I’m a little late in sharing this, but if you were in the D.C. area this summer, they had this cool BIG maze exhibit at the National Building Museum. It was a little pricey, especially since most D.C.museum things are free, but it looked like a lot of fun, so in we went. Ben did put up a slight hissy fit about how expensive it was, though I think the fun was well worth it. We got a little lost inside, and it feels a bit dizzying and claustrophobic to be lost in there. Ben was the first to spot the way out, so we let him lead the way. The girls were loving it so much they went through it again, but I stayed out and went up to try and get an aerial view of them going through it. If you live near there or were visiting this past summer, did any of you get a chance to go through it?
Warning: this is the longest food post of life. Seriously. When we went to Singapore, we wanted to dive into as much of the culture as possible, and one of the best ways is through food, right?! So we tried everything and anything! Stingray, cockles, mutton (you’re probably saying, “Say what?!”), and the list goes on and on. I’m going to share with you what we tried and some of what we thought. I couldn’t remember what I thought exactly about every dish, but if I didn’t like it, it sticks out, and I mention it below. Otherwise, I liked it! If you ever happen to find yourself on that sunny little island, this should help you navigate what to fill your tummy with, but like we tell our girls, don’t ever knock it until you’ve tried it.
Chendol Cupcake from 40 Hands Cafe. It was different, not moist, but still tasty. There aren’t many desserts I don’t like though.
Carrot Cake from People’s Park Food Centre. It’s not your American carrot cake, this is a vegetable dish, not a dessert. Ben and I both liked it and I’d like to try and recreate it at home, probably with a little less oil though.
Durian Ice Kachang, Cheng Tng, and Bo Bo Cha Cha from People’s Park Food Centre. They all tasted good, but my favorite might have been the durian one. Durian is strong, but after the initial taste, you get used to it. The burps that ensue afterwards isn’t as nice though, fair warning.
Otak Otak from Katong Laksa. Yes, this was delicious! It has a little bit of spice, and yes it looks a bit like spam; it is made from fish (a sort of fish cake) and has a totally different flavor from spam.
Laksa from Katong Laksa. We actually had this twice, so I can’t remember if this was from the first place or second, but both were so good. This was by far my favorite dish in Singapore. Well, it was tied with the Singaporean Ramen from Noodle Story. I have a couple packets of boxed laksa, so I can try to recreate it at home.
Ondeh Ondeh from Maxwell Centre. I wish I could have brought boxes of this dessert home with me! It’s type of a rice flour cake (I think) covered in coconut flakes. I just love how Asian desserts aren’t overwhelmingly sweet like American desserts tend to be.
Ah Balling Soup from Golden Mile Food Centre. This was so good! I loved it so much that I now go to the local Asian market to stock up on frozen peanut balls to have it when I get the craving. My friend Abby shared a recipe here and I want to try it!
Singaporean Ramen from A Noodle Story at the Amoy Food Centre. The presentation and the flavors totally won me. I really miss this dish so much. If I ever find myself in Singapore again, I would head to the Amoy Centre as soon as I was able and get another bowl of this delicious dish. We wanted to go back on our last day there, but they were closed that day.
Dim Sum from Tim Ho Wan. We went to Tim Ho Wan for lunch this day after walking all over the place, and we were starving. I texted my friend Abby our location to see what would be the best place to eat, and this is what she suggested. I love dim sum and this did not disappoint!
Obviously, we ate a lot. Looking at the pictures again, I notice there were some other dishes we ate that I didn’t get pictures of. We had 7 full days in Singapore and we enjoyed every bit of it. Ben, who is really picky with food because he likes to make sure he eats healthy (all the time), was totally game for anything, and he tried everything too! There’s only one dish above that we really didn’t like, but everything else was pretty good. We came home craving some of the food, so I immediately started recreating some of the dishes (with a healthier slant of course).
We were lucky enough to have the Bloesem team to get us started on our food quests, and our friend, Abby, was our personal tour guide 90% of the time, and she took us all over the place. When we did venture off on our own, we used this blog helped guide us (along with some tips a few of you shared too!). Oh Singapore, how we miss your diverse and delicious dishes!
Dear Singaporean friends,
If I got any of the dishes wrong (or spelled wrong), please correct me.
We’ve been busy filling our weekends with adventures of late. They usually involve a trip down south to San Diego, and there are always pit stops to plant nurseries involved. Ben bought two more citrus trees (and he still wants more!), and we picked up some Reed avocados. Oh my guacamole… those things are huge and so creamy! A Reed avocado tree is on our tree wish list, but we haven’t readied the space for any avocado trees yet. Ben’s itching to do so, but he’s always itching to add this or that to the garden all the time. The project list for the backyard never ends, and since we really haven’t spent any weekends at home, that list keeps getting longer and longer.
The big three recently went on a sleepover, so Ben and I used that time to take Glow on a special date to go fruit picking. Obviously, the location was clearly chosen by Ben, but this baby of ours couldn’t care less where it was as she had us all to herself. Actually, Ben was vacillating back and forth between us, the fruit, and our tour guide, but compared to having to vie for our attention with the other girls, she was the main star.
Oh she’s such a little ham, but especially when she’s by herself, and she does so much more talking. I think it’s nice to be able to get these one on one times with each of the girls. Ben and I have discussed doing weekly one-on-one dates with the kids; we are hoping to put it into action soon. Time is flying by and we’re trying to do what we can to treasure these moments while we have them.
We spent the evening walking through Adams Acres and Glow was so excited to try all the fruit Mr. Adams was offering us. She was taking charge in leading me through the orchards and was just having the time of her life roaming (and jumping) through this new place. Of course, we were intrigued with all the different things that are grown there, and as proof we came home with bags of fruit, and 5 watermelons (yellow and orange varieties). This just furthered our dreams of having our own u-pick farm one day. It was such an enjoyable evening and I’m so thankful that we were able to give the baby some undivided attention. I think special dates like these are necessary to give each of our children, and I’m hoping we get consistent at carving out time for times like this.
These photos are from Brave’s birthday weekend, and I still haven’t finished recapping all the fun we had this summer, but we are back into the swing of things with school. Well, at least for a few weeks, until the girls are off with their grandparents on another vacation (I guess that means Ben and I get a sort of vacation too). Thus, we have a lot of work to do to make sure their school work is done before they go adventuring.
And while Southern California sort of lives in a perpetual back and forth between spring and summer, gone are the lazy days of play, no agendas, and meeting up with friends. Days are much more structured and homeschooling takes up most of it. I love the carefree days of summer, but I relish structure and can’t wait for the cozy warmth fall and winter bring (even if it is still about 90 degrees where we live).
If you’re stateside, Happy Labor Day friends. Have fun bidding summer farewell with one last hurrah!
We ate so much in Singapore! There are hawker centers all over the city, which are outdoor food courts of sorts, and they are filled with a wide array of food. Singapore’s cuisine is very diverse, a good mirror of the people and culture in Singapore. There’s a lot of Malay, Chinese, Indian influences (and plenty more cultural influences) in the cuisine and out of all the food we tried, there was just one dish we couldn’t go past one bite.
Each day in Singapore was basically a food tour of the various hawker centers. For one of our lunches there, we even hit up two different hawker centers! Of course, we did other tourist things (see here and here), but the highlight of it all was the food (and the people we became friends with). We went to hawker center after hawker center, and even within one hawker center, we would try a few dishes from one aisle, then move over and try more from the next aisle. I’m thankful that the ladies at Bloesem gave us good tips, and my friend Abby took us to all the best places to experience all the delicious dishes Singapore has to offer.
We learned about “chopping” that would happen at the food centers. “Chopping” is when people would leave a tissue (or a pack of tissue), and I’ve even seen someone leave their work badge, on the table to signify that the seat was taken, and people would respect that. It looked like this… you would enter the food center, find an open table or spot, place your tissue, then walk away to go order your food, and once you have your food, you come back to your tissue and sit down. Everyone knew that seat was spoken for and it was respected. By day 2 of our time at the food centers, we were participating in the seat “chopping” too.
Another thing we learned are meals are more of a community thing among friends. We’re used to each ordering our own dish, and eating our own dish, and maybe sharing a bite or two with each other if we ask. In Singapore, if you’re there with a group of friends, it’s more common to put the food in the middle and just share everything, no asking necessary. It’s not a “this is mine that is yours” kind of deal, but we all share the dishes together. Again, by day 2, we were totally participating in community meals with our friend Abby.
I have so much more to share about the food there, so there will be an entire post (and it will be really long!) dedicated to all the foods we ate there. Seriously, ever since Singapore, I’ve had a deeper appreciation and love for Asian food.