2015 is the Singaporean year!

20 Jan

I should start by admitting that despite a long held desire to visit Singapore, I’m yet to actually achieve this wish.  I guess the main reason for this is that I constantly seem to have at least one friend who is ‘on the verge’ of making the move over there for a few years. Given that I’m such a devoted and dedicated friend, I will, of course, travel over to visit. You understand that this is purely an outstanding act of selfless friendship and nothing to do with convenience. I guess if I expect you to believe that I shouldn’t have started this post the way I did, but it doesn’t really matter because the problem is that none of these candidates have ever actually made the move. For some reason or another they’ve either stayed put or made the move to another place entirely. Perhaps, then, it’s time to stop wishing my friends away to faraway lands and actually head over anyway….and it would seem that there could be no better time than this very year.

2015 marks Singapore’s golden jubilee. That’s 50 years of independence and, quite rightly, the Singaporeans plan to spread the celebrations out over the whole entire year. 2014 ended with a massive party in Marina Bay and 2015 sees celebrations in the form of the SEA Games, a National Day Parade, a Youth celebrate! event and countless other festivities and new attractions opening throughout the year. As you can see there’s plenty of reason to celebrate, so it’d be rude not to really….


Happily enough for me, Singapore loves to include food within its celebrations and whilst the country is still waiting for any Michelin stars from
its restaurants, I’d be very happy to chow down on the national dish of Hainanese Chicken Rice. Despite the admittedly slightly uninspiring name, this dish is deliciously comforting and is given extra zing with the addition of a ground chilli and ginger paste. Add this with a light hand, however, as too much gusto will result in what can only be described as an uncomfortable situation both immediately and, I imagine, throughout the following morning.

It goes without saying that I’ll be washing this dish down with a bottle of Tiger beer, Singapore’s official beer since 1932. Or perhaps I’ll have a Singapore Sling. The very most girly of girly cocktails, this Barbie pink concoction is better described as gin, cherry brandy, pineapple juice, and bitters, garnished with a pineapple wedge and cherry. To be honest I’ll probably have both options but, hey, no judging – I’m on holiday remember.

jubilee slingHaving perhaps done enough celebrating (for one day at least) I might turn my attention to some sightseeing or, more accurately, people watching. I’ll be on the lookout for any babies slumbering in one of the bright red baby slings handed to all Singaporean parents delivering a baby into the world during this anniversary year. To avoid any confusion, the unmissable red slings also bear the words ‘I’m a Golden Jubilee Baby.’ I mock now but it’s likely that after all those Singapore Slings I’ll actually be grateful for the help. I’ll be awarding extra points to any toddler wearing the commemorative golden medallion which will also be handed out to all new-borns this year.

Just before we all start packing our bags, I should probably let you know that in 2014 Singapore was named as the world’s most expensive city, having taken the crown from Tokyo. Singapore can also lay claim to having some of the strictest laws, most of which carry heavy penalties. These include laws against chewing gum and answering the door in your underwear, putting this behavior within the bracket of ‘obscene pornography.’ Now, I really can’t see either of these laws being a problem (the second of these largely being a massive benefit for, well, everyone) but on hearing that Singapore is – shock horror – more expensive than London I might just do bit more planning first…..but watch this space!


Hainanese Chicken Rice

Taken from Sam Tan’s Kitchen website: http://chaosnet3.co.uk/hosted_samkitchen/?p=54

Golden Jubilee baby sling.

From the BBC website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30632937