IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
After almost 8 years, the Singapore adventure is coming to a close. I started my blog soon after arriving in the Little Red Dot, back in March 2011. I thought it would be a great way to share photos and experiences with family and friends, also a way to document our trips. I was completely new to blogging, having never done anything like it before. It’s funny to look back at my early posts, and see how much I have learnt, and hopefully improved, but I still consider myself an amateur. I have learnt a lot though over the past 8 years, and not just about blogging. My time in Singapore has given me great insight into different cultures, and lifestyles, a definite melting pot here. Living in a small high rise apartment in the middle of Singapore’s Central business district has definitely been a far cry from my home with acreage just outside Leesburg, VA.
Chinese New Year is always a fun and busy time in Singapore. Chinatown is bustling with people, and always festively decorated. Lots of traditions are observed, some old, some a little bit newer. Case in point is the Yusheng, or Prosperity Salad Toss. Typically only found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia at CNY, this salad toss was contemporized in the 1960's by four Singapore Master Chefs, known as the "Four Heavenly Kings", and is intended to symbolize health and prosperity. In the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, Yusheng will be offered at restaurants throughout Singapore. You can even buy Yusheng "kits" in the supermarkets. The salad mainly consists of raw fish, usually salmon, pomelo or lime, shredded vegetables such as carrot, radish and daikon, with a dressing made up of plum sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. All this is topped off with crackers of some kind. Each ingredient symbolizes different things. For example, the fish is abundance, Pomelo or Lime is auspicious value, the vegetables for luck, eternal youth, prosperity in business. The oil is poured around the salad to encourage "money to flow in all directions", the plum sauce is to give you sweet life, the golden crackers symbolize "gold and wealth". The server will add each ingredient to the salad at the table, along with new year greetings and wishes. The fun part is the "toss". Participants stand up and with super long chopsticks will toss the salad high into the air, whilst reciting their wishes for the coming year or shouting "Lo Hei", tossing up good fortune.
For the last 6 years in Singapore, I have been fortunate to be a member of the American Women's Association. It's a great group of women from all over the World, and there are many great activities, volunteer opportunities and social events to take part in. Today, was the first of the monthly Dish and Dine events for 2018. Every month we experience a different venue. Today, we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Meta on Keong Saik Road. It was a lot of fun to sit at the counter and see the Chefs preparing the dishes.
My first tip if you want to experience Singapore's newest Greek eatery - make a reservation!! We finally scored a Saturday night table, by booking ahead. Yes, this place is popular. Only open for around a month, they have clearly hit the spot. We sat down to dine at 8pm and enjoyed a leisurely dinner - love not being rushed. By the time we left around 11pm or so, the place was still bustling with lots of people and atmosphere.
The long, narrow, but sophisticated shophouse setting in Tiong Bahru was perfect for a nice chatty lunch with a friend. I have always loved the decor here, and being tucked away down Yong Siak Street in Tiong Bahru, a little bit quieter than say a bustling weekday CBD lunch. That does not necessarily mean however that you shouldn't make a reservation in advance. If you are heading to ODP at the weekend, you will, most assuredly require a reservation. You can also opt for a counter seat, if you want to watch the chefs at work behind the glass screen.
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