Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Fish head curry: properly the best curry in the world (as they might say in Cornwall)

It feels like there are really only 4 things to do in Singapore: shop, eat, drink and make loads of money. We didn´t have enough dosh to do the shopping, drinking, loads-a-money bit properly, so we decided to cram in as much of the EATING into our single day as possible. I say ´we´ but Kathy was still suffering from the latest bout of RPS (Runny Poo Syndrome). In such hard times, I took on the difficult task of scoffing for the both of us. Kathy nibbled.
Singapore is full of large exciting foodhalls offering a mouthwatering selection of international flavours that reflects the international mix of the island itself. We visited the one in Chinatown. Chicken and rice and a Satay duck in a really black, spicy peanut sauce were the standouts.
The Empire and the Commonwealth still lives and breathes through the walls and history of the Raffles Hotel. We were far too scruffy to be allowed even my fungus ridden toe in the door of the main hotel. We made do with a drink at the Long Bar of its most famous concoction: the Singapore Sling. Too slickly sweet for my liking ( more of a Mohito or Whisky Sour man ) but there were big bowls of free bar nuts to tuck in to. The done thing is to fling your empty husks to the floor. Every new customer who enters the bar makes a very crunchy entrance.
Singapore was also a pilgrimage to sample the delights of Fish Head Curry. I had first read about it inside the godlike pages of Madhur Jaffrey´s Curry Bible. It is large snapper heads stewed in a richly spiced curry soup and then served on a banana leaf. The place to try it is the Banana Leaf Apollo in Little India. I was very, very excited. It was exellent. Extremely fishy. And you had lots of fun tearing the fish heads apart, scouring for those last flakes of hidden flesh. Kathy could only nibble. Poor love.

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