Understanding the Brain of a Hacker

One of our Singapore's well known brands "Eu Yan Sang's" website was hacked yesterday morning, and the hacker [probably an Indonesian] replaced the website with some comments saying that his country was not to be blamed for the haze, but we should blame the wind instead. Read more about it here:


Well, in that case, if I tied a grand piano to your foot and threw it over the ledge of a skyscraper, you shouldn't blame me, you should blame gravity right? But the real question on my mind is:

What goes on inside the brain of a Hacker? And why would you put such godly skills to waste?

I believe that everyone knows what hackers do. They get past the security of your systems, and obtain unauthorised access to the information in those systems. And most of the time, they tend to let the entire world know what they have done, most of the time, by prominently defacing the website.

Image taken from google search

Personally I find it a complete waste of your skills and efforts. You spend days or even months cracking your head and fingers trying find find a way through a locked door, and the moment you manage to open it, you start celebrating and screaming to the entire neighbourhood that you managed to break into the door? That's a pretty stupid criminal if you ask me.

Most hackers out there are pretty harmless and are just trying to prove a point: That they are smarter than the system. They want to show the world that they can beat the system and they are proud of being able to do so.

But if I were a hacker, I would definitely put these skills to "good" use. First, I would just sit quietly and observe what they do in their servers. Next, I would make the subtlest of changes to their information. Something that they would not be able to identify until it was too late, but at the same time, would be quite devastating to the organisation.

For example, if I were to manage to hack into an online e-shopping website, the best thing that I could think of was not to try to steal their customer's credit card numbers [if they were a reputable organisation, there wouldn't be any stored in their servers anyway], but to find their top-selling, most expensive item, and change the price to $1.

Being a reputable company, they would have to honour the sale to any lucky buyer who managed to spot my "promotion" before the organisation realises it.

From the words of one of my favourite movie characters:

Everyday Superpowers

Image taken from google search

What makes a superhero? The ability to fly? The strength to fold a car in half?

Most of us normal folk go about our daily lives performing extraordinary feats without even batting an eyelid. Unknown to all of us, each of us are superheroes in our own right.

So here's a list of the top 10 everyday superpowers that we flaunt everyday, complete with their own super-cool names. Which ones do you have?

Image taken from google search

10. Hyper-strength: The ability to squeeze more toothpaste out of a seemingly empty toothpaste tube.

Image taken from google search

9. Predicting the Future: The ability to wake up 1 minute before your alarm goes off.

Image taken from google search

8. Heightened Z-Senses: The ability to wake up from your Bus/Train nap just before your stop.

Image taken from google search

7. Photographic Memory: The ability to know where exactly the speed cameras are on the expressways. The ability of being able to slow the vehicle down just in time usually comes along with this one.

Image taken from google search

6. The Third Eye: The ability to have your eyes glued onto your phone/tablet and yet able to walk through a crowded shopping centre at full rush-hour speed without bumping into other humans.

Image taken from google search

5. Sardinisation: The ability to squeeze into an apparently completely full Bus/Train.

Image taken from google search

4. Insatiable Appetite: The ability to finish off an entire tin of Butter Cookies in 1 serving.

Image taken from google search

3. The Gatling Gun: The ability to eliminate all commas and full-stops in a conversation with your best friend. (Some are even able to eliminate the need to take breaths)

Image taken from google search

2. The Poker Face: The ability to maintain a straight face in public when u finally manage to complete the stage of your smartphone game that you have been stuck at for the past month.

Image taken from google search

1. AAA-Vision: The ability to immediately identify whether or not the branded bag or accessory somebody else is carrying is a Genuine or AAA fake. 

Do you have any other everyday superpowers? Leave a comment on this post or tweet me at @MinuteManSG with the hashtag #everydaySuperpowers and if it's good, I'll add it to my list, with full credits included of course.

The King of Crabs - MellBen Legend Seafood [Review]

Since I was a tiny human, I always had a sweet-tooth for crabs. Breaded crab claws, black pepper crabs, chilli crabs, and even crab sticks. As long as it had anything to do with crabs, you could be sure my eyes were on it, and my mouth was watering.

Being such a crab lover from young, I dare to say that my standards for crab tastiness and quality can be considered somewhere "up there". I've digested uncountable black pepper and chilli crabs from "crab-famous" seafood restaurants island-wide, and I can say that some of them really deserve to have their title changed to "crap-famous" [Pun intended]

Just recently, we had the opportunity to try out one of Singapore's most crabalicious [no, it's not a proper word kiddos] brands: "MellBen"

MellBen has been around for almost 20 years and has always been known in Singapore for their awesome crabs. Being a family business, you can be sure that the strictest attention is paid to their cooking and the quality of their food.

Unknown to many, the MellBen chain had recently just opened it's latest branch somewhere in the Serangoon-Potong Pasir area. This was previously the branch at East Coast Park. They have since relocated themselves to the new address. And we had the privilege to be one of the first few to try out their food.

Hidden somewhere between Boon Keng and Potong Pasir MRT, MellBen Legend Seafood is located at 9 Opal Cresent, Singapore 328404.

If you're taking the MRT, it's about 10 minutes walk away from Potong Pasir station. 

If you're driving, my advice would be to come before the lunch and dinner crowds if you want to park your vehicle next to the restaurant. There are still plenty of carparks around the area [it's a loop], but the you'll have to do a little walking to reach the restaurant. Oh, and for the ladies, almost all the parking around there are parallel parking lots! :)

Keeping to the family tradition of all the other MellBen outlets, MellBen Legend Seafood is also a Kopi Tiam styled eating house. 

Probably the first things that you'll notice upon entering the shop are the glass tanks that are filled with huge-ass live crabs.

Eenny, Meeny, Miney, Mo... Actually, I don't think either of them will survive the night

These crabs were bigger than my head!

They even have little prawn friends as neighbours

This tank contained the 'smaller' crabs. But they were still as big as my head!

And if you still can't figure out what this restaurant is famous for? They are even savvy enough to post lots of photos on their wall! If Facebook was a physical thing, I would imagine it would look something like this!

The humble looking shop also boasts an open kitchen concept where customers can marvel at the skills of the chefs while waiting for their food.

Oh, did I mention that the master chef of MellBen Legendary is the same person who opened their flagship outlet nearly xx years ago? You can't get any more authentic than that!

That's him in the black and white striped polo-T!

Because their signature Crab Bee Hoon was too common a dish at all the MellBen outlets, it was not in our menu as we had to save our tummies for the more unique creations!

But not to worry, I still managed to catch a glimpse of it from their open kitchen!

Can you say: Yums?

Seated around the typical Chinese round table, we anxiously awaited for our food to arrive while sipping away on out drinks and catching up with everyone else.

I joked that you would normally need at least 2 drinks when eating at any MellBen outlet. Not because of the waiting time, but rather because the food goes so well with any form of gassy drinks, that you will definitely finish your first drink way before the meal is over! [Beer included]

And here's our very own hplity with what might just be his final beer before he checks in to the National Holiday Resort at Pulau Tekong. ORD *oops* Enlisting Loh!

Well, they say good things come to those who wait. And we were definitely not disappointed. 
The first dish that appeared on our table was their Signature Tofu (招牌豆腐).

我喜欢吃豆腐!heh heh heh...

It tasted so good that we started to guess what ingredients were used in making this wonderful dish. But of course, we couldn't extract the right formula just by tasting it. That's why it's called Signature right?

The next dish was the Lemon Prawns (柠檬虾) Soup.

The soup base tasted like authentic Thai Tom Yam soup [another on of my person favourites], but yet it didn't overwhelm the sweetness of the prawns. It's like having a taste of the soup when you are peeling the prawn [yes, he peels prawns with his mouth], but when you get to the fresh meat of the prawn, the sweetness and juiciness of it is still preserved!

But the best was yet to come. The next dish that appeared on our table was the legendary, never seen before, Laksa Crab( 咖沙螃蟹).

Yes, you read it right, it's a Laksa Crab. In fact, MellBen Legend Seafood is the very first MellBen outlet to serve this wonderful creation. As at the day of our visit, the recipe has not even been released to the other MellBen outlets yet.

So if you are looking to try something excitingly new, but at the same time not adventurous enough to eat a live, beating frog heart, head on down to MellBen Legend today for their Laska Crab!

Not to forget the all-important Fried Man Tous to be dipped into the Laska sauce!

And of course, bloggers being bloggers, everyone was busy snapping away with their cameras and handphones. If you ever attend any meals with bloggers, just remember that we have this unspoken rule that "One must not start eating the food until every single person has finished taking their photos of it." That's basic blogger dining etiquette for you!

Disclaimer: Unintentional angle, but my eyes keep straying towards Peggy Heng's cleavage in this photo.

I like Silver Ang's Full-Of-Concentration face...

Next came another creative dish that I have never seen [or heard of] before. Everyone has tasted Bak Kut Teh [Spare Ribs Soup] before right? But have you ever heard of Dry Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶干) ? [Or as I coined it, "Bak Kut Ta"]

Yummy, tender meat that you would expect from the typical Bak Kut Teh, but topped with appetizing sauce! Tastes great eaten as it is, or you can try mixing it up with some rice too!

Next up, one of my favourite dishes in the whole wide world, the Curry Pepper Crab (咖喱胡椒螃蟹).
[Or Black Pepper Crab as most of us call it]

I've tasted many different versions of this dish from many different restaurants both locally and overseas, and it's getting really difficult to find very good black pepper crabs around recently. Just 2 weeks ago, I ate this same dish from another restaurant that used to serve awesome black pepper crab. However, it seemed that through the years, the standard of my favourite dish there really dropped A LOT. To the point where I wasn't even tempted to fishing off the last 2 pieces on the plate.

If you are like me and love your Black Pepper Crab to taste extra peppery, and have a full pepper blast of flavour even when you're biting into the meat of the crab, [which means the pepper flavour really sinks into the meat and is not just only on the shell] I have to say that "This one really got standard".

In fact, I dare say it is one of the best I've tasted so far, tied for top place with a select few other restaurants.

The final dish [and also his favourite of the night] was the Golden Sands Crab (金沙螃蟹). No, this crab was not fished out from the fish tank of Marina Bay Sands, but the visual look of it seems like it just crawled out of some golden sandy beach some where in the Maldives.

If you are confused by the funky name of the dish, in layman terms, it's actually Salted Egg Crab (咸蛋螃蟹)! [Yumms!] And this dish was the bomb!! The saltiness of the sauce was just perfect! Salty enough to make you lick up all the sauce from your finger, yet not too salty to the point that you want to finish up 1 whole jug of beer in 1 gulp.

And at the end of the night, this was what remained of our poor friends in the glass tank.

The look on our faces says it all... Satisfied and definitely coming back for more.

Didn't your mummy teach you not to play with your food?

All in all, I would say that MellBen Legend Seafood crabs have met my extremely high expectations for crabs, and surpassed all my expectations for the other non-crabby dishes. If you are looking for a crab fix, I highly recommend dropping by MellBen Legend Seafood.

Because this new outlet it is still relatively unknown to the mainstream public, we can be sure that there will definitely not be "Hello-Kitty-like" queues stretching out to the main roads... Yet. But I can't guarantee how long this hidden gem will stay hidden.

Just for the humans who, like me, have a memory span of a goldfish, here's the address again:

No. 9 Opal Cresent, Singapore 328404

My advise if you want to head on down for a sumptuous meal? Call in for reservations after 2pm. Just dial 6509 0918 or 6742 1929 to make your reservation!

Mr Kelvin Soon, owner of MellBen Legend Seafood

But wait, there's more! If you're a bargain hunter, all you have to do is to like their facebook page here:

And flash it to any of their staff there to enjoy a 10% discount off your total bill! So what are you waiting for? Go gather your friends for an awesome crabby feast right now! I know I'll be going back real soon for round 2!

Lesson 652: How to Order Economic Rice Like A Pro

Image taken from google search

All humans who have stayed in Singapore for a reasonable amount of time must have surely eaten Economic Rice [or as we Chinese like to call it, 菜饭] at your local coffee shops or food courts.

For those of you living under a rock, [or have not been to Singapore] Economic Rice is a local form of Chinese hawker food where the customer can choose a staple, usually rice or porridge, and select from a variety of pre-cooked ingredients on display to be added on to their staple.

The stalls usually have a wide variety of ingredients, ranging from different vegetables to chicken, pork and even whole slices of fish. They work on a first-come-first serve basis, and once a particular ingredient is sold out, well, you just have 1 less option to choose from.

Image taken from google search

Although it's called Economic Rice, depending on where the stall is located, and what you order, it may not really seem very economic at all. A simple meal of rice with 1 vegetable, 1 meat and 1 slice of fish can easily go up to 5 to 6 Singapore dollars.

And 2 separate $5 plates of Economic Rice can look very different from each other, in terms of both appetising-ness and staple-to-ingredients ratio.

So, through my years of ordering Economic Rice, here are a few tips to get the most out of your buck and make your meal economical yet satisfying.

Image taken from google search

1. Always order the Fish and Meats first

A quick lesson on how they charge:
Fish and Seafood - Most expensive item
Meats - 2nd most expensive item, and also where their main core income comes from
Vegetables - Cheapest items on the menu

Ordering the Fish and Meats first is like telling the stall owner "I'm not a cheapo who's going to order 3 or 4 vegetables!" Once the owner knows this, he will be more willing to give you more ingredients, since he knows he is going to earn more from you than those who order 4 veges.

Image taken from google search

2. Always order your ingredients one-at-a-time

There's a big difference in ordering "This fish..... This meat.... This veg" as opposed to "This fish, this meat and this veg"

In the first order, the person taking the ingredients for you is always in a rush to serve everyone behind you, and will tend to rush to the next ingredient once he knows what it is. He might also be afraid that he might forget your last ingredient if he takes too long to dish out the first 2.

Imagine a verbal order of "Chicken meat, curry potato without the chicken, cabbage, fish and bean sprouts" would you want to take your time to take 3 pieces of chicken meat, or just grab 1 piece so that you don't forget the rest of the order.

By slowing down your order, we are preventing the scenario where he takes only 2 scoops of ingredient A and moves on to ingredient B to try to save time.

Image taken from flickr

3. Always wait for the staff to finish picking the selected ingredient before letting him know the next ingredient

Similar to point 2 above, this is to ensure that the staff picking your ingredients does not rush through your order. If you start telling him the next ingredient while he is still picking the first, more often than not, he will immediately stop and move on to the next ingredient. Make your moneys worth by letting him give you the full quantity of what you ordered.

Image taken from google search

4. Stay away from ingredients (especially meat) that are a mix of meat and vegetables

You will be charged the price of a meat dish. But more often than not, you will only get a 40-60 ratio of meat to veg. Especially true for dishes that are cooked with lots of garlic. It's like playing Russian Roulette with your tongue. Try differentiating a piece of gravy-soaked garlic from a piece of gravy-soaked chicken and you're gonna have a hard time.

Image taken from google search

5. Avoid ingredients that are running low in stock

Unless you really have to have that ingredient, the smart choice is to stay away from ingredients that are running low in stock. [A good gauge would be if the food level is less than 50% of the height of the pan or bowl that is holding it]

This is basically common sense. [But apparently, common sense is not really common to all people] If you had 1000 peanuts in a bowl and someone asks you for some peanuts, would you give him the same amount as when you only have 200 peanuts in the bowl?

Image taken from google search

6. Avoid female staff

This might sound sexist but it is true from what I have personally experienced. I know that most of the time you can't really choose who serves you, but generally, male staff tend to give more ingredients than their female counterparts. I have even seen this lady who counts the pieces of meat that she scoops up from the tray before putting it onto the customer's plate!

Image taken from google search

7. Order those that are furthest away from the cashier first

Ordering Economic Rice is like being on a conveyor belt. Both the staff and customer usually flow in 1 single direction. Always order the ingredients furthest away from the cashier first, and progress your order toward the cashier. This is to prevent the scenario where he has to cut back across his colleagues to get an ingredient that you missed out at the start of the queue. If he has to rush or stretch to get it, more often than not he will not give you the full serving.

Now that you know the secrets to ordering a good plate of Economic Rice, I'm sure you won't be left disappointed on your next meal.