April 26, 2008
Orchard Road, Singapore
Orchard Road in Singapore is known for its shopping and nightlife. A place where young and old can go to walk around and relax after a long competitive work day. But unspoken of is the underbelly of the glamor that is Orchard Road. Prostitution. I know that it is illegal in Singapore but everytime I stay at Orchard Parade Hotel, I would always try to walk around Orchard Road like the nosy camera-wielding tourist that I am and see hordes of night-walkers picking up prospective "clients". This was very a good sign for me though, not because I was horny or needed some "company" but because where the prostitutes are, you are almost sure that good food is also near by.
The street vendors in Singapore had been allocated to its outskirts and with regards to the main tourist areas, inside small malls and high-rise residences in the city. The Orchard Towers housed this specific streetfood canteen. Inside, you see all kinds of people: from the gamers taking a break from the internet cafe next door to the male/female prostitutes getting a heavy dinner, preparing for "work". I think the cheap food yet good food brought in this type of crowd. Singapore has been known for the city's cleanliness and the same case goes with their streetfood canteens. You know that it is streetfood but it gives you a sense of abdominal security. Maybe the same abdominal security blanket that you get from eating in an expensive hotel.
Eating at this canteen/diner, I always get the Fishball Noodle Soup and Lamb Curry With Roti. They have a wide variety of Asian fusion, Chinese, and Indian stalls which was a perfect blend of cuisines for the Singaporean palette. Tourists love it also as you can see a lot of Caucasians and European eating at the eatery. And like I've said a thousand of times, when there are a bunch of Filipinos eating, it must be very affordable!
The fishball noodles was very famous in Singapore. It is as normal as any other noodle soup would go. Soggy noodles blanched in an MSG-ridden bath of soup garnished with veggies and the soup itself. Now the protein is the one that makes the dish, the fishballs. I really didn't care much about the noodles since it was, as expected, soggy and old. You know this when the texture of the noodles is not glutenous anymore, real good noodles have a bite to them. For me, you should be able to chew the noodles. The noodles that I had was at the opposite side of the spectrum. If I were in Hong Kong, I would EXPECT the noodles to be good but since I was nowhere near Hong Kong, I turned my attention to the fishballs. The fishballs in Singapore is very good. The lack of bite and gluten in the noodles were all compensated with the bouncy/rubbery quality of the fishball. It had a good bite to it and the ball literally fought with your jaw-bite. The texture was very very good. The flavor was also great. It wasn't fishy nor salty. The taste was just right.
Now that I had soup, onwards I go to the meat of the matter, the Lamb Curry With Roti. I always order this dish whenever I'm eating Indian cuisine and I love it. Lamb curry is probably the best curry there is and of course you can't have curry without Roti Prata. I love its authentic curry taste and its spiciness. It was not too hot and spicy but just right for the my taste. Wasn't a fan of the Roti though since it was not freshly made. Same problem with the noodles.
We had a good first dinner in our trip and I thought we'd never find an equally better dinner. Little did I know that our LAST dinner in Singapore would far more exceed this one...