Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dining Out in the Lion City

Singapore Food Court
Again, I thought I'd take a break from the usual food stuff by just reflecting on some food thoughts, this time on dining out in Singapore.

Eating in Singapore is not so much different from other countries and cities, and yes, we have a multi-cultural food repertoire, and yes, we have a very cosmopolitan food scene that's most vibrant and happening.

And certainly, we have local dishes that has a unique place on the global food map. Talk about Chili crabs and chicken rice and even foreigners have no problem understanding, and very likely have tasted those dishes before.

But for locals that have lived here all of their lives, the typical meal in a day is often a hurried and bustling one, one where lunch hour is mostly consisting of taking 30 mins to buy, consume and off to the nearest coffee bar for the daily office gossip. Food, thus becomes, more a chore than a leisure activity.

Dinners are not that much different, as most working couples would 'tabao' (Chinese for takeaways) food for the nearby food courts or hawker centers. Not that it is necessarily negative or even bad, but often one would not really think of dinner or dining out as something more than filling one's stomachs on a weekday.

As for weekends, Singaporeans are often hampered by time and spending that time with family members that dinners on Sun and Sat are often cramped around local zhi char (fried food) restaurants or outlets, drowning down local fare of cereal prawns, fish head bee hoon and chilli crabs etc.

That leaves mostly the Gen Y crowd to really savor the gastronomical adventures of the latest and more happening food outlets in town and outside of town. Perhaps that explains why one local food expert told me recently that the easiest food to succeed is dim sum. Chances are if you are thinking of being the local Gordon Ramsay, you better look elsewhere.

But lest one gets despondent over trying something exciting and innovative, there are always bold and adventurous folks like Willin Low and his Wild Rocket and other interesting restaurants to provide some inspiration. And whilst I haven't been to WR, I would certainly make the trip in the very near future to give it a spin and hopefully, inspire my own culinary explorations in time to come.

This is the Silver Chef ... eating out tonight!

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