|Lau Pa Sat satay stalls|
We ordered a combo of chicken, beef, and mutton satay. I thought it was all good although some thought that the honey baste was too sweet. I didn't mind so much as the accompanying zingy sauce counterbalanced the sweetness.
|BBQ stingray w/chilli sauce|
|fried bee hoon|
We then went inside this fine Victorian building for more food. To be honest, other than the satay, I don't think the stalls at Lau Pa Sat are the best in Singapore. I had trouble finding a decent laksa stall so I played it safe and went with an old fave, a bowl of shrimp dumpling soup noodle (sui gow mein) – a mere S$3.50 for a giant bowl including six plump dumplings.
Bak kut teh is another iconic dish found in Singapore and the name literally translates as 'meat bone tea'. Originally introduced to the region by Hokkien Chinese, there are many different versions of this pork rib broth found across Malaysia and Singapore. I'd previously tried the darker medicinal version but this was the first time that I'd sampled this lighter peppery variant.
|bak kut teh|
|you tiao (fried dough stick)|
Whilst the bak kut teh may look like a meagre portion, there are unlimited top-up's of the 'tea' throughout the meal. We also shared loads of different dishes in addition to our individual bowls of bak kut teh and rice.
|fish slices in broth|
|liver & kidney in broth|
The bak kut teh was my last lunch in Singapore and during the afternoon in the office, my thoughts started to drift to what to have for dinner. Although like many a Friday night, my plans for dinner were interrupted by an excursion to the pub. For a change I was vaguely sensible, as I still had to get to the airport that night. I stopped drinking, said my goodbyes and took a cab to the Maxwell Rd food centre.
I'd already had some nibbles at the pub so I didn't have room for a big meal. I went for an old favourite, chicken murtabak at a stall I vaguely remember visiting a couple of years ago, Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food. To the uninitiated, murtabak is a roti filled with meat (usually mutton or chicken), onion, and egg that's served with curry sauce.
This dish was introduced to Singapore by Tamil Muslims and you can't really get it in the UK, so I was glad that I managed to squeeze it in before I left. It was as good as I remembered, the flaky filled roti combining really well with the curry sauce. It was just what I needed before picking up my bags at the hotel. Now that I come to think of it, my last meal in Singapore was a curry after a few beers on a Friday night! Some things are universal.
As I left for home, I realised that there were so many other dishes I hadn't got round to sampling on this visit. In particular, nasi lemak, prawn noodle, laksa, and fish head curry. Next time, I hope there'll be a next time.