Friday, April 23, 2010

Nothing Would Be More Tiresome Than...

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.

Hey all,

This quote by Voltaire sums up my feelings about food quite well. I love to eat and when it's excellent food I figure that's a slice of heaven. One of Jonathon's and my favorite activities is trying new foods and new restaurants, and Singapore is a gastronomic's delight!

There are more restaurants, food courts, food stalls and vendors in this city than I think in the whole of Florida together! And that's a lot!!!! And unlike westerners, they don't spread them all apart. All of their restaurants are set up like what you'd see in a mall food court. Each type are all together in one place to make it easier on the consumer to check out all the competition.

And what a competition it is. As you walk down the street they have people standing outside and they all shout at you to come in. If you make eye contact, you're a goner. They'll chase you down and herd you back in. It's crazy.

There is one area just off the Marina district, Jonathon and I call Vendor Row. It starts at the river and ends at the statue of the big golden pigeon. (Don't ask why they have a statue of a big golden pigeon. I don't know why. But it is done in great detail down to the puckered anus under the tail feathers. Appropriate I guess...being a pigeon and all. LOL)

Anyway, the first time we walked down this little street I wasn't sure we'd make it out alive. We were attacked...literally. Menus pushed in our faces, little Chinese gals taking our arms and trying to push us inside. I felt like I was in some bad movie running the gauntlet and I wasn't sure if the torture would ever end!!!!

We finally pushed our way out, but I made Jon promise never to make me do it again! I don't do well in crowds on a good day, but this type of thing drives me nuts. Too bad too. There were several restaurants I'd have been interested in trying if they hadn't been such a hard sell.

But we have found some great ones. And for those here in Singapore as well as those around the world, if you ever have a chance to visit these places, tuck your napkin in deep. You may never want to leave!!!

First off, let me introduce you to my two favorite places to eat Chinese food. One,is in Food Row in Chinatown, the next on the famous Orchard Blvd. Two very different places, but both with the best food of their kind I've found around!

Here is food row in Chinatown. In this pic it's pretty quiet. I took it during the day. But at night, things start jumping and during the Chinese New Year? You couldn't even walk down the street. But as you can see, vendors line the side and the tables are right out in the middle of the street. It's a great place to people watch and I adore the ambiance of the area.
This place is my overall favorite. Not just because of the delicious food--they make the best seafood rice on the planet--but you haven't really lived right until you order at one of the carts and then they either shout at you when it's done or bring it out to you where you sit. And woe to you if you don't finish your plate. One of the people who pick up the tables is this cute little old dude. One night Jonathon ordered something a little too hot and couldn't finish it. Boy, did that elderly man look disappointed. He just shook his head and sighed over him. LOL We were very careful to clean our plates after that. And now each time he sees me coming, he cleans off a table and pats his tummy and just grins! I love it!

The second food stand is in an underground food court below a myriad of Orchard shops. It has many choices, but when Jonathon first arrived he tried the Hong Kong noodles they make and loved them. Since then we've tried them all over town and only one has come close. A tiny little stand up in the big food court in Vivo City. But over all...this place is the winner!!!!We've found there is a difference between wet and dry Hong Kong noodles. The wet ones are okay, but it's the dry ones we really love. Doesn't this look scrumptious?

This is another one of our favorites. A Malaysian place located in the famous old Lau Pa Sat Festival Marketplace. It is an outside Satay stand and OMG...it's wonderful. The prices are right and let me tell you, they feed you well. The sauce they make is out of this world good and they even throw in some cut up veggies to balance the meal. Watching them cook over an open fire is part of the fun. I wish I had a pic, but it came out too blurry because it was dark.

And for Indian food, the winner hands down is Khansama's in Little India. This place rocks!!! I am not a curry fan--dislike hot food, but they've won me over with their delicious meals. I promise you, if you love Indian food, this is the place to go and if you aren't sure, let their wonderful wait staff help you put a perfect meal together. That's part of the fun. You'll order something and they'll nod happily, or if it's not quite right they will gently steer you in the direction of what you should order. And they are never wrong.
One of the owners, Rakesh Kumar, came over to ask us if we were enjoying our meal and we wound up talking to him for a good half hour. An interesting, creative man, he's going to get me the recipe for their delicious tamarind sauce. OMG...it's great!!!

I know there may be other great places in Singapore, but these are the ones that we went back to again and again. We are really going to miss the easy access food stands and the fact you can't spit (remember, spitting is illegal in Singapore) without hitting something that has to do with food of some type. We can't wait to sink our teeth into a good steak, but I'll never be able to eat Chinese or Indian again without wishing I was back on the streets of Singapore chowing down with some of my favorite people in the world!!!

I'll be back on Monday with my final post from Singapore. This one will give you a taste of residential hotel living at Frasier Place. Our home away from home!!!

Take care all,

CJ England
http://www.cjengland.com/home/Do%20Me%20A%20Favor100x154.jpg
Follow Your Dreams

6 comments:

Phylis said...

Sounds like you had a great food time! lol Enjoy your next adventure! Me, I'm off to mow the yard. Oh joy! LOL

Ray said...

You're making me jealous. The last time I was in Singapore the only place I had time to eat was at the hotel. I know what you are talking about though. There are some awesome eateries throughout Asia. I had the best Lobster Thermador I've ever had in Hong Kong. That was years ago.

Now that I am retired I hardly ever make it out of the state let alone overseas.

Ray

sjrlive said...

"I'm Starving And There's Nothing Absolutely Wonderful To Eat!!! And It's ALL Your Fault!!!" she yelled with trembling lips, tears in her eyes while rubbing her stomach. The kittens meow [rather they squeak, believe it or not]sympathetically in the background as they gaze steadily into her overflowing eyes.
Heavy sigh, Sniff-Sniff.

Sara J. ~ : - [
{~ ; - ]}

CJ England said...

Phylis, Ray and Sara J:

I am really going to miss the food here. We went to a museum the other day and found out that the food stands came about when all the food hawkers that had existed since before Singapore was a city were herded together and forced to become regulated.

The shouts of come in and eat here are just as they did years ago when they were vying for the military men's trade.

Makes sense now. LOL

CJ

Ray said...

Singapore does like to regulate. I heard they no longer check luggage for chewing gum, but when I went through customs they asked and looked. Before auto flush toilets they would fine people who didn't flush. Anyone who drives downtown duri with a car more than ten years old has to have a special sticker or face a fine.

In 1967, the first year I was in Singapore, the first time I was south of the equator, conditions were much different. Indigents slept on rooftops. There were beggars in the streets. Singapore was a third world country. I definitely not now.

Ray

CJ England said...

Ray,

They still are pretty severe on some things. If you have three of a certain type of ticket, you can get a caning.

And spitting isn't just frowned upon, they will take you to jail and fine you BIG TIME. I've got a magnet that says so. LOL

But it's one of the cleanest cities I've ever been in, so I guess it works.

CJ