Wanderlust Singapore- Gardens by the Bays

Last post on Singapore… This is a beautiful City with exotic gardens. Gardens by the Bays are a pleasure to take in. I visited both the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. How are these gardens differ from the ones in the US? Everything is neater, more organized, and more structured much like developed Cities in Taiwan and Japan.
  I can definitely work and live in Singapore, once I can better understand the local accent for English. 🙂


Wanderlust Singapore- Satay with Rice Cake and Salty Pineapple at Crossroads Bar

This is from the Crossroads Bar at the Swissôtel Merchant Court.  It’s the Kampong Satay with mutton, chicken, and beef.  The complements are rice cake, cucumber, onion, and salty pineapple.  The satay is supposed to be dipped into the warm peanut sauce. The rice cake and salty pineapple are not the usual preparation in the U.S.; further, the peanut sauce is never warm.  Expensive at $18 Singapore Dollars but very well executed.
This experience took place at the

Crossroads Bar
Swissôtel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Road
Tel: +65 6337 2288 ▪ Fax: +65 6334 0606 ▪ singapore-merchantcourt@swissotel.com

Wanderlust Singapore- Thai Express at the Esplanade Theater

My friend wanted to take me to the mini Hawker center at the Esplanade. Unfortunately, it’s not open until late afternoon. We settled into Thai Express for lunch. Thai food here is rather different than Thai food back in New York. It’s more flavorful and more varied.  It’s not a menu designed for fusion Thai-American cuisine.Hor Mok Talay: Thai seafood otah. Grounded seafood with spices,  grilled in a banana leaf. A Bangkok Street Favourite ta-noň ah-hahn. Yummy Otah!Khao Phat Supparod Talay: Pineapple fried rice with seafood. The nuts and the seafood are surprisingly good. Not sure about the pineapple; it didn’t come through clearly for me. The fish floss was great with the seafood friend rice though.This was their special for the day, boring fried chicken with rice, for a picky daughter who often wants Italian pasta while in Asia. Fortunately, she did rather well with the other dishes and we ended up with a lot of leftovers.Sen Lek Neua: Stick noodle with sliced beef in beef broth. Ok, this is the Taiwanese beef noodle soup, 牛肉麵. The soup base was rich, thick, and filled with the five spice flavor.  This is one of my favorite noodle dishes and it is also on my last meal list. So happy to have it here in Singapore. Khao Niao Mamuang: Sweet glutinous rice with fresh mango and coconut milk.  I wasn’t sold when my friend suggested this dessert. But I figured when in Singapore, go with a local’s recommendation. Am I glad that I did! The glutinous rice and the coconut milk combo was heavenly. Adding mango to the mouthful is like adding a cherry on top. Didn’t think rice could be a dessert but it is.  I will now retract my statement of “Only French desserts are true desserts.” This is something to love and to have in the tummy.

I must say that I didn’t think much of Thai Express when I first walked in. It is a chain restaurant. But the looks can be deceiving. The food was packed with umami; the menu options are plenty and authentic. Perfect Thai food in Singapore.


This experience took place at

Thai Express
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-13D Esplanade Mall
Singapore 039802
Tel: +65-6533 6766

Wanderlust Singapore- Fish Village in Central Mall, the Downside of Traveling with a Child

So traveling with a sick child means no restaurant eating for me.  It’s rather unfortunate since I have only a couple of days in Singapore.  To make the best of it, the Central Mall food court came to the rescue with cheap and fresh bento meals. Fish Village focuses only on fish! Crunchy, fresh and perfectly sautéed and seasoned with Bonita on top. A vegetarian delight.Yes, boring salmon with Teriyaki sauce, to be shared with the sick child. The egg yolk was really orange yellow and more flavorful than that in the U.S. The Bento box was perfect for the combination of a picky mom and a sick child.But look at my other options: Pomfret, Saba, Grouper, steamed fish and congee! Since this is only my second day in Singapore, I still have trouble with bill/coin recognition.  The proprietors were so kind to me and made me completely at ease in handing over money for them to choose from.Juices are a lot more popular in Singapore and Taiwan than in the U.S. due to the tropical weather and its abundance of fruits. Here is an example… Avocado as a drink!  I had A4 Avocado and Green Apple.  Funny… I tried to order watermelon smoothie and was discouraged because the watermelon today is not sweet.  I tried to order avocado with Yakult and was discouraged because the owner thinks it’s not a great combination. I tried to order avocado and mango and she told me the mixture does not blend well.  So I landed on her recommendation of avocado and green apple. It was delectable.

My experience at the juice stand and Fish Village is quintessential Asian.  This is one of the best parts of the Asian culture.

This experience took place at

The Central Mall
At Clakre Quay MRT Station
Level B1
6 Eu Tong Sen St,
Singapore 059817
+65 6532 9922

Wanderlust Singapore- Modern and Majestic Architecture

Singapore is beautiful, clean, modern and racially diverse. It’s a city I can see myself living in. It’s a city I can love. The food options are amazing but I am especially impressed by its architecture.

   Singapore will celebrate its 50th birthday come August 9th this year.  Happy birthday, Singapore.


Wanderlust Singapore- Oustanding Service from Swissôtel at Merchant Court 

I have got a sick child on this trip.  She has a fever on her birthday!  This means a quick change of plans and resting up in the hotel room. Swissôtel at Merchant Court has outstanding service and offered much support in this case. They sent up the thermometer; they asked if they could knock on the door because the sick child is sleeping; they offered assistance to find a doctor; they extended my checkout twice; they offered to find me a room for an extra night if needed when they are completely booked; they wished my child a speedy recovery and showed genuine concerns. Thumbs up for the courtesy and extreme politeness. Crossroads Bar where we are patiently waiting for the time to come to leave for the airport tonight. Again, great service. The iced chocolate, at $12 Singapore Dollars, is extremely over-priced for the generic powdered chocolate. But I am paying for the service after all. The Whiskey Sour was so so.Highly recommend the hotel.  Its central location and customer-centric approach are worth both the money and the blog writing.

This experience took place at

Swissôtel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Road
Singapore, SN 058281
+65 6337 2288

Wanderlust Singapore- Remember the Old with Food Festival at Ellenborough: Influences of the Chinese, Malay and Timor Culture

The Singapore Food Festival at Ellenborough is a walk down the memory lane.  “Relive the delectable charms of Ellenborough Market in its heyday during the 1800s – 1960s. Indulge in authentic food offerings such as Teochew meatballs, prawn rolls, and chive dumplings, while enjoying nostalgic Teochew Opera performances.” I heard the Teochew Opera from my hotel room and ate the soup dumplings, 小籠包. The Teochew opera is a variant of the Chinese opera that I grew up with. This experience rivals the Taiwanese night markets.  
This is the carrot cake without the carrot.  Looking serious and very spicy.
Clams and abalones on the shell  Meat on the skewers
Suckling pigs  Otah- Per Wiki “Otak means “brains” in Indonesian and Malay, and the name of the dish is derived from the idea that the dish somewhat resembles brains, being whitish grey, soft and almost squishy.” Grilled in banana leaves and served with coconut sauce.
Soup dumplings小籠包。unfortunately, it was not good.  The pastry was too thick. The filling was skimpy.  The pork was tasteless.  It wasn’t even soupy.  I was very disappointed that this was what I spent my calories on.  Churros with favors I have never seen before…Banana Nutella and Ondeh Ondeh. “Onde-Onde is one of the traditional kuih in Malaysia (kuih is term for Malaysian cakes). They are either made from sweet potato or glutinous rice flour. The cute little onde-onde–also spelled as ondeh-obdeh–are infused with pandan (screwpine leaf) juice and filled with “Gula Melaka” or palm sugar and then rolled in with some fresh grated coconut.”Durian creme brûlée – offered to me to try and I did.  The evidence that I did try. I think I can say I am not afraid of doing new things but would rather never eat durian again. Click here for my durian ice cream experience.Fish balls with curry.  Had this in the Taiwanese night market.  It was yummy.  Forgot the name though.  Curry.  Soup dumplings.  Shumai.    Fried and sweet soft shell crabsThe experience was vivid, lively, pungent, and friendly. This is very much the Asia I know. I am enthused to learn a lot more about the Malay and Timor influences in Singapore.  My friend told me the Singapore population is made up of approximately 70% ethnic Chinese with the rest by Malay, Indian and a tiny percentage of Eurasian. The languages in the MRTs are English, Simplified Chinese, Malay and Timor.

I can see, smell and hear the impact the cultures had on Singapore. What a world I live in.

Wanderlust Singapore- Durian and Horlicks Balls Ice Cream 

First day at Singapore, I met up with a friend and her children and we went to the beautiful Garden by the Bay.  Afterwards, I had durian ice cream from the gift shop. Never had durian before and understand it to be an acquired taste.  I did ok… despite its strong aroma. It’s very pungent.  Horlicks balls were better than the durian flavor.  I bribed my child and had her try the Horlicks balls.  She would not touch the durian ice cream.  I love stinky tofu which I don’t find stinky but durian smells like hidden stink.  
I am living life one durian ice cream at a time. Any other durian lovers or sufferers out there?

Wanderlust Singapore- Food Festival at Ellenborough, Pig Feet Noodles and Laksa!

I am at Singapore for the weekend. I am staying at a hotel that is next to the food festival at Ellenborough.  There is so much going on that I figure I will just show you.

Carrot Cake without Carrots!

Pig Feet Noodles