It was time to embark on our journey aboard the Singapore Airlines A380 in Suites Class. Suites Class is Singapore Airline’s First Class tier aboard their Airbus A380 where all the seats in the cabin are suites. If you want to read about the planning process for this flight and how we managed to get seats in the Suites Class, you can read my previous post on it here.
What to Eat in Singapore
I’ll admit, the main reason I wanted to visit Singapore was because I saw the Fung Brothers eating at the hawker stalls there. I think one of the most fascinating things about Singapore is that it is truly a city of immigrants. Malaysians, Chinese, Indians practicing a range of religions from Islam to Buddhism to Christianity. This diversity also lends itself to a diversity of flavors in Singaporean cuisine. Here are some of our recommended foods!
Haw Par Villa: The Bizarre Theme Park
One of the strangest, most fascinating “theme parks” we’ve visited was in Singapore. Haw Par Villa was commissioned by the creators of Tiger Balm to educate the masses in Chinese culture. As such, the park’s attractions are all related to characters in popular Chinese folklore and mythology which can range from bright and colorful to grotesque. It was a failed business venture as Haw Par Villa incurred losses over the years, eventually making the admission free. Many of the statues and dioramas are still being restored. I suggest lathering on the sunscreen because there was barely any shade and we were baking in the sun! Sweaty and parched, it was still worth checking out the graphic displays (warning: some images are not for children…or they are, if you want to teach your kids not to sin and be banished to hell).
Gardens by the Bay: Stopping to Smell the Roses
Our first stop in Singapore was the famous Gardens by the Bay, a pretty recent development known for its manmade Supertree Grove. It was slightly confusing trying to figure out how exactly we get there. From outside the Marina Bay sands hotel, on the side facing away from the water, there is an elevator that takes you up to a bridge. Cross that bridge to get to the trees. It was super hot that day so our umbrella, initially brought along in case of rain, came in handy. Honestly I have never visited a place as hot and humid as Singapore. The troubles of being near the equator! Here in New York we can have pretty long winters sometimes – definitely not accustomed to the heat.
Dining at Restaurant André – Food for the “Memory”
Even before we got to Singapore, I was super excited about dining at Restaurant André, which is one of Taiwanese chef André Chiang’s five restaurants. It is lauded as the best restaurant in Singapore and was awarded 2 Michelin stars. Chef André is most well-known for his octo-philosophy approach to his food: unique, pure, texture, memory, salt, south, artisan, and terroir. Each course exemplified one of these eight elements either in its appearance or taste (or both). The dining experience was one of my most memorable (thanks to Tie for this lovely birthday gift).