Monday, 4 December 2006

Goodnight Irenidae - a tale of Bluebirds and Bau

I may be mistaken, but I believe I spotted the melodious bird that acts as my wake-up call each morning. Each evening at dusk it repeats the performance.

A quick glance at local bird reference on the web suggests that it is the Singapore Fairy Bluebird (or Irenidae as it is known in scientific circles). It is a rather drab bird to look at, not unlike a crow in plumage, but it certainly has a booming and beautiful call.

There is quite a good photograph of "Irene" at this site.

And so to bau...... the ubiquitous steam bun sometimes spelt as "pau" but still tastes just as good whatever your spelling preference. My favourite is from Ah Teck Bau. They started as a smallish family business off Orchard Road about 50 years ago. The family then expanded their business which was not wholey successful and later reverted to a smaller scale operation. You can find their outlets in places such as Killinney Road and in Cold Storage, Orchard Road.

These bau are a meal in a bun and the secret is in the dough which should be light in texture and taste and generous in the filling.

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