Sense of Our Flavours《本土味》之亚华肉骨茶 Behind The Scenes

Sense of Our Flavours: Ya Hua Bak Ku Teh 《本土味》之亚华肉骨茶

This is a docu-drama I did in 10 months ago, back in February 2013 (Yes, it was a loooooong wait for me). I got the role after doing a cameo in Director Qing Liang’s previous show (彤心絮语 Art Beats).

Using dramatic re-enactments to reconstruct the scenes of yester-years, Sense of Our Flavours is a fascinating documentary journey that takes you back in time to the days when our food pioneers behind some well-known brands such as Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Ya Hua Bak Ku Teh and Outram Fried Kway Tiao made histories and legacies with their creative food improvisations.

Our Characters

Ya Hua Bak Ku Teh
Tiffany as Wei Bi Hua

I was initially given the role of the younger sister, Yue Hua and Angel , the elder sister, but because my voice is deeper than Angel, the director decided to change and make me the elder sister instead.

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Angel Wong as Wei Yue Hua

It is not only a journey into the histories of some of our most famous cuisines, it is also a journey into the very soul and heart of Singapore.

Behind The Scenes

This was my first time doing a re-enactment of a life character, and acting in the sixties setting. It was an eye-opener, and I hope this will be fun for anyone reading this too! So here, I will be showing some of the on-set and behind-the-scenes photos for the “epic” scenes.

The Old School Pak-tor (Dating) Method

Sense of Our Flavours 《本土味》
Did you catch the char kway teow man (Jim) and Ya Kun (Freddy) behind?

Zhang (Qing Liang), the man in green was the director for my episode. We were not given any lines before the filming, so whatever you hear in the clip were impromptu lines we said during the filming.

Sense of Our Flavours 《本土味》
Me and the “BF”

This was an interesting scene for me, I was supposed to be attracted to the guy (because of his colourful and attractive outfit). To act as a shy girl, yet opening “seducing” another guy is really not me. But it was a fun experience, (more fun for the crew though) as they had fun teasing me about it.

Sense of Our Flavours 《本土味》
Love at first sight?

Does it look like I am trying to seduce an attached guy? LOL.

sense of our flavours

The Epic Father-Daughter Quarrel Scene

sense of our flavours
I burst out laughing when the film played my lousy dialect line out! Hey, director! I thought you said it will be muted? 🙁 So here, my “papa” was furious when he found me dating. The photo (taken awkwardly an hour upon arrival to Nongsa without my knowledge that it was for this purpose) was the proof that I’m with the boyfriend.

sense of our flavours
My poor “papa” had difficulty trying to be angry (I think he can’t bear to be angry as I’m too cute :P), and together with the dashing about that we need to go, it took us many takes before we got it right. I was speaking in dialect because “papa” is from Batam and could only converse in dialect. So no choice, in order to not burst out laughing when I reply him in different language, I decided to say out the lines in dialect (Teochew) to match and get into the mood for the tense atmosphere.

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Do I look sick?

This short scene of me being sick actually had a story behind it. It was deleted because the scene didn’t fit the owners’ narration. P.S. I don’t think the sister got sick.

Deleted scenes

本土味 sense of our flavours
The provision shop

As the shop we hope to use was taken up by another filming team (Yes, there are different directors filming different episodes/story at the same time, using different area of the set), the director had to tweak the scenes a little.

Director the shop owner?

From me being too poor to buy the daily necessities, it was changed to me being too poor to buy medicine for my illness. The shop owner was initially an extra from Batam, but as he was unable to act out the “stingy and angry” shop owner character that the director wanted, in the end, the director decided to step in and act it out himself!

behind the scene
Some medicine please?

Filming in progress: Asking for a delay in payment as I am broke!

behind the scenes
And guess who saw my state of abjection? My sister! *horrified*

Working in a Bak Ku Teh shop with my sister

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Second scene upon arrival

This was my second scene when I reach Batam, my first scene was the night Pak-tor (dating) scene with the boyfriend. This was an easy scene for me, as I just had to sit down and keep washing the dishes, but Angel had to walk to and fro. As this was her first time (acting), she had trouble with the camera placement (we call it 走位 in chinese).

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The cast setting up for the scene

Behind a 20 minutes clip, it actually took many people to complete a scene (especially those film at night!).

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This was the scene where my sister told me about how an old man gave her a name-card and told her that he wanted her to go and work for his hotel.

filming behind the scenes
Does it look like the director giving a scolding and Angel is very scared of him? Haha, the director was just trying to explain the emotions we are supposed to have at that time!

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Secretly learning the recipe of the local delicacy

In this scene, I had to try to find out the recipe of cooking the Bak Ku Teh by observing how the boss cooked the soup subtly.

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The Ya Hua Bak Ku Teh sisters with the boss

Sense of Our Flavors 《本土味》 Street Set and Props

Here’s some photos I took during my short filming project at Batam, Nongsa Point. It was constructed by the same set designer who did Serangoon Road and Little Nonya. Do you know Mata Mata was also filmed there to?

My Room

Here’s my “bedroom” the one where I slammed the door and the mirror dropped because I was too violent!

The Turning Point

sixties ootd
Final scene at Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club

This scene (where the sisters had to present their dishes to a group of ‘gastronome’) was filmed in Singapore instead of Batam, and I finally get to dress in something nice, because I have to look “presentable” in front of the businessman etc.

Anxiously waiting for the feedback

As my sister is the person manning the front (waitress) while I’m the main cook, my scene for this is mainly to hide behind and wait to see how the prestigious food reviewer find my cooking skills.

filming behind the scenes
Well, I guess everyone know what the result is, if not, there won’t be any Ya Hua Bak Ku Teh around!

filming costume
Outfits on set

These are the few outfits I had for my role in Sense of Our flavours.

Working Partners on Set

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Angel, my sister on set

I met Angel during Channel U’s Testube filming and we didn’t know we will be acting as sisters until a few days before the filming day! She had been a source of “irritation” by doing her signature “sister” voice. Ok, I’m just joking, and she’s just pretending to disturb me.

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Eni, Make Up artist

Eni, was our make up artist, the beautiful lady who went all the way to help me make sure my acne skin (back then) was concealed as much as possible (although I know it was still quite visible on some scenes). Well, that’s real proof how bad my skin was before I went Sylvia Skin Atelier, the salon that saved my skin.
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Look, under harsh lightings, I need 4 make-up artist to work on my bad skin. 🙁

threesixzero productions
Pearline and the Director~

Here’s Pearline and my dear Director Zhang! I will remember how he always wanted us to stop him from getting angry.

Ya kun filming
Jim Koh (Char Kway Teow man) and Freddy (Ya Kun)

Here’s a photo of Jim, the guy who lied to us about his age from the day we met, and continued lying until now. Freddy, an actor from Batam whom I think has an uncanny resemblance with the Ya Kun drawing.

Junior tan filming
Spot my “ghost partner” from The Cycle

Actors from other episodes…

batam filming
Last but not least, the friendly extras from Batam…

DVD available for sale exclusively at CD-RAMA outlets!

The 10 episode Sense of Our Flavours DVD are now available for sale at CD-Rama outlets for $22.90. Do buy and support. If you’ve watched my clip above, do comment and give me some feedback, k? I know there are more room for improvement!

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26 thoughts on “Sense of Our Flavours《本土味》之亚华肉骨茶 Behind The Scenes”

  1. I love all the different flavors you shared of behind the scenes work. We don’t get to see pre-production work much so this is fun.

  2. I love improvising with food myself, so Sense of Our Flavours attracted my attention, it would be a great experience for all the homemade chef masters like me to watch it. By the way, you have such a genuine beauty and your talent for acting is amazing!

  3. Thanks for sharing these behind the scenes experiences in creating a film. Very interesting to hear an actor’s thoughts as she attacks a role. – Fred

  4. It looks so interesting! We used to have a Ya Kun Kaya branch here in our malls so I’m interested to learn about the beginnings of rhe food businesses. Btw, you look so cute in your early scenes!

  5. Great post, how exciting for you to have been part of the show and wonderful that you took the time to share such amazing photographs and behind the scenes pictures with us. Thanks Stephen

  6. I didn’t know you’re an actress out there. Say, did I just read “60s setting” out there? Now that reminds me of those vintage Chinese dramas and even those Japanese mangas aired during my Childhood. As I browse on the photos, I have to love the set-up. Fit enough.

    Hmmm, I wonder though, is this copy available on the markets in Asia? (I mean, here in the Southeast region?) ‘Cause that might interest me in purchasing one.

  7. Interesting behind the scene look at the filming of the drama! I am sure it was hard work – but you made it look like you had fun too!

    1. Hi Ivy,

      Sorry for the late reply. I’ve checked with threesixzero productions on your behalf, and I’m sorry to say that currently there is no way to purchase the DVDs. I wonder if you will like me to purchase from the local store and mail it to you?

      Let me know if you do! 🙂

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