A couple of weeks ago, we went to celebrate our wedding anniversary. With dinner by the beach.
It was nothing like you’d expect. The atmosphere was noisy with the clink-clangs of frying ladles making contact with hot iron woks, roaring gas fires, the steady background hum of people ordering, chatting, eating and drinking, the humidity of open-air seating in a hawker food centre, and the smells of spices, smoke and chicken wings and mutton satays roasting over charcoal.
But hey, take two parents, on a budget, who haven’t ordered peanut-laden prawn paste fruit salad and pepper and chilli seafood hawker delicacies for a real long time, because we never do when we’re out with the kids…and this is what you get.
Oooh…it was amazing! It may not look very pretty…but these dishes are some of the most amazing gastronomic creations on earth – rojak (cucumber, turnip, pineapple, bean sprouts, puffy deep-fried tofu, and crunchy dough fritters tossed with prawn paste dressing and served with a generous sprinkling of crushed peanuts), spicy grilled stingray with cincalok dip (fermented shrimp condiment, served with chilli, shallots and lime juice), oyster omelette, and roasted chicken wings with lime and pounded chilli.
That was to start with. Our original idea was to order the number of dishes to correspond to the number of years we’d been married. About two-thirds through, our stomachs pleaded for mercy and we mutually agreed that our coconut drinks qualified to be counted as two dishes.
It was fun. It was relaxed. It was happily uncharacteristic of a traditional anniversary celebration. Which made it all the more special.
And I loved that it truly celebrated the starting out of our relationship so very very long ago – in a noisy food centre over hot piping plates of noodles and prata, and decadently thick Indian milk teas. 🙂