Friday, May 6, 2011

Bak Kut Teh - A Soup of Home

I never met my cousin Augustus before till I visited Singapore but we bonded instantly over a shared age and love of food. He took me to the hottest club shows and the best late-night eats.

Our first early morning food adventure together was another Zouk club night.

After a Wednesday night of highly choreographed dance moves to popular 80's tracks (Mambo nights), Agus was raring to take me for bak kut teh — pork rib soup. I wasn't one to refuse.

It was also the first time I had a barley drink before (no alcohol). I didn't like but it's supposed to be very good for you.

But the soup. Oh my. The soup (bottom right corner). It's not much to look at but one whiff and I was drowning in a haze of meaty aroma that flickered with the life of a nighttime campfire. I slurped up the broth with abandon. And I wanted more. I was like the greedy little fat kid in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, except instead of a river of milk chocolate, I wanted to fall into this river of bak kut teh.

What does this smell like?

I couldn't stop gobbling it up, inhaling it, wondering why it was so familiar yet so different from the original dish. Then it hit me.

It smelled like Montreal Schwartz's smoked meat.

I was home at last.

1 comment:

baobabs said...

one of the things that keep me coming home!!