Friday, December 30, 2011

random singapore

Things I'll remember from my trip to Singapore on 8 December 2011 to 12 December 2011:

1. Wonder Full, the light and water spectacular at Marina Bay Sands. I swear, as soon as I have access to something faster than my pathetic Third World internet connection, I will upload my video.

2. For our first two nights in Singapore, we stayed at Royal Plaza on Scotts. It's a little gem of a hotel with lovely old-world service, an excellent location (right in the middle of Orchard Road), free wifi and a Nespresso machine in every room.

3. The entire hotel was a no smoking zone, but never mind, the McDonald's right outside the hotel lobby took care of that.

if it quacks like a duck

Sometimes I just want to be a tourist and do touristy things. I'd been wanting to go on a DUCKtour for the longest time.

From the brochure (unedited): "Ride the Wacky DUCK. There are 2 amphibious tours in Singapore, but there is only 1 DUCKtours. Nothing comes close to the Original. The 1st amphibious themed attraction in Asia, this Tourism Award Winning DUCK is rated number 1 in Singapore. 800,000 passengers! 8 years of perfect safety record! Best in tour experience! Ride the only Wacky DUCKtours and embark on a unique combined City & Harbour tour adventure in Singapore."

Now tell me, doesn't that sound like fun?

"More than a tour, it is 60 minutes of land and sea adventure on a genuine Vietnam War machine."

"Hold on to your seat as it waddles away and be prepared for a splashing good time!

Our "WackyDUCKtainer" was a Filipino, as well as the ladies who collected my payment at Orchard Road and issued my boarding pass at Suntec City.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

pizza and burgers

I like Mario Batali because Anthony Bourdain respects him. And he kicks ass on Iron Chef America. His food's not bad, either.

Hello, Pizzeria Mozza at Marina Bay Sands Singapore!

Mozza Caprese, with whole roasted tomatoes, basil pesto and burrata. S$15++

Sunday, December 25, 2011

something for everyone

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. For some people, it's all about the shopping.

The ethereal Sophie Marceau at Chaumet. Because every girl should have a tiara.

Adorable little doggies at Opera Gallery.

I bought some CDs. Where? That CD Shop.

disneyland for adults

Yez, I had kopi, eggs and kaya toast two days in a row, cholesterol levels be damned. I was on holiday, OK?

But for my last two mornings in Singapore, our hotel package included the buffet breakfast at Rise.

Rise: six food stations serve Asian and Western favorites from 6AM to 11AM.

First plate, West: French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and chicken sausage.

Second plate, East: vegetarian roti prata, vegetable curry, fried noodles, har gow, siomai and chee cheong fun.

Third plate, East-West: madeleine, melon, jackfruit and almond croissant.

christmas nostalgia

It's 9:35AM on Christmas morning. Wishing we had a kopitiam next door.

Killiney Kopitiam, since 1919.

Killiney Kopitiam in Singapore reminds me of hanging out with my grandfather when I was a kid. When the world was younger and we all ate two eggs every morning. And slabs of butter.

A cup of kopi, some bread toast and two soft-boiled eggs. S$4.40

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'tis the season

Conan O'Brien tweeted: 'Tis the season when we get to use the word 'tis.

Marina Bay Sands lobby, 11 Dec 2011, 10:22PM.

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 11 December 2011, 11:06AM.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

almost paris, la troisieme partie

The reason we were in Singapore in the first place was to watch Wicked at Marina Bay Sands on 10 December 2011. Ma was so gung ho that she actually thought about going alone, but I can never say no to Singapore. It's like an addiction.

I asked her where she wanted to have dinner before the show: Restaurant Guy Savoy or CUT by Wolfgang Puck. She chose Guy Savoy, and that's where I ate the most expensive meal I've ever had in my life.

(Most expensive to date. I'm not done yet.)  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

highs and lows

Iggy's, the best restaurant in Asia according to The Miele Guide. How does one dine there without any preconceptions? Answer: You can't.

My entire Iggy's experience was a roller coaster ride from start to finish, and even beyond. Yez, even now, I still have a hard time describing what I really feel about the whole thing. Did I love it? Did I hate it? Whenever I think about Iggy's, I have to pause and gather my thoughts.

First, let's tackle something simple, like reservations. I was mildly shocked that they answer their email, and so promptly too. In fact, they even made a teeny exception for me because I told them that that they couldn't call me a day in advance to confirm my booking for lunch on 9 December 2011 (their SOP) since I would be on a plane and my phone would be off. In essence, they replied: WTH, you're in.

So that was a bit of a surprise. Asia's best is not hoity-toity. 

The doodad display at Iggy's anteroom seems to be saying, "We're whimsical and fun. Relax."

good morning, orchard road!

Recently, while I was watching my friend Hamton cure some hams, he remarked that Orchard Road wasn't so nice anymore.

I beg to disagree. Really, it's still the best street for taking a walk. There's greenery everywhere, the sidewalks are mega-wide, and there's always something interesting going on.

Who were they? Why were they half-naked? Why were they hanging out in front of Grand Park Orchard Hotel? I dunno.

Another "I dunno" moment for me.

good evening, orchard road!

My mother and I arrived in Singapore on 8 December 2011 in the evening. We had just enough time to drop our bags off at our hotel, Royal Plaza on Scotts, before Ion Orchard closed its doors.

I was elated that Ginza Bairin in the basement was still open. And there were no queues.

The Japanese make plastic food displays so well, jeje.

Pork Loin Katsu Set, S$14.49 + 7% GST. I'd been craving this for over a year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the best five hours

I love museums, and I especially love Singapore's museums. I'm a little embarrassed to say that this was my first time at the National Museum of Singapore. To make up for it, I was there twice in one day: two hours in the morning and three hours after lunch.

One of Singapore's most stately and graceful buildings, IMO.

The Rotunda Dome is the museum's most iconic architectural feature, with 50 stained glass pieces of Victorian design.

The giant red balloons' strings are held by chocolate raisins. Wah, so cute!

Monday, December 19, 2011

almost paris, la deuxieme partie

I never thought that I would ever be face-to-face with the masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay. I was close enough to touch them, and in fact there were quite a few times that my nose was just a centimeter or two away from the glass protecting the paintings. Plus the National Museum of Singapore allows photography-- woohoo!

My pictures are just a pale shadow of those works, though. The colors, the techniques, the scale, the subject matters, the overall FEEL-- overwhelming, incomparable and beyond description. Me so happy to be there.

The Cardplayers, oil on canvas, 1890-1895, by Paul Cezanne.

Dancers Climbing a Staircase, oil on canvas, 1886-1890, by Edgar Degas.

A Box at the Theatre des Italiens, oil on canvas, 1875-1878, by Eva Gonzales.

Stadhouderskade or Going Fishing, pastel, watercolour and charcoal, 1898-1900, by Piet Modrian.

almost paris

I was really fortunate to be in Singapore during the Dreams & Reality: Masterpieces of Painting, Drawing & Photography from the Musée d'Orsay Paris exhibition. Going there was the cheapest thing I did in Singapore (admission was only S$11!) and definitely the most enjoyable.

There was only one van Gogh, but for whatever reason, there was a whole bunch of Monets. Not that I don't admire Claude Monet. I just don't find his work very stimulating. My opinion only lah, don't get mad.

Study of a Figure Outdoors: Woman with a Parasol Looking to the Right, 1886.

Monet's brushstrokes are just too chaotic for me.

Boats: Regatta at Argenteuil, 1874.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

meeting vincent

The highlight of my recent trip to Singapore was my visit to the Singapore National Museum. There was a painting that I just had to meet. I was very excited.

the lengths

Aileen Anastacio's Salted Caramel Cheesecake: Hand-carried from Goodies N' Sweets in Shangri-La Plaza Mall to Trinoma Mall via MRT.

fun fun fun fun

After months of trying to ignore her, I couldn't help myself. I was dying of curisosity.

Rebecca Black's "Friday". Over 11.4 million views. Universally reviled and hopelessly, irresistibly viral.

Monday, December 5, 2011

fasten your seatbelts

Over 6 million views as of today!

Hold on to your seat. I swear, when he starts to sing, you might just fall off.