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04 September 2009 @ 12:24 am
Sorry, wala akong pictures so hindi ako cool  
For some weird reason, I had an insatiable craving for pork for the past few days. Since The Boyfriend is not allowed to have pork for religious reasons, I had to find some other company to satisfy my pork-related cravings.

So I dragged my friend Migoy, another Filipino, to a small kopitiam at the corner of Grange and Orchard Road to try out Mang Kiko's Inihaw. Yes, I know, it's very strange to have a small stall serving sisig, pork liempo, Pinoy-style barbecue, inihaw na manok, and other grilled items right in the middle of the busiest street in Singapore, but hey, good food is good food. They even had a sign in front that says "Yes, you've found us!" -- as if to emphasize our success in locating their very tiny, very insignificant corner of the world.

I guess it also says something that nobody was order from the other stalls -- a typical seafood-style place and a Botak Jones branch, which serves Western food -- but there was a queue snaking right in front of Mang Kiko's. We arrived there just before 8:00 PM and it turned out that they had just run out of pork barbecue. Undaunted, Migoy and I decided to order liempo with rice. For about SGD 5 (about P165) we had a generous heaping of rice, juicy happy pork bits, and cubed cucumber. The cucumber was definitely a very Singaporean addition, since I don't remember carinderia-style liempo to be served with cucumber. They even had Mang Tomas, a rarity here on the island.

It almost felt like a slice of home, to be honest -- the dining area was open air, underneath giant umbrellas, and we sat on monobloc seats watching the traffic whizz past us as we scarfed down our meal. The pork was tender and juicy, with just the right hint of charcoal-y goodness that you associate with well-done meat. The rice was nice and fluffy, cooked Filipino-style, slightly sticky so that it coats your insides well and leaves you wanting to roll down the street like a giant Katamari ball, happily plowing down others in your way. :).

And then tonight, because we had a guest over from the Office HQ, we decided to bring him to Tawandang Microbrewery, a small Thai microbrewery on Dempsey, which is just a stone's throw away from the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

The food, in a nutshell, was fabulous. On the menu: grilled squid with a basil sauce, spicy papaya salad, German pork knuckles with a side of mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, Thai basil chicken, steamed rice, and while the others sampled the Thai beer, I had a coconut shake served in the shell. It was even garnished with an umbrella!

I guess part of what makes a great meal is the company you have, and tonight's was no exception. We sang along to the live band (the members of which were Filipino) and watched the serving staff do an impromptu dance, and embarrassed ourselves by doing the steps to the Wondergirls' "Nobody" when the band was performing. The food was also fantastic -- the squid was particularly well-done, tasty without being gummy or undercooked; the pork knuckle's meat was simply falling off the bone; the basil chicken exploded with sweet spiciness on your tongue. I guess my only complaint would be the papaya salad, which was a bit too hot for my taste buds.

We had dessert at P.S. Cafe, a small hole-in-the-wall place that had a very English lawn garden type-look, with wrought-iron furnishings, chalkboard menus, a lovely pastry counter, and beautiful pink-and-white star lilies arranged in an organised explosion on the counters. I had a double chocolate cake, which came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. To say that this is the best chocolate cake I've ever had in Singapore is probably an understatement -- I wanted to lock myself up in a room and keep it all to myself. The cafe's ambiance was understated elegance, but it wasn't as though you can't have fun there. A large group of handsome men of varying ages were quite inebriated already when we arrived, and various groups of friends were also seated on the low glass tables, taking photos of themselves, the food, and the restaurant. There was also a veranda-type area outside that overlooked a garden. The food was quite expensive (SGD 14+ for the cake) but it was quite worth the price.

So that ends my great pork craving in Singapore... at least until the next time somebody offers to buy me a char siew pau or two. ;)
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