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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / Singapore

Over the weekends we went to Singapore for a super short trip as Haze & Angel wanted to visit an art exhibit and a Singaporean friend. We drove down on Friday night and naturally waking up hungry the next day looking for wholesome breakfast to start the day.

Our Singaporean guide traversed half the country and brought us to Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio, promising a place with pretty good egg benedict. We weren’t at a position to suggest anything else, so we rolled along.

Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio
Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio

Canopy Garden Dining is pretty much a restaurant within a garden, with plants surrounding the mostly alfresco dining area and even a rooftop that’s planted with greenery.

We reached at almost noon with the hot sun up above, so seated outside was a little warm though acceptable. I’m guessing the dining experience would have been greater in the morning.

Egg Royale, with poached eggs and smoked salmon
Egg Royale, with poached eggs and smoked salmon

We came here for the egg benedicts, so we ordered both the Egg Royale and Classic Egg Benedict ($15).

Unlike most places that takes forever to prepare a pair of proper poached eggs, our serving arrived in about 5 minutes. I was really impressed with the speed.

Both dishes came with a side of salad with vinaigrette and sautéed mushroom. The poached eggs were perfectly prepared and draped with hollandaise sauce on English muffins. The classic version came with ham, while “royale” with smoked salmon. We really liked them.

Classic Egg Benedict and Buttermilk Pancake
Classic Egg Benedict and Buttermilk Pancake

If you’re into pancakes, the buttermilk pancake ($8.5) here is worth trying as well, it comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple syrup.

Additionally, coffee served at Canopy Garden Dining is also of pretty decent quality.

In all, it’s a rather pleasant place for a lazy weekend breakfast in this otherwise overly fast paced country.

map to Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio

Address:
Canopy Garden Dining
Bishan Park II,
1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
569931 Singapore
GPS: 1.362467, 103.847094
Tel+65 6556 1533

Several weeks ago we headed to Singapore for a little one night escapade to catch a concert (thanks Michelle for hosting for the night!), and that was right after a short weekend diving trip at Tioman (will write later). It was our first “proper” concert – Snow Patrol.

Le Bistrot du Sommelier, Singapore
Le Bistrot du Sommelier, Singapore

We arrived at the venue of concert, Fort Canning, a couple hours ahead of time, and hungry. Since we somehow managed to secure a free parking space right outside the entrance (this is Singapore, it was like striking lottery), we were content to just walk around and find something that resembles dinner.

That’s how we ended up outside Le Bistrot du Sommelier, a pretty classy looking restaurant with loads of wine glasses on the  tables by the side, alfresco style.

red wine braised beef cheeks with carrots and mushrooms, parley potatos
red wine braised beef cheeks with carrots and mushrooms, parley potatos

At this point we can’t be arsed to walk anymore, we asked for a table and got one outdoor since it’s fully booked indoor. Guess it’s a pretty popular place.

A look in the menu convinced us that prices are good if you’re earning Singapore dollars, but a bit of a stretch of us Malaysians. We ended up ordering two specials on the chalk board, after our very informative and super helpful waiter with a French accent did his best in explaining what they are. Our server’s name was not Jacques, it was Faizal.

Very impressive, Faizal.

beef tenderloin tartare served with french fries
beef tenderloin tartare served with french fries

I ordered red wine braised beef cheeks with carrots and mushrooms, parley potatos (SGD $30). It came in a little clay pot with the potato on the side. The beef was properly braised you could cut it with a dull spoon, the stock had a strong aroma of red wine and carrot so soft old toothless lady could eat it without any denture. It was marvelous.

I also particularly like how they prepare the potato, with small chunks of sea salt sprinkled atop, so instead of a uniform taste, you get a tiny burst of saltiness now and then, worked well.

the dishes were delightful

the dishes were delightful

Haze too was very happy with her beef tenderloin tartare and french fries (SGD $32). The beef was beautifully prepared, and tasted equally awesome. It was juicy, raw, and came in a very generous portion as well. French fries tasted just like any French fries, this being a French restaurant didn’t make it any different.

KY & Haze at Singapore, just before Snow Patrol concert
KY & Haze at Sg., just before Snow Patrol concert. I already looked stoned from all the driving

We were well satisfied with the food at Le Bistrot du Sommelier, the only thing better was the service from our waiter, a splendid experience, and certainly will return to try out some of their other stuff (this time will bring a bigger wallet I guess).

Later I found out this place is one of Michelle’s favorite restaurants as well, no surprises there. 😀

map to Le Bistrot du Sommelier

Address:
Le Bistrot du Sommelier
53, Armenian Street,
Singapore 179940
GPS: 1.294807, 103.849445
Tel: +65-6333 1982
Web: lebistrotdusommelier.com 

and it was an awesome concert, Snow Patrol rocked hard
it was an awesome concert, Snow Patrol rocked hard, again I looked a bit stoned

Snow Patrol’s concert was way awesome as well. Gary Lightbody really knows how to connect to the crowd, I wished the show was a little longer than the 18 song set list. Fort Canning is an excellent venue for concerts as well, the stage was set up at the bottom of a slope so you get an unblocked view to the stage as long as the person ahead of you isn’t a head taller.

Among countries in South East Asia, Singapore is perhaps the only country that Malaysians often argue with when it comes to origin of food as well as who has the best of certain dishes. Truth is, while a lot of famous “Singaporean dishes” probably originated from Malaysia, our southern neighbors do have quite a lot of original food worth sampling.

teow chew pork noodle at Ponggol Nasi Lemak Centre, Singapore
Teow Chew pork noodle – pork ball, meat, and liver

The day after the first ever Nuffnang Awards, instead of following the tour, we decided to head to Ponggol Nasi Lemak Center at Upper Serangoon Street to try the pork noodle for brunch. According to Cheng Leong, this is the absolute must have whenever he comes to Singapore.

Though being in one of the only two professions that can legally lie, we trust Cheng Leong the lawyer when it comes to food.

Singapore Teow Chew Pork Noodle
Ponggol Nasi Lemak Centre

Ponggol Nasi Lemak Centre is just a short walk from NE13 Kovan station. The smallish hawker center houses over half a dozen stalls with at least a few operating around the clock. We ordered from AMK House of Teochew Noodles that operates 24 hours a day.

The stall offers a few dishes, but everyone ended up ordering the same dried version of Teow Chew pork noodle for $3 a bowl.

teow chew pork noodle, haze, KY, FA, Gareth, Kim, Cheng Leong
Haze, KY, FA, Gareth, Kim, and Cheng Leong

The dish is basically similar to wantan noodle but with a healthy dosage of pork meat, a few pork balls, liver (if you prefer), mushroom, some vegetables, and plenty of deep fried shallots in a vinegar based sauce with a bowl of soup at the side and some red chili padi as condiment.

Even with a heavy dose of skepticism at first, the pork noodle turned out to be really nice. It’s a combination of taste that I never really had before, and I really liked the sauce that works not unlike the experience you get from having xiao long bao with vinegar. It was very tasty.

ponggol nasi lemak center map

If you’re around Singapore, this would be a decent place to eat. I’ve read that the nasi lemak is pretty good too.

Address:
Ponggol Nasi Lemak Centre
965 Upper Serangoon Rd,
Singapore, 534721,Singapore
GPS: 1.361822,103.886611
Tel: 6281 0020

The must-have applications on BB 8520

For those who just bought their Blackberry 8520 from Xpax and are new to Blackberry, here’s a few applications that I consider a must have. These are the software I advised every BB users to install, and they are all free (as in free beer type of free)

1. UberTwitter
This is of course, a must have for anyone with a twitter account. Twitterberry might have a cooler name, but UberTwitter absolutely pawns in terms of functionality and user friendliness. It supports basically everything twitter has to offer, including picture upload, geo tagging (with cell towers or GPS), RT, reply all, DM, etc etc.

2. Opera Mini
While the Blackberry built in browser is pretty decent, Opera Mini offers a much better user interface in web surfing. The browser also goes through a proxy that compresses and reduced image size for faster downloading. Other than that, the wealth of short cut keys make web browsing a much simpler affair with less fiddling on the trackpad/trackball

3. BBM version 5.0
The BBM version 4.6 that comes with Blackberry 8520 is perfectly usable, but the upgraded version offers a better user interface, ability to add display picture, and also the very interesting Blackberry Group that allows calendar, task, and file sharing capabilities.

4. Google Apps
Google Map, Gmail, Google Latitute, Google News, Google Readers and more are available for your BB 8520.

5. Blackberry App World
For everything else, there’s the Blackberry App World.

Like a lot of people, Singapore is actually the first country I visited by myself. The first time I went there was just right after collecting my SPM results eons ago. The  goal then, was to secure a place at one of the polytechnics in the republic.

Ultimately, fate has it that I ended up pursuing higher education in the States instead, but the first impression that I got from Singapore was something I never forget. The ultra clean state, efficient transportation systems, the bustling Orchard road, and of course, Sentosa.

Subway sandwich, pork, Singapore
the real Subway Melt, with bacon

I’ve since been to Singapore multiple times, both for leisure as well as to attend events related to this blog. If I were to plan an itinerary (this is of course, food related) for a one day visit, mine would be like this:

Right after touch down:

If you’re love sandwich, nothing beats a good Subway Melt that comes with proper ham and  pork bacon, yums! This particular tips was bought to me by Suanie, who insist that we must go to Subway instead of having hotel breakfast. It turned out to be a wise choice.

After breakfast, I’d be heading straight down to the city for some walk & shop. There’s pretty much everything for everyone with a budget, for me, I’ll be checking out camera gears. When the exchange rate is friendly, Singapore is one of the best places to pick up electronics.


MOS Burger – of course, with pork

Lunch time:

For lunch, I’d be heading to one of the MOS Burger outlets. MOS is a pretty popular Japanese burger chain that has its presence in both our closest neighbors but unfortunately, not in Malaysia. I love their pork burger with rice patty, and there’s still a lot in their menu I need to go through yet. One at a time.

After lunch, I’ll visit Underwaterworld Singapore where one gets to actually get to swim with the dolphins without having to go all the way to Bali. This would be also be fitting to my resume as the president of Aquarium Society back in high school as well as being someone who own a koi pond, yes!

muallaf the movie
Muallaf the movie, by Yasmin Ahmad

Prior to dinner, I would take an opportunity to catch a movie completely uncensored, or better still, one that is actually banned in Malaysia. Last year we actually watched Muallaf by the late Yasmin Ahmad. A movie shot in Malaysia, by Malaysian director and Malaysian actors, but banned in the country. Nice.

santouka ramen, singapore
charsiu ramen and gyoza at Santouka Ramen in Singapore

Dinner:

After spending a few hours at the aquarium, the logical choice would be to eat something that doesn’t involve any fish or marine mammal – RAMEN. This Santouka Ramen place in Singapore does ramen the proper way, with soup that is cooked under the perfect temperature with pork bones.

The one complain I have with Japanese restaurants in KL is that almost all of them are halal, hence robbing the one important ingredients especially when it comes to ramen – pork based soup


Clark Quay, by the riverside

Supper:

After dinner, the best place to chill in Singapore would be Clark Quay, the de facto watering hole in the republic. Here you can find drinking places like Brewerkz that actually brew their own beer, and if you feel like dancing, there are plenty of clubs around the area to choose from too.

Alternative:

If there’s a concert running, you can forget about supper party till you drop. We went to Oasis live in Singapore and was overwhelmed. It was completely awesome! Who’s coming next?

Indulge in the Uniquely Singapore experience! None of the activities described in this post can all be done outside Singapore in one day, and pictures are all taken by me! 😀

I remember buying a compilation cassette sometimes back in 1996, it had a brown cover with the title “Alternative Rock” smeared across in red. This was the cassette that introduced me to songs like Girl from Mars by Ash, You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette , and Good by Better than Ezra.

But the one song from the compilation that made the biggest impression was Oasis’s Wonderwall. It was a song that struck everything in the right cord, with lyrics that Brandon Flowers of The Killers can only dream of writing. From then on I picked up songs like Don’t Look Back in Anger and Champaign Supernova, and Oasis became an integral part of my play list.

Oasis Live in Singapore!
Our tickets to rock!

So when Gareth told me about Oasis coming to Singapore for a concert a few weeks ago, I replied “Lets make it happen!” without thinking twice.

For rock concerts, I never settle for anything less than the grand stand tickets. We managed to con Kim & Horny to each also fork up $98 SGD for a ticket (to fill up a car, you know, save money!) to the concert even though Horny didn’t actually know who is Liam or Noel. Amanda was a late addition to the road trip cos she was just too crazy over Oasis; plus, her relatively small size means that she fits in the center of the backseats.

chicken rice balls at melaka
chicken rice balls were yummy!

So last Sunday we departed from KL just before noon and decided to get our lunch (without any breakfast/brunch) at of Melaka, which also make a nice half way rest stop for the long journey.

We had an over fulfilling meal of chicken rice balls at Hoe Kee, and then stuffed ourselves with a bowl of cendol at Jonker88.

Which was all nice and dandy until we drove by this pohpiah stall and had to just cry in agony cos we were too full to even have a bite. Very tragic!

non halal subway
Subway with pork ham and pork bacon!

By the time we hit the road again it was around 2:30pm, we needed to collect tickets by 7pm for the 8pm concert. We thought we had plenty of time.

We didn’t factor in the stupidly inconsiderate drivers at Johor. It seems like the only way to overtake is via the left lane. The kiasu factor of those drivers really got into our nerves.

Alas, we got to the immigration at around 6pm, and forgot to bring along any immigration cards… So we had to go to the immigration office and witness the inefficiencies that infect even the Singaporean officers. It was a long an excruciating 45-minute (I had to call to make sure we could redeem our tickets past 7pm) process before we got out of there.

Oasis Live in Singapore!
we were at the front with the crowd, and Liam being a badass

With the help of Gareth’s little portable Garmin GPS unit, we finally arrived at the Singapore National Stadium at 7:30 or so. Got our tickets and went to Subway for some pork sandwich goodness. By the time we got into the hall it was around 8:15.

Then Oasis came out and it was completely awesome!

Oasis Live in Singapore!
pic taken without any zooming, that’s how close we were!

While the other two old men hang out at the side, Kim, Amanda and I made our way to the front of the crowd and managed to get ourselves about 4-5 rows back from the stage. The atmosphere was electric, and the crowd was crazy. Lotsa squeezing and pushing but generally everyone was just having blast.

At one particular point a dude with mohawk started dancing like a maniac and hit a lot of ppl within 2 feet of him. A burly dude grabbed his body and I sorta helped flip his legs up, and the dude got body surfed all the way to the back. We high five-ed 😀


Wonderwall!

With the last bit of GPS juice (car charger died) we managed to find our way back to the Johor border after the concert. By the time we got back to KL it was more than 3am already. We stayed in Singapore for a total of less than 5 hours. My shortest trip yet.

Next trip would be Melbourne to see Mell for a week. Can’t wait!

Check out Horny, Kim, and Gareth‘s account of the tour.