For those of you who know me knows that I have a deep passion and love of food. Some might say that I love food too much. I would literally cry and tear up when I eat fantastic food like the swiss roll @ Arab Street and the nasi lemak @ Changi Village. I would also cry when I taste shit food like Tian Tian chicken rice; like seriously it doesn’t deserve the reputation it has but that’s a post for another day. I actively seek out delicious food, specifically hawker food, and try to find the creme de la creme. But why? Why do I have an unholy obsession with food? After all, it is just nourishment, right?
When I was younger, food was something my family bonded over. Everyone was always very busy with school, work or their own personal problems but we would always spend the time to gather to eat. Regardless of the differences, we had or the arguments that were ongoing, it was always uninvited to the dining table. Unhappiness is barred and frowns are non-existent. Is during those late night gatherings at Mr Teh Tarik, Changi Food Village etc that some of my fondest memories are made. It’s not the conversation. It’s the atmosphere full of love and care is what I remember while enjoying the food together as one. Of course, we don’t always eat out. We also bonded over good ole home cooked food by my culinary idol, my grandmother.
My grandmother is also another reason why I love food so much as well.My grandmother in her prime was a cook and a baker to be reckoned with. People pay good money for her well-raved durian and plain kuih lapis as well as her Kek Marble. Her mastery in traditional Malay cuisine is the best in the whole family tree. People absolutely love her delicious kuehs. Nobody does kuehs better than her. I’m not saying this because she is my grandmother. I’m saying that she been doing this for a majority of her life and she got her shit down.
Her discipline and focus when she makes her kuehs always amazed as a young child. Every time I want to busybody, I would find my ass being kicked out. It is because of her honest and heartwarming cooking that I came to appreciate masterful and quality food. It was because of her oxtail soup and her rendang that I came to fall in love with food cooked with honesty, love, care, and dedication.
This brings me to why I love hawker food so much. These are people who have mastered their crafts over decades. These are people who spent literal years perfecting their dishes. Good hawker food is as close to home food as it can get. I believe fantastic food always has these things in common; passion, dedication and love. I find that in fantastic hawker foods. My grandmother always says “don’t frown when you cook cause later food not nice” and that’s so true. I really think their honesty comes through in the cooking. The amount of time needed to prepare and run a hawker stall can be pretty tough but they still do it anyways. There is this home feel that I truly love about the hawker culture. If you aren’t shy, some of them are actually pretty open to talking to. That makes me all fuzzy and warm inside.
I also love, what I call, the new age of local food. The emergence of hipster food is actually quite exciting. It adds variety to the already diverse food scene. I find that really fun. Seeing fusions and the crossovers between the different cuisines is a perfect embodiment of what Singapore is, a cultural hotpot. Although I must admit that most of the hipster, hasn’t been that good but there’s that minority that serves damn good, creative and new foods. That gives me a lot of hope and I’m extremely eager to see where it goes. I hope this doesn’t die out because I love creativity. I love fact that it looks like the new younger generation who are doing this. I love it so much. It freshens up the hawker and food scene. This is why I love food as well. It’s not just a step by step recipe. You can change anything and adapt the recipe however you like. I believe in preserving tradition but I also believe in being creative and as imaginative as possible. I embrace hipster foods (only the good ones ah not the shit rainbow nonsense). I love the color it brings.
This is why I love food so much. It is much more than just nourishment for me. It has that ability to bring people together regardless of your background, skin color whatever really. Damn good food doesn’t only fill your stomach but your soul and heart. It’s something I hold very close to my heart and that’s why I’m writing this blog. I really love food and I want y’all follow me through this journey of discovering and learning about food. Especially with the direction which the food since is going. I love seeing, discovering and tasting new creations. It’s really very fun. I just really love darn good food.
I hope y’all understand my abnormal obsession with food so much. I can go on for hours but that’ll do for now. I hope to see you guys on the next post but till then BYE!