the singapore misadventure.
21 Dec 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s as if Murphy’s law was hard at work. Here’s a run-down of the good, the mediocre and the ugly – in reverse order.
1. The rain, oh, the rain! Dismal weather plagued us all throughout the whole trip – plans for a day out at Universal Studios (not to mention two pre-purchased express passes) were literally washed away by the alternate drizzle and thunderstorm that went on for 2 whole days !
2. The disappointment that was Marina Bay Sands.
- Checking-in was a horror – I understand that it’s a big hotel, but I have never seen so many people queuing up to check-in, EVAH!
- The lady at the check-in counter offered us complimentary breakfast during our stay – YAY! We had to call the reception twice to get the charges for the breakfast (SGD90 yo!) struck off our bill – NAY! Breakfast was very normal – some of the food from the hot buffet was cold!
- To be perfectly honest – the room was Not. Worth. The. Moolah. It’s nice, but not great. Toiletries provided were run-in-the-mill (in contrast, Royal Plaza on Scotts provide their guests with L’occitane toiletries).
- The highly anticipated Skypark – I think it’s overhyped. Again, yes, it’s nice, but not great. Walking from one end to the other was a pain – the walkways were narrow and crowded with people. Two of the four hot tubs were closed for repairs.
3. The horrible bout of food poisoning that I suffered for one full day. I have since attributed that to the Eggs Benedict I had at TWG @ MBS – the last meal I had before the nightmare began. Strangely enough, the last time I had such a bad episode was also in Singapore – now that’s irony for you – surviving Chiang Mai street food yet being done in when dining in Singapore.
1. KU DÉ TA – I have to give them props for their exceptionally polite waiters and waitresses and the speed in which the food was served. They even offered me a shawl in light of the cold temperature in the restaurant. The atmosphere was so-so, but I guess that’s because we were all stuck indoors due to the heavy downpour. The food was not too bad – love their steamed palm sugar cake with caramelized bananas and salted caramel cream.
2. PS Cafe – We noticed this place at Dempsey Hill the last time we visited, and I made a mental note to try it out. Sadly, the Big Bacon & Eggs and Brunch Burger that we both ordered was a let-down. Lovely ambience tho…do sit outside at the terrace if you visit.
3. Wild Honey – This is falling into the mediocre category merely because the bout of food poisoning left me wary of poached eggs and I could not have my usual order of their European breakfast. I ended up with the Canadian breakfast, consisting of pancakes, maple syrup and berry compote which was very meh.
4. Getting stuck in a butt-numbing traffic jam en-route to Singapore due to an accident where the car crashed through the side divider along the highway and went tumbling down a ditch. Watching the petrol tank with an eagle eye on the way back because we missed one major rest area and couldn’t refuel. Taking a ridiculously long detour when we reached PJ because Federal Highway was all jammed up at 11pm at night.
1. Without doubt, WICKED THE MUSICAL. Worth every penny spent. I loved the book by Gregory Maguire, and the musical definitely did not disappoint. The cast, the repertoire, the emotions that it evoked was absolutely amazing and I left the show still buzzing on a high. If you haven’t watched it, try to catch the one that’s showing at Singapore NOW.
2. Titanic, The Artifact Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum (SGD21).
Step on board RMS Titanic for the first time in Southeast Asia, and experience the majestic and dramatic maiden voyage of the iconic Ship almost 100 years after it set sail in 1912. The Exhibition takes visitors through the Ship’s conception, construction, sailing day, life on board, the famous iceberg, Titanic‘s sinking, the discovery of the wreck, while all throughout telling the incredible stories of her passengers and crew.
With a replica boarding pass of an actual passenger onboard the Titanic, embark on the journey through about 275 authentic artifacts – of which 14 have never been seen before – such as china etched with the logo of the elite White Star Line, sheet music and jewelry items, and extensive re-creations of the First and Third Class Cabins, the Grand Staircase, Boiler Room and other locations on Titanic. Finally, find out how the sinking of the great Ship strongly resonated in Singapore at the “Singapore 1912” gallery.
Kudos to the organizers of the exhibition. It was haunting, to say the least, to see relics from the ship that has survived 100 years below the ocean. We weren’t allowed to take photos within the exhibition hall, however, guests were presented with two photo ops – one ala Titanic (the movie) where we did the corny arms-spread-out pose (I couldn’t stop giggling), and another at the Grand Staircase where we tried to emulate the chin-up, shoulders-back posture of the aristocracy (#fail). We did not purchase the photos in the end, tho. Highlight of the exhibition for me was when we reached the replica of the promenade deck of the Titanic – you could lean across the balcony and stare into the distance at the twinkling stars or look down into the ghostly pitch-black ocean while feeling the cool ocean breeze on your cheeks. Yes, the props felt that real.
3. Ippudo @ Mandarin Gallery – I finally stumbled upon a pocket of time where the queue at Ippudo did not stretch beyond the entrance (the previous time we walked past, the queue snaked past till the end of the walkway and doubled back!), and gleefully dragged the boyfriend in with promises along the lines of ‘this is the best ramen in Singapore’. A short wait later, we had two steaming bowls of noodles right in front of us and it smelt heavenly! I had the Akamaru Kasaneaji – a very hearty and flavorful broth mixed with blended miso paste and garlic oil. The boy had the Karaka Chashu, which came with spicy miso paste and simmered pork belly. The only slight complaint I have is that the soup was slightly on the salty side, which kept us reaching for the cold tea we ordered. Nevertheless, this is definitely a place I want to re-visit when we come back.
4. What’s Singapore without some shopping, eh? My top picks from my shopping loot: a fuschia MBMJ bag from the FW11 collection, and strangely enough, four hard-boiled egg shapers from Taka (to entice the appetite of my lil’ princess) AND a banana slicer that’ll ermm…cut a banana into slices in seconds (ooohhh boys beware!).
5. And as always, my awesome traveling companion who gladly gives up his time to accompany me on trips and lets me do and go wherever I want without any complaints. The defining moment when I knew how well-versed he now is with my traveling quirks, eg. my predilection for photographing everything I eat when we travel, was when his steaming hot bowl of noodles arrived on our table at Ippudo and he placed his chopsticks on the bowl, pushed the bowl slightly to the front, and waited patiently for me to take a photo. I’m sure many of you would agree that it’s truly a joy traveling with a significant other who’s always upbeat and uncomplaining, and always more than willing to go with the flow (not to mention one who gives in to all your whims and fancies heh!).
We’ll be back, Singapore. There’s still Universal Studios to conquer!