A MERLION IN SINGAPORE
YES, I am not mer-lying. I found my spiritual animal and it is the magestic AF MERLION. Half mermaid half lion. Anywhoo, aside from my journey to self discovery, I’ve got some exciting stuff to share about my trip to Singapore! Just like my blogpost about NY, I will break down my trip into sections:
- LOCAL FOOD
- IG WORTHY FOOD
Here is a short visual summary of where I went in Singapore and what to get! Shoutout to Zippy (@zippyzipeng) for showing my dad and I around to these amazing local spots! Also to note, Yelp is not very useful here. I would suggest googling results instead.
Poh Ho Coffeeshop
If you can’t afford a rich ho… you can afford Poh Ho’s. A local joint with 3-5 food stands inside, you can order a bunch of different plates and share amongst your friends! We split the Wonton Noodle, Economical Noodle, and Mee Rebus. They were all super delicious and authentic!
Golden Mile Food Center
HAINANESE CHICKEN W/RICE ON DAT GUUD GUUD. You honestly have never had good Hainan Chicken Rice until you’ve had it in Singapore. I cannot even explain how juicy and tender their chicken was cooked, their spicy dipping sauce was actually legit spicy, and their rice…omg…perfection.
Pek Kio Food Centre
A great spot if you’re looking for a great breakfast! What to get? Prawn Cheong Fun (made fresh in front of you), Prawn Noodle Soup, and Carrot Cake (that isn’t really carrot, but radish). Apparently the Cheong Fun is so good that even Jackie Chan waited in the long Queue to eat it! Also, get the most expensive option when you get the Prawn Noodle Soup. Trust, it’s worth the money.
Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
This place is one of two hawker food stands that has been awarded a Michelin star. I wouldn’t recommend this place unless you actually do appreciate pork and all parts of the pig that might come with it. Most people here get the Bak Chor Mee which is basically Dry Pork Noodles.
Lim Chee Guan
You also have never lived if you haven’t tried Singapore’s Pork Jerky. It’s super smokey, subtly sweet, and packed with a powerful punch of flavor. I wish you were able to bring it back to LA, but alas, it won’t make it through customs.
Ah Chew Desserts
Ah Chew? Bless you. Bless you with Mango Sago that’s what. I decided to be a little adventurous and I tried the Mango Sago with Pomelo (a citrusy fruit similar to the grapefruit) and ice cream. It was delicious, but I probably would not get pomelo next time because even though the citrus did cut the sweetness of the dessert and balanced it out well, I’m not a fan of pulp. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you should try the durian sago if you’ve never had it before! It was definitely a strange sensation eating durian sago with ice cream because durian had such a savory, umami aftertaste. It was the same sensation when I ate mango sorbet with a soy sauce reduction in Hawaii. An odd, interesting combination of flavors that do work, but you’re not quite sure if you like it or not. Sago is a great dish to beat the humid heat of Singapore, so I would recommend giving it a try :)
2. IG WORTHY FOOD
Now for the food that looks pretty. Note that these are all on the pricier side and the Singapore dollar isn’t a huge step away from the US dollar, so be wise when spending!
To meet all your depressed egg needs, Gudetama is here to help! And who doesn’t love this new pessimistic, lazy af egg character from Sanrio?? I feel we all can relate to Gudetama a little, so eating him felt like I was just becoming one with myself ?… I shouldn’t be writing my blogpost at 5am with no sleep. What’s even cooler is that I’m the first one to review this place on Yelp since Yelp isn’t prevalent there. You kind of feel like a Yelp God because you are usually the first to review literally everything/post photos. Honestly, I would only come to this cafe to take photos because the price is not worth it. For one person (yes I ate alone for the gram), it was almost $40 USD.
Bicky & Brew
Single and ready to flamingle? Or are you more the type to flamin-go with the flow? Idk about your love life, but I got a coffee to shoot. A cute little cafe close to Chinatown with an owner who was kind enough to let me do my thang and shoot as I pleased.
Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe
Located inside the airport, I recommend coming early before your flight to try this place! Open 24 hours, it’s located on the arrivals floor. I got the Wagyu steak with rice and it was surprisingly good! Their pandan panna cotta is also a notable mention. Not a bad place to grab a bite before a long flight.
Stateland Cafe/Brother Bird
Get the prettiest soft serve that actually also tastes pretty fucking fantastic. We got the Tokyo Banana Soft Serve and the Cookie Butter Soft Serve with Salted Egg Liu Sha Mochi Donuts. The salted egg doesn’t taste like it sounds, it is quite delicious and a must-try!
Finally, I found a bridge that is as lit as I am. It’s super pretty during both the day and night so I’d recommend either time to visit! It was walking distance from Marina Bay Sands which was convenient! Two things I love about Singapore: their architecture is super unique and they love COLOR! Everywhere you look, they’ve incorporated pops of color (mainly sticking to primaries and the ROYGBIV).
Gardens by the Bay
I highly recommend visiting this gorgeous park at least once or twice. Because of the high humidity of Singapore, you will see many gorgeous tropical plants everywhere—huge leafy green fronds, vibrant flowers, and don’t forget mosquitos (BRING BUGSPRAY if you’re a feeding ground for these pesky bloodsuckers like me). I also recommend paying to visit the Cloud Forest Dome. It will feel like you are transporting yourself into a different world. Just be careful about the mist! You will get a little damp in there!
I would probably check out the exhibits first before going inside, but the exterior of the museum is worth checking out! If you see the horizon of the Singapore Skyline, it is the building that resembles a lotus flower. I was fortunate enough to see the Crystal Universe exhibit, a light installation that I’ve been wanting to see for the longest time.
Chinatown/Bugis St/Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
Make sure you dress like a decent human being when you enter because my shorts were too short and they made me wear a sash around my legs. It's a breathtaking sight to see the old traditional curved rooftops, the gold Buddha statues, and also hearing the monks reciting in unison. Whether you are buddhist or not, it is a nice cultural getaway if you happen to be in Chinatown! Also, make sure you visit Bugis St. while you're there for last minute souvenir shopping and for street cuisine.
Last, but not least, you gotta find your inner merlion at Merlion Park! It's a statue of-you guessed it- a mermaid lion. It also give you a nice skyline view of the city, some cool architecture, and fun spots to shoot hashtag ootds.
Marina Bay Sands
If you're visiting Singapore, you might as well go all out and stay at the hotel with an infinity pool overlooking the city. My dad and I only stayed for one night though because it is a whooping $600 per night. It is worth it to get a nice photo of yourself at the infinity pool and to try Spago, their fine dining option on the rooftop (get a reservation!). It is also conveniently located next to the ArtScience Museum, Gardens by the Bay, and the Helix Bridge.
Park Royal Pickering
A gorgeous hotel that also has an infinity pool, but not one with a jaw dropping view. However, at $200 a night, we will take it! We spent the rest of our trip here and it was quite pleasant. It's close to Chinatown/Bugis St. so our itinerary worked out where our hotels lined up with where we were headed that day.
Singapore is honestly such a great place to visit especially for instagrammers/photographers. The architecture is amazing, the food is bomb, and the city is pretty clean (chewing gum is illegal here WHUH). I would definitely think about the humidity when you visit though, bring bug spray, and comfy shoes to walk in.
Special thanks to my dad for allowing me to travel the world with him :D