Eating, Drinking, and Blogging through Singapore!
I'm the luckiest girl in the world. Seriously.
Lyft and Singapore Tourism Board contacted me out of the blue to see if I wanted to be a part of a commercial for the new nonstop flight from SFO to Changi Airport. It would be a week of experiencing the best Singapore has to offer. My answer? "YES."
Long story short, I was completely blown away. It's by far the nicest city I've been to. Every single block is impeccably clean, the crime rate is practically 0%, and the good food options are endless.
What To Do
Sentosa Island is literally a 5 minute cab ride from downtown. It's like stepping out of NYC and onto a tropical beach. The island has a dozen luxury resorts and lots of fun activities, but I opted for a chill day at the trendy beach club, duh! (PS sorry I took SO many pics here. How could you not??)
This is where the Singapore Sling cocktail was created in the early 1900s. It's at the top of every guide to Singapore, so it's very touristy, but worth a quick trip. The Raffles is a Fairmont Hotel, so very nice to take a walk through.
Green. Everywhere. This place is HUGE, it took us an hour to tour JUST the orchid section of the gardens. Needless to say, the botanical gardens are absolutely gorgeous and perfect for a chill walk with picture perfect plants. Grab their bandung drink to cool down, it's a milky rose flavored drink that's sweet and delicious.
I HAD to go to the infamous Marina Bay Sands Hotel that I've been seeing on Instagram for years now. They don't let non-guests in the pool (huge bummer!) but you can easily get into the nightclub slash restaurant slash outdoor lounge that's on the deck above it. I have to say, I don't think I've enjoyed a glass of wine with a better view. Ever.
We learned how to make traditional Singaporean food like Chili Crab and Oyster Omelets in the heart of downtown. The class was so fun and hands-on. The wine was flowing... like, a lot, and the music playlist was full of Beyonce. What could be better.
Michael, our teacher, was the life of the party. He was dancing and singing as much as the rest of us. We were obsessed with the dry ice and played with it for like a half hour before using it to make the most delicious Mexican Chocolate ice cream.
A Wedding! (Hear me out)
This is the most serendipitous story of my life, not exaggerating.
In 2014 I found a ransacked purse under my car in Russian Hill. I found the owner's ID in the wallet and contacted her on Facebook. She said she was visiting a friend in SF from Singapore, and someone broke into her rental car and stole the purse. She had already gone back to Singapore so I gave the purse to her friend who sent it back to her. She was so incredibly sweet (offered to send me $$ for a bottle of wine on her) and made the cutest FB status about me, and a ton of her friends commented on it and then friend requested me.
Fast forward two years. We're still friends on FB, and I message her saying I'm going to be in Singapore and asked if she had activity or restaurant recommendations. As you can see below, I was absolutely not expecting her reply. It turns out that she was getting married that weekend, and she invited me to her wedding... Like I said, hands down the most crazy story of my life.
Saturday rolls around and Christina and I attend the party at the iconic Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. We were there for over four hours having an absolute blast dancing, drinking, and mingling. She's an attorney, DJ, and natural beauty product founder, AKA the coolest person in the world. Definitely the highlight of my trip.
Before I left Singapore I did some shopping, and found her beauty line at a department store. I picked up the face wash, natural deodorant, and espresso body scrub which are all amazing. They don't ship internationally, but you can see the products here.
Where To Eat
The classic Singaporean dining experience? Hawker Centers. Many years ago the city banned street food carts, and opened a few designated outdoor areas for them to set up shop. Now they're up to food safety code and alive and thriving. Trust me when i say these places are authentic.
I went to the Newtown Center because it was near my hotel. It's known for seafood, and someone I met at the wedding recommended the sambal stingray. It was absolutely amazing, probably one of my favorite "street food" dishes ever.
Food Republic is somewhere in between the classic Hawker Stalls, and a food court. There are a few of them in the city, and they always have a range of different cuisines. I went to two: one in Vivo City, the largest mall in Singapore, and one in Shaw Center, another huge mall.
Violet Oon, one of Singapore's best restaurants opened a second shop at the brand new National Gallery and Museum. They serve traditional Singaporean food, and it's delicious. Perfect whether you're taking a look at the gallery, or just want a sophisticated meal with white glove service.
Ya Kun is the OG place to get Kaya toast, the traditional Singaporean breakfast dish.
It's basically two super thin pieces of toast with pandan coconut jam in between, which you can dip in a mixture of poached eggs and sweet soy sauce. Add white pepper to taste!
It's really, really good. I know it sounds odd, but trust me on this one! I've actually made it for myself a few times since I've been back.
Yes, I know we have an Ippudo in Berkeley... and in NY... and in every major city in the world... but that didn't stop me from getting my hands on their delicious ramen!
They have three locations in Singapore, two "express" versions, and one real restaurant. The real one is in the shopping mall connected to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Orchard District.
Janice Wong is one of my new favorite restaurants in the world. She's a world renowned pastry chef and chocolateur with two restaurants, one in Hong Kong, and one in Singapore. Everything in the restaurant is inspired by color, chocolate, and art.
She happened to be in the restaurant that day, so I got a pic! Don't mind my frizzy hair, it was really humid.