Busy month! Where do people get the time to blog everyday?? Honestly!
So, after a long silence, I’m back, thanks much to my 5 days off work- not much- but nonetheless a most welcome intervention in my progressive mental disintegration.
Appropriate to this theme of ‘hiatus’ and ‘return’ is this meal I had a couple of weeks ago in Gadong Central.
The last time I visited Sri Meradun was maybe in 1996 or 1997, since when most of my time has been pretty much spent on the coast where I’m enslaved. That and my time overseas. In the 1990s there weren’t too many ‘posh’ restaurants around, and Sri Meradun was one of the handful. It was well-known for tasty Thai food, and was particularly for its Chicken Rice – as well as for being the place untuk bescandal (restoran ‘class’ la tu).
I had honestly completely forgotten about this place, and was only reminded of it by a friend who’d said he’d just been from there, to which I blurted perhaps rather a bit too uncoolly, “Lakat ada kan??” – with a tinge of overexcited shrill.
Indeed it’s still around, as I discovered soon enough. Apparently where it used to be has been razed by fire, so they moved to the adjacent building, behind the Mercedes showroom. The new venue seems a bit more dressed down than I remember the old place to be, with lots of space. Nothing pretentious about it all.
We didn’t need the menu. We knew what we wanted from memory.
This dish stands out from any other Chicken Rice for a few reasons: the rice is light and not greasy, the chicken pieces (all 10) are sliced from the breast and arranged atop the rice, and the special chili dip that’s unmistakeably Sri Meradun’s own. This was what people came for in the 90s, and it’s the same now. The food tasted exactly as I remembered it from my last visit. That says a lot about the dish, and the restaurant – which is why I’ve featured it here, as I only tend to mention deserving establishments of distinct repute.
But you can’t come to Sri Meradun without having their famous ABC as dessert. (I had mine before my meal, and another after. Burp!)
Even the ABC tasted the same, complete with its unique Keladi or Taro pieces! And I’m not just referring to the ABCs I had pre- and post- the Chicken Rice that day!
In a country where the favourite pasttime is eating out, with hundreds of restaurant popping up every minute – yet failing to impress – some win effortlessly simply by sticking to what they do and know best. This is one of them.