"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”
I've really enjoyed documenting what I've been eating on this trip, so before I dive into Singapore I had to include my last meal in Hong Kong! If you read my last post (click here to see it), you'll know that House 41 at our Hostel, YHA, had some incredible food.
I had the squid ink pasta with mushrooms, bacon, and truffle. It was topped with shaved parmesan and fresh arugula, which I love! So yummy and I'm still so impressed that a hostel produced this level of food.
Moving onto what you're really here for-Singapore! We decided to stay at The InnCrowd Backpackers Hostel 2 in Little India. I'm not going to lie to you so I'll give you my honest opinion...it's a good hostel for backpackers. Sounds like a "Duh, Viv" moment but compared to the other hostels we've stayed at in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, it is definitely an older accommodation.
The 24-hour concierge service, free wifi, and AC were a plus since we came in close to 2 AM. However, we did have to pay for amenities like water and towels that were given to us for free at other places.
The main perk of our hostel is the proximity to Little India. It's a historic area that celebrates Indian culture, clothing, jewelry, and FOOD! The Siri Veeramakaliamman Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore, and is at the start of the street. It's so detailed and absolutely stunning!
Little India is bustling with vendors, locals, music, and life. I felt like I was in the middle of a crazy, busy city!
I saw this beer pong tournament sign and thought it was hilarious. Even in Singapore you gotta have your BP!
Keep walking down Little India and you'll come across an entire floor dedicated to all sorts of Indian delicacies. It's called Tekka Food Centre, and it is the ultimate mecca for every Indian dish under the sun.
To calm my grumbling stomach, I decided to get some fresh mango juice. It was served with a dash of heavy cream, which made it really cooling and creamy. I totally needed this because I was sweating up a storm.
The bright yellow color is so beautiful, isn't it? Mango juice is actually quite thick, so it's really satisfying if you slept through breakfast like I did.
I decided to try Madina Mubaraka for some butter chicken. There are so many options so pick something new if you're feeling adventurous.
The cooks make your food right in front of you, and even have a tandoori oven so the chicken can get nicely cooked. A tandoori oven is used for a lot of Indian cooking. That charred flavor is what makes tandoori cooking so special!
Fun Fact-Did you know how that in order to cook naan (Indian flatbread), you stick the raw dough to the sides of the oven? You'll know when it's fully cooked when it falls off the wall of the oven!
Butter chicken is decadent, rich, and spicy. It's topped with some freshly chopped cilantro to add a fresh bite and you're pretty much good to go. I had it alongside garlic naan and basmati rice. It was so flavorful and delicious! I love Indian food so much so I was very happy to get some authentic cuisine.
My friend ordered chicken tikka masala, which is yogurt-marinated chicken. It's cooked in a tandoori oven and added into the spicy sauce. It's a classic Indian dish, so I highly recommend having this as your first Indian dish if you're new to it! She also got curried vegetables on the side, which was so flavorful that you could honestly just have that without missing any meat.
Sitting in front of us were two women who ordered something that looked very delicious-the lady sitting next to us told us it was dosa. It's a sour pancake that is made from fermented ground rice.
If you can see on the flattop, the consistency is like a crepe batter. It forms bubbles as it cooks, and will slowly release itself when it's ready to flip. I'll definitely have to give it a try soon!
Traditional Indian cuisine is enjoyed with your hands. Since there's no napkins, what do you do when you're done eating? There were sinks for washing! Excuse my little reflection in the mirror (hehe).
Above the Tekka Food Centre is a shopping area with as many dresses as your little fashionista heart could desire. The designs are so colorful, beautiful, and intricate so if you're in the market for a dress, this is your place.
For dinner, we made our way to Manila Bay Sands. It's one of the most famous and star hotels in Singapore, with its famous infinity pool. While the pool is only open to hotel guests (UGH...I get it, but we I was still bummed), there are four restaurants that are open to the public.
We decided to go to Ce La Vi, a modern Asian fusion restaurant overlooking the entire Singaporean skyline.
Do you see this VIEW?! It's so incredibly gorgeous that I couldn't believe this was my life! I felt like I was literally on top of the world.
This is the view looking straight down. My feet started to feel tingly the longer I stared at the ground far, far, way too far below me.
Once our table was ready, we were ready to GRUB! For my first starter, I ordered the scallop and oyster ceviche. It's marinated with oranges, lime, salt. It was SOOO GOOODDD (excuse my horrible writing there but I just have no other way of expressing myself right now).
The entire dish was a raw preparation, as ceviches are. Ceviche is a South American dish in which seafood is "cooked" by marinating in acid i.e. lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, etc. It's refreshing, light, and bright! The scallops are cut in half, and a fresh oyster is nestled in between the two halves. It was one of the best dishes I had on the trip!
We missed out on our chance to try to spicy salmon roll with jalepeno aioli, so we asked for the aioli by itself on the side and enjoyed it with every dish. We asked for two of these because it was so yummy and complemented everything!
My second starter was salt and szechuan pepper fried squid. It's basically a super light version of calamari, perfectly seasoned and so crispy!
My friend's starter was the sashimi with orange slices. The fish was incredibly fresh and soft.
For my main dish, I ordered the roasted red snapper. It was dressed with a lime, fish sauce, and chili sauce, and garnished with cilantro. When fish is roasted whole like this, it's incredibly moist! The meat stays juicy inside while the edges capture the toasty, charred flavor.
My fish came with a side of sautéed morning glory. Morning glory is a stalky vegetable, similar to Chinese broccoli. It's perfect as a complement to your main dish, but it's also hearty enough to eat with rice if you're vegetarian or vegan! Just make sure it isn't dressed with fish sauce if you're vegan. Mine came with a fiery chili-lime dressing; the perfect blend of spicy and savory!
My friend's main course was the ribeye steak, served alongside house-made kimchi (spicy Korean pickled cabbage). I tried a piece and MY GOD it was so tender we barely had to chew...
Something to keep in mind is that while some restaurants in Asia provide free water, you might have to spend a little extra cash at an establishment like Ce La Vi. The minimum bill requirement at Ce La Vi is $80 USD, so definitely account for that if you want to visit any of the fancier restaurants anywhere you go.
For reference, this bottle of Acqua Panna was $12 USD.
Our night concluded after our amazing dinner. Once we got on the metro back to the hostel, I noticed this sign that said "No durians"! If you're not familiar with durian, it's a fruit local to Southeast Asia, and Singaporeans love it! It's notorious for it's smell...
...because it smells like rotting socks.
I'm not kidding you. I've tried it before and while the taste is better than the smell, durian is a food that I can't seem to stomach down. Anyways, I thought it was hilarious that it's actually prohibited in the metro because the smell can be so offensive to people.
And that concludes my first night in Singapore! I can already tell that Singapore is a nation of mixed cultures, fusion, and amazing food! Thank you for visiting me on Got To Viv It Up, and don't forget to subscribe, leave me a comment on the home page, and follow me on Instagram (@la.vita.vivi)! Also, check out my style, beauty and lifestyle blog, La Vita Vivi, if you're into that fun stuff.
Until next time,
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