Red Hook Lobster Pound: Maine, Transported


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It's never easy for me to admit that summer's over.

Once 70-degree temperatures take hold, nostalgia for those seemingly endless sweltering days and salty breezes at the beach sets in. This tropical Singapore girl starts yearning for spring, which is just too many months away.

This year, however, the husband — looking out for his own mental well-being, no doubt — has a solution for the seasonal bitchiness moodiness. "The new seating area at the Red Hook Lobster Pound appears to be open," he says one day. 

Instantly, the air brightens. As soon as we can plan it, we're on a bus to Red Hook, racing toward a lunch of lobster rolls, plump and buttery…

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The Loading Dock: "Worthy" Fish Tacos


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This might be what they call a classic New York food fairytale.

Boy moves to New York. Boy starts selling fish tacos at out of a little stand at the Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo. Boy’s tacos develop a hungry following. Boy opens restaurant.

And to add to the cool factor, he opens it in the loading dock of a former garment factory in downtown Brooklyn — talk about economical use of space in this land-starved city.

The Boy in this case would be Forrest Cole, who explains on his Web site that he first started selling fish tacos at the flea after fruitlessly trying to find a “worthy example” of a Baja-style fish taco in the city.

Now, that’s talking quite a bit of smack about New York’s many pre-existing taco joints.

We had to see just how “worthy” these fish tacos were …

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Wedding Soup: The Bitter And The Sweet


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When a man loves a woman, in Singapore, it often ends something like this:

The man and his entourage pounding on his loved one’s door, waving red packets of money as bribes, demanding to “buy the bride.” Once they’re inside, a number of the dishes ranging from the downright vile to the sickeningly sweet are set out.

Their task, of course, is to consume what’s set before them with as much gusto as they can muster. Only then have they earned the right to claim the bride for the wedding to proceed.

While it sounds like a prank, the practice actually is a legitimate part of Singaporean Chinese wedding traditions — by eating items that are “suan, ku, la, tian” (sour, bitter, spicy and sweet), the groom is symbolically acknowledging that he expects to go through these phases with his bride in the years ahead. (It’s something of a literal take on the “for better or worse” contract of Western marriages.)

I could say that the women involved in these proceedings often feel sorry for the poor sods–but I’d be lying. The only thing I feel sorry about when I think of my husband and his Singapore groomsman having to down a large spoonful of wasabi (spicy) and immediately chasing it with a pint of Guinness (bitter) was the fact that as the bride, I was locked in a bedroom and unable to watch how green they got.

As a result, whenever I’m a bridesmaid helping out with the “suan, ku, la, tian” bit of the buying of the bride, I relish the opportunity to really stick it to the boys.

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