My darling cousin’s back from Perth. I am always on cloud nine when she’s back, because I miss her so. I must have worn her out with all my jabbering today.
Anyway she was craving for Hokkien Mee. She takes a particular fancy to the one at Food Opera. This food court is at ION, which is yet another Singapore mall in the Orchard Road shopping district. It’s beaten VivoCity to be her current favourite Singapore hang out at when she’s home. It’s connected to the Orchard MRT (mass rapid train system) through an underground link and you don’t have to break a sweat by walking out in the blazing sun. You’re protected from the sudden and frequent downpours too. Yes, I know it’s sad. In Singapore the main things we do is eat and window shop. It used to be eat and shop but we’re broke from the recession.
The Food Opera is an upscale version of a hawker centre with chandeliers and statues of animals. For my international friends who have no concept of what a hawker centre is I feel I need to go into detail a bit. In an actual hawker centre there is no air-conditioning, usually plastic chairs and tables. The hawkers each rent their individual stalls and they don’t wear uniforms or aprons. A hawker centre is hot and crowded with no place to park, but that’s usually where you can find the best food in Singapore. Singaporeans usually travel long distances and risk parking fines of $50 Singapore dollars (there is usually no choice but to park illegally) just to have their craving for the day.
Hokkien Mee is Noodles fried in prawn stock and pork lard and can be a whopping 800 calories.
I had Nasi Padang instead, which is Malay steamed rice with a choice of curries from the outlet called Padang Padang. It was pretty good and the curries are sweet with a strong element of coconut. You can choose your dishes (as many as you want) which they pour over the steamed rice. I picked cabbage, tofu and a fried egg. The egg was nice and runny on the inside, the way I like it. This is pretty unhealthy too and is probably about 700 calories. As you’ve noticed, hawker fare is all about taste and we don’t really pay much attention to the presentation. Food is basically slopped onto a plate and as long as it tastes yummy that’s all that counts. As a Singaporean (one of our traits is we live to eat cos there’s nothing much else to do on a tiny island), I’d rather have orgasmically good food that’s a mess to look at rather than beautiful presentation and so-so taste.
Anyway our starch rich Asian meals make you feel so full, you’ll probably want to skip dinner. But not us. No siree! We went on to have ice cream.