- LAU PA SAT
I was on a quest to find some Fresh Durian for breakfast. I figured Lau Pa Sat would have it. Originally Singapore’s first wet fish market, formerly known as Telok Ayer Market, it was formerly located on the South Bank of Singapore River. Under Sir Stamford Raffles’s remodeling plans of 1822, it was moved to its current site on Robinson Road.
By the early 1970’s, its surrounding area evolved into one of Singapore’s major financial districts. This caused the market to outgrow its original wet format; thus, it got transformed as a hawker centre. In 1973, its historic Victorian structure was declared a National Monument of Singapore.
In 1989, it was renamed as Lau Pa Sat, which is the vernacular term Singaporeans use to refer to the market. After some changes in management/ ownership, by 1991, it became a food court.
It is listed as “Open 24-hours” but when I went there at 8:30am on a Monday, only a few stalls were open. Weekend evenings would have been more lively as a live band is said to play onstage at the center of the market.
There were also some Filipino food choices, but still closed at 8:30 am.
No Durian! So I left the market.
2. FLOWER DOME AT GARDENS BY THE BAY
This is my second time here. The structures are still grand, the flower varieties awesome, but the Flower Dome structural displays seem to have been more grand on my first visit but still unique. It must be a huge challenge to keep raising the bar with such stunning displays every year. [Please click HERE for my afternoon tea experience at POLLEN with natural ambience), the restaurant adjacent to the Flower Dome. It’s Part 2 of that post.] . The sun is in your face on the open spaces so if you like to avoid sun spots, please bring a hat with a good front shade.
The variety of flora is gorgeous!
There is a map representing areas from which letters for Santa are coming from. Waaah! Sorry, Kids 🙁
The view outside of the Flower Dome is the city skyline.
After the stroll through the garden, tummy was perfectly hungry for my first meal of the day.
3. CHATTERBOX, Mandarin Hotel, Orchard Road
One of our favorite Chicken Rice Restaurants, this is conveniently located in the shopping district for a quick meal in the middle of running about.
The rice is particularly fragrant with ginger and other herbs. I wish the ginger sauce were triple its quantity! Available by the bottle for take home. The chicken is moist, juicy and tender but I also wish it was double the quantity (I think this happens when lunch is the first meal of an active day!) 🙂 Even if less rice. The soup is very flavorful.
Some Singaporean residents I know bemoan the touristy price of this Chicken Rice but it is an easily accessible, centrally located restaurant for a quick Chicken Rice fix. Being spared from the train transfers plus extra walking to find a local-friendly Chicken Rice is worth the price.
4. Takashimaya Food Hall, Basement of Takashimaya Dept Store, Orchard Road
Just across the street (on the same Orchard Road side as Mandarin Hotel), is the Takashimaya Food Hall. There are many interesting displays of international shops. Lots of edible pasalubongs can be found here, too. I just forgot to take photos because I was rushing to treasure-hunt.
Screeeeech!!!!!! At the supermarket…!!! Voila!
I like my durian soft. If you like it soft too, please check with attendants if it is the soft kind. Some years ago, at Isetan Supermarket, I realized that the standard is firm, so you need to choose “Soft.” The one from Takashimaya Supermarket was perfect as is though.
I didn’t have enough time to google the legal technicalities and implications of carrying this treasure or where I can safely consume the meat or dispose of the seeds without going to jail. Haha [In Bangkok, Ann and I were stopped by a guard and asked to throw or eat the durian on hand before we could board the Skytrain.] So I asked around and found out that I could consume this safely in the Food Court as long as I buy something there. The Tokio Fruits Cafe Juice Bar happily agreed to let me sit there so I ordered a Pear Juice. Their juices include vegetables so that was a bonus.
I had this Japanese Komatsuma & Fresh Pear Juice. Look at all those benefits (specially the seat from which to eat my durian!)
And finally, a good seat to enjoy the Durian Fest. Heavenly firm-skinned, soft melty flesh, super sweet, tiny seeds. To my heart’s desire. I could feel my skin stretching and becoming new 🙂
This craving satisfaction should last me another year! 🙂
5. La Cure Gourmande, Ngee Ann, 3rd Floor
My fairy tale favorite biscuit shop I got to know in Provence is adorable.. But oh my, the durian hasn’t settled yet below my eyes so I just have to appreciate the view. Interesting how no one seems to be manning the shop.
6. Ben’s Cookies, Basement 1, Wisma Atria, Orchard Road
My favorite British cookie is here!
For some reason, the ones I had at the Oxford Market and London Oxford Street were more gooey with surprise melted chocolate the equivalent of a lava cookie oozing out there. I asked Ben’s ladies at Wisma Atria if maybe (1) temperature was higher than specified; or (2) if their oven had a thermometer because they might have set the temperature right but the actual temperature due to oven idiosyncrasy might be higher; or (3) if the time to bake is longer to prevent raw dough. But the two ladies just said they didn’t know.
If anyone from Ben’s Headquarters sees the cookies, they might take note that these look like they’d been out sunning.
7. Mos Burger
I can’t remember if this was in Wisma Atria or in next building. Fruit Tea. For curiosity. I wish some of the fruits were blended in the tea. But at least it was a pretty drink.
That ends my 6-hour Eat Drink Walk Singapore itinerary. What would you put in yours?