I've been very quiet on this blog because 1) I spent a good decent 4 weeks of the holiday season in Dec/Jan in my hometown Singapore for work and pleasure where I was way too busy stuffing my face all the time and 2) I've been super lazy and not motivated to blog (yeah I know, excuses). I started out with well-intended plans to blog while I was on holiday. I packed my camera and kit, even transferred my unprocessed photos onto a SD card so I can work on it while I was back in Sg away from my iMac. It started well, I did bring out my DSLR on a couple of occasions where we had fancy meals (Andre, Iggy's) but I soon degenerated to using my iPhone as I got too lazy to lug around my kit. The ease of Twitter also fulfilled my need for instant gratification and so blogging was erm relegated somewhere far down the list of to-dos.
Now that I'm back, and have a little time to breathe (before work travelling gets to me again soon), I realised how much backlog I have on my blog! There are a couple of baking shoots that I've yet to post, not to mention a couple of challenges I'm reneging on and of course there's that whole month of crazy eating and stuffing my face that I did in Singapore plus discovering of new places (mostly food related ha). Where do I even begin??
I think my stay in Singapore can be marked by the food adventures I went on with different friends. Fortunately, some of them have already blogged about it! So let's start off with those episodes I can do quick recaps of, plus link to the other blogs and I'll tell the rest of the story in future episodes :)
Episode 1 is probably defined by work during the first week that I was back. I was fortunate enough to visit some of Singapore's best and new restaurants, where we had meals at Bistro Soori, 2am Dessert Bar, Salt, Les Amis, Chinois, Tippling Club and Restaurant Andre. Of these, Restaurant Andre stood out for its creativity and quality of food but it was also the most pricey (will review it in another post). I would also want to check out Bistro Soori (by Chef Jimmy Chok) again as I loved the one dish I tried (joined a meal halfway) and the whole vibe was very chill.
It was also my first time at Les Amis and it didn't disappoint with very well executed French food. The lobster ravioli was exquisite as was the dessert of pineapple and coconut with spicy soy vinaigrette (! think!) that was presented like a sunny side up egg.
I had heard a lot about Tippling Club since its opening but have only tried the desserts, which I didn't like as they used too many savoury and unconventional flavours like curry (!) in it. This time round, I tried the lunch menu plus experienced 3-4 different cocktails. Their cocktails definitely are a must-try and deserve their reputation due to the care they put into each concoction. There was an apple pie inspired cocktail that was packaged to look like a McDonalds apple pie, and tasted pretty darn yummy! The lunch dishes were good, we started off with a chargrilled pepper (to be eaten with a forcep), pig's trotters with quail's egg and my main was a simple but well cooked chicken. Again, I felt the dessert, a strawberry sorbet item was lacklustre despite the fancy foaming milk that was supposed to dazzle.
Episode 2 tells of Connie's maiden visit to Singapore. She had less than 48 hours on our sunny shores and Eugene and I racked our brains to craft the perfect itinerary to give a good overview of what Singapore has to offer. Obviously it could not be done as there's just so many meals one could fit in! In the end, we showed her a glimpse (maybe 5%) of what a hawker centre (Tiong Bahru) offered as we had to conserve our stomach space for a kaiseki lunch at Goto, followed by Iggy's for dinner. Read about our 18-course day on Connie's blog and the 5% of street food Connie tried (we're saving the laksa will have to be for another day!). We then had a great brunch at House just before she went back to Hong Kong (but not before buying 2 tubs of chai poh at Tiong Bahru!).
Episode 3 is of exploring Singapore with fellow foodies. MissEne, Pleasure Monger and I (plus JY) met up for a hearty meal of nasi lemak at Adam Road (Selera Mas) which satisfied my craving, but was not as wow as I had imagined. We then spent an afternoon gawking at kitchen gear at ToTT (Tools of the Trade aka glamourised Sia Huat) and baked some yummy cookies! Check out Pleasure Monger's tale of our afternoon! I also had the pleasure of meeting up with newfound foodie friends Davina @Sugarbardiva, Pam @Cooking Ninja, Brad @Ladyironchef and Ken @HungryRabbitNYC when Ken visited over the new year. We covered Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh, Mustaffa at Little India, Gongcha bubble tea, and snacks and tea in Chinatown. It was mouthful after mouthful as we literally crawled from one place to another (though I had to run away to do something in the middle). On another day, I met MissEne and checked out Nex, aka heartland mall on steriods or superglorified foodcourt. Any food shop you can imagine is there, along with my new favourite japanese bakery Green Pumpkin. Read MissEne's entry here. Oh and I heart heart heart King and King Wong, a home decor shop that sells very affordable victorian/country style furniture and LOTS of tableware!
Episode 4 will probably be my search for local food all around the island. I wanted to find the perfect prata (which I think I still haven't found), and also great a great zi char (literally cook and fry) stall, where they can cook up any dish (ok, almost) you want. Thanks to Pleasure Monger, I checked out Two Chefs at Commonwealth Crescent Blk 116. Their signature dishes, Butter Pork Ribs, Honey Marmite Chicken, Salad Prawns and Golden Tofu did not disappoint. The Butter Pork Ribs were my favourite, they were tender, coated with a powdery milky sweet topping. A close second was the salad prawns topped with pork floss. Oh yum.
And of course, all the hawker street food that I've missed when I'm away from Singapore - chwee kueh, char kuay teow, laksa, bee hoon, nasi lemak, chai tow kuay, fish bee hoon, the list is endless!!
And the last episode would be my jaunt around my 'hood Duxton and Ann Siang Hill where I discovered many new cafes, bakeries and cute shops. Didn't manage to take too many photos so it might have to be a text-heavy episode instead of a picture one. I'm quite excited about sharing this as I love finding new shops and supporting indie places :) As a sneak preview, I just have to mention The Plain, a new cafe that's opened up on Craig Road serving quality barista coffee (none of that press the button nonsense) and some brunchy lunchy food. Decorated in a minimal contemporary style, it's got a laidback vibe, and is the perfect place to hang out and read a book. My new favourite hangout place :)
So stay tuned to further episodes! How I miss Singapore!