I’d enjoyed my kaya toast so much the day before, I went back again on Wednesday for breakfast. This time I got the “set” with tea and soft boiled eggs. The tea is “pulled,” poured from a height to aerate it, and mixed with steamed milk, condensed milk and hot water. Strong and sweet, just the way I like it.
Across from Toast Box is Bread Talk, another bakery/cafe. It’s where I got the strange hot dog pastry last week, and I didn’t eat anything there today, but thought it was worth documenting some other odd pastries.
I’d bought a combination ticket for the zoo parks so made the hour long three bus trek back to the area. In the women’s bathroom, I saw this:
I’d had to use a squat toilet earlier in the week and figured maybe a urinal was another slightly torturous Asian bathroom arrangement. But it was so low to the ground. I know Asian women aren’t as tall as western women, but they’re not that short! Then I finally figured it out. It’s a little urinal for little boys so they can come into the bathroom with their moms! Brilliant! They really do think of everything in Singapore!
I decided to start with River Safari and funnily enough, the first exhibit was about the Mississippi River. Complete with a little camp and all.
There was also with Mississippi Paddlefish. Stella!, the restaurant where I’d worked for seven years served paddlefish caviar, but I’d never seen a live fish. Turns out they swim with their mouths open, using electrical currents! Totally fascinating to watch, I probably stood there for 3o minutes. I shared a video on Facebook, and if I can figure out a way to post it here I will. You can see right down their mouths and out through their gills. So incredibly awesome.
Again, it took me more tries than I should admit to get this picture, this time asking strangers to take it for me. You’d think since everyone has a camera that they’d have some idea how to frame a photograph, some basic sense of composition. You’d be wrong.
The River Safari also had two pandas (don’t ask me why the pandas weren’t at the regular zoo) but they were kinda limp and lifeless looking. Apparently they’re a big draw though, because they had their own panda-themed gift shop and restaurant. I ordered a red bean panda bao, mostly for the novelty of it. The other option was chocolate custard filled, so I expected it to be savory. Wrong again.
From there I went on an “Amazon” river cruise. Very different from the actual cruise I did on the Amazon in Peru two years ago.We didn’t see any animals except what we could make out of the giraffe exhibit on shore at the zoo. I liked the squirrel monkey exhibit though.
I’d been curious to try these tau sar piah I kept passing, so figured this was my last chance
Singapore is 13 hours ahead of New York and 14 ahead of New Orleans so I kept joking that I was texting and calling friends and family from the future. After seeing this thing though, I really think Singapore might be the future.
I managed to squeeze in one more yoga class before I left, and then took a walk through Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay, two areas I hadn’t seen yet. Both are right on the river, and are obviously high end neighborhoods. Again, Singapore pulls through with the dramatic lighting.
While both were lined with bars and restaurants aimed at the tourist and ex-pat set, Robertson Quay was lower-key while Clarke felt more like an entertainment district, with pounding music and a slingshot ride on the riverbank.
I’d originally planned to get the famous Singaporean chili crab for dinner, but it was both really expensive (~$70) and the only places I saw serving it seemed super touristy and fancier than anywhere I felt comfortable eating in my sweaty yoga clothes. So I headed back to the tea and coffee stall where I’d gotten my mutton curry the night before.
They were sold out of mutton, but for another S$4 I got a ginger tea and brown paper mystery meal #2.
It was also really good, although maybe not quite as perfect as the mutton and rice. I decided to walk back to the apartment, to see as much as I could on my last night. I passed a happening stall that was selling laksa. I’d been wanting to try it and figured it was worth $5 just to taste it. I also ordered some “special cheese beancurd.”
I actually didn’t care for the laksa. It was spicy and cooked in coconut milk, which normally I love but it had little fishy bits in it (cockles?) and kind of rubbery fried tofu. I picked at it a bit but didn’t make much of a dent. The special cheese beancurd however, I am embarrassed to say I finished. Especially because they had the exact same texture of McDonalds chicken nuggets – rubbery and consistent throughout. They were even served with sweet and sour sauce.
I’d meant to get up early and go for a run, come home, shower, and go get lunch before heading to the airport. Instead, I’d fallen into a blogging rabbit hole the night before and stayed up till 4 AM finishing the Gardens by the Bay post. So I scrapped everything except the lunch part of the plan. And even that I had to stick close to home for, in order to make my flight on time.
“Teochew Fishball Minced Pork Noodle with extra ingredient”
Agar agar – another thing I’d been seeing and was curious about. It didn’t really taste like anything though and was much firmer than I like my jello to be.
When I got to the airport, I considered checking my carry on but didn’t because I was almost at the weight limit. When I got to security, they looked at my ticket and pulled me aside. Turns out at Tigerair they weigh your carry ons as well. It ended up costing me another s$50. So much for going with a low cost airline to save a few bucks. But just when I was lamenting the fact that my last memory of Singapore would such a frustrating one, I went to the bathroom. I walked into the first empty stall, and found this:
A baby seat so mom can use the bathroom without juggling a child at the same time
AND a child-sized toilet seat option so the kid can use the toilet without falling in
And if that wasn’t enough, each of the gates had a set of foot massage machines. And they were FREE! Thanks for the glimpse into the crystal ball, Singapore, I’m excited for the future!