Fish Tail Curry 咖哩魚尾


I do love fish head curry, a national curry dish of Singapore but, eating this special curry needs a little bit of work. At times, you don't have the luxury to spend time eating this dish. All my problems are now solved with this fish tail curry -easy to eat. Next time, I'll opt for fish body curry.


新しくなったテッカセンター 新竹脚中心

Tekka Centre in Little India has re-opened August 2009. I was reading the article on Straits Times (Sunday Times) inside the plane to Singapore and I was psyched to check the newly revamped Tekka Centre with my own eyes. Reading the article of the Sunday Times, all the comments from the people re-visiting the place are naturally positive -better hygiene, brighter, wider walkway. But is it all happy ever after? Some good elements of Tekka Centre are lost during this renovation. I have my personal attachment to the old Tekka Centre -underground-ish, no-nonsense, jungle-like, chaotic ambiance. Appearance is clean but has the mentality of people working there changed? This is more important.
8月(2009年)からリトルインディア(小印度)にある歴史的フードセンターであるテッカセンターが改装された。もともとロチャーキャナル(Rochor Canal)付近では竹が生い茂っていた為、福建(ホッケン)語の"tek kia kah = 竹脚 = bamboo clumps" がなまり =TEKKA(テッカ)になった。テッカマーケットの歴史は古く、1915年に庶民のマーケットとしてオープンした。というのも、アッパークラスが通っていたのはオーチャードロードマーケットでテッカセンターはワーキングクラスのマーケットであった。現在の場所に移ったのは1982年の頃。出来た当時はヅージャオセンター(Zhujiao Centre aka Shujiao Centre)として(名前を変更して)オープンした。漢字では同じ字を書くのだが、政府の政策としてマンダリン語が導入されたのだ。しかし多くの住民が反対をした結果、2000年にもとのTekka Centreに名前が戻ったそうだ。建物は同じだが見違えるくらい清潔になったのと、店内が非常に明るく、通路も以前より広いので食材の納品がスムーズに行える。私としては、ボロッちく見せながらも衛生的なフードセンターがあったらいいな〜と思うのだが。ありえないか?写真下は、2年前の古いテッカセンター。どうせならバス停も新しくすればいいのに。


Polar Puffs and Cakes ポーラーパフ&ケーキのカリーパフ


Curry Puff -a ubiquitous S.E. Asian snack with curried chicken filling encased with a flaky pie crust. It is questionable if this is a Singaporean creation (there's curry puff in Malaysia and Thailand as far as I know (as a matter of fact it could be an Anglo-Indian cuisine adapted during the British Raj era mid 1800's - mid 1900's ) but regardless of its origin, this is one of many Singapore/Western type of food that includes Hainanese pork chop, sausage rolls, chicken pies, etc. I guess it is only natural if you take a Brits' favorite chicken pie and adding some curry powder in it. Polar Puffs and Cakes curry puff is certainly baked in the oven. But the one at Old Chang Kee is deep fried in oil. Now, does that make it a true curry PUFF? Purist will say that curry puff should be baked in the oven because the dough should be that specific puff pastry -a multi layered pastry using chilled fats. Deep fried curry puff does not use the puff pastry but the dough is more like samosa or epok epok where the dough is not multi layered.


Hainanese Porridge 海南粥



Achar/Acar アチャール 南洋泡菜

Acar (pronounced achar) is a ubiquitous pickle throughout Singapore and Malaysia. The Nonya's, the Malaysians, the Eurasians and the Indian Peranakans all have their own version but the common ingredients are chilli, vinegar and salt, cooked or uncooked. Apparently, acars in Malaysia and Singapore are derived from the South Indians who migrated there. But where exactly did acar come from? India? In Hindi and Urdu, pickle is known as achar. From what I have researched, there are no universal theory. According to K. T. Achaya's A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, "The origin of the word achar is obscure. Though commonly ascribed a Persian origin, Hobson-Jobson hints that it may even have originated in western Asia from the Latin acetaria.......(Rumphius states that the word) derives from the Spanish word for axa or chilli which the Portuguese write as achi." (Achaya, K. T., 'A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food,' Oxford University Press, New York 2006, p186.)
アチャー(人によってはアチャール)はシンガポール料理には欠かせない唐辛子の効いたピクルスで食事と一緒に食べる日本でいう漬物だ。ニョニャ、マレー、ユーレイジアン、そしてインディアンプラナカンーそれぞれの民族に合ったアチャーが存在する。シンガポールやマレーシアのアチャーは移民してきた南インド人の影響といわれている。では、アチャーはいったいどこが発祥なのか?ヒンディー語、ウルドゥ語でピクルスの事をアチャーという。その発祥はペルシャやアラブという説が一般的だが、酢を意味するラテン語のアチェタリア(acetaria)からきているという説もあれば、スペイン語のチリ(aji)又はポルトガル語のチリ(achi)からきているという説もある。(Achaya, K. T., 'A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food,' Oxford University Press, New York 2006, p186.参照)余談だが、チリはもともとポルトガル人によってインドに持ち運ばれたものだ。


Laksa @ Tanglin Club


I had an opportunity to eat at one of the restaurants at the prestigious private club -Tanglin Club which was founded in 1865. Casual retaurant, "Tavern," has a pub-like ambiance and I find it to be a nice place to hang out after five for a pint. I was recommended club's laksa so that's what I chose -not Katong style but more like Nonya laksa. Toppings include decent amount of shrimp, shredded chicken, fishcake and tau pok (deep fried tofu puffs). The flavor was actually not bad with a richness of coconut milk and aroma of dried prawns. The portion size was huge! -about twice the amount of coffee shops.


シンガポールの半熟卵 Soft-boiled Eggs @ Kopitiam