Thanks to the Citreon DS3, house moving for A-Lister Pern Choo got off to a...
On the eve of having to return his Citroen DS3 back to its rightful owners, Pern decides to take it for one last ride into the sunset on a hunt for good grub. Unwilling to part with this sweet ride, he's taken to camping in the DS3 (just for the last night), imprinting firmly in his mind the memory of the DS3's great adventures around Singapore.
“Babe?” (finger poke) ..... “Baby?” (elbow nudge) ..........“---------"; other un-printable cutesy nickname undisclosed to save what reputation I have (had).
Feign sleep . . . she will go back to sleep. It is the weekend after all.
(knee strike).....“Love God!” (ok, I made that one up).
“WAKE UP!! . . .
Why are we sleeping in the DS3?”
“Because we have to return it on Monday!” I reply.
And so my last Sunday with the Topgear magazine Car of the year for 2010 begins. Thank fully the tailored upholstery - with “style and distinction” in mind, doesn’t leave fabric marks on our faces nor are our legs overly cramped given the generous space provided.
With a stretch, a yawn and thoughts of finding some disused race track in mind squashed by an overt sense of responsibility. I do have to give back the car in one piece, we instead head to a regular haunt to kick start the day.
Stop 1 – 40 Hands
Literally a hop skip and a jump or should I say; a roar, squeal and a drift (all under controlled supervision) from our new residence. The Time out ‘Best New Café 2011’ has been attracting us and our friends with their amazing coffee and unique culinary delights since it opened. Situated at Blk 78 Yong Siak St #01-12, Tiong Bahru Estate, this café is the purveyor of “certified fair trade coffee beans”.
Through a group of passionate individuals they try to make the world a better place by sourcing responsibly, ethically and sustainably. 40 hands thus delivers a feel good story and a product that both educates and fulfills the customer with a sense of moral righteousness and a caffeine hit that is considered one of the best in Singapore. So with a smile on our dial (don’t expect one from the Barista) and a dial with some miles, we head off for our next petrol fuelled adventure.
After dropping off the still pyjama clad wife (and controlled supervision) at home I take off to join the lads for a bit of sport. Picking up a mate and still on a caffeine high I drop the transmission into “S” Mode and let rip to our leafy destination along river valley.
The power, agility and ease of control in the DS3 was unfortunately not fully replicated on the tennis court but with a decent sweat up the lads sat back to ponder the evening ahead. Being Sunday the thoughts of a roast dinner were quickly mentioned . . . chicken, pork, beef . . . hey . . . we are in Singapore!
Why not roasted crab?! (well sort of)
Stop 3 – Chili Crab Crawl
Sometimes known as Singapore’s ‘National Dish’ and with a history that involves a monkey and fish eyes (this is one historical account on Wikipedia which has been disputed), it is deemed a great option to replace our meat and three veg tradition of a Sunday night roast.
So, in line with our burger buffet and having the benefit of ‘Hot Wheels’, the wife and a few friends thought we would do a Chili Crab Crawl. Limited by stomach capacity and given the adverse bowel movements suffered from the last burger buffet we decide to only target one new, one tried and one Choo.
The “one new” situated at the Esplanade is a restaurant with a signboard that is no signboard. Started in 1981 as a small hawker stall it is now a veritable culinary giant in the Singapore Seafood restaurant world. No Sign board comes with a great reputation and delivers a milder, yellower, runnier sauce that accompanies our Sri Lankan muddies. With a slight lack of chili in our chili crab we wonder if it is an off night with the spices? We all have had those and some may be having an Off morning with the spices tomorrow I am thinking. Happily though we rip off our bibs, dunk our fingers and call for more napkins.
With a fire in our belly for more and a fire under foot the sports seats keep us secure in flight towards the upper reaches of the Singapore River. Originally mud flats and swamps the area was reclaimed in the mid nineteenth century for warehouses and boatyards constructed in both European and Chinese styles. It is to here that we head for the “one tried” and true.
Established in 1976, Red House Seafood specializes in the freshest seafood dishes. With an outlet at Robertson Quay this tourist focused restaurant, despite its clientele, gets it right. With a meaty muddie served in a tangy, spicy, thick gravy. This finger licking, mouth smacking national dish is up there as one of the better representatives. A thumbs up for this culinary delight from the Citroen chili crab crawlers.
With space to move, in our belly and in the car, we head back to the hood for the culmination of this crab crawl with last but not least the “one Choo”.
Established in 1943, a true man of style and substance, my mentor and go-to person when the chips are down (literally . . he used to give me money all the time when we gambled),trained by Chef Momma Choo, our own culinary superstar, my “paps” - Mr. Benny Choo.
Happily holidaying with us at the moment his notoriety for dazzling friends and family with his cooking is renowned and therefore fitting that we end the night in the comforts of home with some authentic home cooking. The crabs, sourced from the local market, are huge and soon make their way to the table covered in a drier sinful gravy that oozes an abundance of spices, garlic, tomato, egg and the rest.
With the table groaning under the weight of chili crab and people groaning in satisfaction it is fitting that this day ends crabtacularly!