Monday, September 22, 2008

Daily highlight #91: 100 years of murtabak - Zam Zam (Singapore)

Zam Zam, an institution in the area of Singapore known as Arab street, has stood at the same street corner for exactly 100 years. It saw Singapore through colonial English rule, Japanese occupation, as a part of Malaysia, and into its own republic. Despite all the changes that have happened around it, time seemed to have stood still within its walls.


Day in and day out the same mutton murtabak fried live on a large griddle inside the front window drew regulars and tourists into this humble two story building. Standing there with my face pressed against the glass and greasy fume permeating through my hair, I simply could not turn my eyes away from these quick hands flipping roti loaded with fragrant mutton bits and running eggs on the hot griddle.

It's a beautiful thing when a girl gets exactly what she wants. And what this girl wanted was the ten dollar bigger than my head mutton murtabak (don't worry, I had two growing boys to help me with it), which came with two curries for dipping, one more spicy than the other. Can you guess which one I have my spoon in? :)

Perhaps not the best choice of food the day before the wedding, but then again I am not known to give much weight to such considerations. Happiness rules on all days and happiness at Zam Zam meant dipping pieces of flaky on top and chewy in the center roti pregnant with garlic and onion infused mutton mince into spicy and creamy curry. A plate of curried lady fingers (slender young okra) rounded out a perfect meal.

1 comment:

tanline said...

I love murtabak (or martabak)... Wish there was a place in Atlanta that did martabak well. Penang's version I just don't like.