January 6, 2018
First up was the minced pork noodles with prawns, calf's liver, pork dumplings and various fish balls and slices. I think they were egg noodles, and the soup was typically pretty clear with a nice, salted flavor of a combination of various stocks. Excellent dish, overall. I wonder why anyone would opt for the non-soup option. I guess if you're watching your sodium levels, you'd pass on the soup. The prawns were served whole and unfortunately, tearing the pair open caused juices to run down your forearms. It wouldn't be much of an annoyance if napkins were readily available. Bring your own package of tissues when you travel to Southeast Asia!
Minced pork noodles:
I went to a relatively small food court called Food Street at Changi Airport for a very early dinner. They make you purchase a debit card that each stand takes, except for the Burger King, (yeesh) and your charges get deducted by the hawker as you buy stuff.
I had just enough room to go for my last serving of Hainanese chicken rice. It's unfortunate that this version wasn't too strong. The rice and chicken were barely warm, and I found the rice a little too oily and sweet. The last thing the person serving it did before handing it to me was pour a small ladle of liquid onto the rice and chicken. That must've been the oil and sugar I tasted. And the rice was lacking that wonderful ginger aroma and flavor. At least the spicy orange sauce helped temper the sweetness.
Hainanese chicken rice:
I decided to go for a claypot dish served at a stall called Singapore Cuisine. Obvious choice, right? I tried their chicken & pork belly option, and what a fantastic dish! It was piping hot when served to me and stayed that way for the 20 minutes it took me to finish it. It would've gone faster had I not used so many of the small diced chili peppers in soy sauce from the self-serve counter. The dish was burning hot in two ways, and my sinuses and I loved it. Even the crispy bits of rice lining the clay pot were delish, having absorbed and caramelized the juices from the marinated protein and spicy soy sauce. The aged mushrooms were quite chewy though very flavorful, and the scallions and bok choy gave the dish good crunch.
Time to grab a cold glass of fresh lime juice, then a hot Jasmine tea to help heal the old tongue, of which I awarded four to the claypot.
Hey, so maybe it's a recurring theme in the Far East that many smaller restaurants don't bother with devising a creative name, and that's OK. So, it was one last trip to this jaw-dropping food court at the Raffles Mall across the intersection from my hotel.