Yum cha and Gardens By The Bay

When we were researching our aborted side trip to Hong Kong we searched for good yum cha (or dim sum) restaurants. The name Tim Ho Wan kept appearing. This Michelin starred Hong Kong restaurant opened a couple of branches in Sydney last year, but the queues dissuaded us from trying it.

They also have branches in Singapore and it was decided (not by us) that we would have a gathering of local relatives on B’s side of the family at the Jurong Westgate Tim Ho Wan.

The pork buns were indeed delicious, as were several other dishes, but to me they are just another variation on yum cha rather than the be all and end all of such restaurants that many one eyed supporters would have you believe.

That’s the annoying thing about TripAdvisor and other Internet recommendation services. Once a particular eatery gets a buzz or some celebrity endorsement the visitors start crowding in and rating whether they have any understanding of the cuisine or not. It’s like Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice in Maxwell. They have long queues, but honestly, their chicken rice is not so much better than several other places. Mamak in Sydney is another restaurant that springs to mind. Long queues, so-so food.

I rated a place on Google today. For breakfast we took B’s Mum up along Craig and Keong Saik Roads to a kopitiam called Tong Ah Eating House that we had passed the previous day. It looks like an old fashioned kopitiam and apparently the kaya toast was good and the eggs met Mother-in-law’s approval, but they had run out of nasi lemak. The Milo was terrible though. Watery. Up there with the worst I’ve been served.  Two stars.

So we walked down past the old shophouses and past the construction back to Maxwell Road Food Court where I had my apom balik and was happy.

In the afternoon we brought the oldies to the Gardens By The Bay. On the way we stopped at Bugis Junction to get some shoes for B. Fed Alex some McDonalds as well. They had some interesting Chinese New Year meal on offer: chicken burger with onion and mushrooms (yuck), curly fries (yum) with a curry sauce, pineapple pies with nata de coco jelly inside and a really nice yuzu flavoured fizzy bubble drink.

Beats the McOz burger.

A big grey storm threatened to explode above us as we reached the Gardens, so we headed straight for the indoor conservatories. First the Flower Dome, with its various flowering plants from across the world, then the beautiful Cloud Forest with its towering waterfall and epiphytes.

Alex insisted on taking a walk along the high suspended bridge across the Supertrees, which meant we had to wait in the queue for about an hour. Only he and I were going to do the walk. Fortunately the wait was worth it as shortly before it was finally our turn the spectacular light and music show commenced.

It’s the second time both of us have walked the bridge. Quite vertiguous but the views are wonderful.

All of us were now exhausted and hungry, not having had dinner. One MRT stop and a short walk away was the food centre at La Pau Sat, open until late, so we went there for a feast. Expensive and some of the food wasn’t of the best quality, but I still like the satays.

Tomorrow is our last day here. I’m in no hurry to leave or especially to catch another flight.

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