Yesterday, we met up with Claire and Maike since they were back in Singapore during the weekend before they fly off again.
We started off at Joo Chiat, had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant (see review below), before going to Arab street for some shopping and then to Orchard road to admire the Christmas lights and decoration.
Joo Chiat is a nice, quaint district in East Coast area, home to the Peranakans (mix between Chinese and Malays). There is a lot of good food in the east, from Katong laksa to minced meat noodles to satay and many other stuff. Well-known hawker centres include block 85 fengshan, old airport road, laguna food centre at east coast park and rochor road food centre at Bugis.
|old colourful houses in Joo Chiat|
For lunch, we had Vietnamese food including the popular Vietnamese paper spring rolls, beef noodles and seafood fried noodles. There were several Vietnamese restaurants in the area, but Long Phuong is the most popular judging from the queue outside the place at 2pm. The queue moved quickly and we managed to get seats soon after. The spring rolls with rice noodes, basil leaves, prawn and pork were delicious, and they went out with the sauce. The spring rolls were made from rice paper which was quite strong because even though they stuck to each other, we managed to separate them without the skin breaking. The seafood noodles were delicious, with plenty of seafood like squid and prawns. As for the spicy beef noodles, the meat was tender, though mins complained that there was too much meat and she preferred to eat only the rice noodles with the gravy. What a waste. The drinks at the restaurant were kind of expensive, they cost around $3 and above which is like half the costs of a main course. The main dishes were priced between $6-$10, which is quite reasonable and there is no GST nor service charge. It was a better option than Nam Nam which is slightly more expensive but the location of Long Phuong might be out of the way for those who do not stay in the eastern area.
Long Phuong Vietnamese restaurant
159 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427436
Bus: 16, 33
Nearest MRT: Dakota/ Paya Lebar
|vietname spring rolls|
|stir fried seafood noodles|
Next, we went to Bugis as Maike had not visited the Mhmd Sultan mosque which is the largest in Singapore. However, it was undergoing some renovation on the exterior. It was raining when we arrived, so we walked around the shops, some of which sold unique trinkets such as dream catchers and there was also a bookshop which had many Islamic books in original texts and novels translated to English. After that, we had teh halia (ginger tea) at the coffeeshop while waiting for mins because we did not want to drink overpriced coffee at the cafe. Since Singapore was going to impose a shisha ban, we enquired the price at one of the cafes and the price ($40) put us off. If there were more of us and we could split the cost, then only would we be more willing to do it.
|the only place for graffati|
|she’s secretly american indian|
Lastly, we went to Orchard Road. It was my first time going up to the Ion sky bar, at 55 storeys, it offered panoramic views of Singapore, from the eastern and western coasts to the central catchment area. I didn’t know about this gem in the city and the process of taking the lift up was from the 4th floor of Ion Orchard, we had to cut through an art gallery and take the dimly-lit lift up. It was an interesting experience, though the rain and gloomy skies did not do the photos justice. There were some informative panels around the different types of clouds (so geography) and poems about clouds. While walking along Orchard Road, we saw a temporary booth set up for Ferrero chocolate, they had a chef making live Ferrero chocolate, but it ended at 7pm just as we entered the shop. Neverthless, we browsed through the chocolates and were amazed by the new limited edition varieties of Ferrero such as the cappucino-flavoured one. There were also Ferrero chocolates as large as a cupcake! The Orchard road light-up was beautiful, although going back home was a chore because of the super-crowded MRT station. I guess everyone (including foreign workers, tourists and locals alike) loved to go out to soak in the Christmas atmosphere.
|view from Ion sky. you can see MBS in the distance|
3 more days to Christmas! Bring me back to Iceland please!