Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two Days in Sentosa

Rasa Sentosa resort, SingaporeIt was a business event that brought me to the resort world of Sentosa.  We were at the beach-side Rasa Sentosa resort run by the Shangri-la group. In the bright sunlit day, I could see the vast expanse of green-blue waters of the ocean pock-marked with ships of all shapes and sizes.  Singapore's importance as a maritime trading port has been has remained unchanged since the late 13th century.  You can see that most of the vessels anchored off the coast are industrial and cargo ships; I didn't spot any leisure boat or yachts like I would in such a sunny coastline in any other part of the world.  There is no mistaking that Singapore is business first!

Rasa Sentosa resort in Singapore

Rasa Sentosa resort in Singapore

Lately though, Singapore has been trying to expand the Sentosa area to provide a larger oasis for its people.  Resorts, casinos and the most exclusive clubbing destinations are all converging on this tiny island.  Families and couples jostled for space with businessmen in formal attire at the buffet restaurant at Rasa Sentosa.   However, I was able to get a table and sample some local delicacies.  I picked up a selection of the Nyona Kueh desserts, a typical Malay spread that includes bite-sized sweets in a variety of flavors and tastes.There was a pandan cake, one that tasted of vanilla with sweet corn, another of banana and a sticky rice made with sweetened coconut milk.

Nyona Kueh sweets

 In the evening, during the cocktail event, we enjoyed the evening breeze on the beach nibbling upon a variety of starters as musicians played local music. As the sun went down, the ugly ships in the horizon disappeared from views, replaced by a pretty picture of distant lights that blinked as the ships moved with the waves.

Local Singapore musicians

Beachside cocktail dinner

The next days I had to get to the business end of Singapore for several meetings.  During lunch my colleagues took me to a wonderful Ramen place called Nantsuttei.  A long line even though we were early was testimony to its popularity. I ordered the Kara-miso Ramen Mouretsu Tanmen Hana-ji Boo (!) which is a very popular miso soup with extra hot tanmen.  The soup is a unbelievably delicious concoction of pork sauce, miso sauce, fried ground pork and hot Japanese pepper combined with a secret garlic oil.

Nantsuttei Ramen in Singapore

Extra hot ramen soup at Singapore

 Singapore is a great place to taste the world's many culinary wonders in a short span of time.  Every time I am here, I try different restaurant.  Given the many choices, I can keep with this for years before I run out of good places to sample!

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