Our idea for a stop in Singapore on the way to India was gentle acclimatisation to world travel again.
Feels like perhaps it was just a bit too gentle…
Singapore has been more like visiting the ethnic neighborhoods in a new western city than actually traveling in Asia. Really, it’s cleaner and more orderly than your typical Chinatown.
Not to be complaining though! It’s a lovely, easy, calm and oddly quiet place.
And the food! We shouldn’t have been surprised that a city that continuously balances Malaysian, Indian and Chinese communities would so effortlessly, even unconsciously, come up with the best fusion foods and drinks we’ve ever had.
A simple pan au raisen at Konditori bakery on Arab Lane was topped with honey and pistachio – the best of baklava flavours fused with light yeasty croissant stuffed with custard and raisins– to die for!
Old Man Singapore – an outpost of the long time Best Bars in the World in Hong Kong, served a cocktail called The Sun Also Rises- applejack, gin, vermouth with pandan leaf and kaffir lime — an elegant and familiar seeming drink but so distinctly Asian in flavour as well.
And then Meatsmith Little India. We made just one food rule for
Singapore : no Indian food! But when we walked by Meatsmith we could tell we HAD to eat there. Perhaps we could have made our way to one of the other locations, but each BBQ menu is taylored to its neighbourhood, so the others don’t serve curry marrow. Curry Marrow!!! Yes, beef marrow bones with rich, creamy, red-brown curry sauce. And the best tamarind margarita we’ve ever tasted.
OK, fusion’s not just in the food here.A giant ship hotel balanced on 3 skyscrapers. Metal tree gardens. The old supreme court and city hall buildings fused with stunning metal faux rattan. Hip bars in colonial settlements.
This place is one giant mental math problem if you think about it. A+B, C+D. We should be exhausted but far from it, we are recharged and ready to decode another country. Albeit a slightly older and more complex one.