September 12th, 2006

krazy koati

If you doubt it, take a bite

Whilst wandering about I discovered there's a new food stand in a spot just about right for me to never actually eat anything there. It's just at a spot a little too far away for it to be a convenient snack, and it's by intention a take-away place with snack-type meals so it wouldn't do for me as lunch or dinner. It's called ``Chippy British Takeaway'', and it offers an oddly-numbered menu of a Singaporean interpretation of British cuisine. (The dishes are numbered, above the counter; it's just they're numbered from 5 down to 1, going to the right. I mean ``odd'' in the sense of ``peculiar'', but ``odd'' in the sense of ``in the congruence class of 1 in Z\2Z'' is coincidentally true.) The Singlish menu:

  1. Fried Mars Bar, S$2.50. I have heard of this, but never actually seen it in the wild. I have the vague impression that the British Mars Bar is a different but similar creature to the American Mars Bar, but in any case a Singaporean Mars Bar is, I believe, made in Malaysia to the specifications of the Australian Mars Bar, so I have not got the faintest idea what the result is. Upsize for S$1.00 more.
  2. The Original Cheese Sausage, S$3.30. I don't believe this stand actually invented the cheese sausage, but I'll admit that it's likely one would get a cheese sausage not actually produced before. I suppose what I'm saying is I would bill it as an original cheese sausage. For S$1.50 more one can upsize the mash potato.
  3. Beer batter fish, S$4.45. Twelve pieces with fries. That sounds chippy all right.
  4. Crispy calamari, S$4.45. Eighteen pieces, with a choice of spicy or not. I'm not much of a calamari fan, British or otherwise. I've given things with suckers on it fair chances, and come away disappointed every time except when the thing with a sucker is battered and fried to the point that any molecules of the original substance are irretrievably lost. At that point I may as well just get the fried batter and save the thing-with-suckers the unpleasantness. I'd never associated calamari with British cuisine, even though I know that for centuries in London tons of fresh eels were imported daily to be sold by street vendors as snacks. If London is still doing this I don't want to know about it.
  5. Cheesey Curry Chicken, S$3.45. Fourteen pieces, regular or extra spicy. I can't think of anything amusing about this.

I don't know how representative all of that is of actual British cuisine, but it does seem like a set that would play pretty well to Singaporean tastes. I just don't know that I'll ever be there when I'm hungry.

Trivia: The Bear, the tavern at the Southwark end of London Bridge, is mentioned around 1319, owned by Thomas Drynkewatre. Source: Old London Bridge, Patricia Pierce.

Currently Reading: Flesh and Silver, Stephen L Burns.