25 Dec 2015 – Out and about with siblings to introduce colonial buildings to nephew and niece.
Former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Our first stop. This former railway station are only open to public on public holidays. Only took a train once when I was very young (hence could not remember much to share my experience). Went there few years ago to have lunch with colleagues and the stalls there served one of the best selection local foods, and they are quite cheap too.
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Still stood strong since 1932
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
This was not in our plan. But since we had to alight at the bus stop to walk over to the National Gallery and it is open to public on that day, off we go to explore. Since it reopened, only watched a musical theatre at the revamped theatre hall. Loved that the facade and iconic clock tower remained intact and loved what they did with the interior. The sound system and the seats were definitely much better than it was before.
Old vs New
Inside Victoria Theatre
Victoria Theatre Clock Tower
Favourite for the day
The Arts House at the Old Parliament
National Gallery of Singapore
First word that came to mind when I stepped in – HUGE. It is really HUGE that after a day of walking, we were too tired to explore the whole building. There are two wings – Supreme Court and City Hall. For historical aspect, explore the Supreme Court wing (my preference) for the collection of arts, explore the City Hall wing. I will come back here for sure as did not explore every hook and cranny of the building.
Siblings and I made reservations at Padi four months in advanced (yes, you read it right) for mum’s 60th birthday. I stumbled across Padi when it was newly opened in May. Decided to take a look at the restaurant when we started to explore options and make plans in June. When we saw the VIP room and the menu, we were sold and made the reservations for 3 Oct in June! Of course, had to think of plans B and C if this fails but glad never need to put the back up plans into action. Decided to go old school style with Nasi Ambeng and Pulut Kuning (instead of a birthday cake) because celebrating 60th is a milestone for mum and we want to celebrate it differently.
All the food in the pictures were awesome. The spices and ingredients for each dish were spot on, tasting as if it was home cooked. My family were there with two of our closest aunts and their families who are great cooks like my mum and all three approved and enjoyed the meal.
We loved the Pulut Kuning, from how it was presented to the taste. Since too full from the meal, we packed the Pulut Kuning and kept it in the fridge. It tasted good when it was warmed up (using a steamer) the next day. And the Pulut Kuning goes very well with the Beef Rendang (it was on the base).
The VIP room was warm, cozy and just nice for 16 of us. It is decorated complete with traditional games like congkak and five stones as well as a tv with a selection of P Ramlee movies (the happy birthday banner and balloon were ours). The room is set up with carpet and cushions as it is meant for guests to sit on the floor. Our request for a table set-up with two chairs were met as my parents can’t sit on the floor for too long.
Met and liaise with the owner, Normala and she has been a great help with all the arrangements. She showed us that she has to paste our reservation slip on the back of the front cover of her reservations book as our reservation was four months in advanced and she has not created the space for Oct reservations. This is to act as a reminder for her team and herself to get in touch with us in Sept to confirm the details.
Her staff were great on that day, very attentive, polite and always comes with a smile. The only hindsight was that we were on the second floor but they were stationed and serving on the first floor most of the time. So if we need something we would have to send someone to the first floor. This does not bother us though as the stairs is at the back of the cashier counter and there is always someone at the counter.
With such serving of food, venue and service, it was totally worth it. The Chut-Chut snail (large) was $14.90+
A highly recommended restaurant where you can have a great meal as the food taste like home cooked and you can chill with loved ones thereafter. I am picky when it comes to Nasi Ambeng (or any other Malay dishes) and does wonder if this is just another hype as serving Nasi Ambeng is a trend at the moment. Like I had mentioned earlier, the spices and ingredients were spot on as compared to the many others that I had tried before. I just hope that they are able to maintain the food and service standard for as long as they are around. Perhaps they should consider serving Pulut Kuning with the dishes…I know of a few friends who are in search of such and it is not easy to find good ones.
Disclaimer: Growing up with a great cook like my mum has developed my palette. Just like art, food is very subjective. The opinions above are solely mine and it is up to individuals to agree or disagree. But only disagree after you had experienced it for yourself.