culture, food, foodblog, history, language, life, relationship, singapore

A Taste of Heaven at Calle Real

I often admire my Singaporean friends and family on their love for food. Singaporean loves to eat. And that makes Singapore a food paradise for everyone. Singaporeans will not restrict their taste buds to their own but is willing to get savory taste on new culinary places in the country.

In the heart of East Coast Road lies a restaurant waiting for everyone to experience the authentic Spanish Filipino dishes that will delight everyone including the food connoisseurs.

Calle Real at 425 East Coast Road

I have known the owners of Calle Real since early 2000 when their family moved and settle in Singapore. A very lovely family and their kids grew up here as they have been here since 1996.

The owners came from a family a chef. Needless to say, their aeipathy for creating their own food fusion will never ceased.

Fall in love with Calle Real’s Seafood Esta Galore – This is their fusion of coconut milk with a little brandy, coconut flakes, basil, mussels, squid, scallop, prawns, & dry shitake mushrooms cooked in perfection.

Why Calle Real?

The owners’ family food business started with Cafe Calle Real influenced by their father from their Spanish blood lineage. Their parents came from the lines of professional chefs in Philippines. The decision of choosing the name Calle Real for the family restaurant came from an old book called ‘Old Manila’. The said book was given to their family with the desire of opening their own family food business in Calle Real in Intramuros Philippines. Their motivation to continue their passion for cooking came from all the compliments they received not only from friends and family but also from big renowned restaurants in Philippines including ‘Josephines’ restaurant in Tagaytay. Due to their family’s frequent movement following the job relocations, they opened up their food catering business in Singapore since 1998. Later on, they opened up their first restaurant in Roxy Square.

Why choose East Coast Road?

After choosing few locations for their food business, they decided to settle to the place where they started. They fell in love with East Coast Road; their very place when they first set their foot in Singapore.

What are the MUST TRY dishes?

Calle Real’s grand opening last April.

Calle Real offers a whole lot of food variety to satisfy your Spanish – Filipino cuisine cravings. Among my favorites are the following:

1. Lechón de leche (Baby suckling roasted pig): Lechón is from Spanish influence and very famous in Spain colonized nations such as The Philippines. Calle Real made this dish stand among others.

The tender meat of Lechón de leche..

2. Tripple Enchelada:  Enchalada is the Spanish word for ‘salad’. Tripple enchalada is a three set of salads in one serving – a combination of mango salad, eggplant salad, and a salted egg salad.

Tripple enchalada: Mango Salad (left), Eggplant salad (Middle), Salted Egg Salad (Right)

Mango Salad..

Eggplant salad..

3. Seafood Paella: The Paella dish originated in Valencia, Spain. Widely accepted around the world and due to Spanish influence in the Philippines, paella has become one of the favorite dishes that mothers and wives will cook during special occasions.

Calle Real’s yummy Seafood Paella…

4. Seafood Esta Galore: Ahh… this is my favorite and my featured food here..

A 100% must try at Calle Real..

5. Calle Real’s Baked goods: For the sweet tooth folks, you will never be left out with Calle Real’s variety of cakes and baked products.

Sylvannas cake

Leche Flan (Custard Based)

Ahh… My favorite Brazo De Mercedes.. They made it right in Calle Real..

This Red Velvet cake is an entry from their daughter.. Cooking and baking will never run out in the family..

Combined it all together..

The Ambiance

Calle Real’s ambiance depicts The Philippines and its cultural heritage from Spain. The place is decorated with books, paintings showing their gratitude to the soil that gave life. The music is dominated by Ottmar Liebert, their favorite music artist.


Calle Real is a must try place if you want to experience the Spanish Filipino authentic dishes that you never had before.

Buena comida, buenos amigos, y buen vino son siempre bienvenidos!

English translation: Good food, good friends, and a good wine is always welcome!


Til next time. Au revoir.

business, culture, international business, language

Would You Like To Speak My Language?

All the world’s a stage

– As You Like It by William Shakespeare

When I think about languages, the first person that comes to my mind is William Shakespeare. His creativity in his sonnets and plays has contributed to the expansion of English language. It was during his time when theatre plays has become popular as the form of entertainment.

Language is that aspect of communication which provides understanding to both the speaker and the listener (or the giver and the receiver). Needless to say, language plays the important role in business negotiations which is critical for company’s revenue.

He’s my nephew. Photo taken at Amsterdam, The Netherlands on September 2010.

Not everyone can speak the English language. And even English language spoken by Americans still possesses differences to the English language spoken by the British. In combination of culture, knowing a host country’s language is an added advantage for the international business negotiator. With Culture + Language, we can understand with clarity where the prospect customer(s) or the prospect business partner(s) are coming from. Not all languages are spoken, there are also the bodily languages that we need to understand.

Language is one of the challenges of an international manager or negotiator that need to overcome in order to win the business negotiation or implement the company’s global strategy.

Benjamin Lee Whorf is the known American linguist famous for his study of linguistic relativity. As per Whorf’s hypothesis, the language determines the nature of culture.

Whorf argued that words provide the concepts for understanding the world. According to Whorf, all languages have limited sets of words. These restricted word sets in turn constrain the ability of users to understand or conceptualize the world. Since language structures the way we think about what we see, it determines the cultural patterns.

Whorf’s hypothesis can also be interpreted as the most influential language has the control of economy and the world.

Although there are other studies conducted to disagree with Whorf’s claims, however, in my opinion, Whorf’s hypothesis and theory is true.

Taking into example the Southeast Asia region with countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines, these three countries are until now sharing words. Language between these three countries varies due to the colonization of different countries depicted in their country history. However, having been living, working, and communicating with these countries made me realized that we are still sharing few old words of which the meanings are exactly the same. And those words that we don’t have the commonality have been borrowed from the countries who colonized us. The behavior of the people or some aspects of culture vividly show similarities. When I consider comparing the country ratings of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions country ratings, it also shows similarities to some aspects of culture. Below is my analysis based using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions of National Culture:

In conclusion, by basing from this example, the influence of language to other countries can be a tool to tap and to gain advantage during business deals and transactions to the host country. However, this is only the beginning or door opener for the international manager or business negotiator, it is still necessary to further understand not only the language that is verbally communicated but also the body language (implicit languages) from those countries belonging to the High Context Languages as distinct by anthropologist Edward T. Hall.

In the current economy, English has been the most common form of language used in business negotiations. As such, it is important for the international manager or negotiator to use the simplest English words (avoid the ‘slang’) in order to clearly deliver the message to the targeted audience.

As the famous Shakespeare once coined:

Brevity is the soul of wit.

It is through the simplest and precise words one’s intelligence is shown.

Til next time. Au revoir.


  1. Cullen J, Parboteeah P, Multinational Management Strategic Approach 4ed, Thomson South-Western, c. 2008, pp. 641 – 643
  2. Benjamin Lee Whorf, “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”, Geert
  3. Hofstede Cultural Dimension