Sunday, August 26, 2012

Singapore National Day dinner

When I read LIFT's blog post "Est-ce que le tauhuay n'est pas assez atas?" about the PR disaster by Dîner En Blanc Singapore Organising Committee, I felt compelled to share about my recent Singapore National Day dinner celebration with some friends.

I invited my usual group of close friends to celebrate Singapore's National Day with me by dining at a Singaporean restaurant. GX, HW (the PRCs) and PN (Singaporean) could not make it. ZS's wife (JX) is still in Alberta. So it was ZS, AA, EM and myself -- the Hollyburn mountain hike gang. Firstly, a breakdown of the nationalities.
  • ZS is a PRC who had worked for some years in Singapore.
  • AA and EM are both French from France (i.e. not Quebecois).
  • I am a born-and-bred Singaporean.
Prata-man Restaurant, Richmond, B.C., Canada
Yummy Hainanese Chicken Rice

I spotted a Singaporean restaurant in Richmond (Prata-man Restaurant at Garden City Road, at Capstan Way, Richmond) and decided to try-out the place. Here's what we ordered.
  • Combo-set for 2 with Barley Drink, Mee Goreng, Satay, Hainanese Chicken Rice, etc - for AA and EM.
  • Tauhu Telur to share.
  • Lotong - mainly for me. AA and EM tried the soup.
  • Bak Ku Tea - for Zhang Si who shared his soup with AA and EM.
We all enjoyed the food. As usual, the servings are huge Canadian-sized portions -- too big for us. Like me, ZS has tasted authentic Singaporean food before and agreed with me that what we had was only an approximation of the delicious Singaporean food, but still something-approximate is better then nothing when one is away from Singapore. IMHO, only the Hainanese Chicken Rice was worthy of the authentic Singapore hawker centre standards. [Note: I did not eat the chicken, but I did try a bit of the rice and chilli for taste-testing.] I am probably biased, but Canadian food pales in comparison with Singaporean food. Even an average to so-so approximation of Singaporean food (which, IMHO, is how I would score Prata-man's food) scored 86% Likes (out of 90 votes) and 4 out of 5 stars (for the food). I plan to check-out other "recommended" Singaporean and/or Malaysian restaurants in future. Right now, the only place in B.C. that I know for sure I can eat authentic Singaporean food is at Uncle Wing's (where I had dined once).

AA and EM really enjoyed the food. You can tell that from the photo below -- we were half-finished before we even remembered to take a photo for the memories! So, no, at least the 2 French that I hang out with love Singaporean food. In fact, AA and EM doggie-bagged the leftovers so that we can continue to enjoy the "good food" for dinner at their place, where we had planned to meet up the following night. [Btw, I had shared with them nasi lemak, curry and laksa on previous occasions and they love those too, albeit with toned down chilli-hotness.]

We forgot to take a photo before we started eating

We plan to visit Singapore together in a few years' time, so that I can show them the many truly awesome authentic Singaporean food. They are so looking forward to the trip -- because enjoying good food (whatever the origin) is a big part of the French culture.

p.s. I was wondering what to get for dessert when they come over to my place for dinner and French-Mandarin language-exchange lesson next week. Now I've got an idea, tau huay it shall be!

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