Singapore: Day One – The world was our oyster on this flight

Marina Bay from the Singapore Flyer
Marina Bay from the Singapore Flyer

We continue our travels in Singapore and sample specialties in true Singaporean fashion.

My fingers clung to the silver railing as the floor rose beneath my feet. The glass chamber loomed higher into the black of the Singapore night. The cloud-filled sky tinged neon pinks, greens, blues and yellow as the lights bounced from the ferris wheel. I was standing in a four-by-seven metre, glass and metal bubble. One hundred and sixty-five metres high; eye level with Singapore’s Millennia Tower. I gazed at the trapezoidal glass rooftop as it flashed its lights, illuminating the city.

After four hours worth of speeding down roller coasters based on The Mummy, Transformers, and Jurrassic Park at Universal Studios my family and I returned to the mainland for a twilight ride on the Singapore Flyer. At the time of publishing this post, the Singapore Flyer held the record for being the world’s tallest operational Ferris Wheel*. And I thought the London Eye was big when I saw it.

Looking through the wheel
Looking through the wheel

The Flyer was developed by the ARUP group which is famed for its work on not only the London Eye, but also the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Sydney’s Opera House. Built upon a “ladder-truss” structure, the Singapore Flyer formed an elegant beacon in the Singapore Skyline. At least I and my twenty-seven fellow passengers thought so.

At the base of the wheel was a food court that was loaded with hawker carts and diners. After our thirty-minute journey on the wheel we were starving. We arranged to have dinner at the Singapore Food Trail, a six-hundred seater venue filled with grass canopies and push carts. Walking through the push carts and steaming pans made you feel like you were stepping back in time to a Singapore of the sixties. People clicked their chopsticks and they munched barbecued seafood, or slurped their Beef Kway Tiao noodle soup. Mr. Lim was serving his famed Popiah; a Fujian or Chaozhu-style fresh spring roll, which he had prepared in the same way since 1958. Back then he sold from a simple cart on the streets.

Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters
Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters

While the local specialty of Hainanese Chicken Rice would have been the safest option, adventure was calling my name. Passing the displays of noodles and battered vegetables I spot red letters on a glass barrier that read “Fried Oysters”. Mr. Law Jock Keah who owned the stall, Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters, stood in front of a raging fire and a metre-wide round griddle. Pouring vegetable oil from a squeeze-bottle, he cracked twelve eggs directly into the sizzling pan. He swirled the yellow yolks using his spatula and combined them with a special seafood consommé . When the eggs had scrambled and browned, he ladled almond-sized preserved oysters onto the eggs. Mr. Keah’s specialty Orh Lua, was finished with coriander and served with a watery chilli sauce.

Orh Lua
Orh Lua

I’d never seen or heard of this combination before. Both the eggs and oysters were unbelievably silky and rich ingredients, and I was very eager to try it. Some things I did have to overcome though were the initial aroma and taste. It was like my tongue had been zapped by a vinegar-rich zing, followed by the magnesium sponginess of the oysters. If you can look past this acquired taste then this makes a very satisfying and filling feed.

Our feast
Our feast

Keep reading for the recipe!

Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon 🙂

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cheers for the message, hahaha I can imagine it must have taken years to construct. They are developing a similar model in Melbourne as we speak. It’s currently upright and lights up at night but won’t be ready to ride for another couple of years. It will be so coo to have one in Oz though 🙂

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  2. Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that the London Eye is no longer the largest. After all, it’s 14 years old! Can’t believe that. I still remember it lying sideways on several barges on the Thames.

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  3. fornalutx says:

    So Brendon wheres the orh lua or ork lua recipe?

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    1. Cheers for the message John, I will post it up ASAP! I thought waiting a couple of days would get some readers hyped up about it 🙂 It’ll be up there soon

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      1. Here you go John – https://brendonthesmilingchef.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/orh-lua-fried-oysters/

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