Archive for the ‘Food’
My one concession to touristiness was high tea. “Would you prefer fabulous food, or a spectacular view?” Noel asked. As I’ve said before, I have the palate of a stevedore so I chose ambience.
High tea at Clifford Pier in the Fullerton Bay Hotel defeated me completely. The setting, a repurposed historical landmark, was even more magnificent than the photographs, and the food was wonderful. In addition to the pots of tea and the three-tiered cake stand of savouries and sweets, there was a generous buffet with bakwa finger sandwiches, pork belly, chilli crab, sambal prawns and noodles, and you could ask the waiter to bring you more pots of tea and refill the cake stand. Have you noticed that when the food is great you don’t have to eat as much of it in order to feel full? The food was so delicious that after two trips to the buffet I surrendered and could not eat solid food until the next day. At S$45++ per person it is a brilliant deal. Go when high tea starts at 330 pm and bring a book to help you pace yourself between trips to the buffet.
Any place was bound to be a letdown after Clifford Pier. High tea at the St. Regis Hotel was alright, just not as spectacular; the food was okay but not as scrumptious; the selection was not as wide and the servings not as generous. If you ask for more tea you are charged extra; the tray is not refillable, not that we wanted seconds of anything, even the lobster bisque. It’s also more expensive at S$49++.
High tea at the Fairmont is supposedly the most photographed high tea in Singapore. Next time.
THE WINE SHOW answers the age-old question: good looks or personality? Specifically, would you rather spend time with two very attractive men with average conversational skills, or two not as attractive men who can have a hilarious conversation about nothing? Even more specifically, would you rather drive through Italy in the company of Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans), or with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (The Trip to Italy, reviewed here some months back)? I guess that would depend on whether you want to document your trip on Instagram, or make a TV show.
Read our TV column The Binge.
Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?
by Calvin Trillin
Have they run out of provinces yet?
If they haven’t, we’ve reason to fret.
Long ago, there was just Cantonese.
(Long ago, we were easy to please.)
But then food from Szechuan came our way,
Making Cantonese strictly passé.
Szechuanese was the song that we sung,
Though the ma po could burn through your tongue.
Then when Shanghainese got in the loop
We slurped dumplings whose insides were soup.
Then Hunan, the birth province of Mao,
Came along with its own style of chow.
So we thought we were finished, and then
A new province arrived: Fukien.
Then respect was a fraction of meagre
For those eaters who’d not eaten Uighur.
And then Xi’an from Shaanxi gained fame,
Plus some others—too many to name.
Now, as each brand-new province appears,
It brings tension, increasing our fears:
Could a place we extolled as a find
Be revealed as one province behind?
So we sometimes do miss, I confess,
Simple days of chow mein but no stress,
When we never were faced with the threat
Of more provinces we hadn’t met.
Is there one tucked away near Tibet?
Have they run out of provinces yet?
We don’t believe most food blogs because 80 percent of the time we disagree violently with their recommendations. Also, some of them sound like they just ate food for the first time. Too enthusiastic.
We don’t believe Instagrams of food because they just mean “I’m having a fabulous meal and you’re not.”
But if cats do food reviews and hand out Meowchelin stars, we believe them. Cats do not lie. If they hate something, they hate it.
A flavor experience may begin with a past meal: The memory (1) activates dopamine reward centers, leading us to crave the flavors to come. We salivate.
A brain primed for pleasure begins to receive sensory impulses from the food as we move it (2) to our mouth, see its colors and shapes (3) and inhale its aromas (4).