Singapore

Singapore – a Foodie’s Delight

I had the good luck to be visiting friends, who have recently relocated to Singapore, on my way to and from Cambodia.

It wasn’t my first visit to Singapore, but my previous visit had been in 1997, for a mere 23 hours. Last time I stayed in a hostel so grotty I couldn’t face the bathrooms, so ducked next door to Raffles to use their lobby facilities in an attempt to freshen up, before spending most of the day at Sentosa Island on some random person’s recommendation. I remember being so hot that I spent about an hour in the scorpion house, luxuriating in the air-conditioning, before getting back to the airport to check in for my flight. Who knew there was so much to learn about scorpions?

Singapore

Singapore

So nearly 20 years later, I can confirm that Singapore is still VERY hot! Yet despite the heat, this trip seemed to revolve almost entirely around food. Perhaps this is appropriate, as Singapore is famous for its wide range of delicious food from a range of different ethnicities. I think Lisa’s aim was for me to sample as much as possible in the short time I was there. We did that and more – she’s always been an overachiever!

Singapore

Singapore

First up was dinner at a gorgeous restaurant in Bukit Timah.  There was coconut beef rending, one of my all-time favourite dishes, babi pong tay, which is slow-braised pork-belly with dried mushrooms and bamboo shoots flavoured with yellow-bean paste, cinnamon and cloves (yum, yes as good as it sounds) and a fragrant spiced chicken dish. I also seem to recall we had entrees on top of all of that. Not surprisingly after that feast a walk was definitely in order. So we waddled out of there and headed to the Gardens by the Bay to see the Mid-Autumn festival of lights, still filled with families enjoying the last night of the festival despite the late hour.

Singapore

Singapore

There wasn’t a lot of time the next morning before my flight, but I always love seeing the local markets and Lisa and Duncan live near the Tiong Bahru markets. It was fascinating for me having a quick look around while they did their weekly shop – a little different from the previous run to Woollies.

Singapore

Singapore

I had another day in Singapore a couple of weeks later, and after some time in Cambodia I had acclimatised to the heat, which didn’t seem quite so overpowering. This time I had a full day before the flight back to Sydney, and Lisa took me to some of Singapore’s more popular places: the Botanic Gardens, Little India, and the very fashionable Arab Quarter. And of course there was more food!

This time we went to the Newton Hawkers Market. Lisa insisted I try Hainanese chicken with rice, one of the dishes Singapore is most famous for. It doesn’t look like much, but tastes amazing. We didn’t stop there though: we had fried rice, mee kerang (a beef noodle dish), a delicious duck thing that I can’t remember the name of, and BBQ stingray which was the hit of the day. I’m still daydreaming about the wonderful flavours. For anyone who’s counting, yep, all this food was devoured by just the three of us.

Singapore’s foodie reputation lives up to all expectations. Diet starts on Monday.

 

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