Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Welcome to Singapore

Honestly, what's not to like about Singapore? The weather is tropical, the buildings are new, the gardens are blooming year round, the streets are clean, and the food is delicious. Everything I ate in Singapore was expertly prepared, bursting with flavor, and distinctly Singaporean. I don't think I've had a single meal where dopamine did not go firing off in every neuron cell in my brain. Their cuisine is diverse and dynamic, ranging from the most slippery broad noodles to fresh seafood covered in chili sauce to peppery pork rib soup. It's sweet, it's hearty, and it's addictive. I did not miss Cantonese, Jewish, or any other cuisine for a second in this country.  So sit back, relax, and journey with me through the ethnically diverse, foodie driven cuisine of Singapore. 

(Disclaimer: This is just a taste of Singporean cuisine. I wish I had more time to eat even more than I already did! Good thing my hotels had pools for me to swim it all off.) 

Chow kway teow is my favorite Singaporean dish by far. Silky broad noodles
stir fried in premium dark soy sauce with egg, bean sprouts, and fatty pork
bits over high heat. On the right is morning glory with chilis. 

Newton Circus Food Centre has a great variety of hawker stands

Sambal stingray is grilled, slathered in a chili shrimp paste, and served on
a banana leaf.  

You can get Hainan chicken rice anywhere -- at hawker stalls, at malls, or
even at luxury hotels. It's just steamed or boiled chicken served over the
most aromatic oily rice. Remember the chili garlic and dark soy sauces! 

Who doesn't love a good old classic oyster pancake?

Durian ice kachang! Don't worry, the tap water here is drinkable. 

Newton Circus

Our first meal in Ion Mall, chow kway teow and chow tow kuay. Chai tow kuay
is basically pan fried radish cake with egg. Not my favorite, but popular for sure.

Nasi Padang, just a typical Indonesian cafeteria style lunch in Ion Mall.

Chili crab and fried white steamed bun! The chili crab sauce is tomato based.

Curry mustard fries and Asian sliders made with fatty dark soy sauce
braised pork belly at House in Dempsey Hill

Fried chicken and fish paste nasi lemak with laksa, the thick rice
vermicelli in a spicy coconut gravy. 

Starker Fresh Beer in Holland Village. Beers were on average $15 a glass. Yup. 

And last but not least, my favorite was bak kuh teh. It's pork rib tea made with
spare ribs boiled for hours with herbs, pepper, and Chinese medicine. I promise
you that this is the ultimate late night meal slash hangover cure EVER.
It is simply rich, savory, flavorful, and magical. 

Singapore is a place where you could easily see yourself getting comfortable. They speak English and Mandarin, the two most spoken languages in the world. They have the Asian super city feel with a laidback Southeast Asian vibe. Singapore wouldn't have been the same if Dave and Janice didn't give me and Jun-Wan the incorrect travel dates, if Jason didn't take the time out to drive us everywhere, if we didn't go clubbing with a group of ex-soldiers, if we didn't spend endless hours in and lost around Ion Mall, or if every other person didn't own a Ferrari. It could've been better if Dave didn't have food poisoning from Thailand/Malaysia or if beer were cheaper. But even though nothing's perfect, Singapore may just be close to it. 



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