My First Digital Food Photo

Next month will mark 18 years since my first digital food photo. Whew. Oddly enough, I didn’t have any interest in food photography until I studied abroad in Asia; in other words, I have many digital photos from before August 2004, but they were mostly just blurry images of airports, or my hands covering the lens.

Well then, what was my first food photo? A slice of pizza? Gum? A picture of me face-down next to a bottle of tequila?

Nope.

In August 2004, my dad and I were visiting Singapore (and subsequently Bangkok) for the first time. During one of our frequent dips into a shopping center for much-coveted air conditioning, we decided to check out a random restaurant. Neither of us knew what they were serving, which made it that much more enticing curious.

Turns out, it was Thai hot pot, called suki (สุกี้) in Thai.

thai hot pot suki
Thai Suki (Hot Pot), Singapore

Having scarcely eaten Thai food, let alone any sort of hot pot, getting served a big ol’ plate of je ne sais quoi was a good primer for Thailand. To this day, I haven’t figured out what was boiling in that pot, but I can tell you that I haven’t had it since.


Do you remember/have your first digital food photo?

Is this the Best Japanese-Style Food Hall Outside of Japan?

As that stubborn country in the East Sea continues to only roll out a departure mat to its own citizens, those of us who are glad to liberate our wallets of yen continue to seek alternatives. Let’s take Southeast Asia as an example.

While in Singapore last month, I visited my two favorite places in the city: Singapore Botanic Gardens, and Takashimaya Ngee Ann City, on the busy Orchard Road shopping street.

Since my first visit to the city-state in 2004, I had been a fan of the Takashimaya department store. It had become my choice ersatz Japanese food hall — called デパ地下 (depachika) — when in town, with many of the seasonal and regional food festivals, bakeries, and liquor you’d expect to see in Japan.

For a very small, ehem, taste of the Takashimaya depachika, please have a look at my YouTube video:

Raita (India)

If you enjoy sampling food from the Indian subcontinent, or something’s just a wee-bit too spicy for you to handle, you may want to try this Indian condiment.

Raita (रायता), or pachadi (పచ్చడి) in some southwest Indian states, exists for the hotheads (hmm, chili lovers?) and calcium-cravers in many of us. Primarily, it contains yoghurt, cucumber, mint, and garlic, with cumin and fried chickpea batter as bonus additions (per Times of India).

Singapore - Raita

The raita I’m used to eating- a more fluid variant with diced cucumbers- is not typically as generous as the carrot, red onion, cilantro, cumin, black mustard, and chili-filled one above.  As a matter of fact, raita can even count among its ingredients pumpkin, banana and peanut, though in my view, adding those denser foods makes it more of a snack than an accompaniment.  But look who’s talking, I ordered three extra side plates in Singapore, making it a second lunch- the only other thing I needed at the time was a naan-wallah.


Do you like raita?

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