Can you eat everything in Singapore in one day? Obviously no, but it doesn’t hurt to try. You know the saying, aim for the stars. If you miss, you still can still come up with a top ten list. In my case, I got through everyone’s top ten things to eat in Singapore. Now it’s time for me to come up with my own. Well, maybe I need one more trip. Come on, there’s so much here. And I really wanted to try those odd looking ice cream sandwiches. They looked so good in the unforgiving heat. But the line was way too long to wait under the sun. We had other motives to be outside.
That was, to shop along Orchard Road.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a stroll from one plaza to another. It was a mad dash like two vampires from one haven to the next with our only sinful delight being the blasting AC units within. Oh I wanted to cry like a baby when it was time to go outside. But I digress. Shopping here was huge. Department stores and malls crammed into this half mile stretch of road. Each one sporting similar name brand shops. I think I saw at least three Ferragamo stores within a block of each other. Not all were high end. We ended up at Far East Plaza which was very local local. Compared to Paragon, it was like a 360 in terms of pricing. I’m not sure how many places we stopped at. Somewhere in the hundreds I assume. All to get some underwear and two pair of jeans I already think are way too skinny for me. Especially now after gorging all of this day.
We ate everywhere.
From the hawker stands to the disappointing Ya Kun Kaya Toast (see my description) to mall food courts to a fancy dinner along the river. Yes, count them. At least four meals with a bunch of sharing. This day alone accounted for the 4 out of 5 pounds I gained on this trip. don’t worry, I’m not complaining about it. I’ll wear the bulge as a badge of honor.
Today it poured. I take that back, early morning it poured. The rest of the day wasn’t as wet but with the wind, it made for one uncomfortable day to get around town. The only thing we could do was to stay inside something. And if that something, like a bus, taxi, metro, or even gondola would take us somewhere interesting, then all the better. Of course, we did just that. Final destination, Maokong Station.
What was up there was a slew of tea houses nestled in the farmlands of the local growers. Very pleasant place. I’d tell you the name if I could. It’s in Chinese but I’m sure any tea house here would give you the same experience. Many of them being a five minute walk from the station.
But I have to say, the most memorable thing about today was the eating. Even this tea thing fits into this category. So let me rephrase it, this day was all about eating and drinking. We had local food shops where you can buy a Taiwanese hamburger or a fried chicken box lunch for $90NTD ($3 US Dollars) or splurge and on black chicken soup for $180NTD. Everything we had was good, tasty, and full of new flavors I’m going to remember this city for. Those puffy buns wrapped around braised pork, balanced with pickled veggies that were not overpowering, explained why they were called sandwiches. It’s all about the balance of each ingredient. Then the thinly crispy chicken on top of locally grown covered in an assortment of mixed greens. I’d want to call this a Chinese Bento Box, but this was a class of its own. And finally, we stopped by Shida Night Market for some chicken soup, a hearty mix of herbs that were invisible to eye, but clearly apparent on the palette. My only gripe was that they try to market each meal as being beneficial to an aspect of your health. Bullshit. Nothing this tasty was ever good for you! But I sure hope I’m wrong. Anyways, enjoy some of the food photos, though I could have done a better job taking them. Eating them was a higher priority than picture taking.
The other highlight was that the weather was clearing up. The long five days of rain we were suppose to get was being cut down to two days, with the Western cities seeing sunshine as early as tomorrow. Makes my head spin trying to believe what these weather people said. No matter, our journey was going to start tomorrow.
Hsinchu, here I come!