I’ve finally got round to finishing this blog post from my travels to Malaysia and Singapore in November 2012. Better late than never!
So I managed to escape my mum & Aunt to Singapore! The bus journey was a killer – 10 hours, with loo breaks and a lunch stop, but as it was the start of the holidays, the passport control at the Malaysian/ Singapore border was a bit crazy. I was scared that the coach would drive off without me! Luckily, I was fine. I arrived at the Golden Mile bus station & took a short walk into the heart of Singapore. I stayed at the Tree in Lodge, an eco-hostel situated in Bugis. I was too tired to find anywhere good to eat, I just popped into the nearby shopping mall and bought a Japanese take-out. I celebrated my escape with a can of Tiger beer at the hostel.
Breakfast was a basic self-service affair of cereal and toast. I went on a morning walk to buy some soya milk as this wasn’t provided by the hostel, but it gave me a chance to view Singapore waking up. It was surprising how busy the eating places were at such an early time of the day, some people must eat out for every meal, including breakfast! It can’t be healthy…
I had arranged to meet up with my brother and his friends from church for lunch. We went to the hawker center near Dakota, I was excited to see such great variety! We went for a mixed platter of satay, seafood char kway teow washed down with dragon fruit juice, and a banana fritter to follow.
seafood char kway teow
Glutinous rice parcels
Rice parcel hawker stall
Chicken hawker stall
Steamed sweet buns
Satay hawker stall
I was too stuffed to eat anything else that day, just grabbed a steamed bun from Bugis street market for dinner.
Wandered around Little india, saw this drinks vending machine where I tried out the apple flavoured collagen drink. It was quite pleasant – had a slimy texture but I was more focused on the benefits it would have on my aging skin.
Met up with my cousin Judi for lunch where I tried out French cuisine, Singaporean style. Sauveur, a busy café – dinning place on Purvis Street. We shared the angel hair pasta salad, fois gras & chicken risotto.
Dinky portion of risotto reminded me of a savoury rice pudding – it was a bit too creamy for my liking. However, the chicken was delicious.
I’d never tried fois gras, and I think this order was a mistake. However we were too polite to return this dish. The liver was minute and sat on a bed of lentils. It was flavour-some, tender & chewy in parts.
The pasta salad resembled a carefully presented oriental noodle dish, it was even topped off with the dried shrimp. Never the less, it tasted nice.
After our lunch, we went for ice-cream at the Shaw Tower. This ice-cream parlour was famous for it’s experimental flavours. I spotted salted egg ice cream, sweet corn & lapsang infused raisins on the menu…However, I wasn’t feeling that adventurous so we opted for a scoop of matcha and a scoop of chili chocolate ice-cream.
Continued walking around for a while before stopping off to eat (again!) this time, proper coffee & black currant tart in Drips Café, Tiong Poh Road. I had tried the local brew of ‘kopee’ from Toast Box but had found this as undrinkable black bitter water. However, the coffee in Drips was really smooth & aromatic, and the tart was probably one of the best tarts I’ve ever eaten! This café isn’t cheap, but I highly recommend a visit.
I also LOVE their mooncake cushions!
After a day of endless eating, I opted for a light dinner – fishball dumpling soup, and a ‘black pearl’ cake from Bread Talk – mochi pastry filled with sesame paste. My camara had run out of memory space so I didn’t manage to photograph this, but I did photograph another bun on offer – ‘bean bag’. Their product names are pure genius!
Spent the day checking out the Singapore Fashion scene. Paid a visit to Parco Marian Bay in Millenia Walk and wandered down Orchard Road (which was quite stressful and not that enjoyable). However, I did stumble across a vintage shop Becky Berry in Cathy Cineleisure where I bought a few things.
Lunch was a cheesy bun & a glass of unsweetened soya milk, followed by a red bean flavoured ice-cream sandwich (which wasn’t that nice).
Met up with Judi again for more coffee & cake, this time at Atomi, a Japanese designer homeware shop in the Mandarin Gallery off Orchard Road. I felt nervous dropping crumbs on their very expensive showroom chairs.
Feeling deflated after hours visiting endless shops – bored of seeing the same Korean designs, and fed up of pushy shop assistants who follow you around the store.
Dinner was at the Raffles Place hawker centre – flash cooked veg with tofu & noodles.
I decided to go on a morning walk around the Bugis area, taking photos of Singapore at Breakfast time. Picked up a watermelon juice and soya milk to put on my cereal.
Had a rather random invite from Judi to watch the Singapore Chinese orchestra play Christmas tunes in the lobby of Deutsch bank. I thought, why not?! I have to admit it wouldn’t be my first choice of activity, but I thought it might be fun. The musicians were incredibly skilled, and as well as playing the ‘clap along’ christmas songs, they played a varied repertoire of famous traditional Chinese pieces as well as some tango, it was quite beautiful. Afterwards, we went had pork & rice for lunch in the nearby shopping mall, followed by tea.
A wander through Club Street in China town lead us to Kki – a café, gallery & gift shop. We tried the milk cheese cake – at $7 this wasn’t cheap, but was well worth it! It was feather light with a delicate flavour.
In the evening I met up with another cousin & his family for dinner. We headed towards Arab street where we stopped off at a local Indian restaurant near the Mosque. We had a feast of curry dishes, flat breads & rice. My cousin had this unusual looking pink rose milk drink, which was sweet and fragrant.
My stressful journey back to KL began really early. I had a 3pm deadline to meet and the traffic wasn’t doing me any favours. Finally made it back all hot & sweaty, only to find Auntie pottering around watering her plants. My mum was so pleased to see me – she had a miserable time arguing with her sister, who had banned her from eating coconuts. We went for a sneaky drink when my Auntie wasn’t looking.
Home cooking at last! I took the role of sous chef & kitchen skivvy whilst my Aunt barked out orders. We made a tofu dish & fishball vegetable soup & salad, and my Aunt had bought a salted baked chicken from a food vendor earlier. I gave my Aunt a small fair trade turtle toy key ring that I’d bought in Singapore which she absolutely adored – she was like my best friend after that! Dessert was fruit – lots of Rambutan, dragon fruit, bananas, mangosteen – my stomach was bursting! It was an enjoyable final meal, I was really looking forwards to returning back to the UK the next day.