Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Singapore: Sights & Smells

We went to Singapore two weeks ago. We checked in and promptly fell asleep. When we woke up, it was 2 pm, and by the time we freshened up and went out looking for lunch, it was 3 pm. We discovered a small food court near our hotel. One counter was managed by two friendly women. They had various dishes and rice, and a heaping of five curries with rice cost us S$ 5. There was fish cake, fried tofu, greens, fried fish and several others, including a vegetarian gravy that had cauliflower in it. The rice was flavoursome too. An extra helping of the accompaniments a few minutes later cost us S$2. I really enjoyed that meal, though The Spouse said he could not take the smell anymore.

One of the vegetable stalls we saw at a local market.

We went on a bum boat ride and took some pictures of Singapore by night.

My S$20 salad of shrimp satay, mangoes, glass noodles and pommelo with tender ginger dressing at the Singapore Botanical Gardens. The stated price was S$17 but the taxes added up.

S$5 Lunch at an Indonesian restaurant somewhere in a mall on Orchard Road. This was a dish of crispy fried prawns, rice, a fiery sambal with tiny dry fish, basil and what I thought was fried roe.

There were several restaurants offering froggy delicacies. I had just had lunch so I didn't have to contend with the thought of whether I would have tried them or not.

We found this Grass Jelly Drink in another food court. It's one of the classic drinks of South-East Asia, we couldn't get through this, and this was supposed to be the smaller serving which came for 0.80 cents. We found it somewhat smelly though I enjoyed targeting the jelly with my straw and slurping it in.

We were walking to Chinatown and I noticed these on the pavement, pineapple and durian.

Our first tour when we landed in Singapore was a Singapore by Night Tour. Our first destination, at 6 pm, turned out to be dinner!!! Having eaten at 3 pm earlier, we weren't very hungry, and that was true of most other tourists in our bus. So we nibbled at most of the offerings. The dinner, representative of the various ethnic cuisines of Singapore, served up a single claw of Singapore Chilli Crab and Roti Prata.

Paper-wrapped chicken, at our dinner

Paper-wrapped chicken unwrapped. That's a bit of chicken and a mushroom

Pork spare rib soup, flavoured with what I thought was star anise. Nice.

Fried rice, with crab meat. I don't know what the cripsy, thread-y stuff on top is.

A vegetarian dish of cabbage. I could even taste saffron in that dish, but I could be wrong. It was very tasty.

The mango pudding that ended our dinner. The waitress asked us if we liked it and when we nodded, she excitedly said she had made it herself.


  1. imagine being a vegetarian in this place :) TH is one and he can't take the smell either, though I am more averse to it, even though i am not veg. it grows on you after a while though..

    glad u had a great time :)

  2. I have several relatives in Singapore. For food I think I will have to go to their places.;) The mango pudding looks yummy though.

  3. Looks like you had a fabulous time. Did you try durian i have heard you love it or you hate them.

  4. I spent a couple of weeks in SIN too... on Orchard Road... loved every minute.

  5. I was waiting for this post. A lovely way to treat yourselves.:)
    I think the crispy thready stuff might be thin glass/ cellophane noodles?

  6. Oh wow, I gotta get myself to Singapore sometime soon! You shoulda tried the frog!

  7. Ooooh, I've been there too and its so tough for a veggie! :) Sigh.

  8. But those women don't look like they eat no?

  9. Looks like u had a blast! I am the kind who would hae some troubel with the smell:-( even tho' I eat non veg once in a while. targetting the jelly with the straw LOL...

  10. So that is how you spend your anniv and not tell us anything about it

  11. Nags, I have imagined - v tough. :) The Spouse is not a vegetarian but he's pretty squeamish, I told him he should be glad he wasn't in Thailand, the smell there is stronger.
    Vidya, yes, sad case for veggies. The pudding was yummy!
    Happy, I couldn't find an amount small enough to try, I'd have wasted the rest. I feel sad about missing the opportunity.
    Raaga, it IS fun.
    Aparna, no, this looked more like dried, beaten egg yolk, if there is ever such a thing.
    Sig, I was too full to even grapple with such questions :-) Luckily!
    A & N, yeah, most of them are slim. Sigh!
    Soma, it's not the non-veg so much as the way it's cooked, I think. And yeah, pinning the jelly under the straw and drawing it up was great fun!

  12. My My!! What a great culinary trip! Frog fries? That's nice! ;D

    People tell me that Frog and Alligators taste like chicken! But do I dare try?

    Singapore sounds wonderful, got to make a trip one day!:)

    Hope you are feeling better now, Trisha has sever throat ache now.

  13. So this was how you celebrated your anniversary...:)
    It must be tough being a vegetarian there.

    The mango pudding looks good.

  14. I visited Singa by bus without getting down, I had the food in Sing airpo (indian) , That was a lots of food for cheaper price & very Spicy.
    Sing impressed for his neatness :)

  15. My mom begged me to never take her through a food court ever again and threw up soon after we reached home. I had a tough time initially but got used to it over the years... Looks like you had a delicious trip.

  16. Looks like a fun place with tasty eats.we love seafood,but sometimes the odors can be get overpowering especially for my better half.

  17. Thanks for a gastronomic tour of singapore. I am a vegetarian and we wandered around several blocks in S'pore until we found an Annapoorna Vegetarian restaurant - the beans did manage to have a green caterpillar though!!!!

  18. wow..guess u had a blast there Sra..check if you have put on so much..:)

  19. Looks like you had fun! ENjoyed seeing all the pics though I never would have thought the cabbage dish would taste good! All the pics are great! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Hey Sra, lookslike u people had a gala time there. And u've trid all sorts of food there...a typical foodie :) Have fun and take care.

  21. Sandeepa, well, putting up that anniversary post itself was a big thing for me. But how did you guess we spent our anniv there?
    Asha, yes, even I've heard that frog tastes like chicken. I am better, still sticking to the steam inhalation, tho'. How's Trisha?
    TBC, yes, I guess it could be tough. I didn't look for vegetarian food.
    Cham, it's not spotless, you know. Outwardly, yes. I saw lot of drains with plastic bags, etc, thrown in. That's because we walked a lot and the rubbish was below street level :-)
    Laavanya, yes, I can imagine, poor Mom! In fact, it was so hot, we didn't have an appetite most days, and a couple of days we even missed lunch.
    Yasmeen, it's not the Indian kind of seafood smells, if you know what I mean. Even their vegetarian stuff smells odd.
    Dibs, they had to bring in the meat somehow, didn't they? :-D
    Varsha, I lost half a kilo after the trip, maybe I should go back!
    Homecooked, hello! The cabbage was v v tasty!
    Ni, I wish I could have tasted more, missed a lot of ops because of lack of hunger!

  22. wow, looks like you had great fun at Singapore. Good, good! Nice pics.

  23. i am so hungryyyyyyy. i should stop reading your blog before meal times bah. also the days i have cooked and i know exactly whats for lunch. sighhhh. why dont u adopt me. pleaseeeeeeeeeeee.

  24. i had read somewhere that for people in sing, its cheaper and healthier to eat out than cook at home. looks like it eh?

  25. Doesn't sound too good a place for a vegan!!:( Mango pudding is the only thing I will have to have, and the soup for variety I suppose:)

  26. Wow so many yummies......Pics show you had drooling time there......

  27. ""We found it somewhat smelly though I enjoyed targeting the jelly .."" i don't want to know what was the smelly thing!! gosh u ate more in one day than my nose can withstand.. Enjoy and looking forward to the next installment,:)

  28. I was there for 9 yrs. Looks like u had a lot of fun there, travel and food. We cant take the smell of frog soup and crocodile soup. Did you try it and liked it?

  29. Uma, yes, we did, tho' my husband didn't enjoy the food.
    Cynic, sure, you're adopted! :-) I didn't know about cheaper and healthier but our Indian friend there told us that most people eat out rather than cook at home!
    Sunshinemom, Nope, not for vegans, but come to think of it, I don't think there are many milk products in their cuisine. Of course, it's quite non-vegetarian, though. I think this mango pudding was made of agar agar - it had that texture.
    Lubna, the smell will take some getting used to, but the taste is okay.
    Mallugirl, you know, I didn't realised it rhymed. Hoping to go to Malaysia next holiday, let's see what we'll turn up!
    Simply Innocence, No, I didn't try them. At the same place that I saw the frog porridge poster, I also saw a poster for crocodile paw!!!

  30. Sra,
    looks like you have great time there and enjoyed seeing the pics ,thanks for sharing ...
    Hugs and smiles

  31. ah... i was waiting for this post. but how abt vegetarian choice? i find it really difficult to find good veggie food while travelling. at one point i even thought of trying some non-veg food instead of eating another bowl of salad! ;) may be next time when i am desparate to have some good food and has no other choise ;) he he he...
    and thanks for ur comment ( u know for what)... ~blush, blush~ and when u visit UK make sure that u visit us :)

  32. wow...if my sis had not been to singapore and had a whale of a time...i would have thought it would be impossible for a veggie to live there :)...i can see u had a great time...looking to hear more of ur lovely stories. I was out of internet..hence the tardy comment!

  33. Looks like you had a good time, Sra! Thanks for sharing!

  34. singapore is food heaven. i love that black jelly drink. my roomate at uni was from malaysia and she made it often.

  35. Sra,
    wish you a very happy holi ...
    hugs and smiles

  36. The only reason I would visit Singapore on holiday is for the food - the shopping doesnt interest me so much! Thanks for the virtual tour!

  37. When I saw that grass drink photo, b/4 I read the text, it looked like a preserved frog, shades of biology class! The power of suggestion! LOL!

    No problem accurately identifying the mango pudding, though. : }

  38. You would maybe like also Helsinki Food Sightseeing with Finnish food, it is not that heavy :)