Welcome to my first blog of the SOOOO MUCH/MANY series. The reason why I am using this title is because I wanted to keep an ongoing theme throughout the trip and I didn’t want to start off the blogs week by week.
Before coming on this ALP journey, I had one main objective which was to say yes to everything that I normally would not have said yes to. I would say that generally I am a less adventurous person who doesn’t like to go out of my comfort zone. With this long trip out of the country with relatively more time outside academics, I told myself that I must finally do stuff that I will not regret not doing. I might not even get a time like this to try the things I always wanted to do past this period of time, so I must really treasure it.
So why did I start my first blog wanting to talk about the food? Well, I didn’t really like Chinese food to be honest. Not Singaporean hawker food (I love hawker food), but like genuine China Chinese food. I cannot really describe what exactly I dislike about it, it is just that when you pit Chinese food up against food like Hokkien Mee, Bar Chor Mee and Chilli Crab, it just pales in comparison to me. Their iconic food, Mala, is one of my hated food because of the peppercorn in it that I hate the taste of.
But since I’m here and I have adopted the yes-man attitude, I decided to give everything here a go. I have to say, up till now, I have NOT eaten food that I would classify as bad here. And more often than not, most of the food I ate is actually good. Mala here is good as well, but I cannot figure out why. Much as I am craving my favourite Bar Chor Mee and oyster omelette while I am typing this, the food here is the sort of food that I will definitely miss when I am back in Singapore.
So, what made the food so good?
Firstly, the variety of food here is insane. I am literally spoilt for choice when I am in the canteen everyday (SUTD Canteen please up your game thanks). And that only happens when I actually decide which of the many canteens in campus I want to go to. China is a huge country so food from different regions are cooked differently so they taste different. Not to mention that they also serve international food from the West and from countries like Japan and Korea. If I get bored of canteen (probably impossible), there are so many alternatives right outside school and I can even order delivery which takes 20 mins to come. And the variety for delivery is off-the-charts high.
Secondly, the food is cheap. I think it is rude for a Singaporean who is getting SGD to say food in China is cheap so I shall not elaborate further but what I can say is it is not overpriced like in Singapore. Everything is reasonably priced and the portions are huge too. One reason for this could be possible lower costs of production since everything is found in China and not outsourced (this includes labour).
Lastly, the food is simply tasty. Yes, the food is oily, but oilier food is simply tastier when cooked well. In Singapore, I have eaten so many food that looks good but when I eat, it pains me to take another bite due to the taste. But I have not faced this problem here so far and in fact, it is quite the opposite since the food might not look as appetizing, but the taste is heavenly. The mala here is tasty too which I don’t understand because it still has peppercorns but its just so much tastier to eat than in SG. So many moments where I will think in my mind if I should eat at a certain place but have been just saying yes and I have not regretted at all.
Really cannot wait to eat more fantastic food around China but also need to keep myself fit by exercising or else I am sure to grow fat.
Thanks for reading this blog!