Singapore has food from many different places all in this one tiny country. However, despite this variety of cuisines their attempts at western food is, to put it nicely, dismal. Aside from this, there are no cooking facilities in our accommodation and so together these issues lead me to have a ridiculous need to cook food from home at any possible opportunity. I am not the best cook in the world (tried to cook pasta once without water – don’t judge me, I was much younger then!) but throughout my years at University I have learnt to love cooking.
As a result, if I was offered to stay at a friend’s house for the evening or overnight I would offer in return to cook a meal for their family (also as a thank you for having me over). It made me look good to their parents with high standards and also secretly made me extremely happy for the evening.
My first attempt was in semester 1 with my friend from Myanmar who kindly invited myself and another friend of ours, from Vietnam, over to eat. We each cooked a meal over a few weeks to show each other our different cuisines. Anh (Vietnamese) cooked a soup (more like a broth to westerners) which involved cooking vegetables and meat in water for a few hours, the Vietnamese love veg.
When it was my turn I attempted to cook chicken stuffed with cheese wrapped in bacon (you can tell I tried to fit as many of my favourite foods as possible into one meal) along with none other than good old mash potatoes.
I later cooked again for my Myanmar friend when her mum had left the flat for a few days, so she welcomed anyone to cook for her. This time I had brought gravy granules from home after the Xmas holidays and I used it to make stew using mince, and of course, more potatoes! I also attempted Yorkshire puddings but many Singaporeans don’t own a proper oven, only tiny ones the size of a microwave, and so while I did try to make these they didn’t turn out very well.
Finally, I also cooked at Anh’s house when I visited her home in Vietnam. Here I cooked a roast supper, which went down really well with her family who wanted to know the recipie. Also, I made macaroni cheese which everyone also enjoyed, but as there was no good cheese available (this is the case in most of Asia) I thought it tasted awful. I guess if they haven’t tasted the real thing it’s not such an issue.
Despite the fantastic selection of cuisines in Singapore, I can’t help but prefer the typical British food. One day I hope my friends will visit me in and I can show them the true food of Scotland – haggis! Until then, potatoes will have to do.