The Ultimate Food Guide to the Foodie in You

Just like Love connects people, Food keeps us bonded. Do you think it’s coincidental that a first date is usually coffee, great conversations are done over lunch, most proposals happen over dinner? and that’s not it. Today even interviews and business proposals happen over coffees & lunches. All of this isn’t just random. I believe that it’s the power of food that brings two people together and eases the situation. While we are on the topic of food, have you ever thought about the fact that whenever you visit a new place, food is always among the must explore things. Mostly everyone’s a foodie or at least has a soft corner towards it. No matter what you’re doing, whether you’re on a diet, you just had a fight or anything at all, food always makes its way to reach you; or rather we make our way to it. So, when you land in a new place, to top it up may be a culturally different city/country, the curiosity about the local food is at its peak. You want to try everything the city is known for; doesn’t matter if it’s just a special coffee, the urge to try out something new is something we all have. By now you must have understood that this article is Perfect for the Foodie in You. Singapore has a wide range of food varieties and it’ll be impossible for you to not fall in love with the food here. I’ll be covering everything from what to eat to which is the best place to eat it. Also, will just drop in some special mentions and tips.

Most Important

Special Mention

Singapore hosts a lot of hawker centres, also known as food courts. Known for not just reasonable prices, hawker centres offer food from different cuisines at affordable and reasonable prices. You can get a fulfilling lunch from S$2 and trust me, the quality is just fine. It so happens that at times the food you get in these food courts are much better than restaurants and at half the price. There are food courts placed all over Singapore that it’s so convenient, not just for tourists but also for locals. Here’s a list of the top 3 food courts that are my personal favorite. 

Maxwell Food Court, Chinatown

Superb location and easily accessible. It hosts a lot of famous stalls. My favorite is the Basil Chicken Rice @$4.5 at Sisaket Thai Food stall. Other known ones are Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stall (famous for the Chicken rice, duh!), China Street Fritters and even the Zhen Zhen Porridge. 

 

Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Largest hawker centre in Singapore. Very Cheap food (a meal for S$2.5-S$3). Some of the most famous dishes served here are Chicken Rice, Chilli Crab, Dim Sum, Satay, Prawn Noodles and a lot more. It also has stalls selling the local desserts like Ice Kachang, Soya Bean curd & Chendol.

 Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre )

Cleanest and spacious food courts in Singapore. Very airy and comfortable atmosphere (thanks to the recent renovation!). The specialty? The Chwee Kueh (steamed rice cake) sold at the Jian Bo Chwee Kueh stall is just the best in Singapore. 

MUST TRY FOOD

Do check them out

Ma-la

Made of 2 Chinese characters, Ma and La, the dish rightly justifies its literal translation of ‘Numbing Spicy’. The moment you sense the ‘Ma’ in your mouth, it seriously numbs your mouth in no time depending on the spice level you choose. The Ma La sauce is oily, spicy, and also has Sichuan Pepper which is the main cause of the numbness. Despite being crazy about spicy food, I was skeptical about trying Ma La. Luckily, I tried it one day at ‘Ma la Xiang Guo’ stall in People’s Park Complex Food Centre, Chinatown. One of the best I have had till date. To be honest, my experience was pretty funny. I’m someone who loves spicy food and me being me, I opted for the maximum spice level. Well, for the first few bites I was pretty okay and thought that it wasn’t that spicy (I was sure that the hype around the spiciness was too much). However, it took me a few more bites to realise that it would take a few minutes to blow my mind and numb my taste buds for the rest of the day. (Don’t worry, I still recommend you to take the spiciest level :P)

Chicken Rice

Obviously right!!! I mean if you have come to Singapore and not had Chicken Rice, what are you even doing? The simplest, yet the most beautiful combination of boiled Chicken and flavorful rice and sauce, Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of the most eaten and beloved dishes in Singapore. Almost every stall has its own version, extra sauce? Little oilier? Different flavor of the rice? lots of little variations, yet it never disappoints a hungry stomach. For me, the most satisfying Chicken Rice is, as mentioned before, the one served at ‘Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice’ at Maxwell Food Centre.

Carrot Cake

Are you the artistic type? Or even the photography person? This is a must-see for you! Get to Everton Road and walk down the road to explore different artwork by Mr. Yip Yew Chong who spent more than 20 years around that area. It’s his expression of his life in Singapore which shows you an incredible history of S’pore. These are not just any wall paintings, rather they are made in a way which gives you the 3D feels and makes you feel a part of the art. It’s a classic example of nostalgia. Whether or not you are from Singapore, there are going to be things you can relate to in these paintings because these artworks are a great depiction of our childhood.

Kaya Toast

How can I not mention this low-key Singaporean version of bread-jam which is as famous as the bread-jam. Made of coconut cream, sugar and pandan leaves, Kaya is traditionally spread on toast and served with coffee and soft-boiled egg. Available in all coffee shops, Kaya Toast is a popular breakfast/snack that’s served in these coffee places which are meant to be like a hangout place. Not to mention that you get a fulfilling toast, coffee and eggs for $5-$6 (yup! pretty reasonable). My favorite places to get a Kaya toast are ‘Fun-Toast’, ‘Ya Kun Kaya Toast’ which are located everywhere (you can save the trouble of searching for them). It’s not just breakfast for me, Kaya for me is a snack, lunch or dinner sometimes and I might go to the extent of calling it, even, my comfort food.

Ice Kachang

: Also known as Ais Kacang (in Malaysia), Ice Kachang literally means bean ice and it’s basically a shaved ice dessert. Traditionally made of shaved ice and red beans, ice kachang today comes in many varieties with different colors and flavors. Wondering how exactly it’s made? So, the bottom includes jellies and red beans, followed by shaved ice and some syrups and finally topped with condensed milk and sweet corn. It’s a must eat if you’re in Singapore and if you’re looking to try one that’s closest to the authentic taste, ‘Berseh Ice Kachang’ is the place to go. Wanna hear something more exciting? You can get it here for just S$1.5.

 

Durian

Infamously famous for its smell, Durian is a fruit that’s actually grown in Malaysia. However, some of the most tasty and fresh ones of this fruit are available in Singapore and it’s almost an obsession in the country. Well, as common as it sounds, it’s a serious and important process in buying the fruit as you need to go to a reputable and honest seller to buy the best. ‘Combat Durian’, ’99 Old Trees’, ‘Sindy Durian’ are few of the top selling shops.

Thai Food

This is just a special mention because I’m in love with Thai Food in Singapore. Leave alone being affordable, the taste is so addictive that I might have eaten the Basil Chicken Rice for a week every day (no regrets). Despite being picky about food, it just took one try to make me fall in love with Thai food. The fried omelet on top of it just makes the meal complete. I enjoy the Basil Chicken Rice and the Chicken Fried Rice. I strongly recommend you to not eat in restaurants. All they do is serve you at a higher price, lesser quantity and slightly disappointing tastes. The best place to eat is only and ONLY hawker centres. Especially if they serve nicely minced chicken, trust me, it’s the icing on the cake. Go to ‘Sisaket Thai Food, Maxwell Food Court’, ‘Northern Thai, Berseh Food Centre’, ‘SAP Thai food, Amoy Street Food Centre’, ‘Bangkok Express, Newton Food Centre’.

So, that was the list of top 7 famous food in Singapore. Make sure you give them a try and I would say, ‘avoid restaurants’ if you want to get the authentic feel of these dishes. Also, do keep a tab on us for the next upcoming article. What will it be? More food? Shopping? Life Hacks? Well, stay tuned to us to know.

 

 

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Ten Picturesque spots in and around Paris

Paris is surely famous for all the right reasons. Also this digital era of Instagram and Pinterest makes it much more well known for the picturesque locations that it possesses. Paris is filled with scenic beauties, natural heritage, blessed with art, and adorned with greatest human made masterpieces which are hard to miss. 

Ever wondered where you get to see all these beautiful images online when travelers come to visit Paris and your favorite influencer makes you drool over your screens with their aesthetic selection of locations for getting hands down one of the best pictures in the City of Love!

 

 

1.Trocadéro at sunrise:

Enjoy stunning views of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro, an expansive complex of museums, sculptures, gardens and fountains. Anchoring the space is the striking Palais de Chaillot, which houses museums dedicated to maritime history, architecture and anthropology. 

In front of the Palais de Chaillot are the magnificent Trocadéro Gardens. Built for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris, the gardens align perfectly with the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Today this beautiful space plays a role in popular seasonal events throughout the year, including a fireworks show each Bastille Day and an annual Christmas Market with an ice skating rink. Complete with beautiful fountains and an array of sculptures, the postcard-worthy views of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro Gardens are simply not to be missed.

2. Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The Buttes-Chaumont Park, in the north-east of Paris, is one of the biggest and original green spaces in Paris, measuring 25 hectares. Its construction on quarries explains its impressive steepness and change in levels and heights. Visitors can appreciate stunning views of the city from this hilly setting, especially in the Montmartre district. The layout gives it a particular charm: caves and waterfalls, a suspended bridge, and a high viewpoint. It is brightened up with exotic, indigenous trees and numerous birds (seagulls, moorhens, and mallard ducks) share the area and enjoy the artificial lake. Entertainment for children also takes place in the park and there are break areas where you can get something to eat.

3. Colonnes de Buren

The Colonnes de Buren are officially known as Deux PlateauxIn 1986, the Ministry of Culture commissioned the sculptor Daniel Buren with their creation to adorn the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais-Royal. Deux Plateaux (literally 2 levels) originates in the basement of the courtyard in order to symbolize the link between street-level and underground Paris, both so rich in history.This was a way somehow to link past, present and future.

The 260 striped Colonnes de Buren are made of white Carrara marble from Italy and black marble from the French Pyrénées.These columns are truncated and of different heights, but they all have 8.7 cm wide stripes.

Controversial artwork

The Colonnes de Buren are placed in lines and turn the 3000m² Cour d’Honneur into a huge chessboard! No need to say that they were highly controversial at first, and still are! Many detractors argue that their ugliness ruined the beauty of the Palais-Royal. Indeed, the building is a listed Historical Monument. The columns were therefore installed ‘in a hurry’ and their inauguration skipped!

Ten years later only, water leaks and seepage in the basement, contributed to their degradation and they were falling apart. In 2007 Daniel Buren bitterly complained of the state of ‘extreme disrepair’ in which his columns were.

4.Musée de l’Orangerie

 Home to numerous impressionist and post-impressionist painters over the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Orangerie museum can be found in the ‘jardin des Tuileries’, right next to the place de la Concorde. It displays the famous masterpieces of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Armedeo Modigliani, as well as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and many other artists of this period.

From Orangery to Museum

The name is not deceiving, the beautiful ‘musee de l’Orangerie’ is installed in an old orangery, built in 1852 to shelter the acidic citrus fruits from the ‘jardin des Tuileries’ in winter. Like all orangeries, the stone building was built in length, and was constructed in glass on the side of the Seine (to the south) and in bricks on the garden side (to the north) in order to conserve as much heat as possible. Its rather classic and simple decoration fits in perfectly with the area that surrounds it.

Converted throughout the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th into a warehouse, military accommodation, and then a site for diverse demonstrations (sports, musical, and even patriotic), the former orangery finally fell into the hands of the administration des Beaux-arts in 1921. This organisation had big plans for the orangery since they wanted to use it to hold a part of the ‘musee du Luxembourg’ which is now the National Museum of Modern Art.

5. Paris Pantheon

The Panthéon was the first major monument in Paris. It was built before the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and was the first building that offered a panoramic view over France’s capital. It is located in the Latin Quarter, very close to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

The Panthéon was built between 1764 and 1790, firstly designed by Jacques Germain Soufflot and later by Jean Baptiste Rondelet. The Panthéon was created with the intention of combining the simplicity of the gothic architecture with the stateliness of the Greek architecture.

History

During the nineteenth century and depending on the political regime, the Panthéon was either used as a religious or as a patriotic building.

In the time of the Third Republic and coinciding with Victor Hugo’s funeral, the Panthéon’s necropolis was used to bury famous French citizens.

Visiting the Panthéon

The visit of this landmark can be divided into two. Firstly, the interior of the mausoleum, where visitors will be rendered speechless by its sheer size and decoration, and secondly the crypt, that contains the tombs of illustrious French citizens such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Louis Braille, Jean Monnet and Alejandro Dumas.

6. Rue Cremieux

At one time this enchanting little cobbled street, hidden away in the 12th arrondissement, was a “secret place” few people knew about. These days, however, Rue Crémieux is an increasingly sought out haunt for fashion photographers, filmmakers, and people looking for something uniquely suited the color-saturated world of Instagram.

In many respects, this quaint throughway between Rue de Lyon and Rue de Bercy doesn’t really feel like Paris at all and is perhaps more reminiscent of Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill, or Burano in Venice. 

Amid the colorful façades, trompes l’œil paintings, and shuttered windows, are window boxes and terracotta pots filled with lush plants that add to the feeling you have somehow escaped Paris for a moment. 

This is a residential street, albeit a very short one, but the homes are not large. In fact, on one side of the street, the building is little more than one room in depth.

7. Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet

Once called Park Turlure after a former windmill on site, the square is terraced and provides some of the best (and perhaps most unique) views of the Sacré-Coeur. After all, fewer people wander around the back of the basilica, preferring to stop and photograph the ecclesiastical building face on.

But if you were to visit Montmartre, then remaining in the touristic spots would be your first mistake! The area has plenty of hidden gems to explore (not just the Sacré-Coeur and Place du Tertre) and its cobbled lanes are best explored on foot.

In the spring, Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet is filled with blossoming wisteria, while in the summer months, the little park is the perfect place to enjoy a Parisian picnic, as well as a great place to stop and rest in the middle of a Montmartre walking tour.

Come the Autumnal season, the leaves turn golden hues and look magical against the backdrop of a sparkling Sacré-Coeur. So I guess, what I’m trying to say is that the Square is pretty photogenic all year ’round!

8. The Arc de Triomphe terrace

HISTORY OF THE MONUMENT

A unique viewpoint. From the top of the panoramic terrace, your eyes sweep over the whole of Paris.

 The revisited Antiquity. Architect Jean-François Chalgrin was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus in a single arch, but went beyond it by exceptional dimensions (about 50 m high, 45 m long and 22 m wide) and abandoning columns. 

 A key place of major national events. Wanted by Napoleon in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1836 by French king, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921. The flame of remembrance is rekindled every day at 18:30.

9. Butte Bergeyre

Perched on a little hill, 100m up, to the West of Buttes Chaumont, this micro-arrondissement in the 19e has all the charm of Parisian life without the people. If you’re looking for a place with peace and quiet, then this is it. All in all, there are only around 1200 residents, making this the kind of place that retains its village vibe in the heart of a modern metropolis

Named after Robert Bergeyre, a 19th-century French rugby player who died in 1914, the mount offers amazing views over the city AND one of the last remaining vineyards in the city of lights. It’s the perfect place to get a little bit lost on a lazy afternoon and forget that you’re in one of the busiest capital cities in the world.

10.Pont Alexandre III

The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city. It has been classified as a French monument historique since 1975.

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