Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chinatown adventure

We needed some noodle bowls, so I went to Chinatown where Sia Huat is located, a restaurant supplier for anything needed by restaurants - dishes, cookware, gadgets, and many unidentifiable widgets that we never see in Western cooking.  It was fascinating.  Amazingly, there was a limited supply of noodle bowls, except in melamine, which I guess makes sense, as one usually sees dishes made of that material in the local restaurants.  But, they had just about everything else!  A whole wall of woks - wok wall.... ha!  And another wall of just cleavers, those big rectangular-shaped knives.  I had wanted a bamboo steamer, so picked one up, as well as a few other things.  Then, next door, found a couple noodle bowls for everyday in a porcelain shop.

On the way back to the subway station, I was lured into a Chinese medicine shop by Ruth, a very enthusiastic seller of Chinese herbs and tonics.  These shops are all over Singapore, displaying bizarre-looking dried plant and animal items, beans, and seeds, spilling out onto the sidewalks.  I followed Ruth into the shop where an elderly Chinese lady sat, who, according to Ruth, was a long-time established Chinese medicine doctor.  She felt my pulse for a few minutes and told me a few things about my health, or lack there-of, and prescribed a bottle of pills..... for S$168 (US137).  I choked on the price, so ended up with a good-sized bag of dried shiitake mushrooms for about the amount I pay at Costco.  It's made me think, however, as the symptoms she saw in me, tho easy to predict at my age, were most likely spot on - may go back for a half bottle and see...  In the meantime, the mushrooms are apparently good for cancer-prevention and cholesterol reduction (this was corroborated online), and they were delicious - had some in my miso soup last night.....

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