02 October 2008

Not 2 but 3 Visits, Lotsa Food, and Clarke Quay

"The most uncomplicated love is the love of food."

So back home, back to work, back to gym, back to swimming, back to Such's fab salads and life is going pretty. Only cloud on the horizon is our office moving from my beloved Ngee Ann City to Fusionopolis in Singaporean boondocks, but before that I have 2 social and 1 official visit to look forward to.

The first visit was from my cousin and her husband from Pune. They arrived on Thursday 11 July via KL on Thursday late afternoon. We hugged, we clapped, we jumped up and down in joy, got ready and hit Cafe Iguana on Clarke Quay. Mexican food, margaritas, Singapore river - nice. Food over, it was dancy time across the Read bridge to the other side.

We settled in Cuba Libre but Pune cousin and I being complete Bollywood music lovvers I had to show her Rupee Room and do a little bit of झूम बराबर झूम। The place was empty (not that I ever mind that) and so they music was all ours! The DJ, with no one else to play to, was really sweet and played everything we wanted. And we danced and danced full दिल खोल के (with abandon) till the search party came looking for us and we were dragged home.

Back in office bright and early next morning and I finished off as much work as possible. Met cousins for lunch in Food Republic, where we lagaoed Thai food consisting of:
  • Phat Thai (Flat noodles)
  • Kaeng Khiew Wan Mangsawirat (Green curry with vegetables)
  • Fragrant Thai Rice
  • Ruby Red

Then we walked around Lucky Plaza, Tangs, and Far East. I was bribed to bunk office and go off with them to Chinatown but being the conscientious person that I am, loserly, I went back to work.

Evening time saw us in our collective favorite Cafe BluJaz on Bali Lane. Belly dancing, sotong sambal, chicken fireballs, hunk burger, chimichanga, Arab street walk, drinks, and many many hours of live jazz music later we were happy to be back home.

Next morning Cee made us pancakes for breakfast over which we sat for hours over till it was time for Pune cousins to catch bus back to KL.

The next visitors came a week later on Friday, 18 July. This time it was another cousin and a sis-in-law cousin both from Chennai. Again super excited, we did Cafe Iguana again, we did Cuba Libre, we did BluJaz but more than all this we did so much shopping! Unfortunately I was in office during most of these shopping trips but if there were ever in Orchard I did not miss the opportunity to join in the fun. More on that in a bit.

Between these 2 weekends there was a week - as there usually is, otherwise we’d all be happy troopers. The week saw my boss in Singapore. It was the first time I was meeting her and there was the usual round of meetings and outings. Mwah the meetings and let’s get on with the outings. We did Sushi Tae sushi and Sashimi one day, Taka basement food court another, and then we decided we needed to do a nice fancy lunch. So my colleagues booked a table @ a popular local seafood joint, Jumbo Seafood. I went along not very sure what to expect but hey I love seafood, so how bad can it be? What I had blew my mind away.

For the first time tasted the following signature Singaporean dishes:
  • Singapore Chilli Crab, which is a Sri Lankan King Crab smothered in Sweet Chilly sauce. OMG so good!
  • Fried Bread - tiny morsels of sweet salty perfection especially great with the crabs. Yum yum!
  • Steamed fish - full full with head, tail, scales, what have you) but once those were removed from my sight, you could not remove my chopsticks from it. Verrrry good. Really very good.
  • Kang Kong in Oyster sauce was love at first bite! This is the BEST ever green veggie I've ever ever ever tasted. This is stupendous and beyond!
We had other sundry things, but I don't want to dilute the flavour, so to speak. Now I am a convert. New standards have been set. Currently nothing compares, nottthing compares to this (naturally to be sung to the tune of "Nothing compares to you"). Jumbo Seafood Restaurant and these signature dishes have become my Singaporean introduction meal to all visitors.

Other than Jumbo, two other distinct culinary high points were hit with the cousin and sis-in-law cousin. One was lunch @ Din Tai Fung Dumpling House, an amazing Taiwanese place in Paragon B2. Oooh ooooh ooooh the food! Mmm! Yumm. Public, what-A food, what-A dumplings. Solpa what-A price also. I generally tend to go porcine but IMHO you must have these items:
  • Steamed pork dumplings
  • Steamed shrimp and pork dumplings
  • Steamed green vegetable and pork dumplings
  • Noodle soup with shrimps sliced bamboo shoot and green vegetable
  • Egg Fried Rice
  • Baby Kai Lan
The third was Red House Seafood Restaurant on Robertson Quay. As old as me (Oh God now why did I write that?) this place is a very close contender to Jumbo when it comes to Seafood. I would go so far as to say it might even be better than Jumbo. (The only reason I end up going to Jumbo more often is because of its vicinity to Clarke Quay where all the &#!$%^*@ want to go all the time.)

Back to Red House, the service is exemplary, the food, perfect! Beyond perfect. Everything we ordered was great. The decor is so Chinese dark red and black lacquer - and NO am so not sick of dark red and black lacquer Chinese decor. In fact one sees hardly any trace of it in Singapore, so its almost comforting to find a place where they still have it. There are tables along the river, and being a much quiter part of the river, its more river and less people, in a word charming. Fantastic, awesome food, awesome service. Love you guys. Will be back soon.

With the cousins and in-law we also did a lazy Sunday afternoon in Sentosa. Louging in Km8 in Tanjong beach, drinking beer by the buckets (they serve pint bottles in a bucket of ice, hence bucket of beer :D), lunch, snooze, and watching the sun go down. Sadly we got heavily poured out of a Jazz concert on Upper Deck but it was a lovely day nevertheless.

All too soon their holiday came to an end and a new chapter in my life began - I moved into my apartment! More on the move soon...


Nishita Kumar said...

whoa ! someone's been busy ... no wonder you haven't been able to blog much lately.

Congrats on the move to the new place. Looking forward to reading about it :)

gugiinsingapore said...

I just realised I've not blogged @ all in Aug! And I've a lot of catching up to do!

I will quickly post news on new house :)

Bikerdude said...

So you finally ate off Jumbo crab eh? Yumm it was, unfortunately the fish sauce covered peanuts which Jumbo served with the crab dinna agree wi'me laaaaah and I was VERY ill on the way back. But hae it was so yummy!

OK gugi, please clear out 1sqm, Im coming beta Im coming slurrrrrrrp.