2016/04/17

Xiamen savors bites of SE Asia this weekend

 Xiamen savors bites of SE Asia this weekend
With two ongoing celebrations of Southeast Asian food in Xiamen, visiting the seaside city in Fujian province now means a tasty bonus for gourmet travelers. A Singapore food festival held in the Hotel Indigo Xiamen Harbor, which ends on April 12, presents a variety of the island's mouth-watering street fare. Chef Xu Jing, who has been training in Southeast Asian cuisine for about two decades, says the menu reflects Singapore's multiculturalism. "As Singapore has immigrants from different countries, Singaporean food is also a blend of diverse flavors," Xu says. For instance, the slightly sweet-and-spicy prawn noodle is shared with Malaysian cuisine, and the salmon fish curry with steamed rice is part of an Indian culinary tradition, Xu says. Among the menu items, the bak kut teh (pork-rib soup), a Singaporean signature dish, is a must-try. Known for enhancing blood circulation and restoring energy, the soup is one of the healthiest options at Singapore's street stalls. Boiled for hours with spicy white peppercorns, plenty of garlic, spices and medicinal herbs, the meat on the long premium ribs becomes silky-soft. To enrich the texture, it is common to mix rice with the aromatic broth. A cup of warm tea sometimes is used to counter the fats of the meaty pork. Another meal that you don't want to miss is the Hainan chicken rice. The chicken is tender, and the well-seasoned soup is not oily. For those who prefer spicy dishes, a Thai buffet now offered at the Marco Polo Xiamen Hotel is a pleasant hot spot. The celebration of Thai cuisine, which will conclude on April 13, includes Thai signature dishes such as curries, pan-fried spicy whole squid, deep-fried spring rolls and papaya salad. Tom yam kung (spicy seafood soup), one of the most famous and sought-after Thai delicacies, is a wonderful starter, given its spicy fragrance that will lift one's appetite. Packed with shrimp, lemongrass, galangal, lime juice, onions and mushrooms, the broth is a colorful medley full of nutritious goodies. Also highly recommended is the pad Thai, a much-loved dish in Thailand. Topped with shrimp, crunchy veggies and crushed roasted peanuts, the fresh, crispy noodles mix agreeably with the sweetness and spiciness of the other ingredients. The traditional Thai decor and a Thai dance show will make dining there a more delightful experience. IF YOU GO Hotel Indigo Xiamen Harbor 16 Lujiang Road, Siming district, Xiamen. 0592-226-1666. Average cost per head: 120 yuan ($19) Marco Polo Xiamen Hotel 8 Jianye Road, Hubin Bei, Siming district, Xiamen. 0592-509-1888. Lunch buffet: 158 yuan; dinner 248 yuan.

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