Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Chai by river Hooghly

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Chai-wallah. Super sweet milky chai with hints of ginger. What is special are these earthen cups in which the chai is served. The pots are size of a child’s fist. So even though the sweetness of the tea hurts your teeth, it lasts only a few tiny sips. Tea gets a slightly earthen flavor when served in these pots.

I remember the pots being nicely proportioned back in the days.

Post Peter Cat, we decided to do a family outing to Outram ghat and threw in a boat ride. Last similar trip was in 2008. We had desperately needed the exercise but instead our boatman got some. The ghats along the river are full of untapped tourism potential but as a third generation Calcuttan, I have now finally given up hope. However, it never fails to provide some elements of interest. During this particular boat ride, we drew close to Prinsep ghat and found a long haired baul singer entertaining the crowd. When he got up for an ovation, we realized that he was a hipster to boot. We found remnants of bisarjan, a long legged goddess, dangling by her ankles at one of the canal bridges.

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Written by locomotoring

November 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Peter Cat of Kolkata

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Peter Cat of Kolkata, started in sixties, it is unclear how much has changed since. My brother is pretty convinced that absolutely no changes have occurred in last 2 decades.

A mindless concoction of a bloody mary. Completely avoidable.

Sizzler. This is not on the menu but clientele seemed to know of it. Various kababs, liver, shrimp, paneer doused in a creamy sauce. Quite nice.

Tandoori shrimp, my favorite this time. The shrimps were amazingly tender and disappeared rapidly.

Spicy chicken liver. I got some back home to try with the Kentucky bourbon.

Chelokabab plate. The sheek kabab was over spiced but the tandoori skewers were tender and juicy. We had a lot of left over tandoori chicken which came back home – to be converted into tikka masala.

Written by locomotoring

November 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

Posted in Calcutta (Kolkata)

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Singapore Sling

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Should have had one at Raffles Hotel but had one at LongBeach@Dempsey which was awful to say the least. So I had another one on the flight out. And the one on the flight was better than the one at LongBeach!

According to Singapore Airlines menu, Singapore Sling was created in 1915 at the Long Bar of Raffles Hotel and is a concoction of dry gin, Dom Benedictine, orange liqueur and cherry brandy and shaken up with lime and pineapple juices and a dash of Angostura bitters and Grenadine. Does this have the potential of being sublime like a good gin-martini? Possibly not.

Written by locomotoring

November 14, 2014 at 9:05 am

Posted in Singapore

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Salut to Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles

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We had to wait only a few minutes for our $5 bowls at Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle shop. Karma, baby!

This little hawker shop at Pek Kio serves noodles and broth just the way I like it. A bowl of ambient temperature flat rice noodles was served with crunchy bits, bean sprouts and spicy oil, like dan-dan noodles. A separate bowl of hot delicious shrimp broth came with two juicy jumbo shrimps. When served separately, the noodles and broth can be independently perfected and enjoyed.

Every time I am outside of the cocoon of SF Bay Area, I am humbled at the sight of hard working people in their 70s and 80s. At Wah Kee, grandfather meticulously puts the shrimp broth together, one bowl at a time. Shrimps are cooked after the order is placed. Grandmother serves the customers, and puts together the noodle bowl. She is supposedly a bit moody but we did not see any evidence of that.  She helped us choose the right type of noodles (gluten free) and afterwards when we went up to thank her, she shook our hands and gave us a lovely smile.

It was too muggy to bring a mobile phone to the food center but if you want to see photos, check out the links below.

  • Here is where we got our recommendation from.
  • Another foodie whose site I must wade through before our next trip to Singapore.

For coffee we recommend Cambridge Coffee Stall – serving rich coffee made cowboy style and served with a small tsp of condensed milk.

Written by locomotoring

November 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm

LongBeach @ Dempsey

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House specialty prawn. Shelled and batter fried shrimps topped with salted egg. The salted egg bits were crunchy and about the size of sesame seeds.

House specialty, a 1.8 kilo black peppered Sri Lankan crab – about the size of my head. The pepper flavor danced around in my mouth while I spent better part of an hour devouring the giant on the plate. Only a few women at the establishment were using bibs. Several of the patrons, like us, were using all available appendages and implements in sight – tourists like us perhaps. Someone at the table across us was eating his crab with chopsticks!

After all that effort, we were hungry enough to share a durian pudding which arrived at the table promptly. Some presentation flair involving basic chemistry was involved – the bowl of pudding was situated on a tumbler containing blue liquid that emitted vigorous white vapors. The pudding was creamy and exuded a super strong durian flavor. My husband fondly describes durian as jackfruit flavored with (two week old sweaty gym socks that has been dowsed in kerosene.)

On our way back from LongBeach, our cab driver mentioned the urban legend surrounding the gigantic size of Sri Lankan crabs.

Written by locomotoring

November 12, 2014 at 7:42 am

Posted in Singapore

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Katanashi at Boat Quay

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Boat Quay is touristy but to be honest it is really pleasant to sit by the river and eat. Singapore, like other warm weather countries is hot and humid even in November and the hawker stalls do get a bit too muggy. We have a general motto – when in doubt, eat Japanese cuisine – it paid off in choosing Katanashi.

We were early at Boat Quay. We whetted our appetite by walking from one end of Boat Quay to other, crossing over to the other side of the river and walking back. In spite of all that walking about, we were early and decided to seat ourselves at a table by the river. We could hear the staff starting their shift with pledges of hospitality and customer service. Within a short time of lunch opening, the restaurant filled up with office goers. It emptied up equally quickly. It was great to watch others rushing about their lives while we were lazing about!

Katanashi at Boat Quay, prides itself in really fresh ingredients, apparently eggs so fresh that one could eat them raw!

Although at lunch time, only beer is served. Damn gluten sensitivity. I wish I could have ordered sake. Cold green tea just wasn’t the right substitute. Perhaps it was for the best, I was only a foot away from the river.

Scorched mackerel. Scorching happens at the table, the fish is marinated in vinegar, served with freshly grated horseradish, scallions and soy.

Signature dish, curried slow cooked beef tongue. Served with rice and picked cucumbers.

Korean style salmon served on a bowl of rice, with fried egg, fresh okra and picked cucumbers.

Written by locomotoring

November 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Singapore

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Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun, really really fresh

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A clean kitchen towel is placed on the steamer. A thin rice batter is poured on the towel and ingredients laid on top. In this case, shrimp. A cover is placed and the noodle sheet is steamed for a minute or so.

On a different station, oil is first applied on the pan. The kitchen towel is laid rice noodle sheet side down and a spatula is used to loosen the towel. The towel is then picked up by hand. leaving the noodle on the pan. The noodle is rolled up and cut up.

Busy duo from Chee Cheong Fun noodle stall at Pek Kio Market

Plain noodles with sprinkled sesame seeds, a rich broth with five spice flavor, a tea spoon of red pepper the side.

Minced pork noodles.

Written by locomotoring

November 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Singapore

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