Friday, 18 September 2015
Singapore Food Tour with German GEO Magazine JK1241
I was given the privilege to bring Jan from German GEO magazine on a Singapore food tour. It was challenging as I was given only 3 hours in the evening, so I could only show Jan a very small sample of Singapore food.
Whenever I show guests from overseas around Singapore, eating in a hawker centre is a must. It's at hawker centres that you can see all the colours of Singapore food. Hawker centres are welcoming come-as-you-are places, where everybody is comfortable.
At a Singapore hawker centre, we can get the comfort foods of many different cultures, all together under one roof. People sit, rubbing shoulders on one table enjoying Indian, Chinese, Malay and also Western food altogether.
For our first stop, I brought Jan to the traditional putu piring stall in Haig Road food centre because I wanted to show him a Singapore hawker centre and a traditional Malay snack.
This traditional putu piring stall is probably the last one left in Singapore. Everything is handmade the old way. It's caramelised coconut sugar wrapped with rice flour and steamed. The sweet sugar is nicely balanced with the less sweet rice cake. It is eaten with shredded coconut pulp and a bit of salt.
Jan loved it.
Just next to the putu piring stall was the mee goreng stall which serves Indian style spicy fried noodles.
Jan was fascinated by the pungent aroma and incessant clanging of the wok from the stall. We ordered a plate of mee goreng to taste and fortunately, it was not as spicy as it's fiery looks.
Jan enjoyed the slightly caramelised fried yellow noodles with robust savouriness and slight spiciness from the mix of spices.
Next, we went to a claypot chicken rice restaurant in Geylang. Claypot rice is a dish brought to Singapore by Cantonese people from China over a century ago.
Jan was intrigued how the chef control the fire in the charcoal stoves. The rice has interesting layers of savouriness from the Cantonese style sausages, salted fish, braised pork belly, marinated chicken and the blended sauce.
To me, the best part of claypot chicken rice is the mix of textures. The fluffy tender rice and the crispy caramelised slightly browned rice. The chef here was very skillful as none of the rice was charred.
Next, I took Jan for a quick tour of the popular Old Airport Road food centre. Jan was impressed with the variety of food stalls here at the sprawling hawker centre.
The satay stall caught Jan's eye. We tasted pork and chicken satay. Jan loved the peanutty and mildly spicy dip. He also enjoyed the ketuput (boiled rice cakes wrapped in coconut leaves).
Of course, I can't let Jan go back to Germany without tasting Singapore chili crab.
For this we went to Keng Eng Kee restaurant in Bukit Merah. Chef Wayne fully held Jan's attention - he was captivated by Wayne's mastery of the wok and control of the flame. All these translated into a large plate of juicy sweet crab meat (with shell) blanketed in a delicious thick gravy with savoury spicy flavours and subtle sweet notes.
I am grateful for this opportunity to show overseas guests Singapore food culture, especially our unique hawker scene.
I am proud and happy that Jan appreciated the experience and enjoyed our food as much as we do.
My post on Traditional Putu Piring <- click
My post on Geylang Claypot Rice <- click
Jan's article in German GEO magazine on his Singapore food tour <- click
Date visited: 20 Apr 2015
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