Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011 (Singapore)

I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN MYSELF: After spending months gazing at the vast ocean of shipping containers off the starboard bow of our apartment (right), I will finally get a chance to peek inside one (sort of).
The occasion is something called the Singapore TakeOut. The event, from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, features a shipping container that has been souped-up quite a bit and turned into a pop-up kitchen (above). This kitchen will travel to nine cities around the world during the coming year and will promote the work of ten of Singapore's chefs. The kitchen-container will be set up at Clifford Square, which is on Marina Bay. It's nearby. I will try and get over there. Who am I kidding. I will get over there.
The first stop for the container will be in London in June. It will feature the food of Chef Janice Wong (2am:Dessertbar). Then it heads to Paris, Moscow, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Delhi, Dubai and Sydney.
Keeping with the food theme, it would be great if it made the trek on the container ship that was recently parked outside our window-- the Frankfurt Express of Hamburg.

THESE TRUFFLES HAVE RIDGES: I'm afraid I'm beginning to write more and more about food now. My winter fat must be wearing off, and I'm getting hungry. On Thursday evening I scuttled downstairs to the always-good din tai fung restaurant, where the chopsticks are balanced, the servers are helpful, and the dumplings are tasty. I was surprised by a special they offered: Truffle Xiao Long Bao. That's a steamed pork dumpling with truffles. They cost $3.20 apiece. I splurged and bought one. Wish I'd have gone overboard and bought two. Normally a steamer basket of six of the regular dumplings costs $6.50, which is a little more than a dollar apiece. The sample was delicious. Someone told me the chefs try and make the dumplings there with 18 folds in each one. It's hard to do.

A SLOWDOWN: Maybe the operation is slowing down because of Friday's Kitchen-container extravaganza (above). Maybe not. It's unclear why the crane activity has taken a real dip today at the Tanjong Pagar Container Terminal here in Singapore. The Singapore Crane Index [Extremely] Limited Economic Indicator, has therefore taken a mighty swing toward the inactive side. Here's the latest look-out-the-window tally:

Date: April 29
Time: 7:45 a.m. (Singapore time)
Cranes Up (inactive): 14
Cranes Down (active): 13
CRANES MISSING (puzzling): 1

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