Thursday, March 24, 2011

Singapore - Heaven and Hell

Ever since returning from Singapore, things just don't taste the same. Maybe it's the fact that we spent a whole week gorging ourselves and my tastebuds got burnt out from the flavor explosions I experienced. Maybe it's that the food we have in Seattle is toned down compared to Singapore. Maybe it's just that I am now looking back at my meals, putting them on the highest pedestal, and with time, they will be so legendary in my mind that I will forever be on an elusive quest for a meal that lives up to them. Oh, the drama!

During the week, Kyle and I tried to do some touristy sight-seeing so that we could have a line of defense when his parents inevitably asked, "did you guys do anything besides eat?" This is the same comment they made when we were "studying" abroad in Japan, so we had to take a couple photos of us studying in class.

We wandered around Chinatown one day, which ended up being really interesting, especially since Singapore has a large Chinese population and much Chinese influence. You can see Kyle above in front of the main gate, trying to pretend he is a real Singaporean.

Hmmm...what do you know?! As soon as we entered Chinatown, we found some food. Durian season had just begun when we came to Singapore. We have never tried Durian and wanted to taste the popular fruit sometime during the trip. After traveling half way across the globe we ended up being served by a UW Biology graduate!

Here I am, looking so naive. Little do I know, that in about 4 seconds I will eat something that will nearly make me gag. There isn't a lot of food in this world that I have the urge to spit out, but durian just about made that list. Maybe my UW Biology friend made it funky, but I couldn't get over the rancid taste and the paste-like texture of the fruit that was stuffed inside a bland pancake. There were elements of it that tasted like passion fruit, but it was quickly overtaken by pure rotteness. The fruit also stinks, which is why all the stores in Chinatown have a "NO Durian" sign in addition to no pets, no smoking, etc...Now I see why.

Naturally, it was time to wash down that awful experience with something delicious. Good thing we found a little beverage shop with fresh coconuts that were ready for us to break open and suck the refreshing water out of. As we sat and relaxed, there were two blackbirds that were having a really good time dunking their heads into the extra coconuts that are in the background of the photo. It was really cute and I liked sharing a cold drink with the birdies.

In fact, I liked it so much that we decided to stay a bit longer for a cold beer. In Singapore, it is typical for a round of drinks to be equivalent to a week's paycheck; when we saw beer for $5, we couldn't pass up a good bargain. Tiger beer is like the Bud Light of Singapore and is perfect on a hot day.

Carmen and Jamie then took us to Altitude, the highest roof top bar in the World, for drinks and to watch the sunset. It was absolutely gorgeous and provided the perfect bird's eye view of the city.

Ahhh, how do you describe heaven? I don't even know where to start with the meal we had with Carmen, Jamie and their friends at Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant. I mean, 'cmon, the name itself is says it all. It is a treasure, and it was super, and ohhhh....the peking duck!

Check out the chef, who comes out to the table to slice up your duck. You take the crispy slices of skin and dip them in a little hoisin sauce and sugar--that's right, I said sugar! What an incredibly genius idea! The crispy duck skin, which is salty and fatty tasting, absorbs the sweetness of the sugar and the flavor is amplified to create the perfect flavor profile in my world. It melted into my tastebuds, and I had to close my eyes for a minute to enjoy the full experience. I think I scared their friends.

Honestly. How can you look at this and not want to hop on the next flight to Singapore for some juicy peking duck???

Once I was done with my completely embarrassing worship of the duck skin, I managed to calm myself enough to roll up the duck with some cucumber and green onion in a thin crepe. I am not joking when I say my mouth is watering right now and I just might have to seek out duck for dinner tonight.

In addition to duck, we also had hot and sour soup, which was delicious.

We also had some type of tofu dish that was surprisingly amazing. It was rich and creamy and oh so flavorful. I had no idea tofu could be so sexy.

My life seems more complete after having this meal. On one end of the spectrum, I had some nasty durian and my tastebuds were shocked that I would assault them with such an offensive flavor; to make up for it, I gave those tastebuds the treat of their lifetime with that tasty, amazing slice of heavenly peking duck.

Happy Eating,

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm peking duck, must get more! Love the blog Emi!!