Friday, 1 August 2008

Cultural melting pot

It's a blessing to live in a cultural melting hotpot like Singapore. Take last night for example. One moment we were eating Chinese food in a Hong Kong cafe and the next moment we found ourselves admiring the beautifully lit stupa of a Burmese temple nestled in a residential estate.

Later in the night, we were jostling with the crowd at Little India when shopping at Mustafa and then sipping Masala tea in a busy Indian restaurant. Where else but Singapore where you can enjoy all the different cultural experiences within a few hours?

For dinner, we decided to eat at Cafe De Hong Kong along Balestier Road. It's highly recommended by CH's sister who is a vegetarian. We scanned through the menu and found a good variety of vegetarian dishes and other healthy desserts sweetened using maltitol instead of sugar.

We weren't feeling too healthy last night, so we picked two meat dishes - stewed beef brisket and brinjal (eggplant) cooked with minced pork.

The beef brisket (above) was very well cooked such the meat was succulent and soft. The pieces of radish inside were very tasty too, having absorbed the rich beefy flavours after long hours of cooking. The dish was served in a claypot wrapped in an outer layer of aluminium foil so that the dish stayed piping hot throughout the entire meal.

Even though I eat eggplant almost everyday at home, I still decided to order this dish because CH wanted a vege dish so this one cooked with minced pork was a good compromise. Besides, I was hoping to learn another new way of preparing eggplant. Well, it turned out to be a perfect showpiece.

They have removed the eggplant's skin prior to cooking so that each piece is evenly stewed until it has that melt in the mouth texture. Besides the minced pork, I found some tiny pieces of salted fish in the gravy. No wonder it was so fragrant and tasty. This must be the best eggplant dish I have ever tasted. Highly recommended, if you ever decide to eat there.

We went there early to find the restaurant quite empty save for an elderly caucasian man enjoying his meal while reading the Herald Tribune. While we were tucking in our delicious food, more and more small families started to show up. They all seemed to know what to order. They must be regulars living in the residential estate nearby.

The food served at Hong Kong Cafe is not very fanciful but is the healthy, home-cooked variety which you can almost eat everyday. Prices are reasonable too. We ended our dinner with an icy red bean milky dessert. A sweet ending to a lovely dinner.

1 comment:

jyankee said...

definitely. i thought so too when i went to SQ... and all these different cultures like on the next block or around the corner!