ON THIS “street”, dining is so retro. It’s like visiting an old American diner (not that I’ve seen one, been in one and dined in one in the 50’s — not that old yet) pretty much what you’ve seen in the movies, only this one is in Singapore.
In the Lion City, eating must be the national pastime. If you’re no stranger to this place, it won’t be a surprise to see how many restaurants there are in a single block. From fancy bistros to hawker centers, there is something to suit everyone’s palate and wallet.
Nothing beats hanging out with a local or someone who has lived enough in a place that he has become a local. On this instance, it was just perfect to hang out with Veron O., the Filipina who brought her hotel chain to the top of the most-coveted (and profictable) business and leisure hotels to stay in during her tenure (of course, she will be too modest to admit her accomplishment) and Googie S. who is as familiar with the city as Veron is. I am lucky to have these two as my designated tour guides on this food journey around the Lion City.
Just across my residence-of-the-moment, the stylish Fairmont Hotel, is the swanky Raffles Hotel and shopping arcade styled in colonial architecture. It holds international fashion brands, watchmakers and jewelers, art galleries and antique shops and restaurants. One of which is Seah Street Deli.
|“Welcome to Seah Street Diner!”, said the foodies to the fat man.|
|Delightful deli decor|
This diner is a typical New York-style delicatessen offering in its menu a selection of American sandwiches, entrées and salads. And true to the American tradition, the portions are generous and can be shared (not unless you’re famished that you can eat a whole cow, not just it’s premium cuts).
A whole cow is not available at this joint but the small portions of the bovine are. I got lost myself in the long list of mouth-watering sandwiches. The next best thing to do is turn to your host for S.O.S.
|No “Whole Cow” in this menu. But little bites of the bovine are.|
As Veron suggested, I must try the house specialty sandwich, the Seah Street Burger, freshly ground all beef patty with tomato, lettuce and onion, with an option to top it with cheese, egg, bacon, Portobello mushroom, fresh avocado or sautéed bell pepper and onion. Each additional topper will cost you, of course. The last line states, “Forget your diet.” I’m joking, it was the clingers around my waste cheering me on.
Googie chose the Baby back ribs and Veron opted for the Fish and Chips.
|The ribs, the fish & the burger.|
From the three orders that came, it was only Veron’s dish that turned out “to share”. Googie was feasting over her ribs with gusto (yeah, it was tasty!) and my burger was amazing. Having ketchup and hot sauce on it would bastardize the beef’s flavor, just like a good steak, it was tasty enough. But I’m baduy and I love ketchup, so I enjoyed this sandwich with every bite.
|Ready to eat.|
There are more entries in the menu that called out to me and those will be enjoyed some other time, on the next visit to Singapore perhaps. Dessert looked tempting but Veron and Googie wanted me to try something special next door. Coming from foodies like them, I know it will really be good.
Through the window, I saw it was still drizzling and then I saw the street sign on the corner — Seah Street. So this resto was named after the street it’s at. I thought it was some street in the Big Apple.
P.S. This joint is a bit pricey but the serving and taste of the dishes, along with the good service (from the hardworking Pinoys) is worth every cent.
|This diner sits along this street, thus named after it.|
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 16, 2012.