Wembley Park Retail Park
I'm thankful the Pacific Plaza's food court was almost empty. Anybody who saw me eat would have witnessed quite a spectacle. Earlier in the day, I'd injured my back attempting a ridiculous squash shot. For the first few hours, the damage seemed insignificant, but somehow the act of going to Zone 4, sitting down and eating curry laksa triggered waves of intense pain.
At this point the laksa did what laksa's paid to do and the double trouble of steam and chilli had me sweating like an Englishman. I removed my coat and my jumper, and reached for my bag to take photos of the food, the whole time clutching the left side of my lower-back, grimacing and sweating torrentially. I hobbled down Wembley Way afterwards.
If this had been a duff meal, I would have left traumatised. But the curry laksa from the unassuming NP Star stall was delicious. Before I gave it a good stir, the broth resembled a lava lamp in miniature. Yellow bubbles and red bubbles, forming and fusing. Coconut milk and chilli. Fire and ice. Yin and yang. Slices of slippery fish cake, straggly coriander, soft and supple king prawns, and brown strips of puffy tofu that absorbed the broth and - bang! - exploded upon contact with the teeth.
Fireworks in the sky. A sweaty forehead. Muscle spasms. Ouch. Yum. Ouch. Where's the ibuprofen?
Two tables away, a middle-aged Chinese woman shielded her child's eyes from the sweaty paraplegic strip-show.