Singapore: 72 hours in Lion City!

Singapore is just a 1.5 hours by flight from my hometown, Penang! There are numerous flights connecting both cities daily via Air Asia, Jetstar, Silk Air and Tiger Airways. This is a throwback post to the month of November 2017. I actually made 4 trips to Singapore last year and each was for its own reasons – Coldplay concert in April, Ed Sheeran concert, and the entry port for “It’s The Ship Festival 2017” in November. One cannot deny that  Singapore is after all a great host for concerts and events. The only downside for me is the strong SGD$. Seriously, going to Singapore is almost akin to spending it in Australia or Canada. I look forward to see what the New Malaysia has to offer!

“Visit Singapore! Known as the Lion City and capitalising on it’s melting pot of cultures, Singapore is becoming one of South East Asia’s hit destination. Whizzing around Singapore can take a matter of minutes, thanks to one of the world’s most efficient and widespread public transport systems.” – Lonely Planet

There’s so much you could do in Singapore! There are countless tourist destinations such as Marina Bay Sands, Garden by the Bay, and Sentosa Island, which are all worth seeing at least once in your life. Since I’ve been to Singapore way to many times – I’ve done most of the famous sites. If you are looking to have some fun and adventure, head on over to Universal Studio – you could spend a whole day just hopping from one ride to another. The Transformers 4D ride and the Egyptian mummy ride were the two most memorable one for me. Since I was only down for 72 hours, I spent most of my time savouring the good food Singapore has to offer and cycled around the city.

Day 1 – Tanjong Pagar District & Haji Lane

I’ve always love the smell of Singapore Changi Airport. By far, the best airport in the world in my opinion. Endless choices of things to see, do and eat upon arrival and departure. When in Singapore, you could get a week’s tourist sim for just SGD $15. Exit at arrivals and you can find booths selling mobile sim. My personal one to go to is Singtel Hi!Tourist Sim. Seriously, 100GB local data on a blazing fast 4G Network – Where to find lah?

Heritage houses along Tanjong Pagar road.

Hotels in Singapore are really, really expensive. It’s not even funny – $250-300 per night on average for a decent 3 star hotel. Marina Bay Sands would certainly fetch you up to $600 or so per night. I could treat myself to a Maldives trip with the amount spent on accommodation in Singapore. So… NO! Your best bet would be to stay with a friend (Thank you Felicia as always) OR AirBnB, which costed about $75-80 per night.

Riding dirty at the back alleys of Tanjong Pagar, Singapore.

Being an avid outdoor girl now – a passion I somewhat cultivated over the last decade, riding the bicycle around the city in Singapore was pretty damn fun. We were lucky and got to ride these bicycles for free throughout the 3 days. Thanks to MoBike Singapore’s promotion! Tips: Exchange bicycles with your mate every 30 minutes.

Haji Lane, Singapore
Evening cocktails and beer @ Haji Lane, Singapore.

Haji Lane is famous for being Singapore’s original hipster hood. I recalled making my way to Kampong Glam on foot from Bugis station years back to meet my best friend in a rather chic cafe. We were having tea and cakes, while a woman was crying and pouring her heart out to her friend on the next table. It was peculiar but aside from that, I loved the vibe in this gem of a neighbourhood. On another occasion, I was introduced to a cocktail bar, whereby there isn’t any menu and you just have to express to the bartender what you feel like drinking. They would be happy to fix you a bespoke cocktail to suit your preferences.

Day 2 – Sentosa Island, Tanjong Beach Club & Geylang

Breakfast at Brawns and Brains Coffee that very morning was lit! The cafe was away from the hustle and bustle of the city and definitely made it into my list of favourite brunch cafes in Singapore. Started my morning with their Oven Baked Molten Egg ($16.80) and it was baked to perfection. Served alongside thinly sliced avocado, cheery tomatoes, smoked salmon and a bed of greens – paired with melted cheese on molten eggs which sits on crusted tortilla, it is a class of its own. The open faced toast with bacon was equally lovely. Peas were really fresh and the diced apple salad goes really well with the bacon and molten egg. Don’t forget to try out their single origin or house blend coffee!

Restaurant: Brawns & Brains Coffee
Address: 100 Guillemard Road, #01-02, Singapore 399718
Opening Hours: 830am-6pm, Closed on Mondays
Oven Baked Molten Egg, Brawn and Brains.
Open Faced Bacon Toast @ Brawn and Brains.

THIS WAY TO THE BEACH! Okay.. there’s hardly any worthy beaches in Singapore. Sorry folks! However, there’s Tanjong Beach Club to make up for that. To get to Sentosa Island, you can opt to take a taxi or the MRT from Vivo City Mall. Thankfully, there were Mobikes available in this tiny island and it was a fun experience to ride and explore the place surrounded by lush greeneries.

MoBike-ing around Sentosa Island.
Sentosa beach, Singapore.
Tanjong Beach Club, Singapore.
Tiki Cocktails @ Tanjong Beach Club.

After sunset cocktails, it was time for a good hearty dinner. Geylang, besides being known as Singapore’s red light district, it is also famous for its tasty white pepper crab and salted egg prawn. The restaurant, JB Ah Meng was in fact listed under the Singapore Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide in 2016. Couldn’t resist any longer, we ordered the white pepper crab, salted egg prawns and JB San Lou Mee Hoon. The crabs were of great size and succulent. Finger licking good! The prawns were deep-fried to perfection with crisp batter and corn bits. The mee hoon was somewhat special – I’ve never seen them served that flat before! It surely tasted better than it looked.

Restaurant: JB Ah Meng
Address: 534 Geylang Road Lor 30 Singapore 389490
Opening Hours: 530pm-230am daily
JB Ah Meng White Pepper Crab, Geylang Singapore.
Salted Egg Prawn, JB Ah Meng Geylang, Singapore.
JB San Lou Mee Hoon, Geylang Singapore.

Day 3 – Marina Bay Promenade to East Coast Park & Orchard Road

Third day going strong and it’s all about the food! Started off breakfast at The Botanist by the Pacamara people. This place is tucked in the corner of Neil Road. There’s a nice art piece on the side of the building and the garden seating had a nice cozy, outdoorsy vibe. I’ve not been to Melbourne – but I was told it lived up to its expectations of a Aussie-Melbourne inspired cafe. Absolutely hands down the BEST french toast I’ve had ever! The toast was crispy and fluffy. The fresh berries, maple syrup and ice cream complimented the whole thing so well. Totally in love with the generous sprinkles of pecan nuts and almond flakes!

Restaurant: The Botanist
Address: 74 Neil Road Singapore 088839 (Outram Park)
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Tues – Thurs)
                               9am – 10am (Fri – Sat)
                               9am – 7pm (Sun)
Duck Confit and poached egg on toast, The Botanist.
Berries and Maple syrup French toast, The Botanist.

What a hearty breakfast! Whenever I find myself in Singapore, I’m sure to hit at least 12,000 steps a day. Only to find myself in another hawker food stall, smacked in between blocks of apartments. Here’s one at the famous Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles. My girlfriend was raving about how her family love this pork noodles and it bagged a 1 Michelin Star ranking. It was 2pm midday and there were about 20 people ahead of it. That was equivalent to a good 40 mins wait. Oh…I was already there all the way from Penang and so, we waited! A bowl of pork noodles would cost about SGD $6. In Teochew, it is called the “Bak Chor Mee” aka minced pork noodles. I had a go at the soup noodles and it was pretty decent. The broth was tasty and flavorful. The noodles were freshly made and tangy. Nothing much to shout about the dumplings and I secretly wished I had more minced pork. Overall, 7 out of 10.

Restaurant: Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles 大华猪肉粿条面
Address: 466 Crawford Lane, Tai Hwa Eating House #01-12 Singapore 190465 (Lavender MRT)
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 9:00pm (Closed on 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month)
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles.
Uncle doing his thing and note that 1 Michelin Star, Tai Hwa Pork Noodles.
Bak Chor Mee, Hill Street Thai Hwa Pork Noodles Singapore.

The only way to burn all that calories was to cycle from Marina Bay Promenade to East Coast Park. That was a good two hours of riding. Thumbs up for the designated bicycle pathways, Singapore! Back to Orchard Road for evening tea at Marmalade. I’ve been here previously for lunch but this time for some tea, scones and cakes. The serving was in fact enough for 3 person. The High Tea set is available from 3pm to 6pm daily.

High Tea Set menu consist of :

  • Your choice of Gryphon Tea (2 pots)
  • A selection of egg & cress, beef & horseradish and green land shrimp finger sandwiches
  • Buttermilk scones with candied orange & cranberry, strawberry preserve and clotted cream
  • Your choice of two cupcakes

We picked the lemon cheese cupcake and the red velvet cupcake. The set comes up to SGD $ 45 for two. Recommended for a fancy gossip time with the girlfriends!

Restaurant: The Marmalade Pantry
Address: ION Orchard 2 Orchard Turn, #03-22, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
Evening tea set at Marmalade, ION Orchard.
Sandwiches @ Marmalade, ION Orchard.
Scones for evening tea @ ION Orchard.
Cupcakes @ Marmalade, ION Orchard.

One more pitstop for dinner before making my way back to my awesome island of Penang. Literally, the Best DUCK I’ve ever tasted in my life! Hands down, the “Wagyu of Duck”!  I usually have the duck slices wrapped with cucumber slices, spring onions and a dash of sweet sauce. Here, they served it with two extra condiments – blueberry sauce with sugar and mustard. I must say it is GENIUS! Who would have thought these would go so perfectly with duck meat. Definitely highlight of my entire trip.

Address: 181 Orchard Rd, 07-07/08/09, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 1130am – 1030pm
TungLok XiHe ‘Peking Duck’ @ Orchard Central, Singapore.
Chef cutting up our very own duck!
Peking Duck for life! – TungLok XiHe @ Orchard Central.

It’s been a short, sweet and fulfilling trip for sure. I made my way to the Departure Hall of Changi Airport Terminal 4. Best transition ever into the waiting gate. Smooth and no human connection required – except for passing through security. I was pleased and sashayed my way to the plane. I’ll be back for the good food!

So long, Singapore! xoxo

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