Friday, October 19, 2012

Food in Singapore 4: Hainanese chicken and Indonesian chicken

Hainanese chicken
Ikan penyet

Fried carrot cake
Chicken predominated on my menu yesterday here in Singapore, apart from at breakfast, where a delicious mushroom prata and tall glass of lime juice in the 24-hour Indian stall across the road from the hotel set me up for the day's tramping around the city(David chose a cheese and onion prata.)After walking the length of Orchard Rd and catching a bus to the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, where we had to shelter in a shop near the orchid garden for ages due to a tropical thunderstorm, with very impressive crashing of thunder and livid lightning as well as sheets of rain, we headed back to Orchard Rd and plunged into the cool of Ion Orchard, one of the many malls which line this street. There we found Food Opera, a rather swish version of a hawker centre, and shared a signature Singapore dish--Hainanese chicken rice. It's very simple indeed and very pleasing indeed too! It consists of chicken boiled in a special stock--sometimes chicken and pork, with sometimes just chicken, flvoured with garlic and onion, and the stock is boiled again and again to bring out its full flavour before the whole chicken is cooked in it-- with the accompanying rice also cooked, either in same stock or a separate chicken stock, depending on the cook. Ours came with side dishes of crunchy bean shoots and soup. it was all very satisfying and finely-flavoured and despite the fact we had it in an upmarket place, wasn't expensive at all: 13 Singapore dollars(about $10 Australian).
That evening, at the Lau Pa Sat Festival markets, one of the oldest in the city, in honour of the country of my birth, we chose an Indonesian food stall and I had more chicken--ayam penyet, or 'smashed crispy fried chicken', as it was translated, with accompanying omelette, soup and rice. And of course a hot sambal sauce!  It was tasty enough but a little dry, bearing signs of having been cooked a fair while ago, and I rather wished I'd instead chosen David's dish, ikan penyet, which was fried fish, a flat fish crispily fried and flavoured with soya sauce, absolutely delicious despite its many bones--even the fins were crunchy and tasty.
As well, we had another signature Singaporean dish--fried carrot cake, which rather ironically is neither a cake nor has any carrot near it, but is a kind of crispy omelette stuffed with white radish! It was very nice, piping hot and tasty--bought it at a stall run by some real old timers with brusque manners who looked like they'd been at the market for quite a long time!

1 comment:

  1. This looks so delicious. I so love foods in Singapore, it is so yummy and it fits to my hungry stomach. thanks for this. It me more hungry. Singapore also is a very nice place to visit.

    Singapore Tour Packages