Saturday, August 20, 2011
Singapore Adventure Day 1 : Oodles of Noodles
Gooooood morning from the sunny land of Singapore! Today has been a tiring, yet fun and fulfilling, day with the family. The day opened beautifully with the warm sun greeting me through the bedroom window. After calculating if I had already gotten my 8 hours of sleep, I finally got up and spent some quiet time on a 5th floor balcony overlooking a not so busy TG Katong neighborhood. The stillness, greenness and cleanliness of the place was refreshing.
We headed to Marina Square for Lunch. We tried a place my brother and Momo frequented to, the Putien restaurant. We had some cold hand-pulled egg noodle for appetizer, seafood noodle in taro soup among others.. Unlike the usual coconut cream based soup we have in Manila, this restaurant mashes taro or eggs for their one-of-a-kind specialty dishes.
We sauntered along a bridgeway linking to Suntec City Mall. Momo pointed to me a quaint place that looked like a coffee shop / library but was actually Food Republic, Suntec City's food court.
These seemingly studious students were actually Singaporeans having a hearty meal at Food Republic.
A few food stalls, a soya milk kiosk and an egg tart stand later, we saw A Gantea, a Taiwanese Milk Tea stand. Now that I'm hooked to milk teas, thanks to Serenitea and Happy Lemon, I had to try one. What's nice and different about A Gantea is that they treat each drink as a work of art. They create colorful medleys of flavors and seal them in a cup. I found their drink a little bit too sweet for my taste. Even if I ordered less sugar (80%), the black pearls and jelly were just over the top.
While enjoying my milk tea with pearl and jelly, I spotted another very cute place; this time it
was a shop selling unique clocks. They have clocks made from something like cooking pans, robots and even guitars.
Then we headed to my mom's favorite grocery in Singapore, Carre Four. Make sure to pass by Carre Four when in Suntec, you might just enjoy some great bargains! It was like a glimpse of heaven when I saw tables and tables of new, unused, wrinkle-free books on sale. I bought a number of books for just SG$ 5 each. My parents told me "Remember we're on a budget flight and we cannot exceed luggage weight. That's enough shopping for the whole trip." Little-miss-bookish-me doesn't mind. :)
By 6pm, it was time for dinner (already?!). How fast the day has passed. We decided to have it in Crystal Jade Restaurant -- the one that originated from Hongkong, and yes, the same one that you might have seen in Greenhills, Philippines.
For our appetizer we had bamboo shoot slices in sweet oyster sauce (SG$ 6) and fried tofu cubes (SG$ 6). My dad and I both loved the bamboo shoot dish! It was delightfully sweet and crunchy. The tofu although may have that melts-in-your-mouth softness, its crunchy breaded covering was a bit too salty.
Their Pork Dumplings, a.k.a. Xiao Long Bao is a must-try! Many of us who are used to the Western taste (with all the pasta, burger and steaks in town), must learn to decipher a good dumpling from the rest. We can only do this when we take a bite, sip the sauce, and swallow the rest of a high quality dumpling such as the ones in Crystal Jade Singapore.
And more dumplings were served during dinner. The shrimp dumpling (SG $ 6.5) and vegetable dumpling (SG $5.5) were beautiful to look at but yummier to devour. I haven't tried these in Manila's Crystal Jade yet, so I can't do any objective comparisons.
Below is a picture of me enjoying a bowl of hot and sour noodle soup (SG $7.50). Let me tell you something interesting. This hot and sour soup is literally hot (hot in temperature and quite spicy in taste) and literally sour. It tastes different from the hot and sour soup I've tried in Chinese restaurants where the sourness overpowers everything. With this bowl, I could taste and differentiate from each other the spiciness of the soup base, the sourness of its star ingredients, and the calmness of the noodles. What a medley!
This shrimp wonton noodle below is Momo's favorite! When I tasted it, I thought it's one of those dishes that you could just place on your list of comfort foods. It has no extreme taste or texture that the adventurous tongue might seek. It's simply warm, savory and filling.
Time for dessert! Why not have a small piece of mooncake and take part in Singapore's mooncake festival celebration while you're there?
Now, time to curl up and read a few pages of "An Illustrated Life." This is Mitzi Uy once again reporting her adventure for the day.