I've been fortunate to visit Singapore three times now. Each experience has been slightly different.Once for the Grand Prix, another was an extendened layover prior to Bali. And the most recent...well, lets just say I needed some rest, relaxation, and really good grub.
Checking into the Mandarin Oriental is always warm and swift. I love the personal touches the staff implements, like the hand written welcome note in the room. As much as the bed was calling my name after an 18 hour journey, the bathtub was screaming it. An hour after landing at the airport, I was already chin-deep in bubbles in the tub of the master bathroom.
A few restless hours later, I found myself on the hotel's pool deck washing down a mile high burger with a cold and boozy libation (unfortunately, it wasn't a Singapore Sling). You have to wonder if life can be any better.
From my perch at the table, it was easy to reminisce looking at Singapore's neat skyline. I can clearly see Marina Bay Sands, a purely one of a kind infrastructure that resembles the Intrepid ship on balance beams. Just like it was yesterday, I could remember the sheer exhilaration of watching the Grand Prix from the rooftop. Equally satisfying, today was vastly different; the screeching tires and yelps from spectators were replaced by frollicking birds and soft jazz from the deck speakers.
Later that night, I found myself engrossed in the famous black pepper crab from Long Beach Seafood Restaurant. This restaurant is famed for this dish along with the chili crab. Nestled between several seafood joints, Long Beach is easily the most popular. The tables spill out into the patio, practically right into the park that cradles the waterfront.
Diners here can choose from a plethora of options; the menu is literally a page turner, each dish sounding tastier than the last. Simply alleviate the stress and select from a variety of pre-fixe meal options.
The night's set began with succulent clams baked in ginger, garlic, and green onion. I could easily devour dozens of these. But wait -- the next course was fried butterflied shrimp and fried rice like none I'd ever had in the States. It was curiously crunchy and had a lemongrass essence; something I wanted to immediately emulate as soon as I got home.
The black pepper crab was clearly tonight's main feature. Not for the fair hearted, this crab packs as much flavor as you'd expect from the name. Luckily, the pepper is balanced by bright herbs and citrus, as to not overshadow delicacy of the crab meat. Warning: this is served with no utensils, so you have to literally dig in.
Singapore is an exciting Metropolitan. Whether you are in town for business or pleasure, there is plenty to discover. Even if you're short on time!