If you’ve travel(l)ed at all, you are of course aware that things are different in different countries. Among the most obvious differences are buildings, clothes, language, and, above all, food. Ya gotta eat. For most tourists, eating in local restaurants is a normal part of the travel experience, but not everybody goes shopping in a local market or supermarket. Perhaps they should. It’s an experience full of unknown unknowns.
Who would have guessed that the sale of eggs in China could be so gloriously chaotic.
People who sell drinks near where people work or relax outdoors in the heat have a technique for making their drinks look particularly cold: They put the bottles in the freezer for a while, which in addition to actually making the drinks a bit colder, makes the bottles look nice and frosty when they are taken out.
My Tiger beer frosted itself very thoroughly and automatically as soon as it came into contact with the steamy Singapore air.
Side note: I imagine the stall owners at Newton want to smack whoever bought the first blinking LEDs. That first stall’s obvious advantage kicked off an arms race. The result is that almost all the stalls now have very flashy signs, and none of them stand out. Except maybe the one that has a programmable LED signboard… the arms race continues!
If you thought “a la carte” was the opposite of “buffet”, think again!
I think the idea is that you pay a fixed price (in this case $25), and then you get to request as many things as you want from the buffet menu to be brought to your table.
I heartily recommend Jang Won Korean Restaurant. I’ve never ordered the a la carte buffet, though; I always get the dol sot bi bim bab (hot stone bowl fried rice).
What about that adverb phrase?
All Day Available
Available All Day
because this is short for “Our a la carte buffet is available all day”.
The adverb phrase “all day” modifies the whole statement, so it would have to go at the very beginning or the very end, and it’s better to put it at the end because “all day” is what we want to emphasize most, and whatever is at the end of the sentence is what gets the most attention.
I think I’ve been to the Paradise Dynasty restaurant at Ion twice now. I really like the decoration, which you can sort of see here on the restaurant’s website.
So many restaurants in Singapore seem temporarily perched in some unit in some shopping mall; the lease expires, the rent goes up, the restaurant dies or moves somewhere else. So although every shop and restaurant does some interior decoration for branding purposes, the environment often feels like a cardboard set, too superficial for comfort. You eat there, and the food is fine, but you feel like the experience is just a flash in the pan.
Not so with Paradise Dynasty.
Even though the color-changing LEDs behind the curtains serve as a constant reminder that you’re in one of the countless flashy shopping malls built within the last decade, the plush red chairs, dramatic lighting, wood screens, and stone floors make the place feel older and more authentic.
I recently learned that Nanbantei, my favorite Japanese restaurant in Singapore, has a new outlet at Chinatown Point.
Even if I were already in Chinatown, though, I would probably go to the Nanbantei at Far East Plaza. I don’t know how long it’s been there, but it’s all wood and brick and cozy inside, whereas this just looks like every other Japanese restaurant, more or less, and I know it hasn’t been there long at all. I’m pretty sure the unit used to be occupied by a French roast chicken restaurant called Poulet.
Like I said, high real estate prices make every business vulnerable to rent fluctuations. Poulet’s Westgate outlet has also closed down, and not long ago when I went to the Japanese restaurant I liked at Westgate, it was only after sitting down and ordering that I realized that the place had been converted into some other Japanese restaurant. My husband’s favorite Japanese restaurant (Aoki) is now undergoing renovation, and his second-favorite Japanese restaurant (Chako) closed permanently just before the building (Hong Leong Garden) was knocked down and replaced with a newer one (NEWest). The closure (in 2013) of the authentic Swiss/German fondue restaurant Stammtisch at Sixth Avenue might qualify as the worst of them.
I wish I knew of more great restaurants that feel like they’ve been here forever and will outlast even me, but things just keep changing. Whatever it is you like, enjoy it while it lasts; blink and it’s gone.