After nearly a year of bumming about, unfortunately not literally though (interspaced with a three-month diploma), I have a job. Yes, that’s right. I’m no longer part of the 3% of Singaporeans who’re statistically unemployed.
I’m glad, because this is the thing that I’ve always wanted to do…besides being a professional gymnast, besides being a flight attendant for Singapore Airlines, besides being a fitness trainer and being a luxury men’s bags and accessories designer…the last one was pretty recent, though. But looking back at it now, my ambitions were quite gay. Well, I guess it was always in me, huh? One thing’s for certain: after an absolutely shit 2013, 2014’s certainly looking up.
Another person that 2014’s certainly looking up for is Darren. After days, weeks and months of talking about it, he’s finally furthering his studies in Australia, again. With him gone (as my go-to guide to what’s hot and what’s not) and me working full-time now, that means the places which I discuss are going to get shittier and shittier. So, I’m thinking about changing the blog’s direction to reflect the change in dynamics, but I’m still working out the details. Whatever it is, I want to keep the site independent and ad free. I kinda know what I want to do, but I’m not too sure if I should keep it here, or have another site. We’ll see.
Anyways, back to food.
Yes, Por Kee Eating House. This zhi-char restaurant marks Darren’s week-long “tastes of Singapore” extravaganza before he takes off for Melbourne tomorrow (the morning after this dinner). Por Kee Eating House is kind of the place that you think nobody visits in the days after Chinese New Year – you come only to find out that it’s booked up, and you forget about it for a whole year…at least for my family, anyways. I think I’ve come here once, a long time ago but hey, I don’t remember.
We started with the Homemade Beancurd with Mushrooms, a signature, according to Daniel Food Diary and the restaurant’s lovely service crew. There has been a recent (okay, not very recent) surge in zhi-char restaurants being empowered and taking ownership of their menus. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of original dishes which fuses the best of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western elements to create something that’s uniquely Singaporean. One area that affords these neighborhood diners an area of differentiation is tofu, which is easy enough to make considering most of these restaurants are only open for dinner. Otherwise, it’s a pretty tedious process and without the benefit of preservatives, almost crumbles, disintegrates and spoils instantly. The tofu was lovely – firm, yet soft and silkened on the inside, just like what homemade tofu tastes like, right? I had Two Chefs Eating Place’ Hotplate Tofu, as well as a Tofu with Mushrooms dish along Upper Serangoon Road weeks back, and I’ve to admit, I couldn’t tell the difference. The taste was lovely, though.
Darren really seemed to want the Champagne Pork Ribs, but alas, fate intervened and our second dish instead was the Thai style steamed fish. We went for the cheapest one, which I’ve to admit, I was feeling a little wary about, but all my concerns vaporized when the dish was served. We all love to drink the “soup” of steamed fish dishes. Well, Por Kee goes one step further by providing a whole basin full of the stock for diners to lap themselves happy. It was a great idea, and it was certainly like having a third dish.
If you’re expecting some authentic Bangkok-style steamed fish rich with lemongrass and other herbs, you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead, we get a reduced version of that, not that that’s bad or anything, because it really complements the creamy fish flesh perfectly. Something warm and hearty, a little trip of exotica, but nothing too extreme…a perfect way to end the day.