Eating in Singapore
I’m going to take a break from my political rantings here and, instead write the first, but not the last, article on Singapore. I think it appropriate to start with my impressions of the local food.
Singapore is known for its wonderful cuisine. I have fallen in love with it. Eating is an art here and there are restaurants, coffee shops and hawker centers absolutely everywhere. One could never hope to try them all in a lifetime.
There are restaurants that are very much like those in the west. Often they are in the hotels or shopping malls and many are franchises of western chains. You will see Tony Roma’s, Sizzler, Kenny Rogers, etc. not to mention the fast food joints like Macs, Burger King, KFC and even a new Carl’s Jr.s. But these are expensive. The real food is found in the hawker centers and coffee shops. A hawker center is usually an open, covered food court with several food booths selling different specialties. There may be as many as 50 or more booths to a single hawker center. Here you will find different Chinese dishes, Malay food, Indonesian food, Thai food, etc.
The prices for a typical lunch is 3 dollars sing…about $2.00 US. I love the Laksa, which is a Chinese dish of noodles along with any number of other ingredients such as breaded eggs, tofu, vege’s, meats or fish all in a very spicy thin gravy. I love trying new Laksa places. Various noodle dishes are popular from beef noodles, Bee Hoon, fat noodles, thin noodles, flat or round, yellow or white. Mmm..love them all. I am also partial to Briyani, which is a Malay rice dish with gravy and either mutton or chicken. Beef is not eaten much here because it is expensive. Most of the beef comes from Australia and is very tough because it has little or no fat content. More popular is mutton. I have grown to love it. Very often, a hawker center will be part of a larger food market where you can buy fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, fowl etc.
Coffee shops are much like hawker centers but on a smaller scale. They too have a variety of food booths but maybe only 4 to 6. You will see people eating, drinking coffee and chatting at these ourdoor eateries any time of the night or day. They are usually very clean with electric fans all around to control the heat and any flying insects (there are very few).
At home I usually just have coffee and a roll for breakfast. A typical dinner will include homemade soup, rice, vegetables, a fish, chicken and perhaps tofu. I have that almost every nite. Maybe this is why I have dropped 40 lbs since I moved to Singapore.