Peacefully non-violent

14 05 2012

Mohinga (Khau Kswe), Inle Myanmar Restaurant, Peninsula Plaza, Singapore

TWO WORDS – an adjective and an adverb – come to mind whenever I hear of Burma or Myanmar.  You can say it’s just my play on words.  Which it actually is – a juxtaposition which is an attempt on hyperbole, while really bordering on the redundant.  However you see it, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the country on my mind has come to be a paragon of what these two words mean:  peacefully non-violent.

Which, after The Malaysian brought me to Inle Myanmar Restaurant at Peninsula Plaza, just off of City Hall MRT station, has also now come to describe Burmese cuisine to me.  It was rather peaceful.  It was non-violent to the palate.

Having passed by the most prominent city hall in the Philippines on my way to college everyday, I thought it was sentimental to have my photo snapped right where it says “City Hall”.

 

Waiting for the traffic light to turn was time well spent. Haha!

 

Finally, the cheapest place to shop in Singapore!

Filing this find under the header of “Places That Alone I’ll Never Find,” I let my friend do the ordering, chiming in here and there with my agreement on why a dish was a good choice.

Inle Myanmar Restaurant Menu Cover

 

Burma (Myanmar) is The Golden Land.

 

Well, well, well… what do we have here?!

 

Aha! I’ve found a winner!

Starting off with the Picked Tea Leaves Salad (Laphet Thoke) signified that my taste buds were in for a treat of the staple flavors of the Burmese culinary landscape.  Tea leaves, the menu says, is not only drunk but also eaten in Myanmar.  These pickled tea leaves are chopped and served with an assortment of crispy chickpea, roasted peanuts, garlic two ways (fried and fresh), toasted sesame seeds, dried shrimps, wedges of fresh tomatoes, and finely shredded cabbage.  The salad can either be “individual” or “mixed” – served on a platter with “individual” pockets for each of these tasty components, or, already “mixed” up and dressed with the simple-yet-robust duo of vegetable oil and freshly squeezed lime juice.  While we did order it mixed, the salad evoked feelings in me that were far from mixed.  I absolutely loved everything about it!

Pickled Tea Leaves Salad (Laphet Thoke)

The picked tea leaves were surprisingly tender, not stringy at all, and beautifully tart, a sensation further underscored by the dressing.  It couldn’t be denied that this was one salad that was an explosion of textures.  Used to crispness that come from tomatoes that burst and greens that give off crunch, I appreciated the expanded mélange of sounds that play in my mouth from the chickpeas, the peanuts and the sesame seeds.

For whatever claim I make to having a “palate of the world,” I was dumbfounded to be able to pick out the flavor that ties all the many components of the Mohinga (Khau Kswe), arguably considered the national dish of Burma, which came to the table in a wide-mouthed pristine white bowl, perfectly setting off the rice noodle soup’s deep dark brown hue which in turn served as the canvass for an array of toppings that included a hard-boiled egg, fish cake, chickpea fritters, and my favorite fresh coriander leaves.

Mohinga (Khau Kswe)

I remember smacking my lips repeatedly – like a toddler devouring applesauce – trying to figure out what the wonderful, restorative broth was made of.  All too consumed with the yumminess, I failed to detect that fish was the base of the broth, given a hint of sweetness and faint fragrance by the heart of banana tree stem and stalks of lemongrass and bulbs of ginger.

It is almost necessary to devour rice in huge quantities in Asian meals, so I had to have the Butter Rice, all rendered more savory good by staining with the gravy from the Chicken Curry.  And as if cleansing the palate, I would grab bites of the Gourd Fritters, which may be a bit bland but definitely tastier when dipped in the accompanying tamarind and chilli sauce.

Butter Rice

 

Chicken Curry

 

Gourd Fritters

 

A tight shot of the tamarind and chilli sauce

 

Any meal is a perfect excuse for me to ask for my favorite fresh coriander leaves, also known as “xiang cai”.

 

Sour Plum Juice

Even with the mention of chilli in the dipping sauce, none of the Burmese dishes in our spread was close to “hurting” my taste buds.  So unlike in other cases when I would have my Sour Plum Juice close by to extinguish fire in my tongue, at Inle, I reached for it just to cap off a calm, soul-satisfying meal.

For the Mohinga alone, I will definitely come back.  Definitely no struggle towards making that decision.

In front of Inle Myanmar Restaurant

 

Right after dinner, The Malaysian and I walked around the area, on our way to coffee at Starbucks under the bridge, at One Fullerton.

 

Passed through a tunnel

 

There is light at the end of every tunnel.

 

From a distance, The Fullerton Hotel.

 

In front of The Fullerton Hotel (This and all other photos, taken with The Malaysian’s iPhone 4.)

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





‘Twas the night of Christmas

26 12 2011

“STAR BRIGHT / First star I see tonight / Could you or would you please shine your light? / Shine it so I can see / My Savior smiling at me / Star Bright, I hear you once proclaimed / This is the way, keep on followin’ me / and at the end of the road will be, a baby…”

I spent Christmas Day by having dinner at 313@somerset, a little shopping, walking on Orchard Road, catching whatever remained of the “Christmas is Love” show, hopping on the train to Esplanade, planning for high tea while passing by The Fullerton Hotel, walking to the Merlion, seeking some peace and quiet, and having coffee at Starbucks at One Fullerton.

It was a lot of walking amidst a seeming City of Lights.  It was like following that Star.

Outside the Esplanade Mall, I couldn’t help but hear “Star Bright” in my head as I took in the view of the amazing Singapore skyline.  Everything was lit up, everything was festive.  Everything was cheering me up.

And just like me, everybody has a silent wish.  Some of them brave enough to commit these wishes to paper – to be more accurate, plastic actually – as they wrote them on the shining diamonds that hung from posts outside the mall.

 

Star light, star bright,

The first star I see tonight;

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have the wish I wish tonight.

 

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Afternoon delight

21 09 2011

Peekaboo... The freshly baked perfect scones – plain and cranberry – tease from underneath perfectly folded cotton napkins.

I’M THE first person to acknowledge the fact that many personalities make me up.  I mean, I could go profound and say I’m multi-faceted.  But I’d rather go straight to the point – many personalities make me up.

That’s the reason why I do believe that one person can have quite a few “best friends.”  Not just one, but not many either.  Just a few.  Each of them share with me a “world” that sometimes I was surprised to find out existed, something I got cognizant of only when they arrived – when they came into my life and arrested my collective consciousness.

Two of them are Friendship and Partner.  Each of them – totally independent of the other – has been sort of bugging me to consider moving to Singapore for a while now.  They were bugging me but not annoying me, allowing me to take my own sweet time.  The inevitable happened and I did find myself eventually having to move.

So it was just fitting for the three of us to come together and hang out.  Friendship does make wonderful plans, and she has had a stellar record in my book when it comes to her restaurant choices.  (We have yet to start on our “Miele Guide” restaurant tour.)  So when she asked, “Afternoon tea at The Fullerton Hotel on Saturday,” Partner and I, breathless in anticipation, could only say yes.

The Courtyard, The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore.

 

The imposing lobby dwarfed me.

Afternoon tea is particularly English and steeped in tradition.  And judging from its presence in restaurant and hotel menus here, it’s quite Singaporean too.

The Courtyard at The Fullerton Hotel – cavernous and imposing with its unbelievably high ceiling, lush indoor greenery, and glass roofing that let in natural light that bathed everything it touched with an ethereal glow – keeps this tradition alive by offering “something hot, something savory and something sweet” from Monday to Friday, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

For something that’s meant to be a precursor to the main meal of a day, The Fullerton Hotel’s Afternoon Tea menu proves to be quite substantial, boasting a wide array of tea choices – all TWG! – with pastry towers that beautifully showcase a selection of savory sandwiches and sweet tea cakes.

Our first tower of savory and sweet treats!

 

Partner and Frienship were quick to spot their favorites from this wide array.

For my “something hot,” I asked for the Fruit Mountain, a fruit blend tea concoction that is “scattered with fresh flowers” and has a “honeyed aftertaste of exotic sweetness.”  My “something savory” turned out to be the scrumptious homemade scones – warm, creamy, flaky, and crumbly – with clotted cream that would melt and slide down the glistening crust.  And to put a sweet ending to a leisurely afternoon spent with real friends and amazing conversation, I felt that the chocolate macaron was the perfect “something sweet.”

My tea is served in a lovely pristine white tea cup with a gilded handle.

 

A choice between white and brown sugar cubes to sweeten the tea.

 

I stuffed myself crazy with these amazing homemade scones!

 

Ending on a sweet note with a chocolate macaron...

The hotel staff’s service was attentive without being invasive to personal space and the many conversations that were transpiring all at the same time.  And the best part?  They meant it when they said, “please ask for your favorites to be replenished.”

It came to the point when I would perfectly understand if they would have asked me if I was eating for two.  That, or telling me that they have run out of scones while not attempting to hide the fact that they would serve the same to other customers with the typical human appetite.  Hahaha!

A place to go back to – The Courtyard at The Fullerton Hotel

 

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Back. So back.

12 09 2011

Scones (Plain and Cranberry), The Courtyard, The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

I TRAINED my eyes, with regret, as I watched a huge chunk of tomato from my luscious marinara sauce go overboard from the tines of my dinner fork, and free fall to my brand new pair of Levi’s.

I didn’t care much about the jeans – I got it at half off anyway.  It was the tomato I pined for with much (there’s the R word again) regret.  That was when I knew how much I do love food.

And how much I love writing about it.

So, after a hiatus that took a good couple months, I’m back.  I’m sooo back.

And to all my readers, welcome back to eNTeNG’s MunchTime!  Singapore is the love.

Scones (Raisin and Cranberry), TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.