Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Daydreaming...




















In search of the perfect Chicken Rice




Maxwell Food Center & Chinatown


 
Food…I love food … and when I travel I love to try the "local" cuisine.  On any given trip to Asia one must approach street vendors and their offerings with caution…This is why I was so delighted to find out that the vendors in Singapore are regulated by the government and are given a letter grade which they must display for their customers (insert a little Type A happy dance). I wanted to try the Hainese Chicken rice, a specialty dish in Singapore and two foods that I have long been a fan of.  A win-win situation! So we went to Maxwell food center and after looking at and discussing all of our options we found a one-man hainese chicken rice show with a line that wasn’t too long---BINGO!! 


 
He takes each person’s order, prepares it, takes your payment for it…and it’s on to the next! Laurence was very kind and went and got some ice cold beer which was very refreshing while we waited…and this chicken rice was worth the wait.  Tender, juicy steamed chicken with the most delicious rice (I do not know what they do but it's rice-elevated to the next level) and bok choy (just for a little green).  Now, let's talk about the dipping sauces: one chili, one ginger and both are SO scrumptious!





The Buddhist temple located in Chinatown, which is across the road from the food center, is not to be missed.  This is an active temple, people praying and burning incense, monks are chanting (for 8 hours at a time).  I am always impressed by this level of dedication......








Marina Bay Sands in Singapore...you're kind of a big deal!



So one of the things that made my mind say, “Holy Crap!” over and over again on this trip is the scale of everything.  Everything is BIG! Then they take those big things and cram every inch of them with amazing stuff!!  Enter THE Marina Bay Sands….it’s a hotel, a world-class mall, a theatre (Sound of music was on), a museum, and a 5-star collection of restaurants and bars (try saying that in one breath).   That’s all before you get to the top…..I mean I ate at Mozza (yep, that’s right Italian), went to Hugo BOSS and Phillip Lim where EVERYTHING was 50% off, then saw an amazing photograph exhibit all in one afternoon!!! Fan-freakin-tastic!!!



At the Art Science Museum there was an exhibit featuring the one and only Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005.  It was phenomenal! It was such a carefully chosen homage that chronicled her amazing life and career.  And again, there was hardly anyone there—no crowds, yippee!!!!  Maybe it’s a museum thing???






In the evening after dining at David Boulod (yep, that’s right French) we made our way to the roof top bar Ku De Ta.  Here we enjoyed the sunset, champagne, and the “dress rehearsal” for the firework show that would commemorate the city’s birthday later in the month.   








The city laid before us like a sleeping giant….what a place, what a city.  So full of life yet so calm at the same time.  We lingered there for a long time after the fireworks.  I think it one of those moments that were so special you don’t want it to ever end…..



Day and Night on Haji Rd

This was such a great discovery!  A narrow street that is jammed packed with cute boutiques, shops, and bars. During the day you can enjoy all the little shops that feature the up and coming designers of Singapore.  One of my favorites was Soon Lee.  I got a really cute blouse here and enjoyed browsing the well-chosen selection of various brands there.  Even saw a few of my favorite brands--Gorjana and Rifle Paper Company!!




At night, the little bars open and as people spill out onto the street is transformed by the night....

First stop,  Bar Stories! It's an inviting second floor bar that makes custom cocktails based on the flavours that you like! The cocktails were delicious, served by convivial staff that make you feel welcome! 



This is what happens when I ask my husband to take a "cute" picture for me.....he thinks he's so funny! 


After we left Bar stories we walked a few feet and stopped to listen to some love music.  It was a balmy night filled with laughs, great music, an impromptu performance by one of the musicians friends, even some dancing in the street…and for a moment we felt like we were locals, and that was a really nice feeling. 


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Singapore MOCA and Dempsey Hills

The first day I arrived in Singapore I explored solo.  I like to check out the art museums wherever I travel and this day would be no exception besides it was so hot and humid outside I thought art and air conditioning would be a good combo. As the driver pulled up to the Singapore MOCA, which is housed in an old army barracks, I wasn’t even sure it was open…




It was, but I walked inside and realized that I was the only one there. Hmm, it was a little awkward at first but I decided to consider it my own private viewing, and the only time that I would be alone somewhere in the next two weeks...




Since I'm the only one around.....ART SELFIE!! 





….after a leisurely look around inside and out I wandered over to Dempsey Hills, just up the road from MOCA.   The first sign I see as I walk up the road is one for a restaurant named “Margarita’s” which made me laugh at it's randomness.  In what first appeared to be an oasis of semi-cheesy restaraunts for the ex-pat population I found JONES THE GROCER.  A wonderful gourmet cafĂ© and store full of fancy, delicious little treats.  




After a delicious coffee and muffin, I was whisked away to my next stop-Haji Road.