I live in, and love, Singapore and spend a large amount of my time trying to be as local as I possibly can. When in Rome...
I have a few favorite finds and R&R has asked me to share my top 5:
Dim Sum has become an addiction and I get my weekly fix at Crystal Jade Golden Palace in Paragon where, aside from all the usual faves, they also now serve delectable dim sum for children which is really very sweet. Bring your own child sized chopsticks and be amazed at what they can do. Crystal Jade Golden Palace, Paragon #5, T: (+65) 67346866 (+65) 67346866
Yue Hwa (I’m no whizz at pronunciation but ‘you whaaaa’ seems to work ok – as in ‘you what?’ but missing off the ‘t’) in Chinatown is a great one-stop shop for people staying with you who are looking for well-priced presents to take home. You have to be able to hunt out the good stuff though so don't send anyone here who is super high end as they won't be able to cope (send them to Shanghai Tangs in Taka instead). My favorite place to buy reasonably priced, heavy, pure silk dressing gowns in rich emerald silk, embroidered with butterflies and lined in shocking pink. They also have a good jewellery department too on the top floor. Yue Hwa, 70 Eu Tong Street, Singapore 059805, T: (+65) 6538 4222 (+65) 6538 4222 , www.yuehwa.com.sg Opening Times: 11am-9pm Mon-Fri & Sun, 11am-10pm Sat
Joanne Chiam really is the Eve Lom of Singapore and her number is gold dust. Go to her for a facial just once and you’ll never go anywhere else. She is still a relatively well-kept secret and a lot of her clients are beautifully groomed tai tais who visit her monthly, as a minimum. At $150 for up to 2 hours (depending on how bad your skin is; 1.5 hours if it's ok) not only is she miles cheaper than Eve Lom but also very, very good at what she does. (I secretly wanted to list Joanne first, as my top can’t-live-without but thought it looked a bit vain, so I’ve dropped her down to 3rd place but truth be told, I’d happily forfeit dim sum to go to her if I had to choose!) It’s only her, so SMS for an appointment rather than call. Joanne, 57 Cairnhill Road, #01-01 Elizabeth Heights, S229668, T: (+65) 9734 8075 (+65) 9734 8075 ; by appointment only
Number 4 is the Jade Market in Hong Kong, which I know is not quite Singapore, but it’s near enough. Found on Kansu and Battery street, it’s a great place to stock up on presents, including huge Chinese jade pendants which you can pick up for around HKD$60 (£5).
Chinese puddings are generally much maligned but I defy anyone not to love an egg tart from Tong Heng. Almost identical to a French custard tart in terms of taste (not too sweet) and pastry (deliciously light and crumbly), I was introduced to this Chinatown institution by my surrogate Singaporean mummy, T. Their euro tartiness is explained by the fact that they a hangover from the days when Portugal was in charge here. Priced at little more than $1 a tart, double park and buy a box of at least six to make the trip worth it. Baked daily. Tong Heng, 285 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058833, T: (+65) 6223 3649 (+65) 6223 3649 / 6223 0398 6223 0398 ; Opening Times: 9am-10pm daily
Read more about life in Singapore and where it takes me at:www.changmoh.com
Lots of love
My 3 favourite things:
My girl and 2 boys
Egg tart image, courtesy of insing.com