Scissor-Cut Rice: One Handsome (Tasting) Meal

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My New York friend Mark likes to tell the story of how, on his first visit to Singapore, he stopped a group of people near a hawker center, asking them which was the best place to eat in the area. 

“Big scissors!” was the immediate answer.

Which may seem an odd name for a food establishment to some. But in Singapore, the word “scissors” indicates that this is a stall in which you buy a plate of rice, point to a bunch of dishes (usually holding items like tofu, fried eggs or pork chops) and the hawker then piles what you’ve chosen on the plate and snips it all up into bite-size pieces with — you got it — a big pair of scissors.

While this could come across as a rather unorthodox way of serving a meal, let me tell you, places with the word “scissors” in their names often churn out pretty darn satisfying food. In Mark’s case, his meal — which he still regularly recounts with great gusto and yearning — was at Big Scissors Curry Rice at Maxwell Food Centre. 

Recently, I had the good fortune of discovering another gem in the “scissors” category: Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice. 

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Dinner (And a Show)


Anyone tailing me over the past few days might come to this conclusion: That Cheryl, she’s just a big whore.

It’s these red-light districts. I just can’t stay away from them.

Not that I’m dissing the world’s oldest profession, but it’s actually other afternoon delights that have been the draw for me in these neighborhoods.

In yesterday’s case, it was Kok Sen Coffee Shop‘s crispy harjeong gai, a Singaporean dish of chicken marinated in prawn paste and then deep fried. (A particularly apropos lure considering “gai,” or chicken, is local slang for “prostitute.” As is “fishball girl” in some corners, for that matter. I’m not even going to speculate why.)

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Where The Girls Eat


Perhaps it was the yellowing fluorescent lighting. Or the sticky plastic chairs. Or the fleshy young girl in the black fishnets, scuffed-up heels and too-short shorts sashaying in for her nightly order of chicken wings.

But I had the distinct feeling: I’ve been here before.

Not here, at Cafe Supunsa in Singapore, specifically. But at a saucy place of ill-repute, enduring the mental undressings of men wondering if I’m one of the crowd, all in the name of searching for a good meal.

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