Saturday, June 18, 2011

Experiencing the streets of Singapore

One of the things I was most looking forward to on this trip was the famous asian street food.  I remember from my trips to Japan the fast paced bustle of streets lined with all kinds of interesting snack stations to meet any craving.
Yesterday, we went downtown to the shopping district and it was just as well there was so much street food available because shopping in Singapore really works up an appetite!
The first thing we tried is called Tu Tu Kueh and is a rice flour/coconut concoction steamed and served on a banana leaf.

These little treats are quite light and a perfect refresher or boost on the go.
After a few shops and many temptations I completely and willingly gave into, we came to a rest at a 'chicken rice restaurant'.  This restaurant thrives on the idea of fast food, but not in an unhealthy way. How does this work you ask? It is pure genius really, everyone has the same thing, each table gets a serving of duck soup (above), rice boiled in chicken broth, a plate of chicken and vegetables with fried onions. (below)
There is no ordering involved, the kitchen just keeps producing these dishes and puts them out as soon as you take your table.  I was amazed, it was the most well oiled business I had seen in a while, leave it to these guys to perfect such a thing.
After we were whisked out of the chicken rice restaurant (the eating speed is also quite fast..I admit I wasn't quite finished when I looked up from my plate to see other customers at our table..) and a few stores later we stopped for something cool and sweet. Ah, I thought, some ice cream, something I know....wrong! Here they served ice cream bars in waffles or...crazy colored bread.
TADAA! Bonkers...that is all I have to say.
These streets are crazy busy, it's a haven for promoters. In Asia, they have a popular hydrating beverage called 100 Plus. I must say it was pretty handy having guys with huge coolers of it on their backs to fill little sampler cups with the stuff.
Hydrating in this temperature is essential!
After all of this, we wound up at the pool and after a quick dip I thought a young coconut would be just the thing to recalibrate my system before dinner.
I know what you are could all of this possibly go down in one day? The simple answer is the amazingly quick pace of the locals.  If I did not have such savvy tour guides, I would have gotten about one quarter of this done.
I am just afraid of what will come of me when I am left to my own devices on Monday, when everyone goes back to work...scary thought!

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