In August 2004 RJ and I visited Singapore for my friends' wedding. It was way before I had ever even set eyes upon a food blog. But because food is one of my favourite things about Singapore, I ended up taking some photos of things we ate.
One of Singapore's most famous hawker centres is Lau Pa Sat. Situated right in the heart of the financial district it's a bit of a tourist trap, but still seems popular enough with the local office workers too. Lau Pa Sat is open 24 hours and features over 100 food stalls, so you can pretty much eat whatever you want whenever you feel like it.
This day, I only had eyes for one dish...laksa. Laksa is a firm favourite of mine from back in my working-in-Singapore days. My colleagues used to laugh at me because I wouldn't eat the bits that they thought were the most delicious - the fish cake, fish balls and cockles. They used to say "Ask the uncle to leave it out - he'll be very happy with his bigger profit margin!" My favourite ingredient is the fried spongy tofu that absorbs the delicious coconut milk-based curry soup, closely followed by the prawns, hard boiled egg, beansprouts and noodles.
It's really hearty comfort food. Eating a hot spicy soup for lunch in a country famous for its year-round heat and humidity probably doesn't seem like a great idea, but it really is!
In my five-year away-from-Singapore gap I had, of course, tried the laksa on offer at Australian restaurants. It's almost never as good, because it costs four to five times more and it never seems to capture the right flavour and mix of ingredients. That's why I just had to have it at least once on my trip back last year!A trip down memory lane at Lau Pa Sat
The other fantastic thing about Singaporean hawker centres is the freshly squeezed juice. It's made on the spot and sets you back less than $2!
Oh, and the other thing in this photo is the ubiquitous "small packet tissues". There are so many uses for these in Singapore that you'll wonder how you ever got by at home without carrying them everywhere!food and drink Singapore laksa travel