Singapore - Day 1

Updated: Apr 27

Hotel breakfasts. A simple meal. Well, for most. Hotel breakfasts for Jayden are an over complicated mash of hybrid foods that make Gorden Ramsay stand up and say "What the fuck have you just created on your plate. There is no way on God's earth that is going to be fucking edible. Are you fucking serious? You are actually going to eat that?"

Yogurt with milo cereal chips and what looked like they could be goji berries, cappuccino's that quote 'tastes too much like coffee', black toast (and I mean BLACK) and two mashed up Croissants, fused together with turkey ham and plastic cheese, complete with a jet black charcoaled top from being in the warming oven for way too long made up this morning's smorgasbord. Jay's creativity at the breakfast buffet is experimental to say the least. Fast forward to ANY OTHER FUCKING MEAL OF THE DAY and because it isn't any form of western food or McDonalds, he refuses to even try a mouthful. We literally have every food imaginable at our doorstep in the way of the vast amount of Hawker stands but he refuses to even try. Mr I-can-make-a-breakfast-out-of-anything-and-still-eat-it has suddenly refused to eat 'because' (I love how they think 'because' is an acceptable answer at that age. Wish I could use that in my daily routine!). It got to the point of him sulking in the corner wherever we are eating because 'he hated everything that there was to eat'.

But Dad had the answer.

Dad always has the answer.

But Dad's answer has proven costly. $5 for every meal he eats that is a new dish that he hasn't tried before. That's Singapore dollars too mind you. On the surface I thought the lure was a tempting one for him. In my mind it was a foolproof plan and we would just end up eventually at Maccas, much to my displeasure, but I wanted to prove a point.

But guess what. The little fucker took the lure and ran with it. I am now currently down $15 and it is only day 1. I think I have been played by a 12 year old. We took in the tourist traps of the Merlion, the Foreshore and Raffles Place in the morning after breakfast, although I didn't get my camera out all that often, which even surprised me. This trip, I wanted to experience things, not just through the lens.

I must admit that it is easier said than done though. For anyone who may be reading this that has any photography background, we tend to see things differently. You know what I'm talking about. Where most people just see a skyscraper, we see leading lines to another building further down the street that would make a killer shot. We see flora arrangements that compliment the architecture of the heritage listed building behind it where others may just see a pretty flower. I shit you not, Singapore is FULL of these scenarios every which way you look so having my camera tucked away and just enjoying being in the moment is challenging but absolutely rewarding as it means living in the moment with the ones I love the most. Next stop was Chinatown, arguably the epicenter of the hustle and bustle that everyday Singapore is like.

And my favorite place to go.

The smells, the food, the people, the weird and wonderful things that are offered to tourists.

The Durians.

The local tailors that all tell me that they have made suits for former US President Bill Clinton. We all know he went through a few suits in his day so I believe every single one of the 197 tailors that told me the same story. After a bit of shopping, we checked out the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple which was a highlight from our last visit. Cherie was having a rest day when we were here in November so I ventured out for the day on my own to explore and spent several hours there. This trip, I was eager to show her and the boys what I had seen nine months ago. The temple was exactly the same as I had remembered, apart from the ambiance. Last time I was here, the monks and local Buddhists were practicing a day long chant that was almost hypnotizing whereas this time, the temple hall was empty bar a few silent monks. We took in all that the temple had to offer and then headed out to the hawker stands for lunch. And thats were I found myself out of pocked courtesy of Jayden. He was so stubborn, he initially refused all forms of food. I grabbed myself a fried wanton spicy noodle dish that was sublime and after polishing off 98% of the noodles and countless amount of pleading, Jay finally decides to try some. And he liked it.

As we ALL knew he would. And that my friends was the beginning of the downward spiral of sending me broke on this trip. Jay grabs the same dish as I had and demolishes it it no time, complete with a shit-eating grin on his face when he asks 'Wheres my five bucks Dad? You promised!' FML.

I knew I was going to regret that decision. The afternoon was spent checking out some of the local shops on Orchard Rd with Tyler. Non eventful shopping wise but great quality time spent. We did however stumble upon a weird Japanese bargain store that sold every random thing that you could ever possibly imagine, for just $2 per item. Yup, a whole store of stuff for $2 each. I stocked up on a few masks for The Alibi Studio and stumbled upon a weird 'cat-mat' that you apparently lay down at your doorstep to deter stray cats. I can't read Japanese at all but the picture of the sad cat on the packaging kinda told the story of what the product was for. I wondered, 'How does it determine a stray cat to any other type of cat? It clearly states in broken English that it stops stray cats. What if it is your own cat? Does it get a free pass to walk on the mat?' I left confused.

Dinner. Back in November we spoiled ourselves with the original Din Tai Fung restaurant that had opened in Singapore and it was honestly the best meal we have had. This time, it was no different. From the service level of staff to the intricate details of the food that was served, everything was perfect. Even Jayden liked it. That in itself deserves a fucking Michelin Star. Xiao Long Bao, fried tofu with wild mushroom, braised beef soup with noodle....everything was exquisite. Two entrees, four main meals, a double serve of dumplings, as well as drinks at a Michelin Starred restaurant for under $100.....best value ever in my books. Even if it did cost me another $10 to the Bank of Jayden. The walk home down Orchard Rd with full bellies was a pleasant one, with everyone in good spirits after such a fine meal. We headed down to the pool on our return to our hotel for a quick dip to ease our weary feet with a few beverages and reflected on a great day. After starting the day with our very own Gorden Ramsay wannabe, we never thought the day would pan out like it had, but we are glad it did....even if I am $15 poorer for it.

35 views
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • fetlife-logo

Email : info@mattbartolo.com                    Phone :  +61 414 859 877