Sunday, January 2, 2011

Singaporean street food

Despite our excesses in fine dining in Singapore, the thing I had looked forward to most about our little trip was the street food. In fact, when Eugene and Eunice asked me what I wanted to eat, I said the only thing that was compulsory was laksa. Only we never quite managed it, nor did we eat any chicken rice!!! I think this is just their attempt to lure me back to their country, my friends are super cunning you know.

We landed into Singapore at nearly half past midnight, but Eugene knew us too well, and immediately whisked us off for some 宵夜. Roti prata is a classic showing of the mixed-up-goodness of Singapore. I'd actually never eaten it before, and Eugene took us to reputedly the best place, conveniently close to his house.

It wasn't quite what I expected actually, basically a thin pancake stuffed with whatever you want, served with a big bowl of curry sauce. Mine was stuffed with onions and mushrooms:

Although I preferred the paper thin version with a small sprinkling of sugar. For some reason I get a bit sugar addicted in Asia, they do the savoury/sweet thing so well after all:

All washed down with my first genuine teh tarik. In fact, I just looked up teh tarik on wiki, and the picture looks suspiciously like the place we went to! Subtlely different to the Hong Kong milk tea, this tasted maltier to my taste buds, although I'm still not 100% certain where the difference lies (apparently teh tarik is condensed milk, and HK milk tea is evaporated milk, again, not that I really understand what the difference is!):

We somehow also managed a bowl of tofu pudding each after this! And the morning after, the feeding only continued. We went to one of the hawker markets near Eunice's place, and I was pleasantly surprised at how clean it was (then I remembered I was in Singapore!). Apparently this one has just been rebuilt, and this was just so civilised!

E&E soon disappeared off to buy a selection of the best goodies in the market, but honestly I think you can come here more than 10 times and still find interesting new things to eat. The best thing we had was something called shui kueh in Singlish, or 水粿 in Chinese. It's hard to described really, a kind of soft rice cake, which reminded me of cheung fun and 粉粿. But the thing you are really eating is the preserved radish mix which goes on top. This stuff is dangerous!! So morish!! In fact, we made Eugene return to the same stall the next day to smuggle two pots of the stuff back to Hong Kong.

This is where it's from!!

Upon getting the radish back to Hong Kong, we put it into our mega-cold fridge, and it is so congealed that it only leads me to conclude that the major ingredient in the thing is pork fat. No wonder if it's so good. I also smuggled some back to the UK for my parents to have a try, thankfully I just look too innocent for those customs officers.

Some other interesting stuff we ate included a variety of steamed 糕 type stuff, with savoury and sweet fillings. All these were reminiscent of something Chinese, but with a bit of a Singaporean twist. The red ones were filled with peanut or red bean, and the pink and white ones were savoury iirc.

And we also indulged in some fish cakes, Asia's favourite street snack of all time! So F.A.T.!

You will also see that there is a blue plastic bag in the corner of some of the photos. Eugene also bought something else, but just could not fit it in, so we never even opened that bag, and instead just carried it around with us for the rest of the day. Yes, we are bad people. I blame Eugene's influence, he always manages to convince me to do things I don't want to do :p

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