Tag Archives: Veganism

Um, excuse me, why is there a pig in my vegetable soup?

(Featured image of menu courtesy of Tripadvisor)

A few days ago, some friends here in Macau took me out to dinner at Fernando’s. Nice atmosphere, great layout, near to the beach. I typically go to restaurants with my non-veggie friends for the conversation and camaraderie, and I often won’t eat anything if the establishment is not vegan-friendly or if they cook their veggie meals in the same kitchen (pots) as the meat dishes.

This time, however, I decided to act like an adjusted member of the planet Earth and behave in a manner so as to blend in with the other humans. So, I scanned the menu and ordered the vegetable soup. Simple enough. Safe. The photo showed a bowl of soup with vegetables in it. No one on the wait staff need ever know an alien was dining amongst their regular customers.

The soup arrived, and I waited for my friends’ dishes to arrive before I started. At one point during the wait, a waitress passed by and (reverting to my old ways) I decided to ask what exactly was in the vegetable soup before I started.

Me: Hi, could you tell me what the ingredients are in this soup?

Her: I’m sorry, I have no idea!

Me (in shock, and snidely); Well, YOU may have no idea what’s in this, but I need to know what I’m eating. Could you find out, please?

She headed into the kitchen and soon, the manager came to our table.

Me: Hi! Could you tell me what the ingredients are in the soup?

Manager: Potatoes, vegetables and water.

Me: Potatoes, vegetables and water. (I forget which vegetable it was)

Manager: Yes, potatoes, vegetables and water.

Me: Cool! Cool! Cool! No butter?

Manager: No.

Me: No dairy, no milk?

Manager: No.

Me: Cool! Thanks so much!

Manager (as he turns to walk away): Oh, and a piece of sausage.

At that moment, the manager, probably from the wide-eyed look of disbelief he may have seen on my face, surmised he was speaking with a vegetarian, and returned to the table.

Me: Oh, I thought it was a vegetable soup.

He was gracious enough to take the soup and the pig in my soup away and offered to make me a new bowl of “vegetable” soup himself. He brought a fresh bowl back in about 10 minutes, and I thanked him profusely.

Of course, I didn’t drink the new bowl of soup either. What are you kidding me!??? Who knows what else he may have innocently overlooked in the list of “by the way” ingredients! (“Oh, yes, and of course, we always add a cupful of MSG and monkey brain to all our dishes!” as he walks away.)

However, I didn’t want his hard work to go to waste, or to insult him by leaving an uneaten bowl of soup on the table, so one of my dinner companions was nice enough to eat it for me! Bon appetit! Still, we all had a great time!

Now, this is entirely my fault. I’ve  obviously been out of touch with human reality and living in my own lifestyle bubble for too long. So, here’s what I’ve learned: Out here in the real world, the word “soup” is more like a metaphor, really, and actually means “in a soup bowl with my meat.” Confused? I’ll translate a scenario for you:

Waitress: How can I help you today, sir? (Translation: How would you like your meat today, sir?)

Me (with a savvy wink): Vegetable soup, please. (Translation: Vegetables “in a soup bowl with my meat” please.)

See how that works? That’s why travel is so important. How else will you learn new things?  This poor lady in the video below hasn’t quite caught on yet:

Share this post with your friends so they too can learn!

Celebrity Watch: While we were there at Fernando’s, my dinner companions noticed the host of Master Chef, Graham Elliot, dining with a group of his friends! Sorry, no photos!

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The “Jamaican in China” Singapore Restaurant Review!

>crunch…slurp….gulp…smack, swallow.<..huh?? what?? Oh, hi!…>burp<
Ahem…Forgive me…Got a little distracted there….Ahem..Now, then…

Hi!!!! My name is Walt F.J. Goodridge, Jamaican in China! Welcome to today’s episode entitled “Vegan Heaven in Singapore!”

Because of both the Buddhist and Indian influences, there’s absolutely no shortage of vegan and vegetarian restaurants here in Singapore. In order to fully appreciate the plethora of pigless perfection, the fantasy of fleshless feasting, the cacophony of cruelty-free culinary cooking that is Singapore, I suggest to you that the appropriate unit of measurement is “square inch,” as in “there are more vegetarian restaurants per square inch in Singapore than in any other city in the world, and that includes New York, Los Angeles and Beijing!” (However, my research shall be ongoing)

Now, while many restaurant signs in New York squeeze in the word “vegan” in small letters in what amounts to a reluctant, fearful whisper, so as not to alienate the majority population; and while some restaurants in Beijing simply add two or three dishes, or–if I’m lucky–a whole page (wow!) of “vegetarian-friendly” options (which means they’ll be friendly to you while they remove the pieces of visible meat from the dish you just ordered, so you can be happy, you fanatic freak),  here in Singapore’s Little India, it’s different–I counted several blocks, each with 4, 5, or 6 different restaurants one right next to the other each with the word “VEGETARIAN” as an integral part of the restaurant name, in big, bold letters in what amounts to a proud and unapologetic scream for all the world to hear! Yes, Singapore bulges with a buffet of beefless–oh, oops, I already beat that style of description to death already…..

This is Vegetarian Heaven, “supersized” at no additional charge! This is Vegetarian Heaven with a deluxe/elite ticket option upgrade! This is Vege….okay, you get the point. As such, the challenge has been to sample as many of the restaurants as possible in the few days I planned to stay. In fact, I had to leave Singapore for a short four day trip, but then I returned just so I could eat at more restaurants! I kid you not.

As I related in an earlier post, the first restaurant I found on my first afternoon in Singapore (found through HappyCow.net) was Fo You Yuan on Kitchener Street in Little India.

Fast service, clean, healthy meals! I went back every morning for their yam paste and gingko nut porridge.


“Take photo first. Eat second.” “Take photo first. Eat second.”

Fo You Yuan gets the highest marks for sweetest wait staff!
 

The next day came Zen Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant on Middle Road. It’s on the second floor of Midlink Plaza.


a few of the staff at Zen Japanese Vegetarian


If you’re fortunate enough to also know and dine with my friend, Michelle, then you’ll also have some cool conversation…otherwise, you’ll simply have to envy me! Zen wisdom: Envy is a dish best served slightly warmed… with noodles, edamame and a bit of ginger to aid with digestion.


Zen gets the high marks for most exciting assortment of meals!

While strolling through the streets, I came across City Center Mall, Singapore’s first eco-mall and found Four Seasons Organic store on the third floor. I didn’t eat full meals there, but it became part of my daily routine to pick up food bars and fresh squeezed green juice.


Spinach, carrots, apple and ginger….life is great!


And, of course, there are other reasons to keep going back….


4 Seasons gets the high marks for greatest assortment of “other reasons” to keep going back! Ladies, next time I promise I’ll bring copies of my books for you to see!

Next stop was 7 Sensations, also in Little India on Madras Street

Korean rice, yam soup, veggie roll wrap, green juice. 7 Sensations gets the prize for most esthetically pleasing presentation! The restaurant, the meals, and the menu are all expertly designed and presented! Try the durian cake and avocado/tofu cake for dessert.

See you on QQ, ladies!

Just a short walk from the hostel I was staying, is Big Bites Pure Vegetarian Restaurant. Many of their pastries and snacks have ghee (butter), or milk, but I did find a few snacks made from dahl and spices. So, that became part of my daily routine as well.

No….Just take the picture…that’s the point, I don’t want to look at the camera….I’m trying to look cool….while I pose next to my empty bag of just-eaten masala snack

Next was Lao Di Fang Vegetarian Restaurant in the Park Mall


in the basement of the Park Mall, Central Singapore


It was a little out-of-the way from where I was staying, so I only went there once, but next time….oh, man, next time….!

Next was Nature Vegetarian Delights – Hougang, Northeast Singapore…a buffet-style restaurant.

So that’s how I spent my days in Singapore, green juices, food bars, vegan dining and bunk beds in hostels.

Encore at Fo You Yuan

>Looks like fun, doesn’t it? Blissful, right? Yup. Uh huh… WELL YOU’RE WRONG!!! Those few days in Singapore were extremely stressful!! Why? Well, every other place I’ve lived, I would find one, perhaps two restaurants where I can eat, and then life is easy.

Monday? Restaurant ONE.
Tuesday? Restaurant ONE.
Wednesday? guess what…same restaurant! This I can do.

OR, if I feel like I can handle a bit of increased complexity I might do:

Monday? Restaurant ONE.
Tuesday? Restaurant TWO.
Wednesday? Restaurant ONE again.

Tricky, but manageable. This is what I’m accustomed to.

Here in Singapore, however, I have the stress of choice. On my last day, I was actually on my way to one restaurant, had a change of stomach, made an about face on the sidewalk and then started walking to another restaurant, then ended up going past that restaurant and ending up at a third restaurant where I finally had my meal. I don’t know if I could handle that sort of stress on a daily basis. I might go mad.

That’s the advantage of life on the lunatic fringe. Predictability. Now I know how omnivores feel!

 

As lengthy as this post is, there are still some other shops, stores I didn’t include in the list. Like I said, Singapore is heaven for vegetarians, but beware….You might not be able to handle it!

Now, as I wrap up this episode, I’d hate for you to think I was biased only towards vegetarian restaurants. I, and my blog pride ourselves as being fair, non-judgmental, ecumenical, all-inclusive and exercise political correctness and compassion and tolerance for all, regardless of their lifestyle, culinary and dietary choices. So, with that said, if you’re not into vegetarian fare,

I imagine you can always eat here:

In case you can’t read the sign, it says….”Free coffee with every purchase of a bowl of Pig’s Organ Soup.”

Nothing like a hot cup o’ joe to chase down the pig’s organ. Bon apetit!

 

Until next time, this is Walt F.J. Goodridge, Jamaican in China!

See you in Singapore!

CUT!!

Ok…are we done? Good…roll the credits, and don’t disturb

me again, ok?!!!

>crunch…slurp….gulp…smack, swallow.

Announcing: The Coffeepot Cookbook!

The coffeepot cookbook

Here’s the second book I’ve been working on…and you thought I was only kidding!–Walt (This is a special preview for my blog visitors! If you order the paperback, I’ll give you a free peak (full copy) at the ebook right away, but the actual paperback will ship to you after April 5.

THE COFFEEPOT COOKBOOK! A Humorous, yet Actually Usable Traveler’s Guide to Preparing Healthy, Hearty, Happy Meals on the go Using Nothing but a Hotel Coffeepot…. and a Little Ingenuity!

by the Jamaican in China!

TOP TEN REASONS TO ORDER THE COFFEEPOT COOKBOOK, LIKE NOW!


10. Perfectly priced and sized for budget and backpack!
Weighing in at 6oz, 6″ x 9″ and at only $14.24*US,
The Coffeepot Cookbook is the perfect gift for money-and-space-conscious backpackers and other travelers who want an entertaining, yet indispensable tool for the adventure (with real recipes, commentary, back-stories, travel tips, 1 dating suggestion, and more!)

9. Ideal for the chronically or situationally cheap.
You don’t have to be a backpacker, a nomad or a frequent traveler to enjoy saving money on pots, appliances (no more cancer-causing microwaves), or utensils.
The Coffeepot Cookbook can can be used effectively right in your own home, apartment or section of the trailer park.

8. The perfect “going away to college (finally!)” gift!
It’s about time! You’ve been wanting to use that freeloader’s room as a home office, a guest room or storage closet. But just so you won’t feel guilty for not paying for a meal plan for the kid, give junior something useful for his dorm room: The Coffeepot Cookbook! See? You’re not really bad parent after all.

7. The perfect “time to live on your own (finally!)” gift!
It’s about time! You’ve been wanting to use that freeloader’s room as a home office, a guest room or storage closet. “Here. Take this book and get out.”

6. You need proof!
Think about it. No one is ever going to believe you that a book like this actually exists. But, you’ll get the next to last laugh when it shows up delivered to their doorstep. THEY’LL get the last laugh when they read it!

5. The coffeepot makes the man!
Display
The Coffeepot Cookbook proudly on your living room coffee table the first time you invite her over, so your date knows what sort of experience she’s in for with you as a boyfriend.

4. The coffeepot makes the woman!
Men invariably set their expectations high when it comes to the women they marry–particularly when it comes to their skill in the kitchen. Can’t cook? No problem. Display
The Coffeepot Cookbook proudly on your living room coffee table the first time you invite him over, and let’s nip that bad boy in the bud from the get go!

3. The revolution will not be microwaved!
Come on. Admit. You’ve either done it or thought about doing it last time you were in a hotel and getting fed up with a steady diet of ramen noodles. You knew there HAD to be more uses for this thing “the man” didn’t want you to know about. Power to the people!! (No justice! No peas!)

2. We have a money-back guarantee (visit the site to read it very very very very carefully)

And the number one reason to order
The Coffeepot Cookbook right now…..drum roll, please…

1. Get it before it’s banned!
Let’s face it, you’re not going to find this trend-setting book next to your Gideon Bible in the bed and breakfasts, motels and hotels around the world. In fact, once the International Hotel Owners Association gets wind of these coffeepot recipes, chances are they’ll move to get it summarily banned in all continents and all languages. Get it now before the book burnings begin!


6″ x 9″; 52 color pages; $14.24* plus shipping for the paperback!

Click the button below to order the paperback

(Fast one-page checkout! Delivered to your doorstep in 7 days!…give or take)

Coffeepot not included.

Or Order ebook
*NOTE: I really wanted to make this cookbook full color AND charge only $12.00, but to do so, would mean I would lose money on every sale. (That would be like ME paying YOU to read my book. And how silly is that!!?) Then I thought about making the cookbook black and white, but whoever heard of a black and white cookbook???? So, you get a full color cookbook for the painstakingly-researched, consumer-friendly yet still marginally profitable price of $14.24–Walt

Anyway, there’s more fun stuff on the site!