Archive for the category “Indian”

Singapore! Day 4 (a bit late!) Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant

I had to delay writing this post because I wasn’t exactly sure what all I had eaten on Friday night!  I put Steve to work to gather a list of the specifics so I could do the dinner we had with his coworkers justice! As usual, he pulled through – actually bringing me the ticket from dinner that night!
Meeting his coworkers for a traditional Southern Indian meal at Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant after golfing in Malaysia earlier that morning was a perfect plan! We were hungry, and there was plenty of food! Additionally, the company we kept was awesome. I sat next to an American named Mark, and across from Steve and his coworker (and host for the evening), Lingam.  There were four more folks who joined us at the other end of the table: Scott and his lovely wife, Lynn and Mubarak and Bong Tong, who treated us to this fantastic meal!
If you haven’t been to this style of Indian restaurant (and I had not been), you sit down at a setting which has a “table” set for you, on a banana leaf. It looks like a place mat, but actually serves as your plate.
I’m not sure I’ll get the order correct, just trust me that Lingam ordered a great variety of foods, and lots of it!
We started off with a few pieces of Papadum, which served as my utensils.  Lingam and a few others ate traditionally, by using their fingers to mix and eat their food. I never quite got that comfortable at the dinner table, and therefore managed to walk away with very little curry under my nails!
The servers brought Briyani rice, cabbage and Brinjal (eggplant) first. Then, things came more quickly than I could try them! More than once, Lingam laughed at how I was trying to keep up – but was failing miserably to do so! Out came spoonfuls of Chicken Mysore, Mutton Curry, Fried Fish, Chicken Masala, Fishhead Curry and Chicken Curry.

Fishhead Curry

I tried it all, and enjoyed it all. There were a variety of flavors, but I was most partial to the Mutton Curry, the Chicken Mysore, the Fishhead Curry, and the Cabbage.
There was no way I could finish everything I had been served, so I hoped that the gang would not be offended when I folded my banana leaf over to indicate that I was done (not to indicate that there was anything wrong with the meal…which I’m told one might also do). There was also no way I could keep up with taking pictures of the food whilst trying to taste it all…so, I apologize, but I missed capturing many of the delightful dishes of the evening in photos.  😦
We had anticipated going out with one or two of the guys that night, but everyone headed in their own directions.  Steve and I headed back to Robertson Quay – figuring we’d have a glass of wine and enjoy the evening outdoors.  We immediately ran into two more coworkers of his, chatted, and had several laughs.  Everyone I have met thus far has been tremendous! Really fun people!
After Bryan and Jason (aforementioned run-ins) left, Steve and I headed back to Wine Connection for that Cab we enjoyed so much earlier in the week.  Turns out, we still enjoyed it! Two bottles and a long catch-up conversation later, we retired home to rest up for an outing to Sentosa Island the next day.
Yes, we were both exhausted and we got a late start the next day, but I think it was worth having a rare late night out (might have allegedly been an early morning out) in Robertson Quay!
As a parting thought tonight, if you have the chance to try a Banana Leaf Indian meal, I highly recommend it!  I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure! I’d love to hear from those of you who have tried this before.

Singapore! Day 2 – China Town, Little India and Robertson Quay

As impressed as I was with myself, (and Steve was too), for staying up last night until 11:30 or so, I was as much surprised that I awoke at 6AM this morning and stayed up pretty much all night again.
“Pretty much”.  I did take another cat nap on Steve’s couch before we set out for a late dinner. But, more about that later…
After leisurely enjoying fresh fruit on the patio for breakfast, I wrote the last blog post, caught some rays by the pool, got up to date on email, and watched a few “Friday Night Lights” episodes (highly recommended by friends) – all while Steve went into work for a few hours. My mind told me that I should have gone back to bed, but my body just wasn’t tired enough to do so.
When he got home, we set out (on foot) toward Dhoby Ghaut (a short walk), through the beautiful artists’ park, Istana Park.
We hopped the MRT over to China Town.  Please let it be known that Steve enjoys testing me, and I am becoming well-versed about the train routes already, as I’m confident Steve will confirm, and I’m equally confident that my friend Dennis will, rightfully, question – DT, I’m getting MUCH better these days! We then hit the town, so to speak.
I have been to China Town in Manhattan many times, and I was anticipating something similar.  While the concept is the same, Singapore’s China Town was much more grand in scale, in my opinion. Beautiful architecture, not only in the temples, but in the buildings in general. Still very “touristy”, but with a bit more Chinese influence in the surrounding areas…IMO.
We walked the streets and checked out the shops; I bought my friend the obligatory “cheesy [insert city] magnets I always buy him, as well as a couple of other carefully chosen trinkets for friends and family.

For JB, with love (and a nanny, nanny, poo, poo) always,

And, go figure, in China Town, Steve and I stopped for Bratwurst sandwiches for lunch.  This stand is legendary in Singapore.
The Austrian gentleman, Erich, who owns the place, seen in the center of the picture, has quite the loyal customer base, and is always busy. It was he, himself, who cooked and served us our food. He is a rightfully proud man!
I regret to admit that we dug into our sandwiches so quickly that I forgot to take a photo. The brat was fantastic, though there was too much bun, IMO. Between the bun and the mustard, I felt the brat flavor was a bit lost.  Still, I’d go back there anytime I visit Singapore’s China Town!
Then…the rain set in.  Luckily, Steve and I were near the “yellow chairs”.  I don’t even know what restaurant that officially is, but it has yellow chairs outside, thus, the name. We sat down in said yellow chairs and ordered Tiger beers (my call – it was, after all, 4PM on a weekday. Let’s be scandalous!). Two (large) beers
turned into four,
turned into five beers

Note: these were five split between the two of us…not something I could accomplish alone!

as the rain continued coming down.  We had a great time people watching and chatting with each other whilst drinking our afternoon “dessert”. If I do say so myself, it was a good call on my part!
We then set out toward Little India to stop by Mustafa’s – the local equivalent of a Walmart meets a Marshall’s meets a TJMaxx, etc.  Thirty-eight doors and four floors of ANYTHING you need/want/didn’t know you needed/wanted.
In other words, my personal hell.  Steve knows I hate to shop, but he’s a deal freak, so he “had” to show me this gem of Singapore (mostly so he could do his  own shopping).
This is two days straight he has used the “it’s a must-see” excuse to make me shop with him.  Note to Steve: my shopping fuse is short right now! 🙂
We had planned to go out to eat after coming home from Little India, but that plan got delayed as I played on my computer and Steve fiddled with the new toy he bought in China Town. And, then as he got sucked into a movie and I got sucked into a nap. Fast-forward to 8:45PM, and we’re ready to go.
We decided on Bella Pizza in Robertson Quay. I still wasn’t very hungry, but the menu was expansive and everything looked delicious.  Steve advised me not to do the “She Ordered What?!?” method, but rather to trust my gut. Although, everything is good, according to Steve, it’s best to choose what you really want.
Given that guidance, I chose the Antipasto Bella Pizza, which is the “chef’s selection of cheeses with salami, Parma ham and fresh arugula”.
Oh. My. Goodness…the selection was decadent!  Although…I will say that the arugula was a bit overpowering in comparison to the rest of the salad.  I couldn’t eat too much of it.  Nor could Steve.
Steve chose the Calzone Napoletana, which is described as “a folded pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, salami, and Parmesan”. Can you tell that we’re cheese lovers?? (and, btw, this calzone was enormous!)
His too, was delicious.  I stole a few bites (which he had gladly offered up), and I can only say that I’d have liked some crushed red pepper to add spice to the meal. Apparently, that’s not common in Singapore, so I didn’t press the issue.
Despite the earlier rain, we lucked out again with gorgeous weather and had a fun day of hanging out in Singapore’s “ethnic districts”.  I wish I would have had some of the regional food, but Steve has promised me that we’ll indulge later in my trip.  (I think he’s trying to ease me into the local fair – a kind gesture!)
Day two score: Steve = alive, Ker = alive
Therefore, success!! 🙂
Just teasing…Steve and I have a ball together, but we’re two hard-headed, smart-mouthed, highly intelligent, quick-witted people.  That’s a recipe for disaster! So far, we’ve averted disaster. I hope we continue to do so!


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