Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 8 Sing

(Alright, I hear your groans when your page is uploaded and it's yet another post on Singapore. This may be the last post on Sing, ok?)

So having tried most everything on my list, today's brunch was at Serangoon Gardens, 5 minutes from the house we are staying in. Once we got to the roundabout, Ming and I were at a lost where to go, so we went into this corner shop that had a few stalls.

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Roasted pork and chicken rice.

We ordered roasted pork and chicken rice from a stall called Posin, if I'm not mistaken, and it was not worthy (rice was hoong/stale) for my princess mouth so I ordered Sing laksa from the next stall, one last time. And what do you know, it was the closest to the Sing laksa of my childhood ('youth' being too telling) days when I visited Sing. That is the main reason I like Sing laksa, Bryan, that they remind me of my early teen years. Plus Sing laksa is delicious, if cooked well.

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Singapore laksa.

Although oily, the santan was not terribly thick. There were fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts and even fish slices, and I'm happy because that's quite close to fishballs. Best of all were the raw cockles (which I pushed into the soup after taking this photo) which were big, sweet and crunchy versus the tiny, bland and tough (overcooked) cockles we get in Sabah. Each time I eat cockles, it is like a step of faith and thrill, like how eating fugu would feel like I suppose. Faith in that they won't give me food poisoning or hepatitis A. Hub wouldn't touch them; he's a very careful person whereas I'm a risk-taker. And a glutton. But I don't eat cockles when I'm in Sabah, because I imagine that they are harvested from under some stilt-houses where the toilet is a hole in the wooden floor. Maybe that's why in Sabah cockles are cooked until they are tough. Ming likes cockles but finds them rather fishy and bloody. Strange isn't it, that these bivalves have blood?

We ended up on Orchard again. Really, Singapore still has such a looonnngg way to go before it gets to the shopping status of Hong Kong. The whole 8/9 days I was there, I think we went to Orchard 6/7 times. And each time it's either Takashimaya or Tang's or Centrepoint or Paragon. We avoid Lucky Plaza because it's a conmen's den. But go to HK and you'd panic as each day goes by because you haven't even covered half the malls or 0.0005% of the eateries in a week.

For kitchenware, I really like Tang's and Robinsons' but I noticed there's less variety, or is it because I'm comparing them with Oz? Oh, Ming snacked on some yummy yakitori in Tang's basement food market, of all places, and I followed suit, tucking this in for tea, standing at a tall table without chairs:

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Bacon asparagus rolls (9.5/10), pork belly yakitori (9.5/10) and unagi yakitori (8/10) on rice. No full marks because they were too salty but still, one of my best meals. Sometimes the simplest is the best, don't you agree?

As you can imagine, we were really quite sick of eating out by then. We went to the Chomp Chomp foodcourt on the way home but nothing appealed to us. I was appalled by the filth and wet floors (it was drizzling and when I slipped on the pavement, all I was concerned about was that I didn't get spit on my jeans or sweater...) while Ming felt everything was too greasy. We ended up cooking instant noodles with lots of spinach, mushrooms and beef. Man, it was great.

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This is an ice-cream parlor in Raffles' Link. Unfortunately we were too full, but I think the ice cream must really be heavenly. They have a large array of fresh & dried fruits and other pretty toppings and upon your order, they slap the ice cream on a piece of ice-cold stone and mix in your choice of flavors and toppings using a metal blade. Must try next trip.

Singapore has so many areas where we Malaysians can learn from. It is probably the greenest city around. There are big trees everywhere, all well-manicured and healthy. The trees keep the air fresh and cools the city. Here in KK, baldness is not just on men over 40. Most of our roads are bare on both sides, and if they do plant anything, it'd be small bushes or palm trees that give no shade. Another thing is the cleanliness (no litter or spit), the safety (most houses do not have iron grilles; we walk home at hight never feeling any fear), taxis are everywhere and they run efficiently. Makes me wish Sabah had joined Sing instead (agree with you Greg). Talking of taxis, we always chat with taxi drivers every place we go and Singapore taxi drivers seem to sing the same anti-gov't song. They'll always start with "Singapore is better than Malaysia, no need to argue about that." And we don't. Then they get bolder ("We have nothing here, even our sand and water need to be bought from Malaysia!") and angrier ("Who dares say anything against the gov't?! You never heard of Temasek and Hutchinson?") They like their PM though ("Good guy, not involved in business.") Hmm. I need to talk to the taxi drivers of KL. I bet they are an angry lot too.

The only thing we shouldn't learn from Singapore is English (I'm on dangerous ground I know). They are proud of their 'Singlish' so they will go on saying " Bok" (pork) and "Lor" (an emphasis). But then to be fair, will the Malays stop saying "bing" for pink and Chinese-Malaysians "Wan doo tree" for 1 2 3? Just kidding lah, don't get too upset.

15 comments:

TeaLady said...

These have been interesting posts. The 'Chinese' food we get here is so americanized it is hard to call it Chinese. So reading about the real stuff has been eye-opening. We have ice cream places like that - Marble
Slab. It is fun to watch them 'slap' the ice cream on the slab and mix in all the goodies. I gain weight just watching.... Glad you had a good time.

Johnathan said...

Hi Terri, good to hear that you found the nostalgic laksa (equivalent to Ratatouile's Grim eater, Ego's err...ratatouile?). It just further goes to show how much u missed ur childhood days :p.

Oh, didn't know your princess mouth would enjoy Tori Q, japanese chain selling what you have eaten. My wife and I would at certain times have super cravings for Tori Q too and would just buy and eat it at the fountain at the basement of Ngee Ann City.

Hmmm, so you don't fancy chomp chomp :X, so better know what's you dos and don'ts before recommending places for makan'ing on your next trip.

Anyway, Terri speaks perfect english for a Malaysian, I am very impressed! ;) Maybe can consider a commentary blog or a blog with videos of you cooking? It'll be interesting~~!

hongyi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Precious Pea said...

Fren, I didn't know you love cockles. Hubby and I absolutely adores cockles. Come to KL, we drive you to Melaka for cockles at back lane. Guarantee will give you a culture shock.

D. said...

Singapore is all about food. Welcome to Singapore :)

Shan said...

Terri - what can I say? You have done a fair review of the city that I love to bits. Singapore has always been, in my heart, my second home having spent my highschool years there.

You're so right about the trees. Singapore feels so "breathable" for loss of a better world and I will readily disagree with anyone who says how concrete it is. Yes there are buildings but compared to KK, Spore is lush as hell.

And Marvelous Cream looks like a joint worth checking out next time :D

Anonymous said...

hi terry,
if u r still in S'pore, u must check out the latest f&b joint in Holland Village, it's called the : 2am: dessert bar.

Fooman said...

I've enjoyed this series of posts. Gives me places to check out when I'm in Singapore later this month.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

haha ok "lar"..looks like we are not that bad vs the singaporeans "ler"..

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,

I am an avid fan of your blog but have been lurking ever since I chanced on it. I would like to ask you, where can one buy rice paper to make Vietnamese spring rolls (the non-fried ones) or 'banh trang' in Kota Kinabalu? I think I have not seen it in any supermerkets here.

Kate

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

tealady: thnx margaret, u must visit me one day. oh dear, i better be careful what i watch too. i've gained 1.4 kg on this trip n need to loose it b4 i go to Penang next Fri. i hat the gym but i have started going. why can't we just eat n not grow fat?

johnathan: yeah, miss it so much bc it was so long ago...is tt what it is, Tori Q? on the 1st nite in sing, we were at ngee ann basemt 7 the others ate yakitori too but i was sick. i'm captivated by those automated yakitori machine tt dips n grills. if i'm the 1st to bring it into kk, i'll make millions, u think?

pp: rain check on tt. er why would i get a culture shock?! u're scaring me!

d: tq, u write a very interesting blog:)

shan: "lush as hell"? haha, caught u. yeah, we go for a drink when u r done with the prep for the marathon.

anon: i'm back home now but will note tt, thnx.

fooman: if u like cakes, don't 4get canele, n if u know how to take sneak pic, do take cova's cakes (they wouldn't let me take pics of their cakes)

joe: ya bah..

kate: oh, i love those viet spring rolls, so lite n just the thing for ppl wanting to loose weight. i buy mine frm Merdeka and Pelangi cake ingredients shop in Luyang. they r quite expensive here.

bryan said...

I'm gonna ask Tash to read all your Sing posts and plan a little programme of eats for when I go down there!

Tori Q does sound like a sure fire hit here. I'd definitely be a regular.

NEE said...

yeah i totally agree singapore is very green. i love those old huge trees lining up everywhere. i really dont know why malaysians love cutting down their old trees and built lakes and plant those tiny wind blow can break straightaway trees. in my uni, it is all lake and then just empty...can be so hot. those poor students have no shades at all.

really want to cry whenever i see them chopping and bull dozing those beautiful old trees off in kuching all in the name of developement.

but dont tell certain group of ppl about how we can learn from them. they get very very upset. you know, malaysian govt never wanted to send students for higher edu in singapore. they will send them to everywhere in the world but singapore.

Anonymous said...

Terri,
Thank you for answering my question. You were referring to 'Merdeka' which shop is this in 'Wisma Merdeka'? And can you give me specific location to Pelangi Shop in Luyang? I am not a local in KK. Thank you.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

nee: i came back to find tt the town council had cut the trees nearby down to almost the trunks. it's crazy. i really can't understand why. i think some of the trees will die. the only explanation is whoever got the contract to trim the trees and grass has no idea what horticulture is. totally agree on the malaysian pride of not learning anything frm our neighbor.

anon: sorry, i mean Merdeka Supermarket which is at the Lido-Lintas traffic lights. Pelangi (tel: 225 857)is (oh dear, i don't know the street name) off Old Foh San, in a single row of shops in Taman Winner, Luyang & behind the Petronas (or is it BP?) station opposite frm junction to E-West Club. If you know where KK's 'ghost house'is, you'll know where Tman Winner is.

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