For four long years, I asked this question every week for a Sunday food column I used to write: What would your last meal be? Invariably, the personalities I interviewed would give some blah answer, like Teochew porridge or their mother’s steamed egg or some such boring throwaway.
If I were asked this question, oh-ho-ho, I would say: A ginormous strawberry shortcake that I could jump into and eat from the inside out. When I’m done, I’d throw myself into a bath-tub filled with Thai chilli-and-lemon dried cuttlefish, Kettle’s honey and dijon potato chips, honey cashew nuts and sticky barbecue fish sticks. Then, I would lock myself up in a Nonya buffet.
I could go on and on. Which is why I’ve always secretly wished that someone, anyone, would ask me this question for a change, so I could unleash my long pent-up list.
Well, since we’re in the season for lists (you know, the pandemic spread of self-love in Facebook known as “25”) , I thought I’d just help myself and publish it for all to peruse.
Here is my “25 Random Things About Food”.
1. The best strawberry shortcake in the world can be found in Tampopo Deli in Liang Court.
2. The best French fries in the world can be found in your neighbourhood McDonald’s.
3. Nothing, nothing, is worse than undercooked red beans in ice kacang.
4. I can eat raw oysters, raw fish, raw prawns and raw beef, but never raw beansprouts.
5. If my house were on fire, the first thing I’ll grab (other than husband Z and baby E) is my Ruffles cakestand, which Z ordered from the States as my Christmas present last year. (See photos – ain’t it pwetty?)
6. If I were the Prime Minister of Singapore, I would decree that the annoyingly floppy thick noodles in laksa be replaced by beehoon. No more stains!
7. In an ideal world, all grapes and watermelons are seedless.
8. Cornflakes are best eaten at night.
9. If I were stranded on an island, I could live on canned sweet corn alone – yummy, fibrous, and no need to cook.
10. I bear no shame for cooking with Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce. It really does make everything taste better.
11. Yes, there is something even better than Maggi chilli sauce. Its name is Lingham’s.
12. If I could choose which country I could be born in to enjoy the national cuisine, it would be Thailand, Indonesia or Japan (in this order).
13. If I can have only one accompaniment to rice, it would be sambal fishcake.
14. The Japanese do everything better – the best ribeye steak (Angus Steakhouse), the best curry rice (Tampopo), the best pasta (mentaiko spaghetti), and the ultimate best salad dressing (sesame flavour by We Love Salad! brand).
15. But if there’s one thing the Koreans do better than the Japanese, it is instant noodles (spicy mushroom flavour).
16. I have a secret weapon when it comes to stir-frying kangkong. It is called Cantonese XO sauce.
17. Three things I must always have in my fridge: Eggs, cold water, Nestle’s mango lassi drink.
18. Things I eat because of the dipping sauce: chicken rice, oh luak (oyster omelette), yong tau foo.
19. When I was on a 7-day detox fast a few years ago, the first thing I hallucinated about was nasi padang.
20. To me, the holy trinity of fruits is Mountain King durians, ‘harumanis’ mangoes from Indonesia, and ‘lor mai chee’ lychees from China.
21. Of the tiresome appetiser platter that’s served at ALL Chinese wedding banquets, I actually quite like the prawns in mayo sauce.
22. If the secret to good skin is not water, but Ribena, I could run for Miss Universe.
23. I’ve taken the dump in the toilet of Phoon Huat (bakery supplies store) in Holland Village four times – more than in any retail shop on earth – because I’m always very excited when I’m there.
24. Bovril in rice porridge is totally underrated.
25. I always wanted to marry someone who can cook. Z can’t cook. But he can dance. So that makes up for it.
PS: Okay, now it’s your turn. I’ve always wondered who you people jacking up my hit counter are. So drop a comment about your last meal (or anything at all). Just don’t say it’s Teochew porridge.