SINGAPORE DELIGHTS

Despite the bittersweet memories of The Garden City, I do have a reason for liking the city. Manicured background, efficient transportation and Universal Studios aside, I am in the thrall of its food landscape. Clichéd as it may sound, the food trip is absolutely astounding. Borrowing my former editor’s words, tourists and locals are spoiled for choice. Foodies and those simply starving are cosseted with the dizzying choices that run the gamut of Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Mexican, Brazilian, Malaysian, Indonesia, etc. I am far from a foodie but I do have my favourite “Singapore delights” as I would like to call them.

Shooting the breeze at Cafe Iguana

First is Café Iguana at Clarke Quay with its food and ambience. Seated al fresco, you get a view of the revitalised Clarke Quay pulsating with vim. Across the river are the mushrooms of well-lit restaurants and bars to suit every taste. On the river are the fleets of junk boats and modernised boats ferrying visitors up and down the placid waves. A few steps away from your table at Café Iguana are the peripatetic visitors who have yet to make up their minds of where to sit down: Café Iguana, Harry’s Bar or Brewerkz. As the light breeze picks up and the last ray of the sun vanishes, you sip the invigorating Iguana Breeze that slowly and effectively washes away the qualms of the day. You bite into a nacho chip and engage in a little bit of gossip with a friend. Then your shrimp burrito arrives and you take more bites and the conversation just keeps spinning until you call it a night. A stroll back to the MRT is a stroll through a festival: a limber  European busker on the bridge captivates the audience with her hula hoops after which her companion goes around collecting donations; the night market peppered with stalls selling jewellery, clothing and what-not; the Turkish ice cream man tickling the crowd with his fancy “ice-cream moves”; and the musical water fountain.

Toast Box is the other reason. It’s my second ideal breakfast place after having had my fill at Ya Kun Kaya the previous day. An “offspring” of the popular BreadTalk, I am a huge fan of its sugar-butter toast-egg-and-milk tea breakfast set, which, I find, a good choice for light breakfast eaters. The bread is toasted the way I like it and spread with sugar-butter spread like I would have done it at home. Meanwhile the eggs are boiled to runny perfection and the cup of milk tea is at the right temperature and level of sweetness. Toast Box has expanded its menu, satisfying the hunger pangs of those who clamour for heavier breakfasts, with bowls of steaming noodles paired with sausages. Its site is a plus factor being located at the egress of Tiong Bahru MRT station, and is just a few steps from its friendly rival.

Care for some toast, eggs and milk tea?

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