Peranakan Night

I have less than 4 weeks to spend in Singapore and I still have a few things to check off my bucket list. One of them was to try the infamous durian.

My friend Lynn organized a true Peranakan night, so that me and other 3 non-local friends would experience another interesting part of Singapore, and not just Orchard road. So we started our evening in the Joo Chiat area, with nice little stores where you can find traditional kitchen utensils, hand embroidered clothes, traditional shoes and other knick knacks. The level of detail, the bead-work, jewelry and the abundance of colors are impressive. And if you’re brave enough to try the sweets and the food in these charming places, you’ll be rewarded. All those wonderful treats come in every possible shape and color and they’re delicious. My favorites are those with coconut.

We continued our Peranakan trail with a nice walk, discovering cute small places with more food choices – Hong Kong pastries, cupcakes, and different bars and pubs. We had dinner at a small nice place where we wanted to try a bit of everything on the menu. Fortunately, our host refused to take more orders, because “it’s not good to eat that much”. She was so decisive – she didn’t even flinch at the disappointment on our faces for not having tried the sesame chicken. But we did enjoy the prawn omelette, the fish head curry, fried fish belly, pork ribs and pork soup. And the water chestnut drink was simply delicious. Another first for me in Singapore – I tried even the potato leaves. As I had thought, my mom laughed at me when I had told her about it. Because we never eat this back home, she found it very amusing. As you can see, we didn’t order that much…

And for desert – the much awaited durian. I have to say I was a bit nervous, but I really liked it. It’s sweet and buttery and it’s more than just a fruit. It’s a true desert in itself. Quick tip from the taxi driver – don’t drink alcohol right after you’ve had durian. Not good for your blood pressure. But a while ago
I learnt a trick – have a cooling fruit after durian , like mangosteen, and you’ll be fine.

All in all, I loved that I got to know this beautiful part of Singapore and learnt more about its culture and history. My gratitude goes to Lynn for putting this together, and to my other 3 friends who made it all perfect.

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