By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert
Singapore sizzles on every level. This multi-cultural metropolis is a prosperous port and financial hub that flaunts great food, shopping and sights to see. A former fishing village that became a British trading colony in 1819 thanks to Sir Simon Raffle, the National Museum highlights its intriguing history and the Singapore Flyer, the largest observation/ferris wheel in the world shows off the city’s stunning vistas.
The Singapore Botanic Garden is a tropical plant wonder and animals abound at the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and the Night Safari Park. Shoppers can swoon with choices whether at glossy boutiques on renowned Orchard Road, at Marina Bay Sands or in the colorful markets of Little India or Chinatown (the Night Market is fun too). Singaporeans are an ethnic blend of Chinese, Malaysians and Indians and that diversity translates to a tasty tapestry of spiced foods and flavors at the table called Peranakan Cuisine. Dine at a restaurant or visit the very clean and appealing Hawker Stalls that offer an array of seafood, curry and noodle specialties.
SAIL: Singapore. Before sailing away, bring the city’s flavors and flair home. Items that have Chinese or Indian influences are here ranging from beautiful silks to tabletop pieces like trays and tea sets. Assorted teas, spices and dried chilies are also abundant and delectable culinary mementos.
SIP: Singapore Sling: Originally created in 1915 by Raffles Hotel bartender Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon, this foamy fruit iconic cocktail packs quite a “punch” from the blend of pineapple juice, gin, Cointreau, Benedictine, cherry liqueur and grenadine topped off with a splash of club soda. Cheers!
SAVOR: Anything with noodles or rice! They are served over and under everything, on their own or in soups. Try Laksa a spicy noodle soup with fresh seafood or chicken or the national favorite Chili Crab with noodles.