mga kwento at haka-haka ni kakang pepe

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Truly Asia

Though it's a holiday here, we were busy packing for our Pinas vacation, and practically, the first half of the day was time well spent playing with the kids at the playground.

Our fridge run out of provisions so we just decided to buy cooked food at the hawkers centre nearby for dinner.

Essentially, a Singaporean hawkers center is a cafeteria with many different food stalls offering the holy trinity of local cuisine: Chinese, Malay, and Indian. "Cafeteria" might conjure up school memories of tasteless stale sandwiches or worse, tasteful meat loaf, but this is quite the opposite. A group of you can sit at any table and mosey around all the different vendors, ordering from any you please. Side by side you can have kway teow, roti prata, and nasi lemak. Deciphering these dishes should be the first step in gaining a foothold on the joys of Singapore. In fact, if you have a layover in Changi for more than a few hours, transit passengers are offered free city tours. Pleasant as that is, maybe you can ditch the group at some point and do your own food exploration. You won't have to go far. Food is everywhere, and Singapore's multi-racial composite, low prices and passion for good food guarantees a satisfied stomach.

Albeit (I feel like a well-educated idiot whenever I use this word), food court is a sort of more sanitary version.

Basically, once you order your food, you will be asked if you want to have it there (usual terms used are makan, eat here or having here) or take away or tapao. Take good note that the term used is not take out but take away.

If you look at the photo, those meat in bamboo skewers are pork and chicken satay. Satay originated in Indonesia and has since been adapted by many Asian countries, and obviously, including this little-red-dot country. It's like our own barbeque but marinated differently with turmeric and other Asian spices and ingredients. Beside the satays are sliced cucumber--usual sides.

Those gooey stuffs in 3 bowls are actually heavenly. First (from left to right) is the satay sauce. This dip is mainly, amongst the many ingredients, powdered roasted peanut, red curry paste and ground chilli. In the middle is achar. Guess our very own achara came to your mind, it's close to that. This is pickled veggies (cabbage, carrots, cucumber, etc.) with a bit of sugar and right amount of chillis.

Saving the best for last is, dyaran!... chicken curry!

Bon appetit!

Chilli is known to be an aphrodisiac. Well rested and just recovered from flu, I'm logging of this early for an earth-shattering event...;)