blackball singapore, katong

great, simple grass jelly desert at this taiwanese chain outpost in katong. I may not know a great deal about great chinese desserts, but I do know what i like – and that means lots of sugared beans, silky pudding, and not-too-sweet.

this place is pretty awesome. their specialty is smooth, silky grass jelly – a black, translucent jelly without much discernible taste, usually served in large cubes for dessert or thin slivers in syrup as a drink – as a bed for other toppings: starches such as taro balls, beans cooked in sugar, and various other accoutrements.

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street food: satay, bali

we were drawn to this store by the delicious smell of fat on a barbie – this man was sat outside a temple where a ceremony was taking place, fanning rather voraciously at a fierce flame and the sticks of marinated chicken above it.

when the ceremony was over, lots of temple-goers started crowding about to order these sticks of satay – which is when the partner decided to get a few to try. very tasty, fatty and tender pieces of chicken poked through a bamboo skewer, these were reminiscent of the satay we get in singapore – just as greasy, possibly more so, our three sticks were quickly stuffed into some brown paper and we bent over the streets eating so the oil didn’t drip onto our clothes.

not something you’d want to eat all the time, or very often at all – very much unhealthy, these things – but very local and endearing for that, as is most street food (I probably would find it difficult to say the same of fried insects and balut).

balans, london

great simple brunch place along high street kensington. I used to live not ten minutes from this place, and always wondered what the food was like – I think I didn’t expect it to be impressive seeing as how this was a pretty generic chain (though really my liking for food at ASK and byron really should have advised me better). but this place was fantastic, and really just the thing for a mid-morning brunch with the family. it isn’t spectacular, but it is pretty good, and wholly able to satisfy the craving for some hearty food in the morning.

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