DATES TRAVELLED | April 2019
I wasn't expecting to enjoy Singapore as much as I did, in fact, it exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I loved that it was still very much a part of Asia, but it has this sophistication about it (almost too fancy for me in some parts), and as our final destination after 4 other countries, it was almost like this perfect blender between there and home. We didn't have to haggle for taxis, we could flush toilet paper and drink from the tap. Brushing teeth with water from the tap...sometimes it's the small things!
Food is high up there on my love level for a place, and almost immediately after landing, we went to Maxwell Food Center for a humble plate of chicken rice. They say first impressions are everything, and that plate of food was like my first kiss in Singapore. I'll always remember it. And if you are possibly thinking how chicken rice could be that good, then watch the Singapore episode of 'Street Food' on Netflix to see the time, skill and history that goes into it. Then you will be able to understand how comforting it can be.
Our stay at The Warehouse Hotel was luxurious but in a cool way and I hate to say hip (I'm too uncool to have a better word), but it really was. The building had this 'bad-boy' past where it was an opium den, brothel and illegal gambling ring back in the day. It has been reformed into this lush boutique hotel which really made us feel spoilt to be there. We were kindly upgraded on arrival to their second-best room after their suite, the mezzanine room and it was delicious...can I say that about a room?
Mix that phenomenal hotel, with all that yummy Hawker food, plus the greenery and the architecture there - that's what made Singapore so memorable for us. For more, see my tips and itinerary below.
ABOVE & BELOW: An absolute highlight of Singapore is the hawker centres filled will stall upon stall of delicious food at affordable prices. I read that if you could only go to just one of the 100+ hawker centres when visiting, then the Old Airport Road Centre would be worth the cab ride out. And it so was! Even if we got stuck out there taxiless on the way back (forgot about my Grab app - armature!) in the pouring thunderstorm rain. Yep, still worth it! And eventually, a taxi did turn up 😅.
A few of the stalls I wanted to order from weren’t open when we visited like Roast Paradise meats and I also wanted to try BBQ sambal stingray. But we did get to try the famous curry puffs (see Stories highlights of a video of them being made), and the most famous of all Nam Sing Hokkien Mee. At lunch and dinner, there can be a queue up to an hour for this noodle dish and I see why. This is one of those plates of food that gives you so much more than what it looks like it would...trust the lines where the locals are! It is incredibly tasty and comforting. I also ordered a plate of Hainanese chicken rice and my all-time favourite Singaporean drink - lime (calamansi) juice. It would be the perfect base for a mojito - just add rum and mint cos it’s so citrusy and not too sweet. I find a lot of Asian drinks are on the sweeter side, but this one is perfect for me. All this incredible food and drink cost us just $13.80!
ABOVE & BELOW: I took more photos of locals than of us on this trip cos unless we were in aircon, we were bright red from the heat and dripping with sweat in places I didn’t even know you could sweat! Only a black and white filter could save those few pics esp in Bangkok where we happened to be visiting on the hottest month of the year! I couldn’t even wear my rings on some days because my hands were so swollen from the heat. But in the cooled conservatories at Gardens by the Bay we got some pics that made us look a fraction more like climatised locals The cactus area in the Flower Dome was one of my highlights about Singapore. If you are a plant lover you’ll be absolutely drooling here and wishing you were allowed to take home cuttings!
ABOVE & BELOW: Or gorgeous room at The Warehouse Hotel.
This is the mezzanine room, and you can read more on their website HERE.
ABOVE: The famous plate of chicken rice from Tian Tian at Maxwell Food Centre! BELOW: Chicken murtabak from Zam Zam close to Haji Lane - all this with ice tea was $8