Shoe Haven, Food Court Marathon and Debunking the Myth of Singapore!

Singapore Travel Blog

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MMMM... the fantabulous foodhall at Takashimaya.
When I was asked what I would do in Singapore - my response was to visit friends, eat and buy shoes.  And I've been doing just that.  I don't really buy electronics or cheezy souvenirs abroad, clothes don't really fit me in asia (the land of teeny tiny women) and thus, i'm left with shoes.  And Singapore has really cute, comfy and affordable shoes.  Our first day here when we looked quickly through the stores I was struck by how dull the shoes were and was a bit disappointed.  Today, however, I started at Takayashima (a japanese dept store) and struck gold!  Shoe Haven galore!  I ran around trying shoes like a giddy school girl.  When I had settled on 2 pairs and wanted to pay, I realized Ii could get tax back (GTS - same as VAT in Europe), but discovered I left my passport at V's penthouse (which luckily was only a short walk away).
Waiting for my carrot cake order.
  Amanda and I trekked back to grab our passports but V had given us the wrong key and we were llocked out!  But we refused to let this dampen our spirits and returned to Orchard Road to shop some more.

At lunchtime, we decided to sample various treats at the various dept store food courts.  First was the Takayashima food court.  We had:  fried carrot cake (i.e., turnip cake)(quite good and simple, reminds me of a taiwanese dish); yakitori skewers (pork with asparagus and unagi)(yummy); and octopus and shrimp balls (i.e., pieces of octopus and shrimp dipped into batter and cooked up in little balls and served with sweet mayonnaise)(i like these better than the ones in Osaka).
Carrot Cake with egg and scallions.
  Then we made a new discovery - an ice cream mochi place which was touted "the best mochi ice cream in the world" - and they were right!  They had the most amazing flavor selection - lychee, tiramisu, chocolate peanut butter, passion fruit, etc. etc.  so good!!!  Then we passed a pastry store (St. Leaven) and had to try some - a little hot dog roll and a mango steamed pudding cake.  The first was just so-so, but the latter was soft, light and puffy.  Like buttah in your mouth!

Feeling a bit refreshed we continued shopping.  I stopped by Chanel to drool over a wallet I wanted but Amanda reminded me to control myself.  So we headed over to Isetan  (another dept store) to buy even more shoes.
Octopus balls.
   There are several boutiques next to Isetan so we scoped them all out.  We then tried their food court and had fresh honeydew juice (refreshing) and sweet potato fritters with chili powder (sweet and hot!).  Then onto Tang's and Lucky Centre Plaza for more shopping.  At the plaza, Amanda got cornered by a shopkeeper who was quite the salesman, and talked her into buying a pashmina when she went in to buy a t-shirt.  I was surprised to see her resistance faltering against his wiles - she will have to learn to bargain better when we head to Bali and Vietnam.  :)  All in all, we were quite impressive shoppers today!  (A was especially impressive with her trusty calculator - she would whip it out wherever we were to make sure we were getting a good deal.
Amanda sampling the goods. :)

On our journey back to V's place, we stopped for another snack at Din Tai Fung - a soup dumpling joint started in Taiwan.  This outpost wasn't as good, but it was good enough to satisfy my soup dumpling cravings.  Yum!!!!  (Soup dumplings are little pork sumplings encased in a small pillow of dough; when it is steamed, the juice is released so when you pop the entire thing in your mouth, you essentially get "soup" in your mouth).  I was surprised Amanda had never tried it before since there's a store about an hour outside of LA.  I clearly have been a bad friend since I've never taken her before. 

We finally made it back to V's, and we knew another friend of ours (Jason) would be there to let us in.  He lives in London but came out to celebrate V's birthday with us.
A new discover - best mochi in the world!
  It was wonderful to see  him!  After a few minutes of catching up, he announced it was cocktail hour.  (I knew I adored him for some reason - oh yeah - he thinks like me!)  :)

Tonight we went to a chinese restaurant for dinner.  Unlike most chinese places in the U.S. which is usually based on Cantonese, Taiwanese or Szechwuan cuisine, this specialized in the Hokkien cuisine (sp?).  We had:

fish maw soup (quite soothing and comfortable)
fried bean curd with minced pork (tasty)
some veggies with garlic (yeah for fresh vegetables!)
pan fried noodles in gravy (just so-so)
braised pork slices served with steamed buns (jackpot!  this was amazing!  there's a lot of fat but the sauce and the buns temper that down and all you get is buttery yumminess in your mouth)

After dinner, V took us to Wine Company to have drinks with some of her friends (lots of expats and other very worldly folk).
Here's a close-up of the mochi delights.
  I had just taken benadryl because I get vicious reactions to bug bites and I was in the midst of a bad reaction, but I was a trooper and drank wine anyways (bad doris!).  The wine place was lovely with lots of outdoor seating surrounded by lush trees and plants.  Definitely worth checking out.


As a random aside, both Amanda and I have been surprised that Singapore isn't as pristine and lawless as we were led to believe.  Don't get me wrong - iin comparison it is a very clean place and the law is strictly enforced - but only if you are caught and apparently the police is understaffed.  For some odd reason, we trully believed that we wouldn't find any litter or signs of crime, but we were wrong.  Our evidence is as follows:

- First there is a fugitive on the loose!  A suspected terrorist who was limping and shackled during police transportt managed to escape and limp(?) himself to freedom.
St. Leaven bakery - pretty delish, esp the mango steamed bread.
  He has yet to be captured but there are wanted posters everywhere
- We noticed random trash laying around, and while driving, actually saw a man toss something out of his car! 
- Although V told us not to jaywalk, we saw everyone jaywalking so we joined in.  (I wonder what the fine is for that...) (Random note - pedestrians don't really have the right of way so be careful!)
- Lastly, V told us that at a local eatery, during lunch hour, one of the chefs murdered another kitchen staff and no one noticed in the busy hubbub - the patrons kept on eating and didn't hear the screams emanating from the kitchen.  Scary, huh?  Even I have to admit that is carrying the love of food too far...

I'm not saying that people should come and start spitting gum out on the street or anything because if you are caught you will get slapped with a hefty fine, and possibly caning (which I hear is not pretty)  , but I admit I'm a little surprised.
Check out the hello kitty sushi! I got yelled out for taking this photo...
  I think the fine for riding a bike on the pedestrian walk along the quay is about S$1000.  crazy!  And no drugs!  I think they have the death penalty for that ... or maybe that's if you are dealing.  Regardless - just say NO!
mellemel8 says:
i love soup dumplings :)
Posted on: Apr 08, 2008
sybil says:
wow, how are you guys gonna fit all your shoes in your EXTRA bag? LOL!

i think A didn't go with us to DTF because that was when she thought we all got drunk and to ill to have brunch. ;)

aaaawwww!!! cocktail hour. i miss you guys!!!!
Posted on: Apr 02, 2008
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MMMM... the fantabulous foodhall a…
MMMM... the fantabulous foodhall …
Waiting for my carrot cake order.
Waiting for my carrot cake order.
Carrot Cake with egg and scallions.
Carrot Cake with egg and scallions.
Octopus balls.
Octopus balls.
Amanda sampling the goods.  :)
Amanda sampling the goods. :)
A new discover - best mochi in the…
A new discover - best mochi in th…
Heres a close-up of the mochi del…
Here's a close-up of the mochi de…
St. Leaven bakery - pretty delish,…
St. Leaven bakery - pretty delish…
Check out the hello kitty sushi!  …
Check out the hello kitty sushi! …
Enjoying honeydew juice and sweet …
Enjoying honeydew juice and sweet…
Soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung!  L…
Soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung! …
A and her trusty calculator.
A and her trusty calculator.
Happy and full!
Happy and full!
Fried bean curd and minced pork.
Fried bean curd and minced pork.
Fish maw soup.
Fish maw soup.
Stir fried noodles with seafood an…
Stir fried noodles with seafood a…
The house specialty - tender brais…
The house specialty - tender brai…
mmmmm... steamed bun ...
mmmmm... steamed bun ...
In Singapore they put pics of abor…
In Singapore they put pics of abo…
Singaporean cat - they dont have …
Singaporean cat - they don't have…
Drinks at the Wine Company.
Drinks at the Wine Company.
Yeah!  Its Jason!
Yeah! It's Jason!