Theatre which Centrepoint now stands? I could still remember my first visit there some 50 years ago to watch an Indian film with English subtitle - "Mother Earth" (I think)with my primary school tuition teacher...

Thanks for the memory, folks.

Lam Chun See said...

Sorry people. Very busy this week. No time to post. Several articles by guest bloggers in the pipeline.

Jules Viernes said...


I'm Jules and I work at, a company interested in blog advertizing. I found your blog engaging and I'm contacting you to ask if you are interested in blog post sponsorship.

If you are interested, kindly mail back for confirmation( include your blog's URL.
Looking forward to doing business with you.


Jules Viernes

Anonymous said...

I remember Troika back in the late 70s at the DBS building and it brings back some special memories. Back in those days, the Soviet Union was something mysterious and exotic to most of us growing up in the cold war years. I remember the murals of a russian troika and the large dining rooms as well as having my first taste of caviar and chicken kiev at the restaurant.

Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

I remember being given an expensive treat in Troika Restaurant then in Malaysia Hotel at Tanglin Road (later Marco Polo Hotel). The person who gave me a treat then is(was?) Koh Teng Kwee whom I tutored to help him through his exams for confirmation in his post in the civil service. He now owns a large public limited Co. furniture manufacturer. Later Troika moved to DBS building, in one of the higher floors. I entertained there often when I was working in Robina house.

Mark Tan

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks Mark for that bit of history of Troika.