Singapore was exactly as I’d remembered it from 3 years ago. The pace was still frenetic, the food amazing and the rules OBEYED. The main thing that surprised me about Singapore was how omnipresent Christmas is. For a country that’s only 18% Christian, Christmas was in full effect — Singapore style.
Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping street (very much like Oxford Street in London) was fully decked out in lights. There were quite a few displays like this one:
Still, though, it was difficult to get into the Christmas spirit mostly due to the fact that it seemed incongruous to think of Santa and the North Pole while the 90 degree weather made rivers of sweat pour down my back into my nether regions.
Of course, the real reason we were in Singapore was to eat — and eat we did. We don’t have pictures of everything we ate. Unfortunately, we shoved most of it into our faces before we remembered that we were supposed to be documenting it. Oh well. Your loss. It was all delicious.
Above is the laksa that Kat raved about in her last post. Looking at this makes me hungry all over again. I could eat this every day.
Above are two dishes we ate at the Chinatown hawker center (sort of like a large open air food court but full of AWESOME food). As Kat mentioned in her previous post, we ordered these dishes on the recommendation of the guy in front of us in line. I said to him “Excuse me, what is your favorite dish here?” He broke into a wide smile, “You really want to know?” He talked non-stop for 10 minutes and he even ordered for us in Mandarin. The dish on the left is a beef brisket dish, which was quite good but being the nice Jewish boy I am, I must say that it doesn’t hold a candle to my late great aunt’s. HOWEVER, see that bowl on the right there? Doesn’t look like much, right? Bowl of murky liquid with some yellow-ish things floating in it? That, my friend, is the wonton soup that is the end all be all of wonton soups. The broth was so complex and deep. The wonton skins so fresh and perfectly chewy. The filling so meaty and delicious. I’ll never order wonton soup again because anything else would just be a poor man’s version of this and will inevitably lead to disappointment.
This is chicken rice, Singapore’s national dish. That’s all it is. Chicken and rice cooked in broth. Yet, there are countless ways to prepare this dish and everyone has their own. I can’t say I’ve experimented enough with it to know EXACTLY how I prefer it, but I definitely intend to find out.
I have no idea what this is. The guy who we spoke to on line actually bought this for us himself and brought it to us, insisting it was a must have. I can’t even begin to describe this. Like, pillowy gelatinous rice spheres with some weird chili and kasha grain on top. Mysterious and delicious. Also, the best food is that bought for you by a total stranger just because he wanted to make the world a nicer place for one second. Wherever this guy is right now, I wish him a happy life.
You can’t see it so well in this photo but that food there is ais kacang. Also, I know it looks like I’m angry at it, but honestly I’m not. I’m still not 100% down with SE Asian desserts. They’re generally weird to me and I just don’t understand why they don’t take to western desserts the same way they’ve taken to things like hamburgers and 7-11’s. At any rate, this is basically just shaved ice with sweetened condensed milk on top and then you dump random toppings all over it. Of course, while in America this would be chocolate sprinkles, in Asia it’s things like red beans, corn kernals, all kinds of gelatinous weird things. I’m not convinced about the corn yet, but it was still pretty tasty.
We didn’t DO much in Singapore. Mainly just walked (and walked and walked and walked because Mrs. Banh Mi has a THING about walking) and looked at stuff. The one thing we did see is the Merlion, sort of Singapore’s mascot. I don’t know why but there’s something about him that’s always spoken to me. So now I submit to you Kat’s merlion photo:
And here’s mine:
We left Singapore after only a few days and even though we love it there, it wasn’t so hard because our next stop was BALI. Tough life, right?