Sunday, June 1, 2008

Through the Looking Glass Darkly

Tonight, I made a big, BIG mistake.

It all started when I went to Sunder's house to have dinner.

His mother sent him and his brothers some home-cooked dishes.

Sunder: Peranakan dishes!

Me: Yeah, yeah.

See, Sunder's a half-breed, like me. He's half Chinese and half Indian. Though he's actually mostly Indian.

Anyway, I helped him unpack stuff his mother sent him, and it was all good in the beginning.

Me: Sambal Udang!

Sunder: Peranakan-style!

Me: Crab Curry!

Sunder: Peranakan-style!

Then, I saw something which wasn't right. It was as if I had just stepped into a Twilight Zone edition of Sesame Street.

Me: What the fuck is this?

I was holding up and inspecting a jar of semi-transparent liquid.

Sunder: That's Rassam.


But that wasn't MY big mistake. That was Sunder's, who grew up not knowing that Rassam is NOT a Peranakan dish.

NO. MY big mistake was when I took BOTH the Crab Curry AND Shrimp Sambal together.

As soon as the two dishes, mixed with rice, entered my mouth, it was like having Ghee Hin and Hai San together at the same wedding. It was like having Kalimullah and Rocky at the Press Club at the same time. It was like KJ and everyone else, anywhere.

I could feel the crab fighting with the shrimps. The sweet taste of the prawns battled the slightly tangy salty aftertaste of the crab. The chilli in the sambal fought unharmoniously with the curry.

It was like having a seafood brawl inside my mouth. They fought for the palate.

THAT, my friends, was my BIG MISTAKE OF THE NIGHT.