After the epic, soul-soaring, tummy-pampering that was our dinner at Joel Robuchon, Singapore, its hard to imagine that anything could even come close. And, to be honest, it didn’t. We thought about just curling up in foetal balls in our high thread count hotel sheets and rocking back forth with despair that life would never be that good again…but our super expensive hotel sucked so we were forced to leave its four walls in order to not have to deal with the pretentious, ineffectual staff. But that’s another story and not a particularly interesting one. So how did we bring ourselves back up to something resembling life again?
Well luckily Singapore has not only super fancy-pants dining establishments but also phenomenal, tasty and probably more famous food at the other total other end of the spectrum – enter the hawker markets! And what better to do to pull ourselves out of one food related slump, than to do what we do best – eat more! So to market, to market to find…
a really long queue to stand in! Seemed like the right thing to do, even if H-J had no idea (a) what lay at the end of it; (b) how to order, given that this particular stand had nothing resembling English or an English speaker; or, (c) whether she could blend in and do what everyone else was doing and somehow end up with something delicious!
As luck would have it, after receiving a number, sitting for a few minutes in gleeful anticipation and watching a cockroach scurry up the wall, a steaming bowl of scrumptiousness duly arrived.
To this day, we’ve still got really no idea what exactly it was. Basically, it consisted of a hearty, rich broth, in which floated a variety of different filled and textured fish balls and tofu. There was some meatiness of the minced variety stuffed into some of the pieces, loads of fresh spring onions on the top and delightful chewy noodles at the bottom. All in all definitely worth the queueing and the suspense!
Not wanting to leave it at that though (of course), the soupy fishball-stuff was promptly joined by a steamer full of dumplings…
a katsu-esque noodle and oyster mushroom arrangement…
an exquisite breakfast of black pepper ikan bakar (marinated, charcoal grilled fish) with satay, rice and, of course, roti…
and a superb, freshly-constructed curry mee asam.
With breakfast nicely taken care of (okay, potentially we could count it as brunch, lunch and afternoon tea too!), our moods were better, our food experiences now running the whole gamut of gluttony and it was off to do the touristy stuff. Now, for all the haters who will shun us for getting sucked into the expensive, super touristy and ‘oh so bland’ and not seeing the ‘real’ Sinagpore – whateves. We’re doing it anyway, so up to the sky we go!
And now a couple of caribou! BTW, what on earth was an orang utan doing up on the flyer?! And then we looked down and saw a couple. Oh no, wait, they’re not orang utans – that’s just H-J’s parents.The views are pretty decent.We even managed to time our journey for Dan’s favourite time of day, the Golden Hour. Seeing as night had fallen and we were already being Super Tourists, we decided to stick with the theme and take advantage of the gorgeous setting.
Now of course it wouldn’t a visit to Singapore without a wee trip to see Mr Merlion. For those who perhaps have never seen a real life Merlion before (!) tis a wonderous creature – the head of a lion and the body of a fish, its used as a masot as well as the ‘national personification’ of Singapore. We figure Merlion is to Singapore as Kiwi is to New Zealand. Or something like that!
The other impressive icon on the Singapore skyline is, of course, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Yes, we thought about staying here but no, we couldn’t justify the expense with two months of India still looming ahead (read: altogether three months of no income, sob sob). We thought about going up the top to have a no doubt overly expensive drink at a cool bar overlooking the harbour but meh, given the gorgeousness of our previous night’s dining we knew it simply couldn’t compete. Marina Bay, we’ll see your interior in our future Rich Person Lives (pending). Having to slum it at ground level, we opted for the floaty option. Then it was off for a quick obligatory trawl through the markets. Our market sojourn was followed by a quick stalk around the grounds of the famous Raffles Hotel. Now Dan, being a bartender in a former life, felt he should pay homage to the birthplace of one of the most famous cocktails ever. We really should have gone in and drunk one of them but meh, we were exhausted and over it by this point. There is only so much Singapore tourism one can do in a day. Last stop on our way home was through Little India, which was looking stunning in preparation for the upcoming Diwali celebrations. In saying that, we flicked our hair over our shoulder, tossed our heads and sniffed, “Pooh! We will be in REAL India come the morrow – enough with this Little India shit!”. And with that our time in Singapore concluded and, sadly, also did our time with H-J’s parents. We parted to await our flight to Delhi while they their flight to New Zealand. And what’s a little caribou to do to kill some time at an airport between international connections? Well, eat takeaway Robuchon cake, of course!
Its just how we roll. Thanks to Janie and Brian for sharing a wonderful couple of weeks with us as we said goodbye to our home in Korea and explored the culinary (and otherwise) delights of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It was a blast!
India, here we come…
Best Food Ever
I loved my short stay in Singapore in 2011. We were only there for 24 hours but it was amazing. Must go back one day.
We did a pretty lame job of it but we suspect there is actually loads to discover in Singapore – its definitely worth a stop for the food alone!
Still so jealous of all your travels/adventures/food!
You’re own adventure is still on the cards eventually though, right?! We’re super keen to intercept you somewhere 🙂
I know; this must happen one day in the future! We’re also holding out hope of visiting NZ again—just can’t seem to stop thinking about that place!
I know; this must happen! We’re also still thinking about visiting NZ again; just can’t seem to get that place out of our heads!
(Sorry for the double reply; computer acting up!)
Same with us! While we’re loving our time in Asia, we’re having fantasies about gulping up the gorgeous, fresh NZ air. Oh, and stuffing our faces with pies, hehehehe.
The Marina Bay sands was sessioned hard by BASE crew last year. Nice infinity pool at the top.
You guys love the kai huh!
Siiiiiiiiiiiiick! The time lapse of Singapore is pretty cool too. Chur for the link. Dan’s keen to have a go, H-J would rather drink a cocktail in the pool and watch/pray Dan doesn’t end up as street pizza. Mmm….pizza 😉
haha golden! Given his love of food he’d probably self cannibalize!
Hello- I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I nominated your work for the “Blog of the Year 2012 Award!” More info can be found here: http://fictionalmachines.com/2013/01/16/blog-of-the-year-2012-thirteen-final/ Keep up the amazing work & enjoy the day over there! 🙂
Wow, that’s extremely flattering!!! Thank you so much 🙂
You are very welcome! Have a great one!
Loved Singapore but it´s been a long while now since I was there. And as for the Singapore Slings – don´t bother, sweet and disgusting and of course over priced. Raffles is beautiful though!
Yeah had a feeling that might be the case – I don’t mind the ol’ Singapore Sling but could see them being more of an attraction at Raffles than a delicious drink, per se. The hotel itself looks stunning! Had it been more reasonably priced, we would have stayed there. Alas…
there’s no “like” button for your nomination for blog of the year!!! LIKE, LIKE, LIKE
www thanks Dea! We’re blushing 🙂
Can hardly read posts like this. Gets so hungry. Wants to travel. 😉
Haha we promise we’ll focus on some stuff other than food in our upcoming India blogs!
Chinese food is kinda hit or miss for me. Is Singaporean stuff similar?
By the way, there’s a freaking BOAT on top of those buildings!! Somebody call the freakin POLICE!
Chinese food in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia is entirely different to Chinese food in the rest of the world – not so much sticky, weirdly coloured sweet and sour sauces and way more mouth challenging foods. We’ve experienced taste sensations in this part of Asia that we’ve NEVER encountered before, which totally thrilled us! Singaporean food is so ethnically diverse – it pulls on influences from Indonesia, India, China, the Middle East…creating a glorious cacophony of new and interesting foods to try. YUM!
Mouth challenging! I like the sound of that!
I think I’ve got a little soft spot in my heart for ethnically-diverse Singapore. 🙂 Reminds me a little bit of Canada. ❤
p.s. I thought people in Singapore could speak English~~?
In Singapore you’ll find there are actually four official languages: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. So of course you get areas with pockets of people who speak no English. On the whole though, we had absolutely no trouble communicating with people and the standard and breadth of English was excellent!
Welcome to my Sunny Island!!! Awww! I’m so glad you guys are enjoying Singapore! Honestly, I haven’t been back for so long that I’ve yet to explore so much here! It seems like there’s a new mall popping up from every corner! lol. oh and ermm.. I believe your mystery broth is Yong Tau Foo??? Okay, some dishes I recommend if you’re still here: Carrot Cake (NOT the actual American carrot cake, but a stir fry dish found in many “Hawker Centres” / food court), Murtabak (pancakes stuffed with beef / mutton / chicken. Can be found in most Indian Muslim stalls), Roti Prata, Fish Head Curry, Laksa (if you haven’t had it in Malaysia), Hokkien Mee (very different from Malaysia if you had it there) and Prawn Noodles. These are definitely my favourites! Also very affordable when you get them from “Hawker Centres”. Enjoy the rest of your stay here!!! xoxo
Yong Tau Foo, eh?! Whatever it was, it was delicious 🙂 And thanks so much for all your other recommendations!!! We’re now living in Hong Kong but another trip to Singapore must be scheduled in, we thinks! Mmmm delicious!