So Much Sauce, So Little Time: Singapore Cinnamon Pork "Tea"
In Singapore, cinnamon slapped me in the face. That's right, cinnamon. Not usually an aggressive spice, at least not one that tends to slap anyone in the face like, say, the loathsome dill, cinnamon is usually just so...pedestrian. But not in Singapore.
"Heng Heng," the man with the Ferrari said. Either he was wishing me good luck in Hokkien, or, or, this man whose name I can't disclose was giving me what was about to be one of the best locals-only restaurant recommendations I've ever gotten. As it would turn out, he was giving me one of the best locals-only restaurant recommendations I've ever gotten.
"Bak Kut Teh" is translated as a "pork rib tea". Now, I'm guessing that makes about as much sense to you as it did to me before I'd actually sampled it. Probably called a "tea" due to the myriad of herbs in the broth, Bak Kut Teh has everything from cloves and garlic to something called Chinese angelica, which is apparently a medicine for gynecological problems (don't ask; I didn't). And, of course, cinnamon. Judging by the smell of the restaurant, a lot of cinnamon.
Now about this restaurant, "Heng Heng". It's, frankly speaking, a dive. You know, plastic chairs, formica tables, no air-conditioning, and cook staff that also work as waitstaff. But, and here's what's intriguing, its parking lot is full of Ferraris. And Lamborghinis. And Porsches. Why the dichotomy, you ask? Well, watch the video to find out.