Ok, so the title is slightly misleading but let me explain…
I will carry on slating fast food to an extent. Western fast food, that is – because it’s shite. McDonald’s? Crap. Burger King? Slightly less crap. KFC? Decent with a hangover. You get my drift.
Since travelling Asia, however, my perception of fast food has changed massively. Why? Because almost every meal in Asia is fast food in the sense that it comes out fast. Gone are the days of me only associating the term ‘fast food’ with greasy, mass produced burgers served by even greasier teenagers who are probably likely to spit in my food if they ever read this post.
What I’ve realised in my time in the Far East is that amazing food doesn’t take an age to cook. When I took a cooking course in Pai, most of the dishes I put together took no longer than 10 minutes. Yes; I realise that means I’m calling my own food amazing.
I couldn’t believe that a Thai green curry, a Pad Thai and many other staples of Asian cuisine could be knocked together in such a short time. It makes you wonder what’s really going on when you find yourself waiting 40 minutes in a restaurant at home!
One recent discovery has really cemented this fact. When I first agreed to move to Singapore, one of my main concerns was how much money I’d be spending (surprise surprise…). Sure; I’d be earning money whilst I was here but would it be worth it if I’m just going to spend it all on food, drink and accommodation?
Thankfully I’ve realised that, like Kuala Lumpur, it is possible to do Singapore on the cheap to an extent. This is in no small part thanks to the ‘hawker centres’ that are spread out around the city. These are essentially huge food courts with an absolute ton of privately owned stalls serving a variety of Asian and western cuisine.
I’m based in Chinatown, and within a five minute walk I have the Chinatown Complex, People’s Park and Maxwell Food Centre – all of which serve incredible dishes for around S$4 – two quid in other words!
Of course; some of it can be slightly hit and miss. The fish and peanut porridge was, rather predictably, not that great – although I’m not sure I could really complain when you consider I paid a dollar for it! On the plus side, it did taste slightly better than it looked and sounded.
Thankfully for every fish and peanut porridge, there are four dishes as delicious as the clay pot noodles pictured above. Gotta take the rough with the smooth!
Anyway, I’m off for some $3 kway teow. Until next time…