Just one of the locals

Eating where the locals eat I was asked by a fellow walking by where am I from so politely I said I live here but I haven’t been to this location. He confirmed the dish I was eating was the best chicken biryani in Singapore. I have to say I agree until I find otherwise. I get why he asked where I was from and to paint the picture for you… imagine a kopitiam (coffee shop which is a local eatery) filled with people of Chinese, Indian, Malay and other ethnicities; there is me…wearing a baseball hat and ready to go Thai grocery shopping. That’s what makes this country pretty damn awesome. I can go anywhere and feel like I “fit in.”

But wait, let me tell you the best part of this story. The nice stranger comes back and offers me a piece of crispy bread, I forget the name. He said “it goes very nice with the curry.” My heart melted. I have come across the nicest locals since moving here four months ago. 

Link to the kopitiam’s location:

花生湯元

15 Beach Rd, Singapore 190015

https://goo.gl/maps/XXjEkEUQmav

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Kyushu Pancake Cafe in Novena

Because I love anything Japanese trying out the Kyushu Pancake Cafe in my neighborhood was a no brainer. 

Since it was my first time here I ordered the original Kyushu pancakes. Nicely presented as you would expect from the Japanese people, the pancakes themselves are satisfying. They are made with 7 different grains and even though the portion is small it was hardy. 

I am compelled to comment on the decor as I loved the simplicity of it with a splash of color. I had to ask about the green chairs as I want one or two. They are from a local shop called Comfort Design and I foresee a trip in my future…

Links to cafe and furniture shop:
http://www.kyushu-pancake.sg/

http://www.homeanddecor.com.sg/portfolios/813-comfort-design

Osmanthus Jelly with Black Pearl

First time trying this heavenly ice dessert from the ice shop at ION Orchard. And I’m in love and I don’t say that lightly. It is so refreshing, perfect on a hot day. And when isn’t it a hot day in Singapore?! Exactly! It means I should have it everyday. 

This beautiful ice dessert has few of my favorite things, black pearls and lime. Although I am a bigger lemon fan, I think the lime fits in nicely with the herbal notes of the jelly. Speaking of lemons, it seems to be less popular here than in USA. I noted it is quiet expensive in comparison and not as apparent in food items. But there is always tiny little lime (aka kaffir lime)! 

Tiong Bahru Food Centre

Exploring the food market at Tiong Bahru Food Centre.

Came here at 3pm and it was pretty empty as most of the food stalls were closed. I have noticed that a lot of food centre stalls in Singapore close between lunch and dinner (closed from ~3pm and reopen between 5-6:30pm) – lesson learned!

Dishes are not described in great detail (at least for newcomer like me) so I am often left to choose by instinct, a picture of the dish, the name of the dish or some combination thereof – which makes most meals a bit of an adventure.  I ordered a fried spicy Char Kway Teow from stall #02-08…wide flat noodles stir fried with eggs, bacon (I think), bean  sprouts, some greens and clams as well. The noodles were thin, slightly on the salty side and easy to eat. I did find the clams a bit too flavorful for my liking.  As I found out later, the clams are called cockles or see-ham, a local delicacy.

Also tried a dragon fruit juice – beautiful purplish pink color and refreshing, tasted delicate and unsuspectedly cucumber-like.

First day on my own in Singapore…

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I walked to Chinatown today which unfortunately was not as straightforward as I would have liked.  I walked back and forth on the same street trying to figure out the direction where I had to go. I imagine I looked as ridiculous as I felt…I had a phone that was provided by the serviced apartment but it’s older and the service is really slow.  Eventually made it despite my lack of street knowledge and less than helpful phone…My destination: People’s Park Complex, a food court.

For lunch I got the small portion of fried carrot cake for SGD3.00 (US$2.20) from stall #01-1080 which was more than enough for me. How did I find out about it? Embarrassed to say but I literally pointed to a dish on someone’s table, asked what it was and where they got it. When you’re hungry and can’t find the stall you were originally looking for, time for plan B. I got the spicy version of the fried carrot cake and it was fluffy and delicious. I could taste the egg in it and I think the fluffy goodness was radish (yes it was, confirmed later with research). It was garnished with scallions…I love scallions and the abundant use of it in here in Singapore! Hunger is slightly disappearing as I indulge in this delicious dish. If I were to compare this to an American dish, it would be an omelette. I ordered a freshly squeezed carrot and pineapple juice from the next stall (#01-1082) to accompany my meal – set me back all of SGD2.50 (US$1.80). Not bad at all for a refreshing drink!

I also experienced the “tissues on the seat” phenomena which is how locals save their seats (i.e., chope). It’s literally a pocket of tissues, umbrella, business card, etc. on a seat. Amazing!

Originally I came to People’s Park complex to find the Kim Fong stall for their Shanghai rice flour cake.  I did not see the stall and was starving so decided to ask the locals as to what they were having for lunch. And I’m happy I did!