On our last trip to Singapore I went on a hunt for the best laksa in town. While Katong laksa came up top, there was another place that piqued my curiosity. It had good laksa, of course, but the fruit juice mee siam was the other interesting item on the menu which I absolutely had to try.
My mom, Oggie and I found ourselves walking in the direction of Chinatown yet again. This time though we were looking for a hawker stall in the Hong Lim Food Centre by the name Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa.
Considering this stall finds a mention in the Michelin guide I naively imagined there being signs guiding visitors to the stall. But there was no such thing. The people I asked for directions to get to the stall hadn’t even heard of it. An older gentleman, in an attempt to help out an obvious tourist, told me that I’ll find some of the best Laksa in building – no need to go anywhere else. I did manage to find the stall though. I would have probably found it sooner had I cared to read the address carefully!
The stall is operated by Daniel and Susan Choo, a charming couple who take great pride in their food. I ordered large portions of Laksa and the fruit juice mee siam which cost 10 SGD in total. While they prepared my order we chatted about their trip to Amsterdam many years ago and how much they had enjoyed the boat rides in the canals.What sets Daniel Choo’s laksa apart is the broth. He manages to keep it light without compromising on the flavor. The coconutty broth together with the rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, tofu puffs and cockles make the laksa a wholesome meal.
The star of this story is the fruit juice mee siam – a dish that comprises thin rice noodles, bean sprouts, omelette, chicken, hard-boiled eggs all swimming in a fragrant, sweet and sour broth. Though the broth traditionally contains tamarind water Mr. Choo uses a secret blend of fruit juices which results in a sweet and sour broth packed with flavour and lingering floral notes which I bet comes from the addition of lychee juice.We ate our packed lunch in the Hong Lim Park across from the market and it’s definitely one of the most memorable meals I had in Singapore!
I didn’t go to Singapore expecting to eat biryani. Firstly because there are so many other things to eat and secondly because I try to stick to the local cuisine when I’m travelling. This ‘rule’, if you can call it that, has been proven to be a stupid one on multiple occasions. The most notable being eating at a Chinese restaurant in Oslo – that made me re-evaluate quite a few notions I had about what to eat where.
Coming back to biryani, we ended up choosing Bismillah Biryani because the place I originally wanted to eat at was closed and Bismillah Biryani was within walking distance and had good reviews.
It’s not a fancy restaurant by any stretch of the imagination but it’s clean and the decor fuctional. It reminded me more of a canteen. They have limited items on the menu (and by limited I mean you can’t even get white rice if you want it) and we had the mutton dum biryani, haleem and raita. We sipped on mango lassi while we waited for our food to arrive and we didn’t have to wait long. The biryani was very spicy – so spicy that I thought my mouth was on fire. But it was so tasty that I kept eating and after a few mouthfuls the high heat levels didn’t bother me that much. The rice was flavourful and the meat succulent and just fell off the bone. The raita which normally isn’t fiery at all and offers respite from the heat was spicy too, so that was relegated to a side and we didn’t look at it again.
It was also the first time I ate haleem and absolutely loved it. I promptly mixed some of the haleem and biryani at the start and ate it and really liked the combination. Some time later the owner walked up to our table and said, “No matter what you do please don’t mix the haleem and biryani”. Oopsie. So I followed his advice and I must agree the haleem and biryani had on their own taste much better than mixed together.
I also wanted to try the nihari but unfortunately I’m human and not a cow so I have just one stomach and not four.
I did manage to make some space for kulfi. It had the flavour but was a low-fat, watered down version of the original.
Last time we visited Singapore Kaya toast was my breakfast of choice. Bread and I are no longer on good terms so I had to look for other options. This is what I happily ate every single day while we were in Singapore – two soft boiled eggs with soya sauce and pepper.
I didn’t think of combining the eggs with soya sauce until I asked the ladies at the adjacent table what they were eating and one of them came over and poured sauce and sprinkled pepper over the boiled eggs while the other warned her to go easy on the pepper.
It turned out to be a great combination. I love eggs in any form but the addition of soya sauce elevates it to a different level. I loved it even more because the combination seemed strange and I didn’t expect to like it but I did. A LOT!
This gives me hope that even when I’m old and toothless I can enjoy a good meal.And the ginger tea which I miss everyday day now that I’m back, was perfect on all counts. It had the right colour, was as strong as I like milk tea to be and the flavor of ginger was just right – doesn’t knock you out but definitely makes it’s presence felt. All in all a great breakfast.
Coffee and I share a love-hate relationship. I love coffee and it hates me. Couldn’t resist taking a few swigs of this one and absolutely loved it.
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle
Went there, ate that, gluten intolerance be damned!!! #outandaboutwithoggie
First off credit where it’s due: Rosa plans all our trips and I usually just go along. It’s an adventure not having a clue as to what you’re doing next. Also I’m lazy. That being said, this was very different from the city trips we usually do. We always travel by public transport and in Europe at least that’s not much of a problem for us. We’ve seen quite a few countries this way and none of us is really a car person, although truth be told: I’m lazy. Annnnnyyyhooo…
We spent the first night in Basel. Getting from the airport to the city is really easy, with a bus running every 7 minutes (we landed on a Wednesday morning). The city itself seemed rather staid to us. Fun fact: Basel is located at the borders of Switzerland, France and Germany and the city has suburbs that extend into these countries.
The São Bento station’s delicately painted blue tiles depicted scenes from Portugal’s history. As we walked ahead, sombre stone buildings glistened in the light of dusk like grumpy old men judging my actions. And I felt guilty. Guilty of not expecting more, guilty of not doing my homework before the trip. I avoided their gaze as we walked from the station to our hotel through the historic centre of the city of Porto that has been around since the fourth century. I knew then that this visit was going to be about more than just port wine.