Sunday, April 1, 2012

Food tripping in Singapore

It was my sister's birthday. And we all needed the time off from work and a few moments together. My family, partner and I decided to hie off to nearby Singapore for a few days of bonding and yes, what better way to do it than to return to Singapore and laze off at the fabulous boutique Naumi Hotel on 41 Seah Street.

I've always felt at home with Naumi Hotel and truth be told, it's a posh boutique hotel right beside the legendary Raffles Hotel. While many of the taxi drivers are not familiar with this hotel (and I believe most of my blog readers as well), it is without a doubt one of the best hotels in Singapore. The staff are mostly Filipinos (yes PINOYS) and they are uber courteous and helpful. From the time the doors open up to the time you get to check out, there is undoubtedly that Filipino smile that has charmed the world. Then of course are the rooms. It would be an understatement to say that they are splendid and sprawling - with a mini kitchenette, Nespresso daily, soda and water in the fridge (free and replaceable anytime), a fabulously huge bathroom (tub and bath are separate and the shower has a rain shower) with Molton Brown amenities, iPod dock, free (yes free again) wifi throughout the hotel, and free (yes free again) buffet breakfast that serves only healthy food (organic bread and jam, freshly squeezed juices, steamed fish, freshly cooked eggs, non fat milk, boiled or broiled meat, a variety of garden salad, and those into champagne or wine with breakfast can avail of the early bubbly as part of breakfast. Did I mention that the cappuccino is refillable and freshly made?). There's a small but relaxing infinity pool at the 10th floor that overlooks Suntec City and the Singapore Flyer.

But this vacation on my sister's birthday had a different twist to it because we decided to eat our way through our stay. I could not even recall all the foodies we went to but one of the fantastic finds was YY Cafe right at the back of our hotel. It's one of those local "carinderia" - sinfully good, downright cheap and yes, you'd be back for more!

Then there was the Taiwanese dishes which we had at Vivo City and at Ion Orchard. Curiously the one at Ion Orchard had the Xiao Long Bao in various flavors!!! The milk iced tea was really flavorful and made the GongCha or Serinitea teas sold at the Philippine malls taste pathetic.

Obviously, we needed to try some seafood as well so we headed off to the Mandarin Marina area where a delightful assortment of pasta and flame-it-in-your face giant prawns in cheese dashed with excellent lime juice or a bubble gum drink to go.

But it wasn't simply a food trip. There was shopping and "green living" at the Orchid Gardens of the beautifully manicured Botanical Gardens. Our cameras just couldn't stop clicking away at the variety of orchids as they overwhelmed us on the beauty of this flower!.

It was a great weekend (and weekdays) to cap off the birthday of my sister. And even if we had to settle with pieces of cakes from TWG and their fine macarons, we got to celebrate another year together.

After all, money is only good if you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. We come into this world with nothing and we leave all of these behind.

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