First day in Singapore

It’s impossible to believe my trip to Thailand was a year ago already, and yet it feels like a lifetime as well.  While both the world at large and my personal world have changed so much this year, my love of travel and food have remained constant.  So here’s the first day of my newest adventure: a week in Singapore and a week in Hong Kong.

 

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It took two flights to get to here, one 12 1/2 hour flight from NY to Doha, Qatar and another 7 1/2 hour flight from Doha to Singapore.  By the time I got off the plane, I was totally completely disoriented.  I’d stayed up the entire night before to get adjusted but ended up sleeping in bits and pieces on the plane, rather than in a block like I’d hoped.  That plus the changes in time zone left me totally confused.  It’s really strange to arrive a day and a half after you left, when you’ve only been traveling for 24 hours.  Luckily, I’m staying at a beautiful penthouse apartment, so that definitely softened the blow.  Thanks again Paul & Michelle!!

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The beautiful bathroom where I took a much needed shower

I booked a cooking class, but unfortunately my bad time change mathmeant that I signed up for a cooking class my first morning, not my second.  I was dreading the alarm this morning.

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I’m looking remarkably awake, considering (if I do say so myself)

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Dessert first: coconut milk, mung bean powder, pandan and corn pudding

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Weaving these little pandan baskets as molds for the pudding might’ve been my favorite part

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Ingredients for the char kway teow (which is kinda similar to pad thai)

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Lemongrass, candle nut, galangal, chili, garlic and shallot which we pounded into paste for the peanut sauce

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The finished products: chicken satay with homemade peanut sauce, char kway teow and corn hoon kueh

The peanut sauce was much different than the one I’ve always gotten at Vietnamese restaurants.  Instead of tasting like sweet peanut butter (which I love!) it was thinner and much more spicy and balanced.  I spent the rest of the day just wandering around, first in Chinatown:

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Temple in Chinatown

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Array of chopsticks

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Bamboo fans

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Fans and paper cut outs

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Lots of chickens, for good luck?

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Chinese sausage

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Many flavors of peanut

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Chinatown

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Reproduction of the 8×8 room the average Chinese family lived in in Singapore

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Bakkwa, or barbecued meat.  To me it tastes a lot like the boneless spare ribs you get from Chinese restaurants, salty and sweet, fatty and delicious.

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Dried seafood, I didn’t taste this.  Wait till I get smell-o-vision on this blog!

I was passing a place, Mei Heong Yuen desserts that had a big line, and some interesting looking treats, so I stopped.  Due to a lucky miscommunication, I ended up with two desserts.

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Peanut “paste” more like a warm sweet peanut soup, the consistency of as-yet-uncooled pudding, or ice cream base

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Almond and sesame snow ice, the New Orleans snowball’s much more delicate and less-sweet Singaporean cousin

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More lucky chickens

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Fish cake stuffed foods

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They had everything you could think of stuffed with fish cakes, including eggplant

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Mangosteen, one of my favorites!

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Pommelo, wrapped for the new year?

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Food court in Chinatown

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“Carrot Cake” is actually a savory radish dish.  The translation of radish is “white carrot”but white is a color of mourning, and considered unlucky so it got shortened.

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Char Kway Teow stand in Chinatown food court

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This was the only stall with a line, I was too full to eat anything else but will try to get back there and see if it lives up to the hype

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Red is considered lucky so many stands were full of red items for the new year

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Red on red on

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red…

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Will have to go back and try this another day too

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Egg and coconut tart from famous bakery Tong Heng.  It tasted just like my mom’s coconut custard pie but in a flaky pastry crust.

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Glutinous rice cakes to celebrate the New Year. Wrapped in pandan leaves and steamed for over 12 hours.  They had them in all different sizes.

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I didn’t get to try one, but they’re fancy mochi, a Japanese treat

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The architecture in Singapore is really modern and a few buildings like this one, incorporated trees or plants

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Lots of really fancy shopping malls

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Follow your dreams

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St. Andrews Cathedral. I loved how much space it has, this vast swatch of green in the middle of the city, a little bit of calm right next to a bustling public transportation stop

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And how it nestled in among more modern architecture

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Raffles Mall

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Somehow the architecture reminds me of Vienna…?

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Singapore also has a large Indian population, in addition to the Chinese

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I just love the juxtaposition of the old building and the giant modern mall

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