Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Mandy at the Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore – the Taiwan porridge ‘a la carte buffet’ (you choose from a special menu featuring 31 items, your dishes are cooked to order and then delivered to your table) plus dessert buffet with durian desserts – a double buffet lunch for SG$49.80 + service charge/tax per person. The durian desserts are seasonal and only available until 13 July 2014.

We nibbled on the complimentary boiled peanuts with remarkable restraint – we knew we were in for a feast. To go with our porridge, we’d chosen home style tofu, sautéed chicken with spring onions and garlic, fried chicken with prawn paste, braised pork belly with dark soya sauce, stir fried eggplant with minced pork (our token vegetable dish – yes, it included meat), and a deep fried pomfret with black soya sauce.

They were all tasty dishes, but I was most excited about the pomfret. It was one of my favourite fish to eat when I was a child in Malaysia. My family emigrated to Australia in the year I turned 11 years old, and since leaving Malaysia, I hadn’t eaten fried pomfret until yesterday. I’m now 39 years old. That’s why I was so excited about the pomfret. And it was as good as I remembered.

Flipping the fish when it’s time to start on the other side is still one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s difficult to decide which is better – the crisp top side sprinkled with deep-fried shallots, or the underside that’s been soaking up the salty sauce. I guess it doesn’t really matter as all we’ll leave behind are bones.

After all that food, we laughed as we talked about rolling out of the restaurant. Mandy offered to give me a push down the red carpeted stairs. That’s what friends are for, right? You can only make jokes like that with your mates.

And what about the durian dessert buffet? That’s another story!

While we’re in Singapore, I’m posting more photos and updates at my social media accounts using the hashtag #TFPinSG. Follow me at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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