It’s fun enjoying the culinary delights of Singapore with my boyfriend husband (does that make him a boy-band?) because we love to compare and contrast our likes and dislikes. Every so often we’re at opposite ends of the spectrum, which is the case with pork buns. He seeks them out like they’re black truffles in the French countryside, while I don’t really care if I see another pork bun in this lifetime. I don’t think they’re terrible, I just don’t like the sweetness of the bun with the savory quality of the pork inside. Boy-band took the day off today, so what better reason to find another pork bun? We went to Food Opera, the food court in the basement of Ion on Orchard. Aside from the taste, I have to say his buns were quite stunning in their perfect, white roundness. I tried a small bite, holding out hope that maybe the perfect pork bun will someday win me over, but yet again I was indifferent. Not a good adjective in the world of food!
Then there’s Carrot Cake. Neither one of us is indifferent on this dish. We’ve been hearing about it for a while, but today the rubber hit the road… I was standing face to face with the dish and decided to try it. I had forgotten what the substance of this dish was made of, so I asked the cashier. Chicken? Pork? Tofu? “Cake,” she replied. Okay, we’ll try it.
What arrived at the table was a plate of potato-like chunks mixed with carrots, bean sprouts, egg, red chili and chili oil. Being a huge fan of anything with red chilis, I found the initial flavor and spice quite nice. I plucked out a white chunk and popped it in my mouth, not knowing what to expect. Not quite as firm as a potato but a little more gelatinous and slightly fishy overall, I chewed and swallowed in confusion. I tried another chunk and another, unsuccessfully trying to discern the flavor. I couldn’t pinpoint it so I asked the man serving us tea. White radish! Of course. I should have known. I eat white radish all the time. Not really.
Boy-band had tried some but then moved back to the safety of his pork buns. I asked him what he thought of the carrot cake and he responded that the white chunk had provoked his gag reflex so he had immediately swallowed it whole so he wouldn’t vomit on the table. Wow! Okay. Let’s tick the carrot cake box and move on. Plenty of other things to try in Singapore!