Monday, August 31, 2015

Singapore Eats Part 2

August 20, 2015 - Singapore Eats, Part 2

Bless my coworkers because they took my desire to “eat local” to heart and lunch the next day was even more “local” than the day before. It wasn’t in a mall but was a busy restaurant nearby filled with other locals. They introduced me to “Chicken Rice” which is roast chicken in a light delicious soy-sauce-based sauce, almost like a teriyaki and a cup of rice. Not just any rice but really, really good rice. I don’t eat rice very often but if all rice was like the rice in Chicken Rice, I’d probably have it every day. They told me Chicken Rice is very Singaporean. I applaud them for their good taste. Oh and it isn't "Chicken and Rice" but "Chicken Rice". I know because I was politely corrected when I tried to add the "and" in there, lol.

We also had some kind of pork wrapped in a crispy skin, fried crisp and sliced into rounds from a log. I asked what it was called and they told me but neither my ears nor my tongue can do it justice so I won’t embarrass myself by trying to name it. Just trust me that it was delicious. We also had crispy, lightly bread shrimp. Can’t go wrong with that either. Plus a local dish of noodles, also quite good. My only issue with noodle dishes is they invariably come with bean sprouts. Back in the US, I always request the dishes be made without it but when in Asia, I didn’t want to be that American tourist insisting on how I want things so I just went with the flow, especially since all the dishes are shared and I’m sure my colleagues, unlike me, don’t consider bean sprouts the devil’s toothpicks.

Crispy Fried Shrimp
After work, I wandered back to the underground mall we had gone to for lunch the previous day.
It was the Raffles City Mall. I didn’t spend too much time on the bigger shops; they were just like what was available at home, literally. Instead, I poked around the little eateries and the local grocery store. I love walking the aisles of a grocery store when I travel. It sounds so simple but I like seeing what’s locally available. Sometimes you really have to look because it can be mostly global brands – Oreos, Kit Kats, Hershey bars, and Ritz crackers abound. But sometimes I discover different flavors I only see in other countries like Coconut Oreos and seaweed flavored chips. At least I assume we don’t have them in the US since I don’t shop Asian grocery stores when I’m at home.

I found a different bakery this time and picked out a couple of different bread rolls for dinner that night. It may seem like a humble meal and at less than $5 SGD, I’m not exactly padding the expense report but, hello, Asian bread. I’m there. I was staying in a really nice hotel but the cheapest room service entrée cost more than I spent eating local in a day. So no room service for me. Even if room service had been free, I still would’ve preferred wandering the underground malls and little eateries for sustenance.  That’s how I like to experience a country - through its food.

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