It started with a whatsapp message.
An image was sent to my phone. It was a menu… a menu of wait…
I had to do a double take and look through the menu again, Laksa, Kuay Teow, Carrot Cake, Fried Rice… those were indeed food items from my part of the world. I’ve been in Stockholm for over a year and Singaporean food had eluded me till now, no way I was going to delay this excursion.
The restaurant was located in a quiet corner of the St Eriksplan district, the red and white on the stall front adding colour to an otherwise drab looking street.
The sun had set by the time I arrived, it was half an hour before closing time. “Hi! Erh, do you have a menu in English?”
My Singaporean accent must have given me away. The menu was small, and there wasn’t a long list of options. The lady at the front looked back at me and smiled, “do you want the main menu or…”
“There’s a Singaporean one right?”
“Perhaps you have your food to go,” said the owner, “so that you won’t have to rush.”
I ordered the most popular item on the list Beef Kuay Teow. Kuay Teow is a south-east asian flat ricenoodle dish. Traditional flat rice noodles are held together using pork lard as a coagulant so it is amazingly fragrant. The flat noodles are stir-fried over a wok and flavoured with dark soya sauce and a generous serving of beansprouts.
St Erik’s Wok has been open for more than 11 years (with the boss, Judy, having been in Stockholm for 23 years) and the recipe has retained its traditional profile.
“Do you want sambal* on the side?”
“Yes please!” My ordered complete I left the restaurant bag in hand, with a huge grin on my face. The kuay teow was tasty and the portions were huge.
I went back the next day with a few other Singaporeans and this time we ordered even more items: laksa (a spicy noodle seafood soup from the Peranakan tradition)
mee goreng (Malay fried yellow noodles stirfried in a sweet and spicy sauce with onions, shallots, chicken, carrots, broccoli and other vegetables),
and chai tao kuay (Chinese savoury fried radish cake with eggs and prawns),
The kuay teow was a winner in my book and the carrot cake was the choice for the other Singaporeans. The portions were huge and it has a Singaporean stamp of approval. What are you waiting for?
* Sambal, or sambal belachan, is a spicy paste made from chilies, shrimps and lime juice (with salt and sugar to taste) that have been ground up.
ON THE MAP