Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Stimulus Pancake

SINGAPORE MRT- Because napkins or serviettes are not commonly given in Singapore food stalls, I can still taste the tinge of sweetness from the corner of my mouth. From my fingers, the smell of chocolate syrup lingers. These are reminders of the Chocolate Prata I had a few minutes ago in Casuarina Curry Restaurant. This food stylist was impressed with its presentation a dramatic arc drizzled with chocolate syrup and chocolate sprinkles.

The Makansutra guide describes a ROTI Prata as "a South Indian bread made by stretching dough flavoured with Ghee and panfried till crispy on the outside and soft on the inside." The most common flavors are plain and egg, dipped into a spicy curry sauce. But the possibilities are endlesss. Try flavors like durian, cheese, and banana. Some call it an Indian 'pancake' of sorts.

To me it is THE STIMULUS PANCAKE. It is not just the joy of eating this south indian bread, but the thrill of watching how it is made. It was the swift movements of the prata man that seduced me to the exotic food scene in Singapore, prompting me to move here. Tonight, the prata sealed my hot and steamy evening.

It started with a most unusual networking event meeting interesting people, including an enterprising Russian earning a living teaching piano as well as how to use Word and Excel. He insists most people only use 4% of its features. My two friends and I sneaked out hungry and sweaty, cooling off with a nourishing Vietnamese meal of rice noodles, thin slices of beef, and shrimp paste on a sugar cane. Talk shifts from our unusual new contacts to the profound question of what do you really really want to do with your life. The trio becomes two, as Alex and I move next door to have our Chocolate Prata. I somehow sense a change will happen in my life.

Long after the food is digested, what remains are the words exchanged over the meal. And breaking bread breaks boundaries between people. Over plates of prata, I have shared many conversations. Truly, it is the stimulus pancake prompting changes in my life.

See this video of the Prata Man in THE ROTI PRATA HOUSE UPPER THOMSON SINGAPORE, I was mesmerized by his swift hand movements in making prata. Shot March 2007,over two years ago, before my move to Singapore.

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