Nine years ago when I went to Singapore for the first time, my boss and his wife took me out for dinner at a fine dining Chinese restaurant. When the waiter served me rich green Baby Kailan dripping in garlic sauce, I said: “You want me to eat these leaves?” A few months later, when I went to Singapore again, by bosses took me to an Italian joint. On being served broccoli, I said: “Last time you wanted me to eat leaves, now you want me to eat the whole tree?”
That was then. Today, there is hardly anything that I don’t eat. After having lived in Singapore for more than a year and in Bangkok for six months, I eat almost every kind of cuisine; be it the local dishes like Laksa, Kailan or Char Kway Teo or international delicacies like Sushi and Satay, I can digest them all. And, thankfully all cuisines are available in Singapore at down-to-earth prices.
Recently, I attended my cousin’s wedding in Delhi. Concerned about my health, a relative asked me if I got enough Indian food like rajma-chawal to eat in Singapore.
Eyeing the Penne Rigate pasta and the glass of white wine, he said: “What do you eat in Singapore? Butter toast? Or french fries from McDonalds?” Imagine his shock and surprise when I told him that there is nothing that I do not eat these days, except maybe Indian food because it is heavy and oil-rich.
An uncle of mine, who was listening to this conversation, came to my rescue. He said: “Just because you live abroad does not mean that only you eat everything. Even I try a lot of international food”. Surprised, I asked him to name some dishes. Pat came the reply: “Lahori kebab and Singapori chowmein”.