The Singapore trip was two weeks ago, and many things have happened (and been eaten) since then. Except, unfortunately, the rest of the updates on Hurry up the Cakes about the trip.
(Because you can’t eat those, can you?)
But, as promised, here it is.
Lunch # 2 – Peace Centre Food Court
After my Hainanese Chicken Rice escapade
I went back to the hotel and took a nap, which I awoke from upon the arrival of Daryl and Char. They were hungry (apparently all they had the entire day was airplane peanuts), and I was excited to traipse about, so off we went to the Peace Centre Food Court to have one of my favorite meals of the entire trip.
Char had stir-fried noodles topped with roast duck, while Daryl and I each had Hainanese rice topped with suckling pig and honeyed pork. I also had an extra order of “slightly fatty” (that’s what it said on the menu) intestines stir-fried with peppers. Healthy living at Singapore-la(h)nd!
Dinner – Boon Tong Kee
For dinner, my mom’s (and my) dear friend, the awesome Uncle Siew-Sai picked us up and took us to Boon Tong Kee, the Chinese-Singaporean restaurant he’d always bring me to whenever I’d visit.
As always, he took care of the ordering. And as (almost*) always, he did a damn good job.
Lunch: Din Tai Fung
One of the “missions” Char and I had in coming to Singapore was to find a place that served honest-to-goodness, top-notch Xiao Long Bao—steamed dim sum with broth inside the dough, served with ginger and wine vinegar.
When Uncle Siew-Sai took us to the Michelin Star-awarded, New York Times top ten-honored Din Tai Fung, it was safe to say “mission accomplished.”
Dinner: Rocket Schmocket
Unfortunately, on the second day of the trip, I suffered from a bad stomach ailment, which I suspect was caused by my gastronomical overindulgence the previous day. I’m not sure which particular restaurant caused those problems, but I still have no urge to discourage you from eating there—all the restaurants I ate in still have my highest recommendation.
Except for one.
Because I was sick, I had to head back to the hotel to lie down and get some rest. I didn’t feel well enough to go out for dinner, so Char and I decided to have dinner at the restaurant at the ground floor of our hotel.
I can’t completely remember the name of the joint. It was a fine dining fusion place, with the word “rocket” in it. Duck Rocket? Lazy Rocket? Houston Rocket?
I don’t remember. Which is fine, because the food bland, expensive, and, worst of all… pretentious.
I hate pretentious food. I hate restaurants that serve pretentious food. Restaurants with pretentious settings and decorations are fine by me (as long as their bathrooms are clean), but I hate hate HATE it when the FOOD is pretentious.
(I sense that this is an entire rant-post on its own. Coming soon to Hurry up the Cakes: A campaign against BS food! I’m looking at you, South Diner.)
Char had the crab fat pasta, and I had the chilean sea bass.
Before anyone says anything: yes, I may have been sick, but my taste buds were still intact.
The day was saved after dinner, when Char opened up a pack of Tim-Tams.
I was still sick in the morning, so I decided to head to the doctor to salvage what was left of my trip. Uncle Siew-Sai took us to his beautiful country club (how does such a small country have room for more than one giant 18-hole golf course?) and I had the always-comforting hot chicken noodle soup
Within a few hours of taking the prescribed medicines, I was healthy, happy, and wide awake. Of course, the doctor recommended that I avoid spicy, oily, and fatty foods, so as not to screw with my recovering stomach.
But I am a rebel.
Dinner: Esplanade Makan Sutra Hawker Centre
That night, after watching Wicked the Musical (highest recommendation!), Char and I met up with a few friends at the Esplanade Hawker Centre.
I was so happy to be healthy, and I wanted to make the most of my trip, so I was determined to eat everything in sight.
The food was classic Singapore fare: fried rice, grilled sting ray(!), oodles and oodles of mutton and chicken satay, and oyster omelette (served with real chili sauce, not the sweet bottled stuff!).
It was cheap, it was honest, and it was damn good. Exactly the opposite of the previous night’s dinner.
It was so good, I didn’t care to take pictures.
It was so good, that if it was the last night I spent in Singapore (and it was), that was exactly how I wanted to spend it.
Luckily, my friend Ben had the presence of mind to resist diving in head-first, and took pictures of the fantastic meal.
Pre-Lunch – Paul Bakery
Yes, Paul bakery, not Paul’s. It takes a while to get used to.
This is notable because they serve the best croissant I’ve ever had in my entire life. It wasn’t flaky, dry, or bland at all. (You know, like in Starbucks.)
Seriously. Best croissant ever. And it was served by a lovely french baker too. I don’t know if she was Paul. I just know I loved the way she said croissant.
Say it with me: croissant.
Lunch – the Italian Buffet at the basement of the Grand Hyatt
Siew-Sai loves this buffet. He says it was one of the first fine dining buffet restaurants in Singapore, and that it’s almost an institution.
It was typical (albeit good quality) Italian fare: pasta and cheeses and meats and salads. Food-wise, nothing to die for.
But I was happy. It was my last meal after one of the best trips of my life. I was surrounded by three of my favorite people on this earth. I was taken care of, fed, and blessed beyond belief.
Sure, the food was good. And sure, Singapore is lovely. But ultimately (and unfortunately—because I admit this is a corny way to end the report), what made this trip so delicious was the company I was with. It was, simply, a whole lot of pure, unadulterated fun**. I didn’t deserve their kindness, even if I sometimes say that I’m the best in the world, like CM Punk. (Or Chris Jericho. But that’s another story.)
Whether or not I deserve it, though, I’d love to go back there. And eat some more.
* – One time he took us to a Korean BBQ place where the meat tasted like nothing.
** – Except for the pooping.