Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sizzling in Singapore

Nothing better than leaving the cold murky Northern Hemisphere winter for a long weekend in Singapore. I was lucky to do this over Easter, and spent a fab few days catching up with my folks and pigging out on the local food.

Not long after our respective planes from London and Brisbane had landed, we headed directly to Newton Food Centre (formally known as Newton Circus), one of the original Hawker food centres. This place to me, is the quintessential Singapore. Vast and bustling, the whole area smells like an enormous aromatic kitchen. Food here is great value and you're spoilt for choice!

Satays are sold in bulk, and we ploughed our way through 80 of the delectible little sticks of meat and peanut sauce by the time we downed the first bottle of Tiger Beer. Gotta keep the fluids up in the tropics!

Other memorable meals were the obligatory chili crab, which we had at a lovely riverside restaurant in Clarke Quay, and again on the final night out at East Coast Parkway - another fab eating precinct.

The final amazing food encounter was at the Swissotel's Equinox restaurant, which towers 70 floors above the city. The view at dusk was awesome - it really helped to put this compact city into perspective. The miso cod and dessert platter was delicious. And the cocktails up on the 71st floor were pretty good too!

As well as the usual lurch down Orchard Road, and a frenzied expedition to Lucky Plaza, where there are so many consumer electronics shops, your head spins, we spent a soggy afternoon out at Jurong Bird Park.

This is one of Singapore's most popular and well known attactions, and despite the big tropical rain storm, we checked out some amazing birds. The huge walk-through aviaries allow you to get up close and personal with the birds. The scarlet flamingos were my favourite! Check out the rest of the pictures here.

Finishing off the eat-a-thon, we met the lovely Ann for a local lunch in International Plaza, home to the Dow Jones Singapore office. Ann introduced us to claypot chicken and a yummy bean paste and ginko dessert.

It's true that Singapore is known for its obsession with eating and shopping...but hey...what a wonderful way to wile away the hours.