My parents’ generation often told stories of their food-deprived college lives. Over meals, they would tell us stories of how they would only dine in the school cafeteria, share meat pies with their roommates during winter in London, and on good days, either heat up a can of precious Yeo’s curry hand carried from Singapore or order Chinese take out.
Fortunately for us, there was always an abundance of good and affordable food in seattle. When I first arrived, I was overwhelmed by the food options available on just The Ave alone, and not to mention, the double servings of rice at University Teriyaki. As freshmen, we ventured into any store that looked somewhat crowded and good. Actually, even if it wasn’t crowded or didn’t look that good, we went in anyway. It wasn’t until we discovered that Seattle & King County Public Health has a restaurant inspection reporting system which you can use to search any restaurant in the area to see if they have violated any food safety regulations. I still recall when my friends and I did a simple search on University Teriyaki and after seeing the astonishing results, we never went back for a pretty long time.
It wasn’t long before we started to venture out and slowly discovered some really great restaurants around. Food in seattle is hard to put a finger to because it is so diverse. It was in seattle that I learnt how to appreciate so many other cuisines like korean, vietnamese, and mexican food. Despite coming from a food paradise in Singapore, dining in Seattle was a whole new world. You didn’t need to go to a fancy place to enjoy good and authentic food and having all these options around is what kept us interested in trying out new cuisines. Yelp was extremely helpful in helping us find good food and I get the feeling that people in seattle are generally passionate about food and willing to try new cuisines, as long as they taste good.
It’s funny how whenever Jon and I return to Singapore, we would miss the food in Seattle so much since Singapore has such great food as well. But I think, what we really miss is the variety. While we can get great hawker food in Singapore, other cuisines like Korean for example, is really not up to standard.
One other thing we like about dining in Seattle are the food delivery options and the fact that restaurants tend to open till pretty late at night. Ordering food delivery is just so convenient and I still recall how my dorm mates and I would combine orders and order food delivery dinner from a chinese restaurant in chinatown when we felt tired of dorm food. Many restaurants open till very late at night – for supper, besides the usual pizza and mcdonalds, we’ve even had hotpot and thai food!
To the new freshmen entering UW this coming fall, freshman 15 is very very real here and don’t say you haven’t been warned!