Tuesday, October 28, 2008

San Katong Laksa & San Holland Village Nasi Lemak

Often enough, we do get lost. Those long hours of geography can only equip one with the knowledge to read maps. But not a sense of direction. Or the ability to read minds. The harder you try, the more lost you'll get. And here's when assumptions seep into the minds of the lost through the countless veins of curiosity. One wrong turn will lead to another and before you know it, a missile has been launched in a remote area in central Asia. Reality (in) television at its most tragic.

Here's what I think. Don't ask for a trust of guts. Nor believe in unscaled maps. Landmarks can deceiving as well. So, is there hope for the lost anymore?

And as stereotypical as windmills can get, this is not Zaanse Schans. It's Holland Village in Singapore. And the most shocking revelation comes from the fact that it was named after an architect by the name of Hugh Holland and is in no way, related to the Dutch. What a surprise, isn't it? And all it takes is a little understanding and effort to know.

And efforts to find good food we certainly made, here in this cosy enclave of eateries, including a personal favourite bakery.

And example of a good discovery is San Katong Laksa. Without having to travel to Telok Blangah and Geylang Road, one is now able to savour a taste of the Peranakan style laksa, al fresco if rain doesn't pour, while watching the windmill spin to the song of the wind.

S$3.50 for a bowl of Katong Laksa, consisted of fishcake slices, cockles and prawns, was a good deal. The broth was light on coconut milk and there was a jar of chilli paste on every table for some extra heat in the bowl of goodness. And while spooning (laksa) might not everyone's cup of tea, it may be your next best practice as the thick rice vermicelli strands are cut to the length of about 5 to 6 centimetres, which prove too short for the chopsticks. Unless one is a Kung Fu graduate from the ShaoLin Monastery who is able to catch a fly using a pair of the most convenient cooking/dining utensil in the world. There's also an approximately half a spoonful of laksa leaves to add a refreshing taste and aroma (similar to kafir lime leaves) to the dish.

Apparently, the Otak-Otak is a good accompaniment to the laksa. Made of spiced fish paste and wrapped in banana leaf, the portion was good at S$1.00 per piece. The grilled banana leaves added a nice aroma to the Otak-Otak. The flavours of the lemongrass and turmeric were rather evident, which was good.

The array of dishes displayed to go with the nasi lemak was colourful. For S$5.10, a plate of the famous San Holland Village Nasi Lemak may consist of crimson chilli paste laced anchovies, stir-fried greens, golden brown chicken cutlet and vermilion, chillied dried shrimp. As far as taste could peak, it merely parred at average. The anchovies were rather tough while the chicken cutlet batter tasted like the ready-made ones available at the nearest NTUC supermarket. The sambal was too sweet as well. But perhaps that's the taste that garnered the stall its legion of fans. Tastes vary.

So do opinions, no matter how absurd diversed they can be.

Back to the earlier question. What do you do when you are lost? Nothing. You shouldn't assume. Just keep walking for the world is spherical. You'll complete a cycle as a wiser being. That's the cycle of life. And along the way, you are sure to meet a bowl of delicious laksa. And a good nasi lemak as well, if you are lucky.

San Katong Laksa & San Holland Village Nasi Lemak
1, Lorong Mambong #01-05
(Holland Village Market)
Singapore 277700
Tel: (+65) 6468 5415

20 comments:

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hahah isnt like the malaysian eye in the middle of nowhere titiwangsa trying to copy the london eye?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Obviously the dude who constructed the windmill didn't know about Hugh (no relation to playboy founder), the non-Dutch.

What do you do when you are lost? Nothing. You shouldn't assume. Just keeping walking for the world is spherical.

Except in KL, with all those road diversions and bad signages, you'll end up in Ipoh (and instead of laksa, you'll get ipoh hor fun). Singapore, on the other hand, is only so big. (or small...)

christine said...

i'm certainly attracted to the windmill..despite the history of its architecture

J2Kfm said...

I never knew Holland Village is of zero relation to the country. whoopsie .... =P

stil remembered I managed to crawl my way here, aeons ago, on an empty stomach yet did not manage to find anything to eat. hmmm ...

HisFoodBlog said...

This is definitely the place for my regular fix of "Katong Laksa"!!!

Oh and that's why you need maps on your posts, Heh! ;)

CUMI & CIKI said...

it is a singapore food post.. haha.. sew, the nasi lemak not up to par eh.. how about the laksa? kl better or sing?

Life for Beginners said...

Keep on walkin'.... O keep on walkin'...

Keep on eatin'.... O keep on eatin'... ;)

mimid3vils said...

I know Katong Laksa is famous but y v can't get it at M'sia eh? I never try before also :(

Faye fly said...

nice sky view ^^ blue blue sky

Jun said...

if one can eat lau shu fen with chopsticks, surely one can manage to pick up those 5cm strands of vermicelli with them too, no? ;)

Big Boys Oven said...

wow bro, i got to tell you, your feature laksa just feel like running in mouth now! awesome feeling . . need to go and get something similar now! lol!

ling239 said...

laksa served with chili paste at the side...
at least the laksa soup is not white in color like my previous experience... >.<"

Nic (KHKL) said...

joe, haha! well, at least this windmill costs only a fraction of the eye on malaysia (as though we can see the whole of malaysia liddat hor?)..they shd call it eye on kl instead, me thinks. hehehe...

lyrical lemongrass, or maybe he did know and interpret it differently through his design...architects are very artistic people mah...hehe...

yeah, one might end up in ipoh but think of the possibilities one can achieve there....many great histories were made this way...hehe...ok lar, a bit unrealistic here, me...

christine, yupe, it does look interesting. and becomes a good landmark as well, for Holland Village! ;)

j2kfm, hehe, i oso just discovered that recently. how come cannot get anything to eat there? got laksa, sushi tei, crystal jade, nydc, etc etc...let me know if you are coming! ;)

hisfoodblog, really? awesome! now i dun hafta go all the way to the east for katong laksa. can buy pastries from provence for desserts later as well..hehe

bravo again, for the maps idea!

cumi & ciki, hmmm, i think both are good, in their own way. kl's version tend to be richer in coconut milk and uses yellow noodles/bee hoon while sing's lighter on coconut milk and usually uses thick rice beehoon. but since both got cockles, i'm happy!! ;)

Nic (KHKL) said...

kenny, is that a song from Soul II Soul..errr, it's called Keep On Movin' i think...hehehe...

"this mouth is meant for eating,
that's what it'll"..hehehe

mimi, ya lor, i wonder why no one brought katong laksa to kl....oh! maybe can check out food republic in the pavillion. since it's a singaporean company, maybe can find it there. and the prawn mee too! :)

faye fly, yeah, the weather was good that day! :) better than black black sky, right? then, i'll have to sing the stephanie sun song already...haha!

jun, i think lou shu fen is easier to grip cos it's starchy wherelse thick beehoon is slippery. ok lar, maybe both oso can. but i'm very impatient one lar. so, usually, spooning for a quickie is my thang lar...hehehe...

bigboysoven, awesome! well, i think your area got lotsa good makan places as well! do grab a bowl of nice laksa. and blog about it, ya! :)

ling239, ya lor, i think additional chilli paste is a good idea because some customers tend to like extra heat in their laksa. green curry is ok lar, but white soup is kinda sad, hor? better luck next time! :)

sc said...

i actually thought holland village was named bcoz of the country..not a person's name! laksa's looking as sinful as it can get :p

Live2Talk said...

Err I don't know that nasi lemak is part of Dutch cuisine ;P No wonder it doesn't taste nice. Perhaps a glass of Heineken would help?

fatboybakes said...

echerlly hor, u flers who work in sing have it dam good..dollar for dollar, everything is sooo cheap...almost no way jose you can find a RM3.50 bowl of laksa in an area like holland village.
shucks, now i am mengidaming laksa.

Nic (KHKL) said...

sc, hehehe...ya lor, i also thought liddat...looks like we were wrong..hehe...yupe, the laksa is nice. so, now you know where to head to when u r down in spore next time, eh? :)

live2talk, haha! dutch cuisine not nice? well, their cheese and fries are good, me thinks..hehe...OH YES!!! HEINEKEN!!!! opppss, i think i just told the world i'm AA. haha!

fatboybakes, i agree! on the dollar for dollar, not the damn good part, i mean..hehe...i remember those days when laksa only costs RM1.50..sigh....hopefully the salary will be justified la hor?...mengidaming laksa? baba low? hehehe....

Shell (貝殼) said...

i've been to Singapore only once and found out that there also got quite a lot of nice food,I'll plan to go there again for "cari food" trip^^

Nic (KHKL) said...

Shell (貝殼), let me know if you are coming! we go makan, ok! :)