Ya Kun Kaya Toast, National Museum of Singapore, and Singapore River Cruise

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The next morning, we decided to go to 313@Somerset, which is a shopping mall along Orchard Road. Our goal was to have our favourite kaya toast at Ya Kun Kaya Toast. There are outlets all across Singapore so be sure to try it whenever you see one. However, since we were planing to walk around the Orchard area after, this was a great spot for us. If you are deciding between Toast Box or Ya Kun, I highly suggest Ya Kun as the toast tastes much better! I started with a Hot Tea which comes with my set.

 

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Since it wasn’t our first time here, S decided to try the Kaya Peanut Toast. It is essentially the kaya toast but with peanut butter as well. If you haven’t had kaya before, it is sort of like a coconut spread. It is typically made of sugar, coconut milk and eggs, pandan, and sometimes margarine or butter. It is a common breakfast dish for Singaporeans or Malaysians. S also got a Chocolate Frosty to quench his thirst.

 

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For myself, I got the traditional Kaya Toast with Butter. Kaya toast is not exactly healthy as the kaya often comes with slabs of butter, but it tastes amazing! Guilty pleasures! The value sets also come with soft boiled eggs which you whisk together with some soy sauce and pepper. You can dip your toast into the egg mixture for a different experience!

 

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After brunch, we walked around Orchard Road and checked out some fancy department stores. We decided to check out the Singapore Visitor Centre which I suggest stopping by if you’re in the area. You can get all the maps you need and purchase any tourist tickets you’re looking for. They also have a small souvenir shop with some cute Singaporean items. On the second floor, they have an exhibition which changes and they have free tours  at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 4pm based on first come first serve. For example, when we went, it was close to mid-autumn festival, so they were actually teaching visitors how to make mooncakes! Unfortunately we just missed the start time!

 

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Right next to the Singapore Visitor Centre on Orchard Road is Emerald Hill, a neighbourhood which was a former home to many members of the city-state’s wealthy Peranakan community. The architecture here brings you back to the past and I especially loved the colourful buildings. Some of them are now bars so you can grab a quick drink here as well. Otherwise, it’s a nice detour from the modernized Orchard Road which doesn’t take too long.

 

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Our next stop was the National Museum of Singapore. For whatever reason, we decided we could walk 20 minutes from along Orchard Road to the museum. But it got confusing and after being lost for a while, we finally found the beautiful white building! The museum is just off the Fort Canning Park, so you can also quickly check that out. During our stay in Singapore this time, we used KLOOK to buy almost all our admission tickets. You download the app and it’s so quick and easy to use. For example, for the museum tickets, they normally go for $15SGD but we were able to get a $1SGD discount on KLOOK. It doesn’t seem much but it adds up and some of the other attractions are more heavily discounted. Plus, all you do is show them the QR code and oftentimes you can bypass the lineup.

 

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Anyways, we had a really good time at the National Museum of Singapore. Given I did not know much of the history, I found the museum to be extremely informative and well laid out. The exhibits were entertaining and dates back from 1887 to present day. You can definitely spend a couple of hours here and I have to add the exterior and interior is visually appealing! Great for those who want to get some Instagram pictures! They also had a Glass Rotunda which featured a cool interactive forest display.

 

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We also wandered over to Istana Park where we found the Festival Arch. Opposite to this is The Istana which is the official residence and office of the President of Singapore. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to visit the Istana Grounds although it is actually open to the public five days a year on special holidays.

 

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After lots of walking, we headed back towards Orchard Road to ION, a shopping mall. We were getting tired and hungry, so we decided to look around for food. We decided to settle on Hong Kong Wonton Noodle 香港雲吞面. I got the Prawn Wonton Noodle and it was actually pretty good. Noodles were chewy and broth was flavourful.

 

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We then decided to take the bus to the Clarke Quay area. After getting off the bus, we were greeted by the colourful MICA Building, also known as the Old Hill Street Police Station. There are 927 windows with colourful shutters!

 

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As we walked toward the water, you’ll find the famous Clarke Quay signage. This riverside district has some shopping, but it is more famous for the night clubs and night life along the water. Some of these restaurants/pubs are floating on water!

 

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We came to Clarke Quay mainly because I wanted to go on the Singapore River Cruise. Again, we purchased this through KLOOK because it is slightly discounted but mainly because you can cut the line to purchase tickets and it also seemed like we were able to get into a fast track line. We simply showed them our QR code and we were on the boat in no time. I suggest going on this cruise in the evening because the night lights in Singapore are very enjoyable.

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The boat is quite nice with seating outside as well as covered seating.

 

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Seating is really just benches but it is very clean. I suggest sitting outside to take advantage of the 360 view.

 

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The boat ride is roughly 40 minutes and departs every 30 minutes. The last boat departs at 10:30pm. The boat will stop by different spots such as Fullerton, Merlion Park, and the Esplanade. You can choose to disembark at the spots, but you won’t be able to get back on. I suggest just staying on to enjoy the full ride. I also liked how they had English audio playing with some basic commentary of what you were seeing. This made it informative if you weren’t sure what the buildings were.

 

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This is a great activity if you’re only in Singapore for a few days as you can see all the signature spots in just under an hour. I highly recommend this! On KLOOK, an adult ticket costs USD$17.

 

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After we enjoyed the cruise, we headed back to the Clarke Quay area to walk around the pubs. There are many Western style pubs in this area, but keep in mind that alcohol in Singapore is quite pricey!

 

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We decided not to indulge in the pricey alcohol, but instead on some dessert. Ended our night with some hazelnut cake and rested our feet before heading home!

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Tim Ho Wan 添好運 – Singapore

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Tim Ho Wan is a famous dim sum restaurant because it was awarded a Michelin star. As we walked around Plaza Singapura, I noticed the restaurant and suggested we give it a try! Since getting a Michelin star in their Hong Kong locations, they have opened up several locations outside of Hong Kong, including in Singapore. I don’t believe this location has a Michelin star though.

 

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Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp

We started off with the Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp which was crispy and not too greasy. Each bite had shrimp and had a nice chew.

 

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Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork

The Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork featured a thin and smooth rice rolls and was packed with flavourful pork.

 

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Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables

Of course, we had to get some vegetable so we just got the Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables. Nothing special as they were just poached and dressed with soy sauce.

 

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Pan Fried Turnip Cake

The Pan Fried Turnip Cake was crispy on the outside. No complaints!

 

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Baked BBQ Pork Buns

And last but not least was the star of Tim Ho Wan and also a must order! The Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely one of the best I’ve had. The bun was a bit sweet on the exterior and extremely crispy and soft inside. It was filled with a sweet and savoury mixture of BBQ pork. Really enjoyed it and highly suggest ordering this.

Overall, Tim Ho Wan did not disappoint. I thought the other menu items were good but nothing too special. Probably because we are pretty spoiled back at home in Richmond and Vancouver. However, the Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely a star. Pricing is also great given it’s a Michelin restaurant! I will have to try the original one in Hong Kong but for now this will do!

 

 

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice 威南记海南鸡饭餐室 – Singapore

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My posts for my trip to Singapore and Taiwan last year has been way overdue. I finally have some time to work on them now so hopefully the information is not too dated!

Anyways, on our first day after arriving at the airport, S’s aunt picked us up and took us straight to eat! She took us to Wee Nam Kee Chicken at United Square in the Thompson area. The restaurant has a few other locations and is a chain. Seating is pretty comfy and its air conditioned!

 

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The menu focuses on chicken but also offers many other dishes. Prices are very reasonable!

 

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Deep Fried Fritters with Mayonnaise

To start, we shared some Deep Fried Fritters with Mayonnaise. Essentially they were shrimp with salad dressing deep fried. Crispy and a great snack to share!

 

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Pork Chop

The Pork Chop dish was paired with a sweet and sour sauce. Quiet appetizing.

 

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Chicken Wings

The Chicken Wings were crispy and moist inside. It was glazed with a light soy sauce.

 

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Steamed and Roasted Chicken Rice

Of course we had to try the famous chicken. We tried both the steamed and roasted chicken which were both delicious. It was flavourful and the chicken was juicy and tender. One thing to note is that their dipping sauce for the chciekn is absolutely delicious! It is a mixture of spicy chili sauce, yellow ginger and salty (but not too salty) dark soy sauce. Couldn’t help but dunk my chicken in the sauce!

 

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Chicken Rice

Of course you can’t have chicken without chicken rice! The rice was so fragrant and flavourful.

 

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Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Wee Nam Kee and their famous chicken did not disappoint. I also liked how they offered both steamed and roasted chicken because most of the restaurants I’ve been to only offer the steamed chicken.

 

 

Bánh Mì Très Bon

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Bánh Mì Très Bon was one of the earlier restaurants to open up when Central at Garden City opened up. I heard great things about this new Vietnamese spot, but my heart always fell to Pho 37 when I had a pho craving so it wasn’t until recently that I tried it. The restaurant is very busy during peak hours on the weekends, so try to come a bit earlier. The seating is not the comfiest as the restaurant is pretty small, but the service is extremely friendly and attentive. I especially loved their wooden board menu which is super hipster! The interior is also well decorated and gives you a cute homey feel.

 

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Pho Tai Bo Vien

I decided to go for the Pho Tai Bo Vien or pho noodle soup with beef tenderloin and meatballs. The best part about the pho is it comes with a huge bone marrow as well! They will ask you if you’re okay with it and can take it out if you don’t want it. The broth itself is quite clear and light but there is a slight kick to it from the jalapenos which are already in the soup. You can add bean sprouts, basil and lime to your broth which are in this super cute boat! It should also be noted that their beef is grass fed and hormone free and they do not use any MSG. As the broth was more on the lighter side, I personally preferred Pho37’s pho because I enjoy deeper flavours.

 

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Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl

S got the Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl which comes with spring rolls. S noted that the bowl was quite delicious but that it was a bit difficult to mix everything together especially after adding the fish sauce as the bowl was too small and the ingredients were spilling out.

Overall, I enjoyed the food we had but thought the items were priced slightly higher. But then again, the service and ambiance is nicer than many pho shops so you probably pay the extra price for that. Hope to return to try their other items!

Pros:
– Quality ingredients and well presented dishes
– Friendly service and cute ambiance

Cons:
– Menu is slightly more expensive

Price Range: $15-20 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Free parking at complex Overall: 3.5

 

Bánh Mi Très Bon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Morak Korean Fusion Restaurant

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Kimchi Hot Pot

Morak Koeran Fusion Restaurant has been a spot I’ve wanted to try for quite a while. Finally, we were at Metrotown and looking for lunch nearby so I suggested we go try since it’s only a short walk from the mall. The restaurant is quite small and run by mainly two ladies in the front so service can be a bit slow.

It was a cold and gloomy day so a hot soup was all I wanted. I decided to go for the Kimchi Hot Pot and this was served with a bowl of rice. The soup was piping hot and filled with kimchi, pork and tofu. I really enjoyed this as the soup was extremely flavourful with spice and pickled flavours. This was the individual size but you can choose a larger pot if you have two people sharing.

 

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Gganpoong Chicken

Of course S went for the Gganpoong Chicken and it was surprisingly delicious! At first, I thought the portion was pretty small given it was almost $30, but the chicken was juicy and moist and crispy on the outside. The boneless chicken are cut into smaller pieces and fried with garlic oil and then covered with a sweet and sour sauce. The garlic flavour really came through and this was quite a different flavour from the fried chicken I’ve had at other Korean restaurants. You’ll have a bit of garlic breath after, but I loved it!

 

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We were also given banchan or side dishes to start. These consisted of bean sprouts, sweet potato, and pickled radish. I was surprised there wasn’t kimchi, but to be honest the side dishes didn’t really impress me. I thought the flavours were extremely mild and there was barely any flavour to it. For example, I usually love Korean sweet potatoes but these tasted just like cooked potatoes without any syrup or soy.

The rest of the food we ordered were delicious though and I would love to come back to try the other dishes. Prices are a bit higher than other Korean spots, but the food tastes great.

Pros:
– Flavourful and well executed main dishes

Cons:
– Prices slightly on the higher end
– Seating can be a bit cramped and service a bit slow

Price Range: $15-30 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Free or meter parking at nearby streets Overall: 4

 

Morak Korean Fusion Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Parkside Brewery

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During my visit to Port Moody for sushi, the guys wanted to check out some of the breweries since there is a street filled with them. We decided to check out Parkside Brewery which has both a patio and indoor seating.

 

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Parkside has their own beers but also features a few guest taps which is nice. They not only list the alcohol content but also the IBU or International Bitterness Units scale which I much appreciated since I don’t like bitter beers. You first choose and pay for your beers and then you can bring your beers to any open seating you find.

 

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Dusk Pale Ale, Riot Brewing Dark Mild (Guest Tap), Beauregarde Blueberry Wit, Skate or Dye Mango ISA (left to right)

I decided to share a Park Bench Flight with M since I only wanted to have two beers. The two beers I tried were both fruity and I especially enjoyed the Skate or Dye Mango ISA as it had a passionfruit aftertaste. I felt that the Blueberry Wit didn’t have enough blueberry flavour compared to the mango ISA. For $8 a flight, the price was quite comparable to the other breweries in the area. I loved how they were put on a little wooden bench!

 

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The cool thing about the area is that most of the breweries have teamed up with food trucks to offer food to pair along with the beers. At the Parkside Brewery, they had The Frying Pan dishing up their signature fried chicken sandwiches, but since we were heading to sushi after, we decided to check out The Wandering Mollusk instead. They were serving up some oysters and I wish we had some wine to go with these! Love the idea of collaborating with food trucks!

Pros:
– Great variety of beers including guest taps

Cons:
– Can get quite busy so seating can be difficult to find for larger groups

Price Range: $10-15 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking at nearby streets Overall: 3.5

 

Parkside Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Sen Pad Thai

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I’ve heard many great things about Sen Pad Thai, which is part of the large group of restaurants Chef Angus An runs. The shop used to be inside The Loft at Granville Island, but recently moved to The Granville Island Public Market where the rest of the restaurants are. It is more of a food court set up to be honest, where you order and pay up front first and find your own seat in the area or take out. I liked how they give you a buzzer so you can wander around until it buzzes which means your food is ready.

 

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The shop offers a variety of noodles, curries, and a few appetizers. The prices are roughly all $12- $15 which is a bit pricey given you’re eating in a food court setting. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the portions were pretty reasonable given the price.

 

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Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic

We started off sharing the Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic which were served with a tamarind sauce. The wings were rather small in size but they were very crispy with the inside moist. I enjoyed the flavours and especially when dipped in the tamarind sauce which was a bit acidic and sweet.

 

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Pad Thai

I heard great things about the Pad Thai so had to give this a try. The pad thai was served with tamarind, tofu and egg. The portion of this dish was huge! I kept eating and it didn’t end! This is great to be shared between two if you’re going to have an appetizer as well.

 

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The noodles were chewy and not overly dressed in sauce. It was quite flavourful but I would’ve liked it to have a bit of a kick. Seems like they do not add any spice unless you ask or you can add their homemade chili sauces which is on the side when you pick up your order.

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Pad Siew Beef

My favourite dish we tried was the Pad Siew Beef which featured fresh rice sheet noodles stir-fried with beef, gai lan and egg. This dish had so much “wok-hay” which is hard to find. The noodles were also a new type of noodles I’ve never tried before. They were translucent and wide and very chewy. The beef was tender and I loved the gai lan which added a bit of crunch. A must try if you’d like to try something new.

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Overall, we really enjoyed the dishes at Sen Pad Thai. They have great wok flavour and the portions are very generous for the price. You’ll have to scout around the market place for a seat during peak hours though!

Pros:
– Dishes have great flavour and “wok hay”

Cons:
– A bit pricey for food court setting

Price Range: $15-20 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: N/A Parking: Free and paid parking in Granville Island Overall: 4

 

Sen Pad Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine

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Baiyulan is the new Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen after the old location was being used for redevelopment. The new location is quite spacious and even has a patio during the summer. I have to say it’s a bit odd to eat Chinese food on a patio though! The menu seems to be pretty much the same. During peak hours, there is a short wait as it seems to be quite popular.

 

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Xiao Long Bao

To start, we had the Xiao Long Bao with one order consisting of 6 dumplings. The skin was fairly thin and the inside was pretty juicy. Although I still much prefer the ones from Yuan’s Garden as they have the most soup. Still, these are fairly priced and pretty good.

 

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Beef Wrap

We also tried the Beef Wrap but this was pretty disappointing. The dough was very pale and white but the main issue was there wasn’t enough hoisin sauce so the wrap was rather dry.

 

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Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles

Last but not least, we had the Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles which is a staple dish we order at Shanghainese restaurants. The dish was large with the noodles being chewy and not overly oily. It was very flavourful and the amount of ingredients in the dish was just right.

Overall, Baiyulan is a great option for Shanghainese food in Richmond. Not my favourite one but it’s up on the list when I’m thinking of a spot to go to. Service was actually not bad and they were pretty responsive.

Pros:
– Decent eats at reasonable prices
– Service is pretty quick

Cons:
– Good but nothing to rave about

Price Range: $15-20 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking in complex Overall: 3.5

 

Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato