My friend Stef and I spent a day acting like princesses at the Raffles Hotel this past week. We planned to go to the Raffles Grill located inside this hotel to try out their lunch menu since they had set courses to choose from. The prices were reasonable and we’ve heard such great things about the place so on a rainy Friday afternoon, we set out with high expectations to the hotel.
The interior is gorgeous. The bright lights and the white structured walls and pillars and the marble floors just pulled the whole place together. I was gushing over the design of it all even before I stepped foot into the hotel. I think I even let out a gasp and muttered a short ‘shut the fuck up!’ when I was fully inside of the building. You could tell Stef and I did not belong in a place like this.
Nonetheless, we had reservations for the restaurant so we turned right and we were presented by a nice, quiet room and we were taken to our table.
We decided to both do the 3 course $58 meal plan. And boy, was it a great choice.
The appetiser I chose was the seared scallops with white asparagus and chutney. The main course was a delicate US Prime Omaha Beef Tenderloin with a side of mashed potatoes and broccoli. Lastly, the dessert option I opted for was the Chesnut Chiboust with tuile and cherry sorbet. All of it was great. Would highly recommend 10/10. I initially thought that the portions were too small for what we were paying but it was worth it and completley filling.
Next place we went to was the Singapore Art Museum because it was close by and they had a few interesting things going on there. It is free admission as well.
It’s three floors but when we went they only had a few rooms opened to the public. Most of what we encountered was interactive art which made it fun and different from other museums I’ve seen. I am also pretty sure that each of the works we saw were inspired by the condition that Singpore is in with all its developmental construction going on and the lonliness that comes with being in a fast-paced large city. Much of the art referenced to the pool of ethnicities that can be found in Singapore. They even had works from student teachers that were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
A few of my favorite pieces include the video on loop called The Hidden Dimension II by Sarah Choo Jing which takes a closer look at a family inside of a home and how they’re all disregarding each other. Another one I particularly liked was the Strange Fruit photo collection by Lee Wen which followed a man around Singapore who was painted yellow and was always carrying a cluster of red lanterns which would shield his body from being seen in the photos. That one takes a hit at the stereotypes that accompany Chinese people and how they are viewed by others.
I highly suggest going to both of these places because it was money and time well spent.
Quiet and rainy Sundays in Singapore certainly call for good food with some good company. My friends and I headed to Dempsey Hill to grab some grub and to explore the unfamiliar area a bit more.
I remembered seeing PS Cafe as a place that was listed online whenever I looked up brunch spots in Singaporeand I’m glad I remembered it because it was such an incredible place.
This restaurant was lined with glass windows that opened up some light in the room which made it seem more spacious than it really was. The place was filled with young first dates, families, and friends who were catching up on this nice afternoon. My friends and I were convinced that we had made the right choice coming here. It’s a bit hard to find it at first since it’s surrounded by trees and it’s not on the main path but it is such a sight to see when you first walk in.
We got there just as they were about to close the brunch menu so we scanned the menus quickly and got our food within a few minutes. I ordered the crab tart with a glass of Rose & Berries Sangria. I definitely recommend those two because the drink felt like it was never ending and they had little flowers in them and the crab tart was wonderful. I’m a seafood gal so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. My friends got the Green Goddess Pesto Penne and the PS Gado Gado Salad. Later on, we gave in and got the truffle fries because every single table around us had one. We barely finished it but it was pretty good and definitely worth the hype.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed the food and the ambiance of the place. I will be sure to return here before I leave for America!
After this, we encountered a nice little market that resembled Dean and Deluca in Dempsey Hill that even had a cheese room. Now that is impressive. They had posters everywhere regarding cheesy cheese jokes (ha ha) and how this was the first place to have a cheese room. It was called Jones the Grocer and I could have easily spent an entire day there going through their little snacks and what not but I was pulled away to meet up with other friends in Holland Village.
Project Acai was also a place I wanted to seek out before I left for Singapore and I finally got a chance to try it!
I got the original acai bowl in their handy size since I was feeling full from PS Cafe. The presentation was pretty adorable and it tasted just as good as I thought it would! My other friends got the original one as well and some branched out to try the one that included nuts in it. They also have smoothies too so I think I will venture to them next time I’m in the area.
As someone who had recently entered the beginning of adulthood as a 20 year old, I’d thought it would be a great time to gain the independence that I so desperately want. And what better way to do that than to study abroad in a country that I’ve only been to once? It’s also a brand new year, so that was another great excuse for me to escape the city of Philadelphia to immerse myself in new cultures filled with new adventures.
Singapore was a choice I’d thought I’d never make since it never crossed my mind to study abroad there. As a young freshmen all I wanted to do was travel to Europe for my study abroad even though I’ve been there a number of times before. Going into my sophomore year, I felt stuck. I hated the idea of a daily routine in the same classes filled with the same peers. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my university and all that comes with it. My sorority, my business building, and the city of Philadelphia certainly have a special place in my heart. But I’m the type of individual that gets bored easily and constantly needs to be on the move. Most people study abroad their third or fourth year but I decided that was too far away and I wanted to leave as soon as I possible could. During the end of the summer of 2016 I applied to Singapore in an attempt to be spontaneous. I had applied to other places as well such as Italy and Ireland but Singapore was the one I ultimately chose. I was unfamiliar with Singapore and their culture but I remember being there once to visit some family friends when I was around the age of 12. Anyways, after the numerous hours spent on paperwork and emailing my study abroad advisor back and fourth, it was finally official that I will be studying abroad my winter quarter which starts in January. I was thrilled! It almost didn’t seem real at all but it didn’t hit me until later on that I would be spending approximately five months alone in Singapore at a well-respected university filled with talented individuals who would also be on the exchange program.
Fast forward to today and I’ve been in Singapore for about 19 days. These past few weeks have flown by so quickly but I’ve gone through it all. I’ve been homesick, I’ve met incredible people, and I’ve done things I would have never done on my own in Philadelphia. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and tried foods without judging them based off the way they look. I participated in a cooking competition where I lost miserably. I’ve danced until 3 in the morning and admired the talented friends I’ve made who have come from Sweden, Canada, and Finland. Singapore is filled with the most incredible little cafes and streets that you simply have to get lost to find. I’ve summarized the time I’ve had so far in the photos below and I think it’ll be great to refer back to this post once my study abroad experience is finished.