Singapore feels like the future! It’s modern, sparkling clean, organised, sophisticated, the streets are like driving through a botanic garden and the people are sweet and a little cheeky.
The new Jewel entertainment complex at Changi airport is an impressive destination in itself. A sparkling new shopping centre with a majestic indoor waterfall that has to be seen to be believed, a forest wonderland, canopy play park and every kind of eatery.
For a quick bite, try the famous White Bee Hoon (thin noodles with seafood in a rich seafood and egg gravy) at White Restaurant, the originators of this dish.
But I’m here for the street food…
First stop, East Coast Seafood Centre for fabulous Chilli Mud Crab at Jumbo Seafood where it’s more like a feeding frenzy! Don’t be shy to put on a bib, because cracking through that crab is hard work and your clothes will be wearing it.
Ann Siang Hill in the CBD is home to quaint European and Asian restaurants including the famous Coconut Club. We lunched at its brand new sister restaurant, the cool and casual Bemlingbing Superstar for a taste of Peranakan cuisine (a mix of Chinese, Malay, Indonesian & Thai). You get to choose from an array of dishes from the display that are then served at the table. Loved the Hae Cho (prawn roll), the slow cooked Pork Belimbing and the three layered Coconut Jelly. The flavours are vibrant, the serves are designed to be small so you can taste several things and service is friendly and fast.
For a taste of opulence, immerse yourself in the Atlas Bar in the lobby of Parkview Square, known as the Gotham building. It’s a ode to Art Deco here, with a 3 story gin tower and ornate brass work throughout that is made to impress. A sophisticated collection of cocktails, gin and champagne in this grand space will make you feel like Gatsby. Cheers darling!
The Garden by the Bay is a spectacular botanical paradise but during the Mid Autumn Festival it is like walking through a magical wonderland of lantern displays. The Supertree Grove of vertical living gardens come alive with a mesmerising light show every night and you can also walk the skyway that connects the trees.
The magnificent Marina Bay Sands building rises from the banks of the river like a futuristic temple. It’s rooftop boasts a lookout point, bars, restaurant and nightclub. For $22 entrance to Ce La Vi you can get into the bar or restaurant and use the voucher for that same amount on food or drink. We can recommend the Crab Noodles and the Duck Leg dish and their super fruit platter is in high demand as an Instaworthy dish, but the unparalleled views of Singapore you go there for.
The bright and bubbly Haji lane is worth a visit for its cool hipster bars and shops. Get into the #selfie spirit with the rest of the tourists…
The impeccable Raffles Hotel is still the Queen of the city, particularly after its recent refurbishment, and a Sling at the Long Bar is one of those ‘have to dos’. We arrived at 11am for a pre-lunch refresher and sat at the bar for a chat with bar manager, Priscilla @lady.savant who mixed those classy drinks with perfect precision. And yes…you can eat the peanuts!
The Japanese influence on the Singapore food scene is very strong, particularly the obsession with ramen. The CHIJMES centre has lots of Japanese eateries to choose from – sushi bars, izakayas, tonkatsu, japanese bbq and, of course, ramen shops. We had a very good bowl of locally famous pork bone ramen with porcini and truffle at Konjiki Hototogisu, originally from Japan, that was brimming with umami.
Your visit to Singapore is not complete without immersing yourself into the buzz of the Lau Pa Sat night street market. Although the market stalls operate throughout the day, at 7pm the street is closed off and the vendors wheel in their tables and chairs creating an instant outdoor dining area right before your eyes. Have the chargrilled tiger prawns, satay and chicken wings, then check out the indoor stalls for whatever other Asian food takes your fancy.
Thanks for for the fling, Singapore! I will put my shoes under your bed anytime.