Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The True Singapore Kebab
Satay is undoubtedly the true kebab of Singapore. Few can resist the aroma of these marinated skewered meats grilling on open charcoal-flames, hand-fanned by the forceful strokes of a rattan fan.
This time, I met up with Helmy and Fahmi for dinner. It has been a while since army days and so we decided on a mini get-together at Lau Pa Sat (literally means old market). And one thing that we simply couldn't avoid ordering was the satay.
After hearing several favourable reviews of Fatman satay and partly because that was the only store with a picture of Michelle Chia, we thought it would be good to try them out to see if they were actually as good as reported. We ordered several sticks of mutton, chicken and beef satay (50 cents each) and two Ketupat ($1) which is a Malay palm-leaf-wrapped compressed rice dumpling.
Fatman's satay was tender and the marinate characteristically sweet and slightly spicy. Small charred bits gave the satay an addictive smokey edge. But I was disappointed with the sauce. It was watered-down and uncomfortably smooth in texture instead of the usual spicy, nutty sauce that contains coarse-chopped peanuts that empowers it with a rich taste and texture. This boo-boo was a big put-off for myself.
Stall No. 1 (along Boon Tat Street)
Lau Pa Sat
Opens 5.30pm-12 midnight daily.
Chew On This: There seems to be an unspoken rule of the Lau Pa Sat Satay fraternity that some people may not be aware of. It decrees that patrons are free to sit where they wish but have to order satay (if they do) from the respective stall which the seats are zoned to. O where art thou, Freedom Fighters?