Deer penis or goat’s brain? Have your pick.
Chances are that these aren’t your everyday eats but they are definitely part of the local cuisine in Singapore.
With that in mind, influencers Zermatt Neo and Annette Lee set off on an “exotic” food journey in hopes of being able to stomach everything in.
A 24-minute-long YouTube video was posted on Thursday (Nov 2) where it was revealed to them what the five unconventional dishes were.
Dish number one was goat’s brain soup, a hearty stew-like broth filled with chunks of goat’s brain.
This was something Zermatt has not eaten before and he sounded curious enough to give it a try.
The look on Annette’s face, however, was one of apprehension. She did not seem excited at all.
They headed to Haji M. Abdul Rajak, an institution for soup kambing (translates to goat soup), to get a taste of the dish.
Their bowl of soup even came with goat’s tongue for good measure.
Thank goodness it did, cause after a munch of the tongue and the brain, Zermatt knew which he preferred.
“I like the tongue way better than the brain,” he told Annette before mentioning how “neutral” the brain tastes.
She concurred, claiming how the flavour of goat’s brain resembles that of tofu.
It was a lukewarm start as both gave ratings of three out of five for the goat’s brain soup.
Deer penis soup
“I’m slightly scared, just the thought of how it’s going to look,” Annette honestly admitted.
Even before trying out the dish, they both had trouble identifying the actual deer penis bits.
The restaurant manager eventually mentioned that it’s already been chopped up in the soup and can be eaten whole.
He added that there are supposed health benefits that comes with consuming deer penis soup, saying, “It strengthens your kidney and ‘dragon’.”
This dish is known to be an aphrodisiac but unfortunately, on the flavours front, it was a no-go for the two hosts.
Zermatt likened drinking the soup to taking a shot of whisky while Annette could only wince and let out a squeal.
The deer penis meat itself wasn’t any better for them.
“I feel disgusted with myself, it smells funky,” Annette said.
On the other hand, Zermatt advised viewers to simply have this dish for its supposed health benefits as the taste was not enjoyable.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. That’s the main takeaway from the influencers’ crocodile paw experience.
Before even taking a bite of it, Annette wasn’t taken with the texture of the crocodile paw’s “skin” while Zermatt wondered aloud if the meat would be equally tough.
Despite their concerns, they took that first bite.
“It’s so good, oh my god! Are you not enjoying it?” Zermatt said, taking a look at his co-presenter.
Both agreed that crocodile paw somehow tastes really similar to chicken feet and compared the dish flavours to that of a rich braised pork trotter dish.
If you are able to get past the “scary” look of a crocodile paw, both of them suggested ordering this dish the next time you see it on a dinner menu.
According to the hawker who served them the dish, turtle soup comes with health benefits like being good for the skin and preventing cancer.
“Doctors recommend it, not I say one,” the hawker added.
Visually, it may come across as similiar to bak kut teh but Zermatt noted that the turtle soup is “not peppery at all”.
Instead, this dish has a prominent medicinal taste to it.
As for the turtle meat itself, Annette was conflicted after her first bite while Zermatt thought it tasted like lean chicken breast.
“I can’t believe it but it’s actually so good,” she admitted.
Ran out of chicken soup for the soul? They might have just founded you the Asian alternative.
This dessert delicacy is made from hashima, which comes from the tissues near a frog’s fallopian tubes.
While it may sound scary to some, this dish was the clear winner of the day.
Annette and Zermatt enjoyed all three flavours they tried — boiled papaya, red ginger and steamed egg.
Firstly, it helps that the dessert looked really unassuming. You would never have guessed it has an ingredient list that includes frog fallopian tube tissue.
This was Zermatt’s first taste of hashima dessert and he noted that it’s something he’d come back to try again.
“This doesn’t feel exotic to me,” he said.
Maybe that’s the trick to being more adventurous with Singaporean food.
Don’t overthink about the ingredients and simply enjoy a dish for what it is.