Since I arrived early, I walked to Bugis Street nearby. One of Singapore's most famous tourist meccas from the 1950s to the 1980s, it was renowned internationally for its nightly parade of flamboyantly-dressed transwomen and attracted hordes of Caucasian gawkers who had never before witnessed Asian queens in full regalia.
The nightly transgender sex bazaar culture came to a full stop when the entire area was redeveloped in mid-1980s. Today it is a maze of little shops selling clothes, food and other trendy stuff.
Colourful spiral staircases and art in the back alley.
As I walked along the busy street, colourful trishaws carrying wide-eyed tourists zipped by me. When I was a teenager, I loved to explore the city like a tourist. I spent hours browsing in the dark and dusty second-hand book stores usually manned by old Indians, or whiling away my afternoons in the museum. I often ended up eating refreshing ice-kachang under the shady trees outside the old National Library before heading to MPH Book Store housed in the beautiful Colonial building. Those were my favourite haunts.
By pretending to be a tourist, you see things in a different light. You become more observant and appreciative of your surroundings. Like yesterday, I stopped and looked at this church carefully when I saw some tourists taking photos. I must have gone by this church a million times but had never paused to admire its beauty. Isn't it beautiful?
Knowing how sucky I felt all day, good old CH wanted to cheer me up. The best way is to feed me of course! I forgot to eat my lunch yesterday and by the time we met, I was starving.
While driving around, I remember this place Chris recommended. It sounded ridiculous but he said we could find the best char kuay teow in The Wine Company near the Botanic Gardens. Intriguing. We need to check it out!
We were ushered to a seat in the garden and presented the menu. In a menu that's filled with foie gras, cheese and pasta, we were searching for char kuay teow and we found it:
Char Kway Teow $6.00
fried yellow & white noodles in lard & sweet sauce with prawns, chinese sausages & local vegetables
~ caution: chilli may be too burning for some ~
Oh, good! I was craving for something spicy all evening. We also ordered another comfort food.
Sausage Platter $12.00
selection of wienerli, spicy italian sausage,weisswurst & english pork sausage
Naturally, being a wine place, they have an extensive selection of wine. I wanted something sweet and comforting, so I chose sparkling wine while CH picked the Rose (which turned out rather flat). The staff said that's the characteristic taste of Rose. We've had really nice ones before. Oh well.
The food was really fantastic. The noodles were so good, we were going "Nice!" with every mouthful, and thanking our friend under our alcoholic breath. The sausages were yummy too. I'm not a big fan of sausages but these were so tender, succulent and a little warm, we enjoyed every piece.Knowing what a big dessert fan I am, CH ordered this:
Chocolate Molten Lava Cake $9.00
chocolate lava protected by chocolate cake shell served together with a single scoop of ice-creamIt was heavenly! The warm dark chocolate that oozed out of the cake was rich and of high quality, not like that clumpy gunk that we had at the Fondue place weeks before. The vanila ice cream that was sprinkled with crushed peanut complemented so well with the warm gooey mess. It was too good, all my stress just melted away in one bite.