Just thought i’d put a little gallery post together of a selection of the delicious meals I got to eat while travelling the west-coast of America last year. One of my best friends, Caitlin and I drove from San Diego, to LA, up to San Francisco and then took a bus to Las Vegas!
Think Narnia… no. Think Alice in Wonderland… no. GOT IT! Think… Avatar! Gardens by the Bay really is a microcosm of the Avatar world. Yes that movie with the blue alien-like creatures with pointy ears and mysteriously thick upper-noses.
WIKIPEDIA SAYS: “Gardens by the Bay is part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden”. The stated aim is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city.”
Gardens by the Bay is over 100 hectares… so I guess it’s not surprising but I didn’t get around to seeing it all. Oh and after my extensive shopping endeavours I wasn’t exactly rolling in cash and to visit all the paid areas it’s gonna set you back around $50 Singapore dollars. Super Tree Grove and the Cloud Forest Conservatory are the two parts that I can really fill you in on.
Super Tree Grove –
You may have seen Super Tree Grove in a David Attenborough special (what a lord). You may watch my video below but you will NEVER understand the magic of this place until you see it with your own eyes. I’ve never really been an environmental ‘activist’ as such – but I can appreicate when something that seems like a big tourism stunt or regime actually can sustain itself. These 50 metre monster ‘tree’s ‘ are solar powered beauties that harvest the sun’s energy to put on a breathtaking light performance at 7:45pm every night.
The free show exhibits an artistic light display to the sounds of classical music!
Here’s some informative and unbelievable facts about the Super Trees so I don’t just give you an encyclopedia of info!
The Cloud Forest Conservatory
One of two large dome conservatories at Gardens by the Bay (the other being the Flower Dome – the worlds largest greenhouse) is called the Cloud Forest. This glass dome houses the world’s largest man-made waterfall as well as tens of thousands of flowers and plants grown in a climate-controlled environment. Now this place brought to life all of my sci-fi fantasies. The juxtaposition of the architecturally intricate and progressive greenhouse dome sat right next to the organic mountain of flowers, ferns and wildlife is a sight you will be lucky to see more than once in a lifetime.
Taking an elevator up the centre of the mountain to level 6 you enter the ‘hidden garden’. Here you’ll find rare flowers, a still glistening pond and hey… quite a few people taking selfies. From this penthouse level you take the skywalk through the clouds (quite literally there are clouds) and circle back down the mountain periodically looking out through mossy holes to the steel and glass-clad grid of the greenhouse dome.
10/10 – would recommend.
Check out my other posts from Singapore!
When my housemate, an ex-Singapore resident told me it’s cheaper to eat at the ‘Hawkers Markets’, I really didn’t know how CHEAP he was talking. Oh and I really didn’t know what the bloody hell ‘Hawkers’ meant!
NB: Wikipedia gave me a great little definition by which to figure it out!
“In most places where the term is used, a hawker sells inexpensive items, handicrafts or food items. Whether stationary or mobile, hawkers often advertise by loud street cries or chants, and conduct banter with customers, so to attract attention and enhance sales.”
So lets just say – its a cheap, traditional, no-fuss food hall. But oh Singapore’s Lau Pa Sat so much more than that!
Lau Pa Sat is an outdoor, undercover food hall – and might just be my favourite memory of Singapore. Nestled amongst the high-rise buildings, beautiful architecture and neon-lit buildings – Lau Pa Sat offers up that little bit of ‘traditional’ Asia that you were looking for. Prices are SO low you wouldn’t believe – with a Char Siu Pork bun at just $1 and four prawn dumplings for $2.50 the cost is literally incomparable to Australia!
There are SO many vendors undercover. So many cuisines from Vietnamese, to Thai, Korean, Indian and you know what… even a little bit of ‘western’ cuisine. The prices pretty much range from $2-$7 for a full meal – and i’m talking FULL. But don’t just stop here… you like SATAY?
The street that perimeters the Lau Pa Sat market is appropriately named ‘Satay Street’ and if you get nothing else – or maybe you just want a little bit extra (cos why not, you’re on holiday right?) you have GOT to try the satay sticks. From 19:00 onwards around 10 satay stalls line the strip providing diners with skewers of chicken, lamb, beef and pork from Chinese to Muslim style. At 60c per stick it would be rude not to!
— Stalls # 7, # 8 and # 10 are known to be the standouts. —
Make sure you sit outside on satay street the smells and the stars are just divine!
Similar to stepping through a rabbit-hole, falling through a trap-door or opening a wardrobe walking into Picnic is like entering a magical, enchanted forest. In fact my Mum said it reminded her of Enid Blighton’s – The Folk of the Faraway Tree – a novel I grew up listening to, reading (and watching!). Looking around you almost expect to see fairies and pixies fluttering around the elegant pink and green flowers and leaves effortlessly falling from the ceiling. It’s an Instagrammer‘s dream!
But let’s not forget – we came here to eat! Picnic is Singapore’s first ‘Garden Themed Food Hall’ at Wisma Atria. With 10+ food trucks, a coffee station, a bar, juice and ice-cream outlets you’re bound to find something absolutely delicious.
Aptly named, this 10,000 square foot space is laden with wooden picnic tables, small chairs and benches. We had no trouble finding a place to sit (7:15pm on Good Friday, 2017).
I must be honest, we actually came here two nights in a row – and the first night I STUPIDLY didn’t bring my phone OR camera. But we had no qualms in returning for a second visit. The first night I ordered from the ‘Pizza and Pasta’ truck – I ordered a Seafood Pasta ($19) – this was awesome. Peppery, spicy and herby with a good amount of prawns and mussels – and perfectly portioned.
The second night however I chose wisely and using my knowledge (stalking other people’s plates) from the night before – I ordered the Pork Belly Bao ($15) Seriously this meal was total value for money.
Four soft white bao buns – filled with perfectly cooked and marinated pork belly, a thin slice of cucumber and a slice (leaf?) of lettuce – wow I’m confused about how to phrase that. But seriously this was delicious.
Basically how it works – first off, you line up and are greeted by the front-of-house staff member. She/he will ask your surname and wether your group is to be on ONE bill or on SEPARATE bills (possibly awkward – or great – for a first date!). You are given a small black buzzer and then you are free to find yourself a seat in the picnic garden. We of course instead immediately made a beeline to go and check out the food options.
Food is browsed and ordered using a touch-screen (there is a separate one for each food truck). To confirm the order you place your buzzer onto a black box underneath the touch screen and another machine prints out a docket (the bill is created internally inside your buzzer as you take it to different trucks/food stations) . You are then free to take a seat under the twinkling lights and floral canopies – waiting for that buzzer to give you a bloody fright telling you to collect your food from the place you ordered from.
When it’s all finished and you’re incredibly satisfied (and taken sufficient video, Instagram and Snapchat footage) you exit past four self-service touch stations and by placing your black buzzer onto a small space an itemised bill will appear on the screen. The machines take cash OR card.
Picnic is a MUST for anyone visiting Singapore!
435 Orchard Road
#03-15-49 Wisma Atria
~ $15-$20 per head