Thursday, April 28, 2011

Food in Singapore

I was immediately impressed just as soon as I landed in Singapore. Not only does it look good, but it smells good too! I could easily smell the hint of sandalwood incense in the air possibly coming from the daily religious rituals of the Hindu and Chinese community.

Not surprisingly, it tastes good as well.

The only food I knew from Singapore is the traditional coffee-egg-and-toast breakfast I frequently order at Kopi Tiam (which I heartily know as "Set B".) It was time to get acquainted with more. But first I had to learn that the Singaporean for "dine in or take out?" is "having here or take away?" - as I painfully had to figure out myself when I stood for few minutes looking stupid in front of the cashier wondering "what the heck did she just say?" the first time I ordered food.

Hor Fun. My first taste of Peranakan cuisine. Challenging to eat with chopsticks. I had to go "traditional" and hold the bowl to my mouth and glob it all down. Not bad.

Seafood Laksa. Noodles, tofu, seafood in curry and coconut milk. I'm in love.

Nasi Goreng Pattaya. My favorite Asian rice food - wrapped in thin fried egg and ketchup. 

Having traditional Singapore breakfast (kopi tiam) at night, at Toast Box. 

Going Indian. Ghee Thosai, from the popular Anada Bhavan restaurant in Little India. This is just heavenly. Krispy outside, mushy inside. However, I'm not sure if it was the Indian spices but I had a particularly deadly fart after this.

Thosai. Indian milky desserts. To hell with lactose intolerance.

Ice-cold sugar cane juice at the Bugis market. A life saver in a hot and humid weather.

Durian ice cream at Clark Quay. Tastes like it, thankfully doesn't smell like it.

Ok. Starbucks food sucks as usual. But heck, this is Changi Airport. It almost feels like dining at five-star hotel.

I didn't survive in Singapore with just these though. The other stuff I ate aren't just worth the blog space.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Walking Singapura

People think I'm crazy for going to Singapore alone and for not trying out Sentosa, Jurong or Marina Bay. But the usual tourist spots are just not my stuff. I would rather walk the old, dingy areas and get a taste of the local culture - or what's left of them - in this shiny, well-polished, squeaky clean little city. Being alone means easily blending in with the locals, quicker travel, absorbing the experience, and no one whining about their aching feet by my side.

Singapore itself has not much history on its own, but being such a touristy place it's literally bursting to the seams with different cultures from Asia and around the world. It's probably the only place where I would find  traditional Thai foot massage in the Indian quarter and an authentic Austrian Bratwurst in Chinatown. Hanging out in a cafe in Kampong Glam the deep house music from the speakers meld with the 'call to prayer' being chanted from a nearby mosque, while around me I could hear the buzz of probably at least seven different languages.

Little India after the rain

An ominous-looking Marina Bay Sands

Pushpa mala along Serangoon Road

Making my Kali puja in the Sri Veerakamaliaman temple on a busy Sunday.

Elaborate road sign in Little India in English and Tamil.

Crows flutter about in the skies.

Seafood Laksa on the streets of Chinatown.

Moving art in the subway.

Going into the inner courtyard of Thian Hok Keng (Temple of Heavenly Happiness)

The giant buddha of Sakhya Muni Buddha Gaya temple.

Bukit Timah, just across my hotel.

Colorful buildings along Arab Street

The golden domes of Malabar mosque

Along Orchard Road. 

Skyscrapers on the business district

A curious wall

Posh boutiques line up the famous Orchard Road

Got to have one of those photos.

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