It was the last day of my two-day course at the British Council branch in HDB Hub yesterday. As usual, we broke for lunch in the middle of the day.
HDB Hub has a great variety of eateries, so customers are spoilt for choice. The bad thing was that I couldn’t make up my mind. I had a fish burger meal at Mos Burger the previous day, and I didn’t want fast food again.
Finally I decided to check out one of their food courts, called Gourmet Paradise. Decided to order from the western stall, With a Pinch of Salt, so that I could have something low carb. I’ve been to With a Pinch of Salt’s main branch at 297 Tanjong Katong Road and the food wasn’t bad, so I thought that it would also be good here.
Ordered a chicken chop, and asked them to replace the mashed potatoes with more mixed vegetables. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it came with a bowl of soup. The soup (mushroom, I think) was thick and salty enough. But the chicken chop was kinda tough in some places, and to make matters worse, the sauce was bland and tasteless. You could see bits of black pepper in it but it tasted barely of anything. The mixed vegetables were cooked well but I wished that they had added a little salt or something. Luckily, I had the foresight to ask for a bit of mayonnaise. But I still finished everything because I didn’t want to waste food.
Possibly the worst chicken chop that I have ever eaten!
With a Pinch of Salt
480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh
And since we’re on the topic of chicken chops…… I read somewhere that chicken chops did not originate from the western world, but in Singapore and Malaysia. They were quite possibly an invention of Hainanese cooks who specialized in western food. Perhaps they had cooked lamb chops, pork chops, and then decided to make chicken ones?
Indeed, I recall British writer Neil Humphreys’ book, Notes from an Even Smaller Island, in which he discusses aspects of Singapore, like food, and mentions that he was a ‘working-class urchin’ back in the UK, who had ‘eaten at cafes, restaurants and the odd hotel but yet [he] had never come across a chicken chop nor had any of [his] friends’.
So chicken chop is truly a child of globalization, a meeting of East and West!