Thursday, 7 December 2006

Duck Curry At The ACM

The Asian Civilisations Museum is one of the treasures of Singapore. In recent years there has been something of a museum renaissance and the old colonial administration building (which for a while was christened Empress Place) has become the A.C.M.

To me, museums are about one-to-one experiences with collection objects. I don't reject the IT driven displays that seem so often to dominate exhibits nowadays, but I do enjoy my contemplative spaces where such a communion can take place.

It's the "Stuffed Elephant Syndrome". The iconic object that generations can remember from their museum visits and look forward to upon their return.

When I lived in Auckland, one such object was a small jade buffalo of exquisite form that had belonged in the Chinese Imperial collection and was no doubt looted when the Summer Palace was sacked. It came into the possession of a former colonial Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey and subsequently ended up in the Auckland Museum collection. When I last visited it was no longer on exhibit, spirited away by a well-meaning curator to basement storage. I felt a certain loss over this action.

The ACM has some wonderful collections, many of which I remembered from a previous visit four years ago. It felt like renewing old friendships to stand in front of such items and wonder about their provenance. If you truly want to understand the history of what makes Singapore what it is today, you should pay this museum a visit.

There is another reason.

IndoChine cuisine is quite distinctive and there is a fine restaurant that served the Museum Director, Dr Kenson Kwok and I, a magnificent duck curry. Not surprisingly it is called the IndoChine Wine Bar and Restaurant.

The crispness of Vietnamese / Laotian food and the subtle use of coriander makes their food very refreshing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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