Celebrated 2 weeks earlier so that my mom could be present.
Lychees! Ok so maybe not exactly a "SEA" fruit, but definitely an asian one. Generally air flown from China. Generally brown-ness on the outside means it hasn't been stored at the right temperature and might be "se-kor" (spoiled) on the inside. Fruit should not have any dents visible from the outside. Try to eat one before you buy.
Jumbu-- "Rose Apple" (tastes nothing like roses but is like a very airy apple)
Where to buy these things
The market works well, but if you're really into fruit (and have a friend with a car in Sg) then you should go to the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Center.
And by exploring I really mean we were on a quest to find my grandma a new boom box and some new CDs with old Cantonese songs. We managed to find both in this gigantic place. (Didn't have to go to Chinatown, and pretty much stayed cool the whole time!) We were successful at finding everything we needed.
Eating: There are 2 places to eat-- the 3rd floor at Food Republic or the basement. We've been to Food Republic before (it's not bad and has rustic decor) but as a senior citizen my grandma gets a 30% discount at the Kopitiam downstairs so we went there instead.
"Gateway to the other island destination"
I think I've mentioned before that the two favorite pastimes are eating and shopping. My maternal grandfather's side of the family made sure we did both!
Observe: The massive amounts of food presented for lunch and dinner and tea.
Shopping at Holland Village
This guy makes his own batik dresses-- he taught himself how to sew after running a used-clothing shop for years in his mid-40s. My mom got a set of matching dresses for my sister and her kids and herself. (Phew, I got out of that one!)
There were a lot more ang-mors (red-heads = white people) here than I was expecting. Apparently, this is like the tourist hub of Singapore (it only took me 20+ years to get here).
Another place you might think of stopping by at: Liang Court
Not terribly sure what the history of the place is, but it's a mall full of Japanese goods. The basement has a great supermarket, there's a Uniqlo on the first floor, and there's supposedly a pretty awesome bookstore on the 3rd floor (didn't get a chance to go up there).
Cendol-- the perfect appetizer, yeah? (In all seriousness, this is a must-try dessert that is basically Indonesian shaved ice and we were trying to cool off from the hot weather while waiting for my cousin to join us. Plus I have a family of dessert freaks who will eat dessert before a meal all the time.)
My eating companions:
Seriously I didn't put on bug repellent for 1 day and I've now got like 13 bites. So here's some old-wives' tale/advice that my grandma told me (which google seems to back up).
My mom's cousins told me to use dragon balm as a repellent. Unclear if that really works, but her words were, "I dab only a little here and there, and then, the bugs fly away as fast as they can when they come near."
The insect repellent I have been using is Repel's Lemon Eucalyptus one. All bug repellents stink and this one is no exception. Applying on a breezy balcony has been interesting (spraying when your mouth is closed is a good idea). It apparently beat out the 30% deet stuff according to Consumer Reports, and so far it's seemed to work pretty well.
Good chance I might find more interesting things when we go to the Chinese medicine shop. (Update: there's citronella patches that you can buy from the pharmacy.)
I first ate my first black pepper crab when I was 9 (I really loved that stuff more than chili crab, so I have no idea when my first chili crab was). I've learned to cook it (really time intensive) but nothing beats eating the Sri Lankan crabs down here (I've had to turn off my ocean-conscious-and-guilty-brain for all of this seafood indulgence).
We have yet to try the salted duck egg crab, but we did order a black pepper and a beehoon crab last night. Yummy. This restaurant is apparently the place that created the beehoon crab dish.
In the last few days we've journeyed all over the island, from Orchard Road to Tampines Mall to Raffles City. I've mentioned Takashimaya... But we had to continue our saga to find the world's "best-fitting, most comfortable, and washable" dresses. (Admittedly I have bought a few myself and have exceeded the self-imposed yearly quota of 1 dress....)
But really, there are more Uniqlo stores here than in all of California. The island is the size of LA proper. There are like 20+ stores here! Also as a great side note-- you get GST and the prices are the same as LA (as in things that are sold for $49.90 in the US are $49.90 Singapore dollars-- sweet).
We spent a lot (too much) time in Isetan. What I personally can't deal with is salespeople who follow you. "Good service" here means that the lady will run around the shop and find you other things that you may like to try on and buy. Note: in Singapore, there is no return policy at most stores... You've been warned.
O.A.M.C-- these are dresses by a local designer. They're sold in Isetan (but if you can't find the things you want they do have their own store-- we found it in the mall that's connected to the Raffles City stop--aka citylink).
We've been told by one of my Aunties that we should look for Korean fashion clothing stores (there is one in the Jem mall). Stay tuned...
Traveling the world since 1994. Taking notes about the places I've been so that friends and family can go there too!