It started innocently enough, back in April last year when the nationwide not-lockdown was announced. Faced with the prospect of hunkering down at home for more than a month, there was one immediate priority. No, not toilet paper, but snacks, lots and lots of snacks.
And since going outdoors into the wild was discouraged, we turned to Shopee Supermarket and started down the rabbit hole that is online shopping and home delivery. It started healthily enough, with bags and bags of my favourite baked cashew nuts.
But then came the nacho phase, where we tried almost every brand available, paired with cheese, guacamole and salsa dips. That was swiftly followed by the muruku phase, which is sort of the Indian version of nachos, except that they’re long and cylindrical instead of flat.
We’re glad to report that we’ve gotten past the muruku phase, and only occasionally buy nachos nowadays. The cashews are still being delivered though, but in significantly smaller quantities and less regular frequencies.
I used to consume an entire bag in one seating, but have started weighing out 50gm portions ever since I got my digital scale for making pour over coffee, which is an entirely different rabbit hole in itself.
But then we asked ourselves: why stop at snacks? Why not locally-grown seafood like mussels from Ah Hock Kelong in the coastal areas south of Pulau Ubin?
And that’s how a 3kg bag of freshly-harvested mussels arrived at our door in September last year, kicking off our very own week-long mussel food festival with The Wife cooking up jjamppong, miso butter pasta, tom yum and curry.
The mussels were a success, giving us the confidence to branch out into fish. The Wife had visited Sea-to-Bag‘s physical store in Clementi on her way back from badminton a couple of times, and bought some frozen snapper fillets to cook a simple steamed fish and some spicy Korean Domi Maeuntang (도미매운탕).
Despite being frozen, the fish was surprisingly fresh (after being defrosted) and tasted even better than the ones sold in our wet market downstairs. Not surprisingly, they offer home delivery and while we haven’t placed an online order yet, we’ll probably do so soon.
With the supply chain for two food groups sorted (yes, snacks count as a major food group), we turned our attention to meat and currently rely on Master Grocer, especially for minced beef for stir-fries and thinly-sliced beef for home hotpots.
Their sliced beef short ribs are especially good, with a healthy meat-to-fat ratio. By healthy, I mean tasty — just look at that delicious marbling, and imagine shabu-shabu’ing it in some tomato soup base made by the famous Heidi Lau.
With the sea and land protein sorted, VegeBoyz provided the final piece of the puzzle. We’ve had several deliveries and with the exception of some overly stringy sweet potato leaves, the vegetables have all been fresh and tasty, especially their kang kong, cabbage, and vegetable-of-the-year, Minari.
Just a year ago, our main source of groceries was the neighbourhood NTUC Fairprice, but now it’s switched to mostly online. It’s amazing to me how so much fresh food can be ordered and delivered with just a few button presses. But I suppose the world has fundamentally changed, and by extension, so have we.