Adventures in Singapore Dining
You Are What You Eat
Upon returning home from China my Uncle once said, “The saying goes that you are what you eat. Therefore, right now I must be a Donkey’s penis”. Yes he was most certainly joking but in his own sardonic way, there is definitely some truth behind that. Take the diet of an average student, including the copious amount of alcohol consumed, this consists of mostly late night carbohydrates, processed curry sauce, tins of beans and anything else that is generally easy to cook and readily available. In hindsight, it’s amazing that any synapses managed to fire and fathom the complexities of the inner workings of the human brain during three years of Psychology all those years ago. We were all young and it didn’t matter. Food was there to be consumed to stop us dying and to keep us going. So, to an Ang Moh living in Asia, when does one’s palate begin to mature to appreciate the finer things of live and to fill your body with delicious but also nutritionally exceptional food? For me, it was travelling in Asia.
An Orgy of Food
Since travelling through Asia over many years, my love of tasty food has developed significantly. So much so, that living back in the UK meant that what I mostly ate was Asian food, cooked to perfection with a variety of herbs and spices. Mmm tasty. Not only tasty but very, very good for me in more ways than most food available. So when I eventually moved back to Asia, I was excited about the opportunity of obtaining the fresh ingredients that I so desperately craved back in the UK to cook food. To my surprise, it has turned out that I don’t actually need to cook here but instead venture outside and really experience the culinary delights of Asia no more than 5 minutes walk from my apartment. Singapore really is the true home of all of Asian food – an eclectic mix of Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Indian, Thai, Indonesian and Korean foods all available in one location. I best described Singapore to a friend as an orgy of food as that’s the best analogy that does it justice. So much food and so much to choose from.
Today I travelled out to the east coast with a friend who introduced me to Penang Laksa. This is a sour fish based noodle soup that is a combination of Malay and Chinese cuisine. So delicious and even though my friend would tut, sigh and mutter “Ang moh’s” whilst shaking her head…it is a little spicy. But in my defense it was the right kind of spicy and not melt your tastebuds spicy.
Accompanying the sour taste of the Laksa was a spicy Sambal Kang Kong and Cereal Chicken. Both of which were absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. The Sambal Kang Kong was cooked with oyster sauce – so I think though I could be wrong – and again had just the right amount of chili kick. The Cereal Chicken wasn’t spicy but so tasty thanks to the flakes of cereal and cooked with butter.
Combining these three different dishes is the norm here in Singapore and the share food tradition is something that I really love. It would seem quite strange going back home now and to order different dishes without sharing each one with the people around the table. Sharing food complements the overall experience of dining so that all involved are experiencing the best of what’s on offer. Mixing the variety of tastes; sweet, sour, spicy, makes for such a wonderful experience.
Penang Seafood Restaurant near Aljunied MRT is the place to be. Try it one time!
Enjoy the Penang Laksa at the