So yeah, I am back home following a 3-month stint at ESPN STAR Sports, so I would like to think I can recommend some good places to hang out while in Singapore. Not the usual suspects, mind you.
Sure, Universal Studios is awesome, but I have never been there due to the fact that I have motion sickness and I am allergic to adrenaline. The National Zoo and Night Safari? Well, too hot in the day for the zoo while I am usually sleepy once the sun sets, so go figure.
What I am about to tell you now is THE places I went t that I would want to go again, over and over again. So here we go!
Firstly, you might regard Orchard as simply the shopping district of Singapore (especially with the advent of H&M and the impending opening of A&F), but I usually rush to ION after work to get my hands on the scrumptious 4 Fingers Chicken, which is located just outside Food Opera. You can choose between garlic and hot, but I really recommend the garlic sauce since the hot option is inhumanly spicy. I normally complement the devilishly addictive chicken wings with Tori-Q tontoro pork, and gosh, thinking of it is making me drool.
If you prefer a more western meal, head on down to Everything With Fries at Orchard Central near Somerset and order yourself a har jeong kai burger! The burgers here are humongous, and though there are other burgers here, I always go for the har jeong kai burger (which is prawn paste fried chicken for the Mandarin challenged). Word of caution: even though the name of the restaurant suggests that the fries should be good, they aren’t really anything to shout about. Instead, down your meal with their delicious nutella tart or nutella shake (though the cupcakes are good as well). If you prefer ice cream as your dessert of choice, take a minute’s walk to Cold Stone (not to be confused with Cold Rock at 313) and try their awesome ice cream (add Reese’s Pieces for the perfect custom fare). Word of advice? No shakes. Overpriced and unsatisfying.
For the quirky and whimsical, visit Cat Socrates at Bras Basah Complex (opposite the SMU admin building). I spent nearly 45 minutes here and it wasn’t close to enough time to shift through all the goodies. From old polaroid cameras to cute handmade pouches, you are sure to find something in this cosy shop. The wide array of novelty items, arts and crafts and toys is just spellbinding! The Little Drom Store at Ann Siang Hill should be another stop if you are indie at heart. Perhaps housing the most extensive collection of Polaroid cameras I have ever seen in one place, The Little Drom Store also sells cakes, which I was too full (from overrated Koi damn it) to try unfortunately.
While I think you should definitely give Haji Lane a try, most of the items found in shops were on the high end of the price spectrum, so window shopping is the name of the game around here. Nonetheless, this little laneway is still an interesting place to visit, so do head over to Pluck to have some amazing ice cream and apple pie! If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see some street artists sitting on the floor doing a mural or people doing photo shoots, which adds to the eclectic vibe of Haji Lane.
Plus if you prefer park benches to skyscrapers, the Botanic Gardens is really a treat! With a scenery so beautiful, you’ll forget you’re in an urban jungle like Singapore. Whilst here, grab a spot for a picnic or just gaze at the cute dogs (and other moving animals) that are there for a stroll with their owners.
Moving back to food a little, how good is the Geylang frog porridge? I dunno where exactly my cousins brought me to, but the spicy and original flavoured frog mixed into porridge was just splendid! I’ve also never liked ramen before my little trip to Singapore, and I have Santouka over at Central to thank. Apparently an outlet has opened at Pavilion’s Tokyo Street, so I am definitely heading there for some ramen action soon! Ippudo over at Mandarin Gallery is also a treat, Nina and I simply adored the black garlic oil ramen, simply marvellous!
For those with a sweet tooth, Garrett’s Popcorn is a must buy. Hands-down best (and most expensive) popcorn ever! Their caramel flavoured popcorn is to die for! Once Upon a Milkshake? Best milkshake ever (discounting Soda Rock at Chapel and maybe Billy Bombers) period. And of course, who can forget the superbly magnificent WimblyLu cheesecake ice cream!
You know what? I just realised I didn’t get my Max Brenner fix while I was there. Excuse me while I go cry in the corner.
PS: If I remember anything else awesome to do in Singapore, I’ll let you know =)