Maximizing Miles in the Maldives: Cathay First, Eating in Singapore, and a Park Hyatt Water Villa – Eating in Singapore

  1. Introduction
  2. Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day
  3. Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge
  4. Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong
  5. The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore
  6. A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
  7. Eating in Singapore
  8. Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
  9. Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
  10. Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
  11. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I
  12. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II
  13. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III
  14. Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male
  15. Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore
  16. Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong
  17. Conrad Hong Kong
  18. Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago
  19. American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home

Some folks see Singapore as just a stopover, maybe a place to embark on a cruise, or a connecting point to other destinations in South Asia. I disagree. And not just because they’ve got a really cool zoo, you can do that and the Night Safari and call it good if you’re so inclined but it’s a place I really enjoy hanging out in largely because I could stay for a month and not get bored of eating myself through the city.

It’s not all hits, the dishes the first night at a restaurant in a strip mall that had been recommended, Liang Kee Teochew Restaurant (details here), were disappointing.

I should have known immediately on arrival, because it was dinner time and the restaurant was completely empty. That made service more than a little awkward, their attentiveness meant hovering, refills on tea every minute or so, questions of concern over not eating the entrees quickly enough. I was glad to leave…

Still a bit hungry, back to the hotel, decided to check out the café out in front of the jW Marriott next door to the Grand Hyatt. It’s a great spot for people watching, and also a great spot for a little dessert.

Across the street from the hotel is the ION Orchard shopping center, a high end retail mecca (though it seems the lower you go on each floor, the more mundane the shopping), ,it’s full of interesting food as well as luxury brands.

Lunch at Yakitori Enmaru (recommended here, details here) was good and interesting, though service was slow and lackadaisical. We arrived and stood in the entryway unacknowledged for a couple of minutes while two employees fussed with the cash register. Once seated getting attention from a server took awhile though the restaurant wasn’t busy. The food, though, was surprisingly good and interesting for a mall venue.

The first item we tried was Fujiyama Soba – noodles served on a hot stone, it’s crispy and has pork belly, and you’re given a broth to dip the noodles in.

The bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes were tasty:

Here’s the Tekone Tsukune, a minced giant chicken ball on a stick with herbs and cartilage and served with egg yolk for dipping. It was certainly flavorful but the texture wasn’t my favorite.

After lunch we headed all the way down to the bottom of the mall, B4 level, to the food court — “Food Opera”

The goal? Egg tarts. Lots of egg tarts. Creative and varied in flavors.

One of my real favorites, though, worth a visit every time of course and archetypically Singapore, the food stalls. Each cluster has their partisans, and each one has their real standouts. I’m not going to delve into the merits of each one. Except to say that I enjoy the overall experience of the East Coast Lagoon Village food stalls, it’s on the beach with outdoor seating.

It isn’t as busy as some of the others, and that’s usually a red flag — the standard advice is to go where it’s busy, and just stand in line for the stalls that have the most people waiting for food, you can usually trust the locals to know which stalls are worth waiting on. But the food here is good, and it’s the most enjoyable place to spend an evening sampling plenty of different foods, the best known stalls are the seafood specialists.

After a nice big meal, walk along the beach.

Great, reasonably priced food, and a fabulous atmosphere for a cool evening (once the sun has gone down).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary,

    Nice job…one of my favorite spots in the East Coast…the last three pictures are definitely drool worthy…probably my three favorite dishes out there. Singapore Laksa, Satay and a Kon Lo (dry) Wonton Noodle dish. Isn’t it crazy with all the strip malls along Orchard?

  2. Gary, I’m not surprised that you didn’t like Teochew food, it’s not my taste either. For spicy food, it’s Sichuan. Otherwise, It’s Cantonese food all the way.

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