Thursday, March 18, 2010

Singapore hawker food

In 2007 I read an article in the New Yorker about Singapore hawker stands by Calvin Trillin. I ripped it out and added it to a pile of clippings that I wanted to know more about. (One of my other favorites was one about booking flights on Ryanair without knowing what country the destination was in.)

In 2007 I hadn't ever been to Asia, although by that time, because I was living in Ireland, I think I had an inkling that it was possible. Before my first big move, I thought transatlantic travel was something that would (almost) always be out of my reach. And Asia was even further.

But I clipped that article in 2007, and when I finally quit my job to go travelling, I stuck it in a notebook to re-read on the plane. Eating hawker food in Singapore felt like a real accomplishment. I was making my clippings collection a reality. By the time I got to Singapore, I was well ready to get down to the business of eating.

Singaporean food is a delicious combination of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian food. You can find dishes of all of these cultures, but also dishes that are local to Singapore that combine elements of these cuisines. The only problem is that once I got there, Singapore was so hot that it put a damper on my usually rather impressive appetite. Unfortunately, it also left me unable to take any decent pictures of what I ate, but here's what I got:

A beer hawker.

Jenn ordered satay.

The bang of fish paste off this laksa was intense--really intense. Once my tastebuds adjusted, though, it was delicious. But after I was done it because disgusting again, and I had to get the bowl away from me as quickly as possible.

My last meal before boarding the bus for Malaysia: wantan mee at the Lavender Street food center.

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