Loading

Tribute to Anthony Bourdain
By KF Seetoh | Friday, Jun 15, 2018
 
He always lit up when we spoke about the extra-ordinariness of normal folks- their struggles, culture, joys and humble successes. I have known him for 17 years and met up both on and off the screen on his, and my TV show. I can unreservedly tell you he is a champion of things authentic, the unheralded and the disadvantaged.  Which was why, when I first told him I wanted to link everyone up in this rich yet quiet heritage street food culture through our inaugural World Street Food Congress in 2013, he jumped in on supporting us. He fielded the media at our press conference in New York saying “ the world so needs a World Street Food Congress” adding, “ a street food cart can create a brand..”. The happiest I ever saw of him was when he had beers and roasted duck necks at Redhill hawker centre with a group of Ah Pek retirees whiling the hours away with small talk and impromptu karaoke, “this is what I wanna be when I grow up”, he tells me on camera.

Anthony Bourdain died in an apparent suicide last Friday in his hotel in France. We had many memorable meals in Singapore. I share with you some of his favourite bites in Singapore- the food city and culture that inspired his now nixed Bourdain Market in New York where I was tasked to be his consultant., “it should be like a hawker centre.” He tells me. Rest in Peace my friend, fellow lover of life and people.

1. Black Vinegar Claypot Pig Trotters, Keng Eng Kee, Blk 124, Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-136, 12pm-2.30pm/ 5pm-10pm daily.

A beautiful and softly tangy  cross between vinegar ginger trotters and braised ter ka. The Liew family cook it for him when he visited their home for his show. They offer it in their restaurant’s menu too.

2. Crab Beehoon, Sin Huat Eating House, 659, Geylang Lor 35. 6.30pm to 1am daily.

This is the one he never forgets. We had it when we first met. It was a giant Sri Lanka beauty fried with an umami rich beehoon. He gushed at every bite till I asked him “Why do you talk so much when there’s food on the table ah? You never know if your next meal is coming”. He turned that moment into a chapter in his next book- the Nasty Parts.

3. Steamed Shark’s Head, Tian Jin Hai (defunct).. get it at Zai Shun Curry Fish Head, Blk 253, Jurong East St 24, #01-205, 7am-3pm daily (item available at lunch)

We had a casual night out and I dragged him  to the now demolished Jackson Kopitiam along Macpherson to shock him with a plate of steamed shark’s head.  He loved it so much he brought the crew back to film for his next No Reservation show on Singapore.

4. Hill Street Cha Kway Teow, Blk 16, Bedok South Road, #01-41, 11.30am-4.45pm daily

He took a mouthful and famously said “how can something this ugly be so good!”. It was cooked by the late Mr Ng Chang Siang and I think he can have another platter with him in that better place now.

5. Chicken Rice, Tian Tian Chicken Rice, #01-10/11, Maxwell Hawker Cte, 10am-8pm closed Mondays

We were booed on staged at an event when someone asked and he answered he never tried Chicken Rice in his many trips to Singapore- as if it was my fault. I took him to Maxwell Hawker Centre a few days later in my show, and the best reaction he could come up with was “Oh wow!”, the rest is Tian Tian Chicken Rice history. 

Let’s carry on where we left off when we next meet buddy!

 

 
 
Recent Seetoh Says
Spa Treatment Mee Rebus
 
But their food speaks for themselves, it brought a smile when I slurped it. All their items, from Mee Rebus,... MORE
Penang Food Is Everywhere
 
Island Penang Kitchen has a few elements of authenticity- that Chef James Yeong who runs it with his wife Vivian... MORE
Brave Builders of French Flavours
 
First thing I noticed, it directly faced the Sims Place Hawker Centre and sited in a heartland HDB estate. That’s... MORE
The Friendly Seafood Pirate
 
These new and young hawkers have to be bold, to stand out from the crowded hawker food space and noise... MORE
 

Most Popular
Recipe: Char Siew
A simple recipe for the “world’s most delicious food”. MORE

Monday 14 October 2013
DURIAN LOVERS UNITE: 5 REPUTABLE DEALERS
5 trusted and recommended durian dealer for this durian season MORE

Tuesday 07 July 2015
A Singapore Food Truck Star is born
For someone with no prior food experiences, coming in from star awards to food awards, Cheryl is a role model... MORE

Monday 10 November 2014
Shashlik Restaurant to re-open soon
It is now in the hands of the most appropriate new owners who are of the same culinary DNA MORE

Wednesday 17 February 2016


© 2013 Makansutra (S) Pte Ltd | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Disclaimer