Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Singapore on your plate


It’s not every day that you get a call from a blogger friend asking if you’d like to accompany him to a Singapore themed culinary fest at ITC Maurya,New Delhi.  And when he does, you drop all your plans (even that lunch date with your school buddies), like a hot potato and say yes-yes-yes. 

The Travelling Pop-out Kitchen
Singapore-Takeout, a one of a kind concept is a travelling pop out kitchen with more visa stamps on its passport that you and I can manage in a lifetime.  This multi-city, international culinary show organized by Singapore Tourism brings the country’s famed diverse cuisine to your doorstep.   Even though it’s been over three years since my last visit to the island country, my taste buds still tingle with the memory of Chilli crabs at Jumbo, the pungent Nyonya curries, spicy Laksa, Hainanese chicken rice and baskets of dimsums we sampled at the many restaurants and Hawker centres.  The lion city is a cornucopia of flavours with Malay, Chinese, Indian and Perankan influences and leaves you spoilt for choice. 
Hun Kwee Jagong- coconut corn jelly. 





This was my chance to revisit my foodie memories in apni Dilli itself.  And when you have expert chefs cooking up a storm, you arrive with your heart singing in E minor and tummy doing a merry tap dance.
Chef Benjamin Seck

On the menu was Popiah Goreng (fried spring rolls), followed by Nyonya Prawn curry with Jala roti, a Singapore inspired Laksa Pulao and anti pasti themed around Asian flavours.  The meal would be ending on a sweet note with Hun Kwee Jagong- a coconut corn jelly. With award winning Peranakan Chef Bejamin Seck at the helm and ITC chefs Rajkamal Chopra & Manisha Bhasin giving the Indian touch– we were feeling like excited kids waiting for our Christmas treat. 



Jala Roti topped with Nyonya Prawn Curry
It was more than a treat; it was a journey as we watched these wizards dish out one masterpiece after the other in the live kitchen.  Chef Benjamin crafting the Jala roti on his pan was undoubtedly the star of the show.   The flour and coconut milk pancake has a delicate net like structure which is inspired by the intricate lace work found on a traditional Peranakan dress. The unique Peranakan or Nonya food is a unique blend of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian flavours and combines aromatic herbs & spices such as lemongrass, chillies, tamarind paste and coconut milk in its dishes.  They say your visit to Singapore is incomplete till you have sampled the famed Nyonya curries.

The Jala roti topped with prawn in curry was a clever combination of the melt in the mouth pancake that had so beautifully absorbed the piquant flavours of the prawn curry. 

Laksa leaves
One of my favourite dishes is the Laksa (a soupy noodle dish) but what I didn’t know was that Laksa is actually an aromatic leaf that is ground to a paste to lend flavour to the broth.  ITC Chef Rajkamal had reinterpreted this classic Singaporean dish by incorporating it into a Pulao.  The unusual blend of Laksa paste with Indian masalas had us licking our bowls clean.

Next in line was Chef Manisha’s fusion inspired signature dish.  She had ingeniously used the methi-dhania papdi as a canapĂ© to serve a lemongrass ceviche & scampi and drizzled it with a dash of galangal and imlee chutney.  Accompanying it was Chicken Tikka marinated with Laksa paste to give it a Singapore twist.  Her jugalbandi of Asian antipasti was a winner and she had plated it beautifully. 

The Asia inspired Anti Pasti
The popiah was crisp with a crunchy veggie and noodle filling but what had our taste buds tingling was the tangy sauce that complimented it perfectly.  Never has a simple combination of vinegar with chilli paste tasted so good.
Popiah with tangy vineagar chilly sauce


I was now behaving like a true blue food presenter on TLC, savouring the yummy delicacies with my eyes closed, jabbering incessantly about the flavours and textures.  But I made sure that I didn’t let my prankster friends capture my inimitable expressions on their cameras lest they try to blackmail me with my ugly pictures. 

Time flies faster than light when you are with friends and good food. And I had to run faster than light when I discovered that I had nine missed calls from my driver.  But I parted with memories of a luncheon that was so Singapore in its essence - sparkling conversation, affable hosts and a cuisine that never ceases to surprise. 

They say dining is one of Singapore’s national pastimes and I now know why.   With a tantalizing array of cuisines to suit everyone’s taste and budget, this gastronomic global destination is a foodie’s delight.

Singapore I’ll be back and my stomach just gave a high five! 


Pictures and invite courtesy Snow Leopard (my self proclaimed nephew).  Thanks RituparnaDeeba, Madhav and all you lovely people whose name I forgot to ask, for the good time I had. 

Enhanced by Zemanta


73 comments:

  1. It was fun, Aunitus Purbus. I still have to write my piece. And after reading yours no one will read mine :(
    But saving grace, I have all those ugly pics *Evil Laugh* :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you publish those pics, I will have my goons inject you with Cow Pee. (Even more evil laugh)

      Delete
  2. Singapore cuisine is a potpourri of Chinese,Malay and Indian influences.Eating out is a major past time here.
    Actually Eating,Shopping and Movies..

    P:S:For a second I thought you were coming to Singapore and got all excited and made a mental plan on how,when and where to meet you.Sigh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no idea how much I shopped in Singapore. And the gorgeous shoes you get there. I can come just for their sake :D

      Btw we can meet, the next time you are India.

      Delete
  3. That was one amazing event. Yummy food & yummier conversations ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The taste of Jali roti and Nyonya Prawn still lingers in my mouth.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Wish you were there,would have had a blast.

      Delete
  5. i have been in sing for one year now and i dont think i have tried so many dishes here. btw-blue lotus i am here in singaopre- do u wanna meet up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really! why not?
      Every time I stepped out of my hotel I saw people eating :) And Indian food is pretty popular out there.

      Delete
    2. definitely..mail me at NainaLJ@gmail.com.We'll plan up for CNY.

      @Purba:We just used this post for bloggers meet in S'pore.Sorry!

      Delete
  6. AAaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    In other words, I'm extremely tempted to jump into any restaurant and order their entire menu. Will wipe off their bread basket and their horrible mocktail options as well.

    Incidentally, I didn't know that Singaporean cuisine stood out on it's own. I mean, it's a nation-state that was formed in the last century, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *its ..

      (Ugh, basic grammar 101.)

      Delete
    2. You mean a century is not enough to have a cuisine of your own?

      And you have to be a seafood(not see-food) lover to enjoy Singapore.

      Delete
    3. I see I see :)

      Time to plan a holiday trip there!

      Delete
  7. Sounds interesting, I have always believed that non vegetarians quite luck to try out different cuisines, I am a vegetarian alas!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree... they end up with a limited choice especially on foreign shores.

      Delete
  8. That was a love treat of Singaporean food! What perfect timing of your write as I will be there this weekend:) What more could I have asked for! BTW looks like you are going a la Vir Sanghvi, fine dining and writing about it:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could do it every week! Is anyone listening out there!

      And Rahul I can give you contact details of Singapore Tourism officials. They"ll be too glad to help :)

      Delete
  9. Wow! Delicious looking pictures:P Slurp slurp:P Glad you had a great time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep and I met quite a few of my blogger friends there :)
      ReplyDelete

      Delete
  10. Wow...this must have been fun. Reading it really feels like an account of a TLC presenter :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Khi...khi :D She's pulling my leg now. Yep! the left one looks longer.

      Delete
  11. Purba,

    Trust you to make one feel left out. Your descriptions made my mouth water and feel sad at having missed this opportunity.

    Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Invites were extended to food bloggers, I was the odd one out :)

      Delete
  12. Do you know you could actually be on TLC with that kind of post? I pictured you with eyes closed and hmmm...ing your way through all those ummmm...dishes which had stuff I might not want to taste but would love to see you enjoy :) Ah there was one pic that caught my attention...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe...when you are having this kind of food the mmmmmms come out spontaneously.

      The Popiah Goreng and Laksa Pulao were 100% vegetarian. You would have enjoyed it.

      Delete
  13. By far Singapore is one of the few places that I have relished. Food makes it a wonderful place. That's what a Delhi foodie always seeks for, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to do a foodie trip with Delhi Bloggers and eat myself silly :D

      Delete
    2. I am more of a street food junkie. Call a Foodie Meet someday.

      Delete
  14. Yum yum yum...you make me hungry for more - talented humorist and look-like-a- foodie blogger too! Wonderful to meet you in person, share a table and banter ...food tastes better with friends! It was a delectable meet in every way Purba!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should do some dessert demos for amateurs like us. Believe me, it will be a hit!

      Delete
  15. yeah i know , when i had gone to singapore oh boy i had eaten too much..

    wherever u go food is there rehdi's, people on road , all over.. 50 satay satay :) you say it twice evertyhing he he he

    I ate like a pig there

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep..food for every budget, every palate - you can't go hungry in Singapore.

      Delete
  16. Wonderful!! The pictures are delicious :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. So you chatted with the chefs too...Unfortunately, there isnt much for vegetarians when it comes to sea food.

    While in Singapore I couldnt get a veg burger at Mc Donalds.Had to do with two buns and some lettuce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pity you had to go to a Mc Donalds in Singapore. Did you try Sarvana Bhawan in Little India?

      Delete
  18. oOOOOOO what fun! I got hungry after reading this, went down to "panda delight" and had excruciatingly bad noodles.

    *sulk*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If and when you are in Gurgaon we"ll go to Monk. Their noodle and sticky rice bowls are out of this world!

      Delete
  19. god i wanted someone to write something so i know if i can make jokes about the event in my article.
    @alka i was veg and i AGREE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were veg out of choice. Will wait to read your version.

      Delete
  20. oh yum! I'm getting hungry watching this post. I'd love to go to Singapore for a week just to pig out on all the sinfully delicious gastronomical goodness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great shopping, amazing food and the river-front is buzzing with life.

      Delete
  21. Well now I'm in a dilemma, I'm on a diet and you just described amazingly delicious food in Delhi. Nicely or I should say tastefully written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But the best part is the dishes are light and bursting with flavours. The fish ball soup is a dieters delight.

      Delete
  22. Almost drooled all over my laptop!! Those dishes look absolutely smashing Purba!

    Btw...did you change the layout of the blog? Either that or my eyes have gone little pinkish :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did change the template and my site is now purba-ray.com but the colour is far from pink :)

      Delete
  23. Oh Yum! Oriental food is my weakness. Yes, it is. *Flashback* Mmm, prawn curry...

    Thanks for your comment Purba. I'm glad you liked LwW. And I look forward to having you visit it again!

    --------------
    Gayatri
    Look who's Wearing (LwW)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When it comes to Pan Asian, there's so much to choose from -Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian...So much to eat, so little time....sigh..

      Delete
  24. so much food here, more than what a foodblog can offer. although i m not a foodie but loved going through it and of course ur narration rocks as always.

    was searching for ur new post on indi, didn't realize u moved ur blog to a self hosted domain. supercool post!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a foodie!!! But we Bengalis live to eat.

      And finally someone noticed my new url - thank God for that!

      Delete
  25. Wow ... that brought back some fond memories. Unfortunately my travel to lion city does nt happen no more. I miss the pan asian food for sure.
    Prateek did a damn good job with pics too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep...Prats did a fantastic job. Strangely when it comes to clicking me, he fails miserably :D

      Delete
    2. delicious.........

      rosesandgifts.com

      Delete
  26. My good so many names and so much food and such a petite and pretty Purba...deadly combination for sure...
    I wish I'd remember some of these names when I go this cuisine way:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Ray family is a bunch of foodies and loves experimenting (Btw I meant the kitchen) :p

      Delete
  27. Enjoyed the write-up! Oh I loved Laksa too.. although I wished there was more masala in the seafood :P True Indian-ness, hehe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indian coastal cuisine has plenty of spice. Malwani, Malabari, Goa...yum yum yum

      Delete
  28. sounds interesting!! the coconut corn jelly sure is inviting!!! wud dilli be hosting something in similar line during march? :O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I could predict it. But Delhi is a foodie's delight :)

      Delete
  29. Slurp!

    I was drooling throughout the post as you described the chefs dishing out cuisines and what they (the dishes) tasted like.

    Never knew Singapore has such fulfilling pastimes. :D

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha...fulfilling pastimes indeed. You can never get bored in Singapore.

      Delete
  30. Wow.. a very unique concept to showcase the culinary delights of a city that boasts of so many flavors. All entrees looked mouth-watering-ly delicious, spiced up even more by your flavorful writing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish our tourism board could start a similar concept. We can easily woo the world with the mid boggling variety our cuisine offers.

      Delete
  31. when i went to sing, my veggie buddies restrained me from trying the local dishes! rascals i say! looks awesome purba!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How could they do that! That city is a foodie's delight. Don't tell me you survived on Dosas and idlis!

      Delete
  32. No i chose dunkin donuts and McDonalds instead!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I work and stay in singapore. please do inform if u r coming.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am now not certain the place you’re getting your information, but good topic. I must spend some time finding out more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent info I was in search of this information for my mission.
    love sms

    ReplyDelete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...