“How was your holiday? What did you get up to?” asked anyone I spoke to mid moan about being back.
“Oh, you know, not much, saw some temples, ate too much food, drank far too much – the usual!” was all I could come up with. And thinking back on it now, nearly two weeks since coming back (!), I really can’t pinpoint exactly what I did do. I had an amazing time, simply lovely. Catching up with Mei, seeing her flat, seeing her new life, was fantastic. It made me ever so slightly jealous. But what I keep thinking back to was just how I sort of lurched, gluttonously, from one amazing meal to another.
Growing up in that part of the world has left me with a long-suffering love of Asian food and, in particular, satay. I think I ate my weight in satay three times over during the 10-day stay in Singapore and Malaysia. I just can’t get enough of it. It tastes worlds apart from the peanut butter coated chunks of speared meat they fob us off with over here in the UK. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I landed at 10am Singa time and was immediately sat down for snotty egg and coffee – breakfast Singapore style. Snotty egg being a semi-cooked egg, one which you’d send back if it was proffered in the UK, and the coffee being heavily dosed with Carnation milk. The toast accompanying it was spread with kaya, a sort of coconutty, sweetend butter. Delicious, but I think I was still pretty asleep so no photos were taken.
Over the course of the next 10 days, I revisited many of my old culinary haunts and experienced all new, exciting foody things. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to taken many photos of my lovely food, so you’ll just have to trust me: we had dim sum at Yum Cha, something of a legend in Chinatown; we had chilli crab at Clarke Quay; we had satay, stingray sambal and roti john at Lau Pa Sat hawker’s market; we had steamboat on the harbor front; we had a Singapore Sling in the Raffles Long Bar (and threw our peanut shells on the floor!); we had cocktails in the pool on Pulau Tioman; we had yet more cocktails at Ku Dé Ta on top of the Marina Bay Sands complex; we had yet more satay, stingray and roti at Glutton’s Bay (fittingly on my last night); we had curry in Little India; we had ice-cream in technicolour bread from an uncle at Orchard Road; we ate at all two (one of them twice!) of the hotel restaurants at the Berjaya Resort in Tioman. I don’t think I could actually have eaten any more if I tried!!
Coming back to the UK, I have only just managed to eat noodles again, and I’ve not had rice yet. I love the stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I think it was overkill slightly! Food-wise, you could eat out every night in Singapore, have a different cuisine each time and never, ever get bored. As Mei always tells me, it’s often cheaper to eat out than cook in, so why not? That said, Mei can’t wait to come home, eat potatoes and go to a real pub. She’s coming back for Christmas, so I’m sure she’ll have a similar holiday here doing the rounds of pubs, cafés and Italian eateries. And then I can go back to Singapore next year and do it all over again!