I-S Xperience Joo Chiat/Katong Food Walk by Betel Box: On pragmatism and pig orgasms

There aren’t many folks who’d be as comfortable espousing their views on the pragmatism of Singapore’s leaders as their desire to be reborn as a pig (apparently the animal can sustain orgasms for half an hour) as Tony Tan. No, we’re not talking about our president, but the former IT professional turned historian and Betel Box guide who led us on the I-S Xperience food tour of Joo Chiat and Katong last Thursday.

Tan’s the kind of quirky knowledgeable tour leader who can keep a 30 person-strong crowd entertained through an epic four-hour eat-fest (the usual program runs seven hours, but we like to be efficient). He started the group off at the coffee shop Mr Teh Tarik, where we dug into marrow-rich sup tulang and golden roti john among a host of other Malay-Muslim dishes (there were more than 10 items in total). And that was only 20% of the feasting he had planned for the night.

So sensibly, Tan gave our stomachs a bit of reprieve and took us to the 17th floor of a neighborhood HDB block, boasting uniquely clear views both Malaysia and Indonesia. There, he began a historical schpeel explaining about the country’s multiculturalism, soaring property prices and the ever so practical government. It was a long talk (Mr Tan is very enthusiastic) but educational. After, we were rewarded with even more food, from fragrant salted egg yolk crab to fresh winged bean salad and lard-infused Hokkien mee. It was 11:30pm by the time the bulk of the eating was done but Tan was eager to get to the more salacious topics after dinner (sex, drugs and rock and roll). He would continue chatting into the wee hours. But we had to be at work in the morning, and left (weak sauce, we know). Who knows the shenanigans that ensued after we made our exit?

Looking to join in the fun? Read about the next I-S Xperience Tiger Brewery Tour by Asia Pacific Breweries on March 14.