20 Surprising Things About Me and Food in Singapore

Foodies who are passionate about our local hawker food, please don’t be offended, but I don’t like many popular Singapore food items. Please be assured that to make up for this, there is lots more that I do love. I will just focus more on my surprising dislikes for today.

1. I don’t quite like chicken rice which my family members love. There is a story behind this. When I was in school, there were very few food stalls in the canteen and I ended up eating crappy chicken rice almost every day. To this day, even if it’s the best one from Boon Tong Kee, I’d always rather eat something else. My cousin is the same way with fried rice. He was fed that by his babysitter daily and now he hates it with a passion.

2. I love char siew as in char siew pao and pork ribs. I also love the peppery pork rib soup called bak kut teh, but I hate boiled pork or any meat that’s pale in colour.

3. I love fried chicken and peking duck wrapped in crepe, but I hate the skin of boiled chicken and will only eat breast meat. I hate the taste of fat too, unless it is already within the food. I don’t like lard or the lumpy fat under the skin of the chicken. I think it’s the slimy texture that grosses me out.

4. I don’t seafood like oysters or clams, also due to the slimy texture. When I order Char Kway Teow, I always say “Mai Hum”. When I was at a conference with my boss he made me pile my plate with oysters so that he could pick them off me. He didn’t want to come off as greedy.

5. I hate boiled liver in my noodles. Or any kind of organs for that matter, no matter how it’s prepared. It’s no wonder that I used to have an iron deficiency.

6. Please no bean sprouts or bamboo in my ramen.

7. I have never tried Soup Tulang. It looks too bloody, messy and kinda gross.

8. I prefer the original simple Malay style mee goreng that I used to be able to get at the school canteen. Now the Indian Style predominates, with too much colouring added.

9. I don’t quite care for Nasi Lemak or Otak, as it make me feel bloated with all that coconut.

10. Any kind of meat that is not thoroughly cooked and looks raw or has blood on it. I like my meat closer to charred.

11. Yong Tau Foo. Doctors say this is the healthiest hawker dish if you don’t add too much sauce, but to me it’s just bland.

12. Steam boat or anyplace where you need to cook your own food at the table. You end up smelling of smoke and stale meat.

13. I love real durian, but I hate products of durian, like durian ice cream, durian cake or puffs. The only exception is durian roll cake or what I call dodol which comes in a tubular shape.

14. Don’t quite care for melted peanut butter toast or kaya toast. It feels too ‘heaty’ to me. I don’t know how else to put it. By ‘heaty’ I mean it’s too rich and I feel like I will get a sore throat from it.

Dessert items you can find here:

15. I hate mousse. It must be the texture again.

16. I hate the rich chocolate butter cakes you find in Singapore that doesn’t taste like real chocolate cake at all. They give me a sore throat. I prefer sponge cakes or Sara Lee Chocolate Fudge cake any day.

Acquired Tastes:

17. I used to hate soft boiled eggs as a child, but I learnt to love them.

18. I did not dare eat Japanese food after a food poisoning incident, but now I can’t get enough of the cooked stuff like maki, ramen, udon, omu rice and katsu don.

19. Since Japanese food is so popular in Singapore I’d like to add that I love Wasabi (horse radish), which my partner and a lot of people I know can’t take. They hate the way it goes up the nostrils when you take too much, but I just love it. I think it cured me of my sinus problem.

20. I did not start eating murtabak (layered prata with meat within) or prata until my twenties. I still don’t quite care for murtabak or stale Indian curry.

I would love to hear about what food in Singapore you hate. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended as most foods are an acquired taste and sometimes it never quite sits well with you no matter how hard you try.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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6 Responses to 20 Surprising Things About Me and Food in Singapore

  1. Maria says:

    It actually IS surprising. Lots of what you’ve discussed I don’t like either (murtabak, for example, although I love roti prata), but I didn’t grow up eating these dishes. And I agree with you totally about steam boat. I once had dinner at a place in Boat Quay called Hot Stones, and I was really annoyed to find I had to cook my own meat. If I’d wanted to cook, I could’ve stayed at home and saved myself some money!

    • bookjunkie says:

      I am glad we have similar tastes. Most Asians can’t live without rice or noodles but I just can’t live without bread. I love burgers and sandwiches. Although if I didn’t have noodles or spicy Asian food or 2 weeks I would start to crave it. I need my spice for sure – especially chilli sauce which is hard to get sometimes. I know it’s all chemicals and stuff but I think I must be addicted to the sweet spiciness.

      At first I was excited about the novelty of Hot Stones, but it soon lost it’s appeal.

  2. gowiththeebb says:

    Not that I’m Singaporean, but I agree with most everything on your list (except maybe #14). I definitely agree with #1 – as someone studying food in Singapore I thought I might get ostracized for admitting it!

  3. kirsten says:

    I also “mai hum” all my food (although unlike our Prime Minister, I don’t “mee siam mai hum” ‘cos I already know there is NO HUM IN MEE SIAM). And I don’t eat liver either!

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