Five star rating

Out of curiosity, I ordered the ikuradon along with chawanmushi. The ikuradon is a bowl of seasoned rice topped with silky raw salmon and juicy blobs of roe that explodes in the mouth, giving the dish a nice touch of brine and burst, and in that solitary dinner I had at Jewel Changi came rushing back the conversation I had with my Grab driver who dropped me about three hours ago, who – although with a small sample size, but who is as equally nationalistic like his fellow Grab drivers that I had in my four times of going to this city-state since 2018 – mentioned that he – and his wife and three kids – were vegetarian, due to his belief that humans should not inflict harm or suffering to other living beings. (My first question: How did you ask your children to go vegetarian? “They were vegetarian as soon as they were born.”) Ironically, he was very proud of the Mandai Wildlife Reserve as well as the new Bird Park, relocated from its old site at Jurong just recently, the latter of which my family and I have been to in 2022, where the penguins were cute and flappy. When I asked if it is because of his religion, he was slightly defensive and he said he considers it a belief or a credo, not exactly a religion. Past Raffles Place and the Esplanade he mentioned joining groups where they share things about suffering or laziness or greed, etc., and that in place of meat he eats tofu and eggs for protein. The way he is able to explain his belief is admirable, it’s like he has thought through this entire monologue that it reminds me of my professor in Philosophy in my undergrad years, whose monologues were arresting to say the least, calculated and measured in its delivery. He also shared his amazement about the snowflake they had seen in their first trip to China, where he was so happy to see the pattern up close – “It really is like what you see in the pictures!” he gasped. As it was his first month as a Grab driver, he asked me if I can give him five stars, and I obliged.

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