Here is part two of our Singapore City Walk. For the full guide, read Guide to Singapore.
Accommodation & Restaurants
For a more businesslike, upmarket hotel, you can stay in the Amara hotel. The hotel has its own swimming pool and fitness area. It is close to Tanjong Pagar MRT. It is attached to a small shopping mall complete with food court. Across the street is Tanjong Pagar Plaza. There were wonderful restaurants in the hotel too, but just like breakfast, they are very, very expensive. So, we usually had breakfast at Blue Mist Cafe. Service was great and so were the cocktails in the afternoon!
Just down the road of the hotel, right on the edge of Chinatown, is Maxwell Hawker centre. It’s cheap, and the food is amazing. People will tell you: go to the stalls with the long lines during lunch time. In our experience, that means you’re waiting in line for very specific Chinese local food like fish head soup and what have you. If it’s your taste, go for it! Our taste was perfectly catered by all the other stalls!
This year, we stayed in the Ibis hotel on Bencoolen. Say what? Say where? That’s right, we stayed at the Ibis. It’s relatively new, which means clean and neat rooms. The rooms are not too big, but the basic essentials are there if you’re looking for a good place to sleep. Bencoolen is a large road connecting Middle Road with Bras Basah. The nearest MRT is Bugis, and you’ll have to go through or around Bugis night market (after one day, we chose to avoid going through – incredibly busy). In a 10-15 minute walk down Bencoolen towards the Singapore national museum, you’re at the eastern side of Orchard road and near Dhoby Ghaut MRT. Mind you, it’s hot to walk even just 10-15 minutes. Currently half the road is closed due to MRT works.
For a good breakfast, we went to The Toastbox. A local chain that offers both local breakfast (rice, noodles and curry) as well as thick pieces of toast with kaya (delicious sweet, honey and coconut spread) or peanut butter (sweet and rich). Their Nanyang kopi or teh tarik (‘pulled tea’ aka milk tea) are the best way to start your day – according to us, that is!
The best restaurant we visited was the Imperial Treasure Peking Duck restaurant. It’s in Paragon shopping mall on Orchard Road, on one of the upper levels. This is authentic Chinese cuisine – and it comes with authentic Chinese service, if you want smiles and time to clean your plate, don’t come here…. but if you want tasty, extremely fresh, tender and absurdly well-cooked – go here. The honey-glazed Peking duck is cut and served by your table and the broccoli with chinese mushrooms is simple yet stunning in taste. Save some cash in the shopping malls and spend an evening here, it is worth your while!