Singapore is my birthplace, so it's with not an ounce of bias that I say it's one of the most boring places on the face of the planet: the shopping is overpriced and generic (Chanel across the street from Chanel!), the heat and humidity are unbearable, and everything is intolerably clean and hygienic. But it's also with not an ounce of bias when I say that it's probably got the best food on earth.
|Chendol Ice at Blue Ginger Restaurant|
|Toa Payoh Rojak at Old Airport Rd. Food Centre|
Singapore's food culture is so rich because it is influenced by European, Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, and Indian cuisines. Singaporean food is somehow all of these and yet not any one of them in particular. It's each of these cuisines amped up: more spicy, more savory, more unami, more sweet, and more delicious.
|Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Road Food Centre|
I had two gastronomic goals for this trip: (1) eat only "classic" dishes, the ones of my youth, the ones that my mom will not stop talking about, and (2) attempt to find the best -- the most "authentic," flavorful, famous, well-tested . . . however one wants to define "best" -- of each type of dish. We definitely succeeded in the first. And I'm fairly sure we came close to achieving the second. Either that or even the not-so-great in Singapore is pretty fantastic.
|Fried Banana Fritters with Kaya Fondue at Makansutra Gluttons Bay|
Precisely because there's so little to do in Singapore, my family and I spent literally all day, every day eating. We could barely start one meal without thinking about where we were going to eat next. We're talking at least five meals a day -- so much food that I could scarcely fit into my clothes after three days of exhausting and happy gluttony.
|Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wonton Mee at Old Airport Road Food Centre|