Friday, December 17, 2010

Singapore/Malaysia Day 4: Chinese Food and Orchard Road

November 24, 2010
Singapore Day 4: Chinese Food and Orchard Road

The jetlag woke me up again early, but this time only at 6:30 which was pretty sweet. I went down for breakfast and caught up on my journal. Across the road is a 24-hr bakery called Hanis Cafe and Bakery, but from the dining room at the hotel it looks like it says "Hanks". Upstairs at the building which houses Hanis Bakery is a Kaplan Learning Center, but from the view across the road I could sware they have a large-sized rectangular Toy Story 3 Colourscript on the wall. :) So Matt and I started joking that Pixar's (well, non-existent) Singapore office was across the road and we started calling the bakery "Tom Hanks" (get it, he's in Toy Story) instead of "Hanis." Yes, this is how a jet-lagged computer scientist's brain works. Don't ask me, I just work here. :)

And off to work! We are teaching a lot of classes here and the classes started today, which was awesome. After the morning of discussions/emails/work, we met up with Nigel and Chris and took off to Chiangi Airport for some amazing Chinese food. We got "Drunken" chicken, eggs in different styles, a fish & tofu with chili (which was AMAZING!!) and a Beef and Mushrooms dish (SO GOOD!!!!!!!) This was really great food and it's so funny it was at the airport! Not like SFO - where you might find a Starbucks if you're lucky and you will definitely find a $12 sandwich with brown lettuce and gross bread. :) So that was totally amazing!

We got back to work and found a Wall's Ice Cream guy outside of the office! Yes!! I was going to have my chance to try the Durian Ice Cream "Sandwich" that Matt had talked about! Instead of putting your ice cream in a cup or a cone, you can choose wafers (boring) or a sort of food colouring-infused Neopolitan Bread, which they fold in half and put your Ice Cream in between! The guy sliced a huge rectangle of Ice Cream and laughed at me when I excitedly ordered the Durian flavour. They had some "normal" kinds too like Coffee, Mint Chocolate, and... uh... Yam (?!) but I wanted to get Durian for sure. The first half was good, it was awesome to have Ice Cream on a hot day, and it was so weird that it was on a slice of white bread. So weird! But about halfway through, the Durian flavour started to get the upper-hand, and it started taking on a distinct flavour of Thanksgiving dinner, and Onions. Gross, and awesome!!

We got back inside to work and Charissa told us she was planning a dinner for us for tomorrow night. Matt is obsessed with the Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings (or "XLB" for short), so Charissa gave us a great recommendation for dinner. She recommended "Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao" in Ngee Ann City/Takashimaya Mall at Orchard Road.

After a great first day of teaching, we headed to Orchard Road after work. This is an INSANE shopping area, with lots of beautiful lights. But... it's a lot like Union Square in some ways - Tiffany's, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, etc. Our first impression was that there was a LOT of High End stuff only. We saw like 1,000 Coach and Louis Vuitton stores. There are only so many high-fashion handbags that we needed to purchase (haha) so we took off from the really fancy area and wandered around a bit. Eventually we found a Marks and Spencer and got some British candy. Then in the sea of pricey stuff... Uni Qlo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, Uni Qlo!!!!!!! This was the so-called "Asian Gap" that I loved in Japan last year and was trying to find at the Narita Airport. So awesome!! I was really excited to see it. We took a quick look but we were tired and they were closing up at about 10pm so we decided to head back to Dhoby Ghaut. The weather was a little cooler today, maybe even a bit less humid. (Still 26 C though!)

On the way home, I got a few juices for the hotel room (they had Ribena! So British!) We got back to the hotel rooms early and I called Mom for her Birthday with my iPod Touch, external microphone and Skype. Fancy!

After a long day of excitement and humidity and food, it was time for a good sleep. This time, to bed by 12! Good stuff.

Out for Chinese Food at Chiangi Airport, Terminal 3!

"Drunken Chicken" - it was good

Ice Cream "Sandwich" cart guy!! This was amazing. You could get an Ice Cream (literal) "Sandwich" - see the stack of food colouring-infused bread on top of the plastic bin? They cut a rectangular block of Ice Cream and then fold it up in the bread! Amazing.

Matt, Me, and a foggy lens

Re-touched to remove some of the fogginess. This is me eating a Durian Ice Cream "Sandwich" - literally a rectangular block of Durian-flavoured Ice Cream inside of a folded piece of bread. Oh, Singapore.

At this point through the Durian Ice Cream Sandwich, I was still happy to be eating Ice Cream on a warm, humid day. A moment later, the Durian turned on me and it started tasting less like Ice Cream and more like a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner with Onions. Gross. But I still ate it all. It rocked.

We took Charissa's recommendation and went to a Chinese Food restaurant specializing in Xiao Long Bao (Chinese Pork Soupy Dumplings) since Matt loved them.

I couldn't try the Xiao Long Bao (or "XLB" for short), but there was some amazing beef, veggie dumplings, and lots of other great stuff.

Wandering around Orchard Road

Matt liked the Christmas lights

More Christmas lights

"Live in harmony with one another"

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