We landed in Singapore around 7:30pm and after negotiating the inner airport transportation to catch the MRT, we managed to buy tickets and grab a seat. I was glad I went to an ATM before arriving at the train station since the ticket machines don’t take credit cards! The ride from the airport to our stop, Outram Park, took about an hour and then the real fun began. We should have been more used to the confusing, multiple exits from subway stations after our time in Hong Kong last year but it was late in the day and we were unfamiliar with the area so we got turned around pretty quickly. I eventually left Eric with our bags and scouted the area, finally asking a woman in a local restaurant if she had heard of our hotel. By the time we found The New Majestic (it’s about a block off the main street), we were both rather tired and sweaty. Basically we had come up a subway exit on the wrong side of the street; the good news is that there was an MRT entrance within a 2 minute walk from the hotel, so we never had trouble again.
front entrance to the hotel
Each of the rooms has a specific theme, not unlike our hotel in Madrid. Our theme was “You Define Me,” a comfortable room a large window overlooking the pool area, lots of mirrors, a desk and a multi-nozzle glass tile shower. The Kiehl’s bath products were very nice, and the water and juice in the mini bar were complimentary, as was the wifi. Conveniently, the desk had two international electrical adapters.
A hot breakfast was included in the room rate and the offerings ranged from steamed pork buns and dim sum to cereals and pastries. The ‘scrambled’ eggs were a bit runny the first morning, but perfect when we ordered them ‘omelet’ style. I was also able to get a fresh-made latte with extra warm steamed milk. A good breakfast is always a big plus with us.
Both days we visited the pool for a brief cooling dip.
The only proper sit down meal we had in Singapore was dessert as we opted instead to explore the hawker market stalls for tasty options.
For a snack the first day, we each tried a shake at My Daily Juice in the Central Mall. Eric got the pineapple lemon (not too sweet or sour) and I got the anti-aging combo of pineapple-lemon-mango. There is no drinking or eating on the MRT lest you be hit with a $500 fine, so we had to walk around a bit before we could head back to the room to relax out of the mid-day heat.
Eric had a meeting with a colleague from work, so I headed out in search of a swimsuit. While I had no luck with shopping, I did make it up to Brewerkz in the Clarke Quay area to enjoy a nice oatmeal stout before the price went up two dollars at 3pm. Yes, you read that correctly- in fact, the price of beer here changes five times per day, more than doubling by 8p! The best value is between 12p-3p when a ‘fifty’ or 500mL was a reasonable $7. (I convinced Eric to return the next day so I could have another stout and he could try the ‘Blonde Assassin,” a Belgian blonde.) On my way back, I stopped at the Maxwell Food Centre for a Passionfruit tea, fried sweet potato puff from Lim Kee and an egg tart.
We also visited the La Pau Sat Festival Market, about three blocks from the Raffles Place MTR stop, liking it so much we went back the second evening.
With more than 100 food stalls it is sensory overload and a little difficult to figure out what you want, but the fried pork BBQ rolls from the center stall were awesome (photo above). I’m glad I had wet wipes with me because napkins were not easily found. Frustratingly, all the stall numbers Eric looked up on the website appeared to have changed, so it made it more difficult to find some recommended places. We went for the fried pork buns two days in a row, but somehow ended up with fried meat dumplings the second time. Still tasty, but not as good as the first night. I was also on the hunt for Laksa soup, a spicy coconut-based curry soup with noodles. One place was sold out but I tracked it down from a very popular cart just steps from where we were sitting, the Song Kee noodle house. The soup was warm and spicy, as advertised, and completely worth trying for a the $3 price tag. To temper the heat, I made my way over to the huge beverage kiosk and got myself a lychee shake.
By this point in the trip Eric was going into chocolate withdrawal, so we finally found a place in the Central Mall that was open late, The Coffee Connoisseur (TCC). Eric hit the jackpot with the Puffy triplets (chocolate profiteroles) and a Suzuki raspberry soda while I re-hydrated with the HazelChocz Milk Shake (with Nutella). Pricey, but well worth the splurge.
Eric has his fork poised and ready to pounce once the photo taking has ended
Exploring the open air food markets was an overwhelming and fun experience and one I highly recommend for visitors to Singapore.