Friday, 7 October 2011

Pig Intestines, Fried Fish Head Soup or Mushy Garlic Vegtebles

Singapore is known for its food, in fact, they say, if eating and shopping were an Olympic sport, this tiny island would rank number 1.  It is rare that anyone eats at home.  Every restaurant, coffee shop and local eatery is always hopping, day or night.

While I have been trying to cook in our apartment, the lure of the food often wins out and we find ourselves on the street or in a mall trying local dishes.  Tonight we hustled to Chinatown, trying to beat the rain.  I have managed to get sick in the short time I have been here so I wasn't up for cooking, yet another stir fry in our one frying pan.  We thought tonight was as good as any to try some local fare.

If you haven't been to Asia, you probably are not familiar with Hawkers' Food.  It is local food sold on the street, surrounded by dozens of other Hawkers. We went to a couple of Hawkers areas in Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur in March but I was so revolted I couldn't manage to eat a morsel.

Singapore has a great reputation for cleanliness and they must post their score from the local health inspectors so I thought I could manage to not lose my lunch eating here.  We toured around the facility taking in all the sites and unfamiliar smells. Between the humidity of the day and the intense heat from the cooking, it was sweltering.  We both had a difficult time trying to decipher most of the stalls but luckily they had pictures to help us.  Most of the dishes consisted of heads with eyeballs, ducks hanging by their necks or goose pimpled steamed chicken skin. When I saw the dish for pig intestines, that almost did me in.

We ended up at a Taiwanese station.  The woman spoke no English so we pointed to some fish, minus the head on her little menu, and I completely shied away from anything exotic by having the spicy, chilli beans. My beans were delicious and it was amazing to watch her husband cook them.  He had a huge fire going and poured the beans and chillies into a sizzling wok as the fire roared around him.  How he stood that intense heat, I will never know.  The beans were delicious so now I think I can be a little more adventurous next time.  I am still not going to try the intestines, or the fish eyeballs but maybe duck will make it on my plate in the near future.


  1. What you may not know that actual street food in Singapore was outlawed long ago, its vendors taken off the city's byways and confined to government-regulated "hawker centers" or food courts. This ensured that the street food in Singapore is hygienic, not typically seen in rest of Asia...

    Next time you go on street food fiesta, you must try Chilly crab, BBQ sting ray fish and Popiah (turnip and shrimp stuffed spring rolls)

  2. I should come visit, I would lose a ton of weight, cuz there is no way I could eat any of

  3. Layna I really enjoy your blog a lot. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Layna, you should be paid big $$$$$ for this kind of writing, i love your blogs. Can the next one be about Asian fashion please!! Miss u - jules B.

  5. The average place will have a "B" and the really, really hygienic ones will have an "A". I watched Letterman once when he was interviewing his buddy at the deli store and this guy had "A", "B" and "C" signs posted on the Deli window. When Letterman asked him "What's with the ratings" the answer was: "Typically, you will only see one rating, but we offer them all; I originally thought it was the type of Hepatitis you would get by eating here"


  6. Where the heck are you?8 October 2011 at 02:48

    YUMMY. Pig Guts!

  7. dont confuse the black market organ vendors for the food stalls!!!!! -LOOKEY

  8. Hey LOOKEY - you kill me! I will keep that in mind!

  9. GROSS! I can't handle the thought of anything you named off! Hope you're feeling better Layna!! miss you lots,