Eating My Way Through Singapore
I was really excited for the Singapore leg of my trip for two reasons. First, my friend Erin is obsessed with Singapore having been there several times to visit her parents who lived there for a few years. From all of her pictures and talk of warm weather, food, and exotic fruits, it just seemed like a place I’d like to go. The second reason I was really excited for Singapore was that my friend Kate, who I studied abroad with in Italy ten years ago and haven’t seen since (!), lives there with her husband Rob. So not only were we going to get to catch up, but they offered to host me in their swanky condo.
Some people weren’t as excited for me that I was going to Singapore. It’s just a big, modern city. Maybe this is what they had in mind . . .
Well, yes, that’s Singapore, but there’s so much more than just tall, shiny buildings and clean, organized streets. I think this picture starts to give you and idea of the different parts that make up Singapore . . .
I turned to Erin (and her parents) for ideas on what to do and eat in Singapore. They responded with quite the list of things to EAT but nothing to SEE. When I asked, Well, what should I do? they responded with, Just go eat in all those places and that will pretty much cover all of Singapore! Okaayy then!
With Erin’s oh-my-god list of things to eat in hand, I set out each morning (after coffee on the balcony and a swim in the pool, of course) to see and eat my way through Singapore in her footsteps.
One of Erin’s recs was on Mosque Street in Chinatown (Bei Fang) but I passed that by for Lan Zhou La Mian a street away. I knew I was in the right place when I recognized the guy prepping food just like in Erin’s picture on Flickr. Sadly he was making dumplings and not noodles, but it still tasted great.
I also made it to Alaturka in the Arab section of town where Erin recommended the Beyti Kebab. Completely different from anything you would find in Beirut but that was totally fine by me.
Kate helped me get to my next foodie destination which was the East Coast Seafood Centre. It was not too far from her house and we got to ride on her Vespa, aptly named “Donatella.” On Kate’s recommendation we both had Laksa and then shared some satay.
Kate and Rob also helped me get to Lau Pa Sat one night. Rob did all the ordering and we all did the eating.
Erin wasn’t the only one helping me eat my way through Singapore. I had the chance to meet up with Nikki (aka @BeirutiBrit) who used to live in Beirut but currently lives in Singapore. We decided to meet in Chinatown and eat at the hawker center there. Again, I let her do the ordering and she came up with a nice sampling of things for me to try. (My only request was fried dumplings since I hadn’t had them yet!) After lunch she took me on a mini walking tour through Chinatown, the Quays, and the Esplanade.
Nikki recommended that I check out the rooftop bar and swimming pool at the top of the hotel. Luckily I had Kate and Rob to take me. It was pretty swanky and the view was fantastic.
And with that I leave you with a few more photos from around the city that don’t involve eating. (Scroll down to the bottom of the post if you’re interested in specific locations of any of the places mentioned.)
Erin’s favorite building in Singapore. I’ve seen many a picture of it on Flickr so I was pretty excited when I spotted it. (It’s the MICA building, that’s Ministry of Information, Culture, and the Arts.)
I was in Singapore just a few days before National Day (which is something equivalent to 4th of July) so there were many flags and posters boasting Singapore national pride on display.
The botanic gardens were free (yay!) but the orchid garden was a separate $5 charge. I probably would have skipped it if it were not for the recommendation of Shirley (Erin’s mom) and I’m so glad I didn’t.
All in all I really loved Singapore. There are so many areas to discover, so much good, cheap food to eat, and great transportation connecting it all! I certainly didn’t make it all the way through “the list” but I guess that only means I’ll have to come back. Add it to the list of places I could teach after Beirut!________________________________________________________________________________________ Alaturka 16 Bussorah Street Lan Zhou La Mian 19 Smith Street East Coast Seafood Centre East Coast Park Service Road Lau Pa Sat 18 Raffles Quay