Pigging Out in Singapore – Old Airport Food Center and Bismillah Biryani in Little India

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Singapore16_crop The Chubby Orangutan
One Dollar
Three Forks

With so many food courts in Singapore, which one is the best? This is the question I annoyingly asked everyone I met in Singapore. A couple taxi drivers gave me the indecisive and passionLESS “it’s really up to you” answer, but then one strongly suggested the Old Airport Food Center. Of course I did my due diligence by verifying this with my local Singaporean friend, and the next thing you know, I was on my way to the Old Airport Food Center with two other very hungry people.

Eating is a serious business, and we demonstrated our unparalleled teamwork by dividing the food court into different attack zones. I headed to my assigned zone, and quickly spotted a long line in front of a food hawker called Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow. I raced to the line before others, got in front of at least 10 people, oh, I was so proud of my speed.

Fried Kway Teow means stir-fried rice cake strips – which is really just another name for noodles and it’s a popular South-East Asian/Malaysian dish. As the gigantic line moved like an aging snail, I saw another Fried Kway Teow hawker just across the room, but with only ONE CUSTOMER! That’s the interesting thing about Singaporeans, they will spend hours waiting for good food and refuse to let nonsense such as convenience and the “time-is-money” attitude get in their way. This is true foodie spirit and I think they deserve a foodie medal.

About 45 minutes later, I finally got to order the Fried Kway Teow. The lady cooking in front of the wok was bossing around her “assistants” while stir-frying like there is no tomorrow. Even with smoke and oil everywhere, she is still wearing an all white outfit! I think she is probably the dragon lady.

I received 3 plates of the same thing but with different level of spiciness. Then quickly I ran to the “meeting point”. Everyone was at the “meeting point” with their “catches”. Among the three of us we had 13 plates of food and desserts. Everything was so cheap, we just couldn’t help it!

Now the problem is that none of us liked any of the dishes too much. First the Fried Kway Teow, the sauce was actually very tasty but it was too oily and heavy even for me (I mean I love heavy food and Gastritis is my best friend!) Also I did not like the small oysters in the Fried Kway Teow, it was very fishy. The cooking method of these small oysters are typical in Southeast Asian cuisine. But personally, I disliked this concoction. The rest of the dishes consist of more noodles, meat, intestines, omelette and vegetables, but they were bland and I was so bored that I almost fell asleep on the table.

The only thing I liked was the flavored tofu dessert from Lao Ban Soya Beancurd. It resembles almond tofu which is the closest thing I can think of…but not quite.

So overall for my friends and I, the Old Airport Food Center was a disappointing experience. In order to cheer ourselves up, we headed straight to Bismillah Biryani on Perak Road in Little India. It is there that we found comfort in the super fluffy and delicious lamb biryani; we worshiped it, kissed it then devoured it. All is good again, life is just amazing while we continue to eat our way through Singapore!

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