Monday, 31 December 2007

Christmas in Singapore

If you've noticed, I've been rather silent this past week.. That's cos I was in Singapore for Christmas - 4 days of shopping, shopping and shopping. Of course, one also has to eat! So we pretty much just shopped, ate, shopped, slept and ate the whole time.. Not to mention attending Christmas Vigil too!

We drove down to Singapore on Christmas Eve, arrived in Sunny Singapore early afternoon. After checking into the Fullerton, we headed straight to Takashimaya! I found a craft centre in one of the upper floors of Ngee Ann City (where Taka in situated in). Next to it was a shop selling Japanese stuff so my sister was happy cos she found an obi to buy (and cos my mom allowed her to buy it).

After some shopping (there were too many people and I was hungry, so I got grouchy and started complaining), we went back to the hotel and had afternoon tea.. It's buffet-style but they serve the food to you.. You just keep ordering as much as you want.. For S$48 per person, it's pretty steep and personally, I thought it was not worth it. But hey, we were starving and I can never say no to scones with clotted cream! (We really liked the clotted cream but the scones were so-so only.. I've definitely had better back in London!!)

Sister's tea.. Love the tea cosy..

Fruitcake and other pastries/cookies/cakes..

There were much more stuff on the trays but we were too hungry to take any pictures until we finished. The waiters were rather stingy with the food though, as in whenever we asked for refills (hey it was a buffet so eat all you can!), they seemed reluctant to give too much - like only 2 cucumber sandwiches despite the fact that there were 5 of us eating!

When we got back into the room to rest and get ready for dinner, we had a nice chocolate surprise.. Sister was happy.

Me the brat resting before dinner..

We were kindly invited for dinner at Aunty Lena's home (Note: this is not Aunty Lena from office, but my mom's long time Singaporean friend). The gracious hostess and her family treated us to a really nice and simple meal of ham, lamb chops and pasta.. They also took us to their parish for Christmas Vigil mass at 12am.

The dinner table all laid out. The plates we used were apparently over 25 years old, kept from the time one of Aunty Lena's 2 sons was born.. used only on special occasions.

Our starter: a platter of smoked salmon, brie cheese, caviar, salami, olives and crackers - all top quality and super-yummy.

The crackers and dip went really well with the caviar.

Meet Tinkle, who kept us entertained the whole night - she's certainly helped me overcome my fear of dogs!

Rommel playing with Tinkle..

Christmas Day

We spent of the day shopping really, although the morning was pretty much wasted as we were too tired from sleeping late the night before - Mass ended at around 1.30am so we got back to the Fullerton at ard 2am.

For dinner, I wanted somewhere fancy and that I've not been to, so we went to Japanese Restaurant Sun, in Chijmes. Chijmes used to be the Infant Jesus convent many years ago but was bought over from the church and converted into restaurants and bars, although the existing architecture was preserved and restored beautifully.

My maternal grandmother was an orphan from a young age and actually lived in this convent as a child. This is where she met Sister Bernardine, her good friend and my mom's godmother. Sr Bernardine now lives in the convent in Balik Pulau, Penang. I should go visit her again.. I remember the great steamboat feast we had while there too so that'll be worth a visit as well!

Anyway, check out pics of our meal at the Sun. My dad usually tries to have at least a meal there whenever he is in Singapore which was why I really wanted to try it.

Foie gras croquette - okay this is more of a snack but my sister never says no to any form of croquette, and this had foie gras.. perfect..

Mom's wagyu tenderloin teppanyaki.. Not too bad, not the best of wagyu that I've had but still pretty good. I remembered this cost S$98 so it's steep.

Sister's dish: Beef wrapped around melting cheese with a tomato sauce - a Japanese-Italian fusion twist. Interesting..

Dad and brother had the Christmas course which looked good. I didnt get to taste all of it! Above is their starter..

Another part of their course: Lobster tempura - this was good.

Dessert! Mochi..

More dessert... yum..

My good friend Joyce was back in Singapore for holidays so we met up with her that night. We decided to head to Clarke Quay since I've never been there.. The entourage included myself, Joyce, Rommel, my dad and my brother. My dad wanted to check out the pub that brews its own range of beers.. Sorry I cant remember the name right now.. But yea the 4 types of beer we tried tasted fresh and quite good..

Boxing Day

Woke up late again but still made it for the hotel breakfast. Patrick had plans with his friends so we pretty much had mothing much to do. We ended up going to People's Park Centre in the heart of Chinatown. I have no recollection of ever going to that part of Singapore despite having been to SG so many times in my life. But I searched on Rowan's website once and found that the only place in South East Asia that sells Rowan yarns was a shop in People's Park Centre so I thought to check it out.

I'll post pics of what I got at that shop and a short review of it soon! In a nutshell, I'm happy I found the place! The selection of Rowan yarns was not great but they had loads of other haberdashery items..

We later headed to Sentosa Island cos Rommel had never been on it.. Nothing much to do there, the Underwater World queue was too long so we didnt bother, and we all ended up at the Sentosa Golf Club, sipping iced teas and cappucinos.

Dinner was arranged with some of clients in Singapore. We were recommended the "No Signboard" Seafood restaurant by local Singaporeans so that's where we headed to. We went to the outlet in the Esplanade (or the durian as I prefer to call it!).. Good seafood... really good crabs.. yum..

While in Esplanade, I stumbled across something I never expected to be in Singapore - Max Brenner! To those who have been to Melbourne and Sydney, you should know this name pretty well. Lovely hot chocolate... yum yum... However, I did feel that having hot chocolate in Singapore where the weather was warm just did not feel right.. Hot cocoa is best for winter..

Rommel and I met up with Joycie again and we trooped over to the new "cool place" in Singapore: The St James Power Station. Its a collection of clubs, bars and restaurants, all situated in an old power station just across the road from Vivo city and across the waters from Sentosa. Not too bad though.. since it was ladies night, Joyce and I got in free and got 5 coupons each for drinks.. Rommel had to pay S$20 and got 2 drinks for that. A total of 12 drinks or 4 drinks each so it was a good deal. We each had 2 Midori shots after we finished our coupons and decided to head to Zouk for Mambo night..

Sadly, I cant seem to drink much anymore so I wasnt doing too well by the time we got to Zouk. We spent time sitting outside waiting for me to "feel better" but I never really recovered.. Haha... it's been a while since that's happened. So anyway, we went back to the hotel soon after since I was apparently in no shape to go in.. What a waste. Shdnt have taken those Midori shots!!

Anyway that's all for now.. it's 3.15am and I'm tired... Ta..