As a child I saw absolutely zero merit in any dessert than didn’t contain chocolate, and was baffled by anyone who would be so crazy as to order anything fruit-based. The insanity! How times have changed, and after a decade or so of ‘progression’ (depending how you look at the evolution of my palate towards an obsession with oysters and offal), I have arrived at a point where desserts are best containing fruit (rhubarb), some kind of acidity (the lemon juice) and contrasting textures of crunch, coolness (ice) and creamy smoothness (in this case, meringue).
When a colourful plate of crunchy pickled vegetables hit the plastic tablecloth in a no frills – but full of thrills – Nonya restaurant in Singapore a few months ago, I had a feeling a love affair with this Malay-Chinese cuisine (often known as Peranakan) was due its moment. What followed was a flurry of new-to-me dishes; fish head curry, a fragrant brothy prawn number, dollops of fiery sambal to accompany them all, but the most memorable of the lot was this colourful condiment that kick started the taste buds into submission.
Brussel sprouts are allegedly the new kale. Or so claim the gazillion articles published on the subject of the fashionable foods of 2015. If this is indeed the case, suits me. I seem to be in the minority of people not obsessed with kale chips, which makes me marginalised in my east London hood.