Singapore Lah...

Singapore!! The food capital of South East Asia, the urban jungle, whatever you imagine, it definitely deserves to be on your bucket list!

2019!! Shitty year overall and it was time to say "Fuck You 2019" and take control. So I decided to go to India and as usual do a bonus country and this time it's Singapore!

Daya lives in Singapore and it was a no-brainer to catch up and try some amazing food! Well technically I'd consider this trip as a gastro-tour more than anything and pictures will show. haha!

San Francisco - Bangalore - Singapore - Bangalore - San Francisco

There is so much to talk about this city-state and you are amazed that this tiny country - 31 miles wide and 17 miles across has so much to offer. The worst thing that could happen to you in Singapore is to get a mediocre meal and even that is unlikely.
Here are few quirks about Singapore I was able to kinda wrap my head around in the three days I spent there:
Some very weird rules
Singlish (Singaporean English) is a thing!
Super weird curse words
OMG the food and coffee, true meaning of fusion food

As usual I'll let the photos do the talking with a hint of non-fiction here and there :)

The view of the downtown skyline from marina bay sands.

First let's talk about those weird rules, the weirdest of all - no trading chewing gum! Seriously? Like I know it's annoying to step on chewing gum but ban trading it?? Weird as hell. Oh, Singaporeans take drugs seriously, like very seriously. The punishment for carrying any drug is death! Not kidding, it's death! In the words of Anthony Bourdain, "You bring drugs, even a bag of weed in here with you, you are easily the dumbest person alive."

Singaporeans make sure you know the rules before you land into the country

There are more weird laws regarding almost everything, some of which - singing in public, walking around naked in your house (with the blinds open), eating or drinking in MRT (Public transport), homosexuality and tons more. There are too many to discuss!

I got a crash course in Singlish the day I landed, haha thanks to Daya and his friend.
Singlish for dummies - rule 1: Duplication of words - so I asked Daya do you want to go eat, his response - "can can" which means yes!!
Singlish for dummies - rule 2: Use filler words everywhere lah!! 'lah', 'ba', 'ma', "wah lau eh" are all filler or expression words. Wah lau eh, this so complicated lah!!

Oh, Singaporeans have the weirdest curse words! From my small sample set, Singlish curse words start and end with vagina! There is a Singaporean curse word, which when translated to English means "your father's vagina." go figure! (lol, I was told that Singaporeans might get offended, but its funny though)

Anyways, taking a step back and letting the pictures do the talking!

Singapore Changi airport is officially the world's best airport 8 years running, and I'm not surprised! I landed at around 6pm on a Friday and Daya came to the airport to pick me up. He was like, let's do some sightseeing, let's do Changi airport! We walked to the Jewel - a life style hub for the airport. Part luxury mall, part indoor rainforest it has the world's biggest indoor waterfall.

Jewel at the Changi Airport

Daya and I enjoying my first Tiger beer at the Jewel

Time for some food!! We decided to go to the city to have some authentic Singaporean street food. We took the MRT to the hotel and dropped off my bags and went straight out to have Singaporean national dish - chicken rice! Singaporean Hainanese chicken rice comes in two variants, poached chicken or fried chicken with amazing pandan flavored rice! It is so simple and delicious. When you are in a time crunch; do it all, do it fast!
I obviously got both poached chicken and fried chicken.

Singaporean national dish - chicken rice on the streets of Singapore

Clarke Quay - plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars with lots of hustle n bustle and live music. We decided to get another drink! Singaporeans have a very loose translation for a "pint"

On the left Guinness pint and on the right Hoegaarden pint. Someone else go a fuzzy end of that lollypop :)

After drinking and roaming around in Clarke Quay till about 4 am it was time to get back to the hotel and we decided to walk back. Did I mention Singapore is the safest city in the world? However, walking had other unintended consequences - we started to get hungry, Oh did I also mention there are 24hr paratha restaurants around almost every corner in Singapore.

Onion Paratha with Kopi si at 5AM!

The number one reason to come to Singapore is its street food and its hawker centers.

I forgot the name - Singaporean dessert

Chicken curry rice

Almost all street corners with high foot traffic, Uncles and Aunties peddle revitalizing ice cream. Rather than a scoop on top of a cone, they slice individual portions off a block, then wrap the thick slab in a slice of bread. This amazing texture of melting ice cream atop simultaneously-dissolving bread is so soft, creamy and it's a mouthful of goodness.

Ice cream sandwich

It seems one thing that every tourist has to go through when visiting Singapore is to try Durian, a thorny green fruit, often called as king of fruits with a creamy onion flavor. Because it smells so strong, you need to touch it with gloves. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to eliminate the flavor from your hands for a while. Imagine my face when tasting this delicious piece of food. Carrying Durian in public transport is an automatic $5000 fine because of its pungent smell!

Durian tasting center

Famous durian

Best food I've had in Singapore! Cereal butter fried chicken and salted egg chicken

Kopi!!! Singaporean Coffee...

Singaporean Kopi is the perfect blend between the east and the west. It's a unique coffee with very robust flavors, the reason for this is coffee grounds are roasted in a wok with butter or sugar which caramelizes the beans and gives a different aroma.
Ordering kopi in Singapore is a language on its own.. You got to decide how you want your kopi.., hot or iced? What kind of milk? Thick or thin kopi? How much milk and sugar you want? There is a unique name for every probability. Want your kopi with condensed milk? It's a simple "kopi"; want it without milk then it's "kopi o"; want it with evaporated milk it's "kopi si" want it cold and evaporated milk? It's "kopi si peng". To avoid all the confusion, I let the expert aka Daya do the ordering work!

Simple Singaporean breakfast, Kaya toast, soft cooked eggs and Kopi Si

Albert center hawker stall in Bugis is popular for its Chinese food stalls.

Chewee Kueh - It's a steamed rice flour cake, with salty radish pickle and slightly spicy chili sauce. Appetizer for your breakfast

Lor mee - The Southern Chinese broth for this soup is laced with soy sauce and enough cornstarch to form a viscous coating on the noodles.

Pandan flavored rice is super popular in Singapore! Indian, Singaporean and western flavors in a plate: Pandan flavored rice, saute eggplant, chicken nuggets and the all famous spicy chili sauce

Anthony Bourdain's "The Layover - Singapore" is a must watch episode before visiting Singapore and that's exactly what I did. Although Anthony had amazing recommendations, one recommendation stood out and it was Bismillah biryani. Singaporeans are obsessed with Michelin stars and Michelin guide restaurants! Bismillah in Little India neighborhood is one of those Michelin guide restaurants and I wanted to try it, incidentally it was Daya's favorite biryani joint in Singapore as well.

Hyderabadi Chicken biryani at Bismillah

If you want to have a good time for cheap, Singapore is the best place for you. All the local 7elevens sell these amazing cocktail tins (up until 10PM), couple of which will take you for a ride!

Daya and I indulging in the said cocktail along the banks of the river

Next day, some hangover food and some hangover drink!

Humus in one of the super popular restaurant in Arab Street

And of course falafel sandwich

And to kill some time and get rid of the worst hangover (god I'm getting old), some hangover drinks

It was my last day in Singapore and it was time to indulge in some Singaporean desserts.

Daya's favorite onde-onde

Super soft Pandan chiffon cake

Pandan roll filled with brown sugar and shredded sweet coconut

Pandan sticky rice cake
Yes, Singaporeans are obsessed with pandan and I can't blame them

And finally some famous Singaporean boba - This truly takes me back to my UC Irvine days

Unfortunately, it was time to say good bye to Singapore and head back!

Laksa with it's thick coconut flavored broth and thick noodles at the Changi Airport

A picture of Marina bay sands, just coz!

Singapore! Truly, a magnificant city!