If Asia has a melting pot, Singapore is it. It’s the harmonious blend of culture and cuisine that makes us unique. Just take a look at my whirlwind weekend.
At 11pm on Friday night, I joined my friends at the neighbourhood K Box Karaoke. They were already belting out Chinese songs by Jay Chou, Eason Chan, Wang Lee Hom and Jacky Chueng when I arrived. I don’t sing at KTVs but I enjoy watching people sing, especially if they are great singers like my friends. I particularly like Chinese songs because they’re so emotional and meaningful.
Yesterday, we met up with CH’s best friend Chris and wife Eun Young for dim sum at Yum Cha Restaurant that's nestled in the heart of Chinatown. It's famous for their award winning dim sum, hence very popular with the locals and tourists. After savouring a meal of mouth-watering dim sum, we met up with some friends for coffee at Starbucks in Orchard Road.
Our shopping district was surprisingly quiet on a Saturday evening. Maybe everyone was in the malls due to the light afternoon drizzle. Orchard Road got its name from the orchards and plantations that existed in the area until the turn of the 20th century. In the 1900s, a mysterious disease swept through the nutmeg plantations, wiping them out within a year. Today, it is a shopper’s heaven, and a great haunt for fabulous fine-dining and swanky restaurants.
We rejoined Chris and wife again for dinner at House of Peranakan which serves authentic Nonya cuisine. The Peranakan people are descendants of early Chinese migrants who had settled in Penang, Malacca, and Singapore, and who had inter-married the local Malays. Nonya food combines Chinese ingredients with exotic Malay spices and herbs, thus bringing together the culinary skills and flavor of both cultures.
We ordered their traditional dishes like Bakwan Kepitin (meatball/crabmeat soup), Buak Keluak (distinctive dish that combines chicken pieces with Indonesian black nuts), Assam Pork (sliced pork cooked in a rich, spicy gravy), Ngoh Hiang (minced pork/prawn and vegetable roll) and Chap Chye (mixed vegetables stewed till soft).
For desserts, we walked over to Three Monkeys Café in Orchard Towers, the infamous mall on Orchard Road. Having ice cream sundae was just an excuse of course, for we were really there to look at beautiful Lady-boys (He-she) in action.
These beautiful ladies who are dressed to thrill, come from all over Asia to work in the clubs with provocative names like "Queens Disco" , "Pink Pussycat" or “Naughty Girl”. For me, it was a novel experience watching these tall, sexy ladies in skimpy dresses sashaying across the road, their long shiny hair bouncing with every step they make on the stilettos, casting flirty glances at every man they see. Afterall, they’re out to look for a date for the night.