F Rolling on breadcrumbs - jeepneyjinggoy

Rolling on breadcrumbs

With food, I am no scientist. My cuisine revolves around the "tried and tested" dishes that soon become comfort food. The list of favorites may be limited and slow to lengthen but it's a reliable one in times of "dining indecisions" (aka don't know where and what to eat).

For a new entry to make it on the list, the process is simple- I try a recommended dish and if I drop my fork (ala Anton Ego in Ratatouille), consider it added.

In Singapore where eating is the national pastime and restaurants come aplenty, arming yourself with a food directory of must-eat is a plus. Knowing where to head to eliminate time wastage on deciding where to eat. You know how it is with large groups where democracy rules, you may lose consciousness long before everyone has agreed on a choice.

If you go unprepared, knowing a local foodie means you're in luck. If not, there's always Google to turn to. Unfortunately, you are computer illiterate, and hungry. But fear not, either follow the rule of thumb - "where the locals queue the longest is where the good food is", or settle for a cup of noodles from the 24/7 convenience store nearest you.

One cuisine I love is Japanese. The gyoza and tofu are my "staples" that accompany the occasional rice dishes of sushi, makis and donburis. So when the need for the Nippon palate had to be sated while visiting the Lion City, it was a good time to try a Chuvaness.com's blog entry, the tonkatsu at Romankan Yokohama at the food hall of Takashimaya Ngee Ann City in Orchard Road.

Romankan Yokohama is just one of the Japanese food stalls in the area. Its specialty is the tonkatsu, a breaded deep-fried pork cutlet, served with shredded cabbage and miso soup. It can be served with rice or ordered in sandwich form. I'm Asian, so you need not ask why I opted for.

In the couple of times I patronized this joint, I was able to try a couple of variations. On the first visit (with Googie and Veron), I was (too) eager to sample the special, the tonkatsu with curry sauce, and on the next (with Kenneth), the tonkatsu with its original sauce. The latter was more of my taste.

On both accounts, the pork was good and tender but lacking the moisture. But the tonkatsu sauce did make the meal nice for me, exactly the reason why it was okay for me to revisit the place a second time. I am addicted to the sweet and tangy flavor of the sauce that perfectly complements the rice (which was wiped out. Maybe because I walked all day and needed the fuel).

The meal was just right and gave enough room for dessert. The neighborhood Japanese pastry and chocolate stalls are showcases of saccharine delicacies. It's best to make your rounds first before singling out your dessert of choice. I always have a couple. I can always walk off the calories. It's always a good excuse to binge on your favorites, isn't it?

For more travel and lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/

Published in Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 1, 2012.