Updates from our 10-day trip to singapore
Today for lunch, Amanda and I walked over to the Kopitam around the corner, which is a Singaporean term which originally stood for a coffee shop but has slowly evolved into a popular and convenient favorite for lunch breaks for the surrounding office workers. When we went in, the outdoor cafeteria was filled with wooden white tables lining the walls with plastic chairs filled with people in suits and formal work outfits slurping curry noodles without getting a single splash on them (quite an impressive feat!). When we seated ourselves amongst the local crowd, I ordered mee siam and Amanda decided on ordering the laksa. Mee siam is a type of noodle dish which is made of rice noodles in a curry broth with fried tofu and egg. Laksa is a noodle dish which is made of thicker noodles in a curry that mixes Malay, Indian, and Chinese spices. Both dishes were versions of “curry noodles” but looked and tasted completed different. As we sat there eating, I couldn’t help but wish that this too could be my lunchtime break food!
It was another rainy day here in Singapore, but the afternoon downpours did not deter us from venturing out to see the Chinese Gardens, located in the western portion of the country.
A quiet park spanning 13.5 hectares complete with pagodas, statues, and verdant plant life lining the river's bank, the garden is a tranquil retreat that feels a million miles away from the bright lights and honking horns of the downtown city center.
Today we set out to scout out some authentic Indonesian/Malaysian food and successfully found a little open street restaurant called M. Nasir right around the corner. When we entered, we were immediately greeted by many different sights and smells that we had yet to encounter since we landed in Singapore.
There was a counter placed at the mouth of the restaurant which housed several different Indonesian options that I had never heard of before and I was very eager to try them all! When the store clerk asked me what I wanted, I just started pointing at the all the things that looked appetizing to me the most (which was very hard to choose).
Whenever I find myself in a new city, I make a point to visit a wide variety of cafes and tea rooms in order to find the perfect spot in which to enjoy a pot of oolong or an energizing cup of matcha. In addition to the quality of the teas themselves, when I set off on this mission, I am in search of a location that offers an unforgettable atmosphere — a place where I can truly savor the subtle flavors that come with each sip.
Today, I am happy to say that I have come close to finding my ideal tea cafe. Almost by accident, Pallavi and I stumbled upon the cutest gem of an establishment called La Marelle Cafe, located in Singapore's Kampong Glam district. In celebration of this personal milestone, Pallavi has graciously allowed me to devote this entire blog post to today's most exciting find.
Day five of our Singaporean adventure gave us a taste of India and also introduced us to some cuddly cats.
After a slow start to the day (due to the ever-falling rain) Pallavi and I set off on the MRT to Little India, one of the main cultural neighborhoods in Singapore that — as its name suggests — is a main hub for the country's large Indian population. Lined with brightly colored buildings packed with rows upon rows of dazzling formal dresses, walls of electronic gadgets and a stunning variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, Little India is a multi-sensory experience — and, in my case, a photographer's paradise.
As usual, the day started off on the right foot with the coconut yogurt. I won’t talk any more about it from now on because I hope you guys understand that it’s basically magic.
Still a little tired from the previous day’s New Year’s festivities, we decided to take it a little easy and decided to make today’s agenda to go see the famous Gardens by the Bay. First we made a stop for lunch at EwF (Everything with Fries). This place had caught my eye on Day 1 mainly because of its pink décor, which from afar gave it the look of a cupcake store, although it was primarily a burger joint. Amanda ordered an omelet sandwich with BBQ fries and I decided to take on the Tandoori chicken with a side of curry fries. The sandwich itself was a fantastic example of how Singaporeans know how to melt multiple cultures together. The chicken was cooked to perfection, reminding me to the kind of chicken my mom makes at home in an American-style burger. The curry fries’ deliciousness gave me no hurry to finish them — instead I took my sweet time to savor the goodness. I wish I could get curry fries back at home. I really liked them.
Today started out wonderful once again with the Meiji coconut yogurt. I’m sure you guys are tired of hearing the posts all start out with the yogurt comment, but I just need to stress that it was life-changing. I would 10/10 recommend you find it and try it out.
For lunch, we decided to once again peruse Orchard Road in search of an eye-catching eatery. We ended up at a place called Paradise Inn, where we had a sweet, cherry tomato appetizer, shrimp fried rice, and a tofu/pork dish. It was all very yummy and tasted very different from the Americanized Chinese food that we were used to.
Hello from Singapore!
Pallavi and I landed at Changi Airport in Singapore at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, and almost immediately the time difference brought much confusion ("Is it Wednesday morning?" "No... I think it's Tuesday. Or is it Monday?"). The first thing we noticed upon disembarking the plane was the heat. It was much hotter (and more humid) here than it was at the Tokyo Airport, as well as in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati.
We made it back to the hotel around 3:30 a.m. and were amused when we saw several people eating noodles in a restaurant's outdoor courtyard so early in the morning. We made a mental note to join them sometime this week so that we can check this experience off of our bucket list before returning to the U.S.