Mick and I recently headed back to Australia to visit friends and family, but more importantly to be part of the wedding celebrations for my sister (Yay! Pip! Yay Danny!). We had a really great time back in Australia, seeing friends, eating delicious lamb, napping in comfy beds, hanging out with Mum’s, spending time at the casino (aka. bowling club), driving in a car, drinking cider and many other things. The wedding was really lovely and romantic, not too many dramas (lets not include the busted floor in the lodge in this email) and great food. Here’s to Pip and Danny having a long and loving marriage <3 /clinks glasses
We were glad to come back to Asia, mostly because the two days before we left, Australia turned on the waterworks and cold southerly winds (thanks, Spring) and also for the cheap food n booze. We booked our flights with a stopover in Singapore so that we could see some friends and also have a day of just wandering about, going to Uniqlo and eating delicious Singaporean food….I’m sensing a food theme here.
Founder Bak Kut Teh (Rangoon Road, Little India)
The first stop of the day was the famous Founder Bak Kut Teh shop. Bak Kut Teh is something I had never heard of before and I am sad I hadn’t. Described on Wikipedia as a Chinese soup that translates as “meat bone tea”. Uhh YUM. It is a simple broth made of pork ribs, herbs such as star anise and loads of garlic that are simmered for hours. The resulting broth is rich and fatty yet light and delicate and addictively delicious. Why had this delicious dish been under my food radar for so long?!
We were directed by Linda to head to Founder Bak Kut Teh, that was located conveniently close to their apartment that comes up in the top 5 lists of bak kut teh restaurants in Singapore. The place apparently serves litres of the soup to visitors and locals and is even a stop off point for many of the tour buses around the city. We rocked into the restaurant around 9am for a hearty breakfast soup for two and had already decided that we would share a bowl rather than indulge in one each (this strategy was devised to maximize food consumption options while in Singapore). The bowl of bak kuh teh with “mixed meat” (rib + meat pieces) came to $9 and we had a serve of rice to share also. Mick mentioned on probably the third spoonful of the soup that he wanted his own but I demanded he resist for other food options later. The highlight was the peppery broth that had just hints of the other herbs and spices so that the pork flavour came through at its fullest. Yum-mo!
After this deliciousness, we needed another liquid to get us going – a kopi!
As Singaporean as chilli crab, this beverage is strong, sweet hot coffee served in a glass. Wikipedia tells me that a kopi tiam is the name of the traditional coffee shops that are dotted throughout Singapore and is where we stopped to have this beauty, somewhere on Racecourse Road.
Brisket King Beef Noodle
Next meal on the list was eaten in the food court in City Square Mall (Farrer Place MRT). We choose a bustling little food stall that was serving up some kind of beef soup to a long line of hungry (and smart) customers. Mick and I always try to choose the busiest food stall, cafe or restaurant when we travel (or even back home) because you know that the line of people must indicate something pretty special. We picked an interesting dish listed as “Beef soup and rice” and watched as the cook plucked out a few pieces of braised brisket layers and chopped them up…oh my! She then ladled a couple of spoons of soup broth over the chopped beef pieces and fresh greens and served it up to us with a steaming bowl of rice. The soup cauldron contained any number of meat items – offal, fatty beef, tripe, bones and who knows what else! The resulting broth was ah-may-zing! That line of customers surely was onto something! Fatty, buttery, meaty and hearty. It was not a light meal at all, rather a rich concoction of flavours and textures; the meat was flakey and chewy, the vegetables were still crisp thanks to the light poaching in the broth and of course the rice was cooked just perfect.
After this second bowl of soup, we thought we should head have another cup of coffee before lunch (yep, we hadn’t even made it to the main event yet! Jewel Cafe and Bar is very close to Founder Bak Kuh Teh and serves up
bowls cups of yummy coffee. They are not cheap by any means (well…maybe if you live and work in Singapore its cheap) but we needed the caffeine hit before we dived into our next meal.
Unfortunately, I struggled to drink my coffee thanks to a lack of space in my liquid-filled tummy and the amount of milk in the bowl was a bit overwhelming. I love dairy as much as the next person, but I do have limitations on the amount of liquid dairy I can drink…cheese on the other hand..HELLO!
Pek Kio Hawker Centre
Located in what seemed to be a residential area, this hawker centre isn’t one of the most well known, but it sure had some yummy food!
We sampled a range of dishes including Chee Cheong (flat steamed rice noodles) that came with a mildly spicy soy- style sauce.
Hor Fun – a thick noodley dish with a sauce that reminded me of rad na, except the thai version doesn’t include egg in the gravy sauce stuff.
Crispy chicken served with chicken rice. This was served at a popular Haianese chicken rice but on recommendation from Linda, she said that the crispy chicken was a better option and it did not disappoint!
The final dish we had was Hae Mee which is a seafood noodle dish served with a mild chilli paste and a wedge of lime.
By the end of the last feast we were as full as could be. Every little space in our bellies was taken up by some food or another. We were done like a dinner… But we still managed to buy some snacks to bring back to Phnom Penh of course!