Monday, March 5, 2007

Singapore, Day 2, part 1 (Chinatown)

So after the first ice hockey game of the day, I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon wandering around and eating my way through Chinatown.

First stop: Chinese pork jerky! I haven't had this in a while and this was very fresh. You could still smell the smoke/char on the meat. It was so good! ^^

Besides the sliced pork (jerky), you can also get pork "floss"! Most foreigners probably do not know about pork floss, but it's basically dried, shredded pork that looks sort of like brown carpet fuzz. My mom used to make butter and ro\ song (the Mandarin name for pork floss) sandwiches for me when I was a kid. It sounds weird, but they were tasty.

The bin in the top right contains dried sea horses! I didn't buy any of these. I'm not sure if it's for food or for medicinal purposes.

For breakfast, I eventually settled on a dim sum restaurant. This was really nice sitting on a sidewalk patio eating dim sum in warm weather. What a great way to have brunch! Anyhow, I ordered plenty of dishes even though I was eating on my own, and just trusted in my stomach capacity. Starting with the fuzzy things in the top-right corner and going clockwise: (1) prawn and banana in dragon beard, (2) prawn and mushroom dumpling, (3) yam/taro cake, (4 - skipping the plate) chives and something dumpling, (5 - slightly obscured) baked BBQ pork pie, (6) free peanuts, and (7) carrot cake (obviously nothing to do with the desert that you would normally think of if anyone said "carrot cake" to you).

And there was one more late arrival: cuttlefish balls on soft tofu. In the end everything was very tasty. I left the restaurant as a very content man. And the whole thing only cost $18.80SGD ($12.27USD)! Total bargain for the quantity that I ate.

After that, I wandered over and found another food court/food stall place. Some of the stalls were not yet open (it was before lunch time on a weekday afterall).

I think this stall is sort of like a do-it-yourself hot-pot station. You grab a bowl and a pair of tongs, and just grab whatever you want. You hand it to the person working in the back, they cook your selection in hot broth and add noodles. Since I just had too much dim sum, I skipped this, but I would have loved to have tried it.

This was kind of creepy looking. I'm not sure if they sell these, or if these are just for show to indicate that their meat is all freshly harvested. If you can't tell, it's a bunch of chicken heads plus their spines, but nothing else.

Various fresh baked Chinese pastries.

Freshly made yo/ tiao/ (literally "oil sticks", but sometimes called Chinese doughnuts). Really good with a fresh bowl of hot soy milk. I didn't get any because I was still feeling pretty full and a stick full of oil probably would have caused me some pain. However in retrospect, I'm regretting not having had one. They looked so good!

This is just a menu outside of a congee (xi fan\ or rice porridge) stall. I took a picture of this because if you check out the zoomed in version, you can actually see that "frog congee" is listed there! Weird!

I did have some room for something to drink, and it was so hot out I needed something cold anyway. So I got some fresh squeezed sugar cane juice.

Just a silly display with sugar cane and a green coconut sitting on top.

Sugar cane going into the machine. (I started taking pictures from outside of the stall, but the guy invited me inside where I'd be able to get a better shot of what was going on. That was very nice of him.)

Sugar cane coming out of the machine. They actually pass the sugar cane through a couple of times to extract as much juice as possible.

The juice pouring out.

And, voi la! Fresh, cold, sweet sugar cane juice. After that, it was off to ice hockey game number two. More food to follow after the game.


Hsien-Hsin Sean said...

Those creepy chicken heads (or duck head?) will not be so creepy once you deep fry them. The deep fried duck heads (I am talking about really deep till the color turns smokey black, and it's more like neck+head without the beak) reminds me of those delicious, crispy midnight snack during my spoiled college years.

Gabe said...

Thanks for the explanation. No one was ordering any of them at the time so I had no idea what it was. Taipei is supposed to have some incredible street food.

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