Sunday 25 March 2012

Chendol Zen

I've eaten much chendol in my life - in Singapore, Malacca, KL, Kluang....cup, bowl, glass, and enjoyed every bit of it. However, since encountering this retro remake from Kopitiam, I believe this is the way it should be served up and savoured. Let me tell you why. First the construction: A dollop of gula melaka followed by some shaved ice. This is then drowned in coconut milk. Red beans and green worms follow and are topped up with more shaved ice. A flourish of gula melaka is then added last.

To eat (using a milk-tea thick straw):
Stage 1: Insert the straw straight down to the bottom gula melaka. Take a sip. The natural sweetness of the gula melaka will curl your face up in unbelievable delight.

Stage 2: Withdraw the straw a little to the coconut milk. Take a sip and savour it's milky freshness. By now, you are in twin ecstasy, not unlike writhing in silk and body lotion.

Stage 3: Withdraw the straw and let the top melted ice flow in. Eat some of the clean white ice at the top. Your palate will be cleansed, ready to sin again.

Next, stab the ice into the red beans and green worms mix to bathe it in gula melaka and coconut milk syrup. Eat this. It will feel like the thousand times you've had chendol in the past: A rich sugary, beany, wormy toffee-colored milk.

Stage 4: Plunge in to sip some more coconut milk left unmixed. This will uplift the palate and to remind yourself of the coconut milk in that brown syrup mix. It's adulterated chendol made pure again.

By now, finish off the last beans and worms. You would have reached the bottom of the glass. Suck up the last bit of gula melaka waiting for you there. The taste will reaffirm the reason why you wanted that glass of chendol in the first place. And for that few moments, life is indeed sweet. There: You had begun with gula melaka and ended with gula melaka; - Much like how the cycle of life should be. :-)

Next story: St John's Island Fantasy

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