Thursday, October 18, 2012

Food in Singapore 3: A tale of three meals


Lunch fried kway theo

Citrus chicken with rice

Chicken tikka, sauce, naan bread, spinach and potato
Staying in a hotel means you have to eat three meals out a day and that can be an expensive proposition but in Singapore, with its wonderful array of hawker centres and low-cost restaurants and their cheap and cheerful menus, that problem vanishes. Today, the combined bill for our combined three meals--breakfast, lunch and dinner for two, each including drinks(fresh juices, or tea, coffee)plus two drinks at afternoon tea, reached the unprincely sum of $35 in Singapore dollars, which translates to about $28 Australian! And it was all really good too. Incidentally I love the juices here, especially rediscovering the joys of fresh sugar-cane juice with lemon and ice which is just the best thing ever on a hot muggy Singapore day. And just the thing to counteract the fiery chicken tikka we had tonight!
So, here's the menus:
Breakfast: In the famous Singapore Zam-Zam restaurant, an Indian Muslim eatery which is a century old! Very unpretentious, delicious food, fast service! We had pratas--which in Australia are called rotis, after the Urdu/Hindi word for bread, but here are called pratas, or roti pratas, 'prata' meaning flat, for these of course are the lovely griddle-fried pancake style breads. Two with egg filling, one with egg and onion. Teamed with a sweet black coffee for David, a tall glass of icy lime juice for me. Yum!
Thus fortified we had a long walk around town, to the quays and then to Chinatown where we had lunch in the Smith St Hawker Centre. Great place full of the kinds of food stalls you'd expect in this part of town--mainly Chinese with some Malay/Indonesian, and a sprinkling of Indian--and quite pleasant to sit in as there was a . good breeze from the fans! For a change I had some vegetarian food--a plate of fried kway theo(flat noodles)with bean sprouts and cabbage, all cooked under my very eyes, and for David citrus chicken with rice and soup. The whole washed down with tall glasses of fresh sugarcane juice with lemon. My dish was particularly good and tasty; the citrus chicken was nice enough but a little lacking in distinction.
Afternoon tea consisted of smoky cold Taiwan black tea for David and passionfruit juice with pearl jelly for me. Very refreshing!
Much later, close to 8.30, we had dinner in Little India district, not all that far from where we're staying. We had it in the very hot but cheerful Tekka Centre whose stalls were mainly Indian, including several Muslim ones, and a sprinkling of Chinese and Malay too. We shared plates of chicken tandoori, chicken tikka, spinach and potato, and freshly-made naan bread. It was all delicious though the chicken tikka was a very hot little number! Really nice people at the stall too, chatty and kind. This was all washed down with more sugar cane juice, and ended with two gorgeous burfis, Indian sweets made of sweet  milk,one with pistachios, the other with cardamon. And after that, we waddled on down the road oohing and aahing over  the amazing goldsmiths and sari shops along the road, under the sparkling Deepavali decorations strung along the street.

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