We have friends that live part time in Seattle and part time in Singapore. Last year Yu Sian traveled with me to Laos and mentioned the World Gourmet Conference that takes place the first of May each year. When there is an invitation I hate to miss the opportunity so I took Yu Sian up on her offer. I arrived for an amazing week of eating and exploring.
We did more in one week than I have space to write but here are the highlights.
We started with a stop at “Imperial Treasure Peking duck restaurant”
The restaurant is in the Metro Mall, in the rear of the Paragon Mall, as are most restaurants. Today we had dim sum for lunch however, we returned the last evening for the best peking duck served 3 ways. Do not miss this treat, my host Boon Woo believes this is the best Peking Duck in the world.
That first evening we went to dinner at Long Beach King Seafood– this is a very casual place with huge tanks of fresh crabs and fish. We had the special Chili Crabs, they serve a local mud crab with one larger claw. They also had live Alaska King crab, $700.00 sing dollars for one crab course.
We shared the local crabs and they were great.
Early the next morning we had a walk through the gardens and headed to Bacchus in Paragon Square to buy some Champagne for later. A good asian restaurant for an early lunch was located in the basement of this mall, Din Tai Fung makes perfect dumplings. We also now have the same dumpling restaurant in Bellevue, Washington.
That evening we stayed in and were joined by several of their friends for a wonderful traditional dinner around their table. durian was the surprise for desert. If you can get by the smell and that ugly skin the soft fruit inside is very nice, I believe a learned taste.
Boon Ho, Yu Sian’s husband, took us for lunch on Sunday at the new “Sky on 57” restaurant at Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino. email@example.com.
This is a very upscale restaurnat serving local cusine. I ordered the local version of chicken rice, not like what you are served in street food. Next to the restaurant is the new pool that has an infinity edge 57 stories above the city. Worth a visit.
One of Yu Sian’s friends took us the following day to have dinner where everyone from the area comes down to the street, sitting at small tables and eats wonderful local food for pennies. The area “Geylang” was busy so we grabbed a table and ordered a pot of frog
legs cooked with ginger garlic sauce to start. The sauce was rich with flavor and very tasty. Next arrived a plate of Zhichar, stir fry beef with rice noodles with black beans. Followed by a plate of small clams in a chile sauce, way to much chili.
Next morning we headed out to the famous Orchard Road to shop. It is hot and humid there so all of the shopping happens in very high end office type buildings or hotels, each different mall taking the first 5 or 6 floors of the building. Connecting the building is a maze of underground passage ways. Every major retailer from Gucci to Todd shoes is represented and each mall has a large selection of great restaurants, gourmet grocers and food stalls.
While my hosts were working I made good use of my time to visit the local museums, wander the shopping areas and get back to the house for the next food adventure. One of my favorite stops was the Peranakan museum. This is a small museum but so full of history I had a hard time leaving, a must. The National Museum of Singapore was a good place to spend time out of the heat of the city. Then I was off to my last stop Asian Civilsation Museum, across from the Fullerton Hotel, the original post office now converted into a grand hotel on the Singapore river.
The first wine dinner we attended was held in a new restaurant called ‘Gaia” chef Luisa Valazza from a 3 star restaurnat in Alba, Al Sorriso , prepared a 5 course meal paired with Pio’s wines also from Alba. After all, the reason I came to Singapore was to attend the dinners and cooking classes offered by the Gourmet group.
Next morning after our walk we headed to Little India for vegetarian Dosa at a small place called Komala Vilas, they have 3 locations but we went to #76 Serangoon Road across from the Indian market. Our perfect dosa’s were around $3.00. Great way to start the morning.
After a quick change we were off to cooking class. The class was taught by a Japanese chef and he showed a couple of simple chicken dishes, not sure I would recreate at home but some interesting technique. I do not believe the classes offered were really that great however, the experience was worth the time.
Since kitchen stores are my life I could not miss the opportunity to visit the most amazing kitchen store ever. TOTT takes kitchen stores to a new level. I have never seen such a grand assortment of professional and personal tools, serving pieces, electrical appliances for the kitchen as what was offered. Including a cooking school, interesting food and ingredients. firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a quiet dinner at home with the best bowl of “Laksa”, I will ever eat. Laska is a bowl filled with noodles, fresh coconut juice squeezed from the meat of the coconut and beautiful shrimp. I perfect way to end any day. If you are in the region be sure to have Laksa, I am sure it will not be as good as what I was served but a must.
The next morning we went to China town and shared the traditional morning fare with hundreds of others in one of the food halls that are found all over the city. Most of the people live in apartments and have little kitchens so eat many of there meals in the huge food halls located in their neighborhoods. I chose to have a plate of noodles with fresh BBQ pork and a bowl of broth on the side, about $3.50. I had to try the hot ginger tea, a lot of ginger but I loved every sip and I am sure all my health issues were taken care of with that one cup of tea.
I made a stop at the Chinatown Heritage Center and spent time just walking through the rooms and understanding what the immigrants 100 years ago went through to find a new better life.
Boon Ho took us to a new upscale restaurant called “Otto” located at 28 Maxwell Road in The Red Dot Traffic Building, the old traffic police station and jail. Otto is restaurant that draws a large business crowd.
The time in Singapore went way to fast or I tried to squeeze in way to much. I can not thank my hosts Yu Sian and Boon Ho for giving me an overview of Singapore that few will have a chance to enjoy but I encourage everyone to go and stay not just use it as a transfer stop,