Sivu 47

Singapore's iconic Marina Bay Sands is the latest, most impressive addition to the city's changing landscape. i Lim Sio Hui t's early evening on the last day of the Chinese new year celebrations at Roland seafood restaurant in the Marine parade suburb of singapore. Located at the top of an nondescript car park, Roland is the self-proclaimed inventor of Chilli Crab, one of the Lion City's signature dishes, and the round tables are occupied with cheerful diners, slurping and chewing as they would on any other day. all of a sudden a commotion breaks out at a table of young office workers. They pounce on the dish at the centre of the table, chopsticks flashing and clicking, as if in some strange act of culinary sacrifice. The raw fish and shredded carrots, ginger, radish and parsley piled on the dish are stirred in a frenzied blur as the participants laugh and shout. after a minute or so of this, there is relative calm as the diners return to one of the activities they do best in singapore ­ eating. almost exclusively encountered in singapore during the Chinese new year fortnight, the stirring of the yusheng salad ­ Yu means fish but the same sound in Chinese means "abundance" or "plenty" ­ combines the symbolic ingredients of good luck and prosperity for the coming year. It's also one more example of the singaporean preoccupation with food, compounding the mystery of how obesity is almost absent in this tiny nation of obsessive consumption. singapore's food, ranging from the fare on offer at the very affordable hawker's stands and food courts to the much pricier gourmet menus at swish hotels, is a celebration of the city's cultural complexity. Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and european cuisines coexist and often intertwine. singApore's food celeBrAte s the city's m Any cultures. life After lunch but there really is life after a lingering lunch or dinner beneath singapore's everchanging skyline. The latest major additions to that profile are the three towers, spanned by a 340-metre-long sky park, of Marina bay sands, a symbol of the city's aspirations for a distinctly asian, affluent modernism. Chilli crab is the Lion City's signature dish. mAy 2011 Blue wings 47 eng

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