Happy New Year everyone!!! Hope you are looking forward to 2015 as much as I am. I really think this year is going to be my year when everything in my life finally comes together. I’m not usually one for resolutions, but I have some really cool new projects coming up later this year and I’m going to give up teaching to write full time which is a bit scary but you have to be in it to win it right?
Sorry if I have been a bit lax this past fortnight but I’ve been enjoying a well earned rest after such a busy year. I had an amazing vacation with TFB where we traveled to Beijing and Singapore, both really cool cities that I have never been to before and a wonderful way to end the year.
We actually flew on Christmas Day, so ended up having Christmas Lunch on the plane, which for a foodie like me was actually somewhat dismaying but it could have been worse……or could it?
Luckily we had a fabulous meal at TRB – Temple Restaurant Beijing to look forward to once we got there. We booked their 4 course Christmas meal which was wonderful, including our amuse bouche, pre-dessert, and petit fours, it was a hell of a meal, and the service was fantastic.
The main course was turkey two ways which really made up for me missing my mums. It was such a wonderful night and I think it may have been extra special as they gave us several free drinks and even a gift to take home. The grounds are also incredibly beautiful and I really wished I had taken some pictures but after all that fabulous food I really couldn’t move let alone take any pictures, the petit fours trolley pretty much finished me off, but it would have been churlish not to try them all.
The next day we went on another food crawl and ate lunch at Lost Heaven. Specializing in Yunnan Chinese cuisine, the food here was spectacular, so fresh and just what we needed after the decadence of the food the night before. It’s highly regarded as one of the best restaurants in Beijing and it’s conveniently located just next to Tiananmen Square in the old US embassy complex.
The stand out dishes for me were the lamb samosas, and silken tofu with eggplant, though there were plenty of other fabulous dishes on the menu that I would have loved to have tried. The decor was especially pretty and really had me wishing that we had a place like this in Seoul, it could have also been something to do with their spectacular cocktails.
Lastly, we couldn’t leave Beijing without trying their famed crispy duck. We found a really cute place just around the corner from our hotel. In true Fat Girl style we opted for the whole duck and had it sliced three ways.
As well as the duck we ordered sweet and sour pork, Szechuan chicken, fried rice, and leek pancakes. We actually had so much food we could barely fit it on the table and the whole dinner only cost a mere 45,000. If we had this in Korea I’d be there every day, it was so damn tasty.
After Beijing we flew straight on to Singapore, and the first thing I did was hit the supermarket to stock our apartment. The supermarkets in Singapore have Seoul beaten hands down, there is virtually nothing you cant get and they also have a huge amount of British imports. I practically died and went to heaven when I found Ribena, All-Bran, and my favourite chocolates Kinder Schoko Bons.
The next big meal we had was at Raffles Hotel. Famed for it’s colonial old world charm and architecture, the Singapore Sling, and a tiger in the billiard room. We went to enjoy their Sunday all you can drink champagne brunch. Now it’s certainly not cheap at around 200,000 per person, but it was worth every penny to me. Over the years I’ve been to quite a few of these affairs and have learned to get there the minute the place opens and stay until they politely ask you to leave to really get your money’s worth.
I have never seen anything quite like this spread before, there wasn’t anything they didn’t have; lobster, oysters, scallops, lamb chops, every roast meat under the sun, fresh bread, appetizers, and fresh pasta. It was a glutton’s delight.
The dessert and cheese buffets were in a class of their own. As I went to make my cheese platter I ran into a lovely Frenchman who was squealing with delight at all the marvels on offer, I’ve never seen so much cheese in one place.
As well as the champs, there were also refillable Bloody Marys and Singapore Slings. Suffice to say I ate and drank our moneys worth and had the most fantastic day.
We even stopped by the courtyard bar afterwards for a few cocktails with the couple at the table next to us because we were all having such a fabulous time.
Singapore is such a medley of ethnicities that every kind of food imaginable can be found there. We walked around the whole city trying bit and bobs from everywhere. Chicken tandoori and partha from Little India, chicken satay from an Indonesian place, and stuffed char siu buns and curry puff pastries from every bakery we came across. I loved those things and only wish I had had time to eat more. As far as I’m concerned there just isn’t enough pastry in the world.
We drank our way into the new year on Clarke quay and Boat Quay which is just the most charming row of restaurants and bars ever. All along the river are brightly colored terraced houses which have every kind of of cuisine imaginable and well worth checking out if you are in the area, it was a particularly great spot to sit and watch the fireworks from.
It was a fantastic trip, but now I’m back in Seoul several pounds heavier but much happier and more relaxed. I hope you enjoyed the holidays as much as I did and are looking forward to seeing what this year brings. Happy New Year everyone!