Background: This year for the OMY Singapore Blog Awards, a themed blog entry is required. Set in line with the establishment’s current 60s Fever theme, this featured entry will be something in the 1960s that, inspires.
Rather than having the plain old, cliché writes on 1960s food, I thought it apt as well, to introduce something that you, as a (might be repeated) diner, might not have come to know.
In the 1960s, it was arguably the decade where Gay Rights Movement kicked in. It was then, a movement had started to emphasize that gay men and women are no different from those who are straight, and that they deserve full equality too. This had later impacted what had become of today – some 15 countries going full-fledged with same-sex marriage, not just civil unions or registered partnerships. The fact that Singapore hasn’t been the most receptive toward Marriage Equality, and is thought to be a taboo, makes the owners of The Garden Slug a more respectable and commendable one, for openly supporting Marriage Equality.
As I bring you through a journey based on my sense of taste and smell at the restaurant, feel learned too, through a parallel journey of LGBT / Gay Rights Movement milestones and incidents that happened in the 1960s.
Ugly Salmon Cakes ($14.90) :: I say they were too hard on themselves. Though molded by hand, these well-seasoned cakes aren’t all that ugly, are they? Packed with a mixture of parsley, black pepper, garlic, onion and smoked salmon, this starter really had the night going, but only when it’s piping hot. Because that is the only time when the ingredients are still alive.
In 1960, the Gay Rights Movement came alive when the world witnessed the first known instance where a U.S. military woman (Fannie Mae Clackum) successfully challenge her discharge from military on the grounds of homosexuality.
The starter is best shared by three persons, thanks to its heavy base and big portion, you might not be able to fully enjoy your main course otherwise.
Truffle-some Shrooms Pesto Pasta ($23.50) :: Who can refuse some linguine heavily infused with truffle? It is for sure not truffle-some, but rather truffle-a-lot, if you take it literally. The hefty $23.50 is well-worth its every single cent. I confirm that it is the first truffle pasta I’ve had that absolutely satisfies my palate.
In 1961, there are a couple of first.
(1) San Francisco, U.S., broadcasted the first made-for-television documentary on homosexuality on American TV.
(2) The first known openly gay candidate for political office in the world, José Sarria, garnered a more-than-expected number of votes, informing the world that gays matter when united.
Further to its excellent truffle + mushrooms combination, it is also certified a Vegetarian dish.
Ribeye Steak ($23.90) :: Done medium-rare as per requested, the Ribeye Steak was a direct bull’s eye for me. Not only was it (a) perfectly executed to my preferred doneness, (b) its homemade brown sauce was exactly what I’d like for my steaks – the hint of saltiness to spice the meat up, but not over the top to mask the taste of steak. I also love the fact that (c) there were parts where tendons were involved for me to enjoyably chew on, but most others where it was just easy meat to sink my teeth in and swallow. The steak is so good it’s a crime not to have it whilst there.
In 1962, Illinois, U.S., had their new criminal code kick in, going down in history as the first U.S. state to strike down law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes.
It’s as if the some at least 250g of steak isn’t filling enough, a huge chunk of mashed potatoes is served as side as well. Maybe the greens are more welcomed here, to counter those carbohydrates.
DIY Amaretti Cookie Sundae ($10.50) :: Vanilla bean gelato, warm chocolate syrup and home-baked gluten-free almond-flavored biscuit. You are in for a treat if you love them all. Note that it says DIY. With each ingredient placed separately, you have the liberty to mix and match however you like.
In 1967, LGBT people in Canada, England and Wales were granted liberty. An act was passed to decriminalize private homosexual acts.
I say, since the portions of everything are so huge in The Garden Slug, you are better off sharing this plate with your dining companion.
The Village Tiramisu ($6) :: Though a pretty piece, it fell short for me. I thought their rendition of the Tiramisu had an overly creamy texture, and was quite severely lacking in the amount of cocoa / coffee. I thought since people had order a Tiramisu, they would be prepared for an overpowering flavor. I would have raided my friend’s dessert plate if not that mine was better.
In 1969, Stonewall Inn was routinely raided by the police in New York City in an attempt to arrest gay people. For the first time, the LGBT people resisted and rebelled openly in the streets. This uprising (no, not as big as the one in The Hunger Games), called the Stonewall Riots, later became a significant event that aids the movement in changing the community.
With many firsts and movements enacted in the 1960s, from entirely not being accepted to what is of today, The Garden Slug has also been actively participating in the Gay Rights Movement locally. On 18 June 2011, the full strength (20 persons) of The Garden Slug had their restaurant closed on that very day (a busy Saturday, mind you) to attend PinkDot 2011 in person. PinkDot is a local movement for everyone who supports the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. And The Garden Slug team has been a loyal supporter of it since the movement started out.
Not only is the dining place a gay-friendly place, it is also a pet-friendly one. And oh, GST & Service Charge-friendly as well (all prices are nett).
I am a marriage equality believer. What about you?
Address: 55 Lorong L Telok Karau, #01-59/61
Telephone: 8688 8575
Opening Hours: 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Tues); 10am – 10pm (Wed – Thurs); 9am – 10pm (Fri – Sun & PH)