Thursday 7 November 2013

Restaurant Reviews - Singapore

The last part of my whirlwind Asian tour was a day of sightseeing in Singapore. I walked around the Little India and Chinatown areas and saw some very ornate temples (above right), took a boat trip on the river where sights included the Merlion statue and fountain (above left) and went to the Night Safari - a zoo that is only open in the evening, giving you the opportunity to see nocturnal animals when they are most active. I highly recommend it!

One other thing that was on my itinerary from the start was a Singapore Sling at the Raffles hotel, below.

The drink was invented in the bar here, and this is the recipe. Since coming home I have bought all the ingredients apart from the Dom Benedictine (which I can't find) and Angostura Bitters, which I decided I could do without, and have made one myself. I think this is my new favourite cocktail!

A Singapore Sling in the bar where it was invented - and it cost about £10! But that's no more than you would pay for a cocktail in a bar in London actually. And it was well worth the money.

I happened to arrive at the bar around 1pm and decided I may as well have lunch here (unfortunately I was too early for afternoon tea to be served). I'm glad I stopped here because while I was eating lunch, a couple who had been part of my tour group in Cambodia walked in, and I ended up having lunch with them. The Singapore visit wasn't part of the tour but they had also decided to come here afterwards, and like me wanted a Singapore Sling!
Raffles has several options for eating, including the grill room, courtyard restaurant, tiffin room, steakhouse, café.... none of which are cheap! I ate in the Long Bar (as this is where the cocktail was invented); it has an extensive menu that is more of a traditional bar menu and allows causal dress. There was a special offer on certain dishes where you could save a few dollars if you wanted a Singapore Sling at the same time, and I fancied trying the 'sliders' - three mini burgers served with fries. There was a plain beef burger, a cheeseburger and a cheese and bacon burger if I correctly recall; they were nice and very filling, and the fries were fine. Service was unsurprisingly very good; very attentive and they brought me over a newspaper within seconds of realising I was dining alone. I was sitting at the bar and they were also quite happy for me to move and join my friends from the Cambodia trip at a larger table after they arrived. The only downside is that with service, this meal - a relatively modest burger and chips, and a drink (albeit a cocktail) came to S$52, or about £26. Still, it was an experience and worth it to be able to say I'd been!

Amazingly (for those who know me, anyway!) I actually only had one meal that day. Breakfast wasn't included at my hotel and I wanted to start sightseeing, so thought I would get something later when I was hungry. Probably due to the heat, I was drinking a lot of water and didn't feel hungry until I got to the Raffles hotel and had lunch there. Lunch was so filling - and I was drinking so much water again throughout the day - that I wasn't hungry by 6pm when I headed off to the Night Safari. When I got there I joined a queue for their 'creatures of the night' show (so bypassing the food court) and then went on the train around the zoo - you get on and get off to visit different areas. By the time I'd finished it was 11pm and I was too tired to eat, so went back to my hotel and went to bed!

I did have one other meal in Singapore though - an early lunch at the airport the next day. Airport food is often nothing special but I guess because the food was different to what I'd normally eat - and if I was eating in a chain restaurant I wouldn't necessarily know - I enjoyed it perfectly fine.

It turned out that Prima Taste in the airport was a chain restaurant, which I suppose is only to be expected. I had the prawn noodle soup, which also included sliced pork; I wouldn't say it was exactly packed full of flavour but it was perfectly nice, filling, and served quickly - which is mainly what you want at an airport! It cost S$12 which was about £6, probably a premium given we were at an airport but I was quite happy with it. Overall I had an amazing trip including some delicious food and some amazing sights, like the temples at Angkor Wat, the flash flooding in Phnom Penh, the Petronas Towers and Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur and the city of Singapore. I had a fantastic trip!


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