Tuesday, September 20, 2005

SMA directed us on a scenic drive from our place to Jalan Kayu via the Yishun dam and through Seletar Airbase. If we had started a little earlier the view of the setting sun across the water would have been spectacular, but as it was, the road was quite a bit dark and I had to pay close attention to where I was going. It's a narrower, windier route than I'm used to and in the dimmness I had to focus on the road and not much else. Love to drive through that way again just for the sights.

We stopped for dinner at "ChaoZhou Porridge Culture," a little Teochew porridge place that stands out from amongst the other prata places one usually expects to find in the area. It looks expensive, but the setup is an all-you-can-eat buffet of clear porridge and accompanying dishes. Each table is required to order only 1 main dish and the rest is a free for all. We ordered a decent braised fish dish, then pigged out on braised peanuts, salted-eggs, salted veggies, stir-fried fresh veggies, brinjal, pickled onions and olives, tau pok, a couple of other bean-curd based things, and fresh cockles, which June claims the Wong family wouldn't get enough of if they had joined us on this outing.

Very friendly service from the youthful English-speaking staff, one of whom lamented that some of the more traditional, exotic Teochew dishes had to be taken off the menu due to their loss of popularity from either ignorant or overly-health conscious patronage. If we wanted goose, or jellied wild-boar, or kana-chai (an olive pickle side-dish) we'd have to convince the chef that there's still a mass-market for it.

I don't particularly like porridge, but the food was palatable and easily eaten in quantity. Not necessarily fantastic, but the price is appealing. 3 can eat as much as we want for $24. Can't go too far wrong there!

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