Main Article View

The Finer Things: Singapore

Published: 09 April 2024


Last time, I wrote about some general impressions and corrected misconceptions about the places that Heidi and I visited on our Holy Week holiday. Now, I'd like to make a remembrance of the places we went to and the things that we enjoyed.

lyf Funan

So, going back to our very short visit to Singapore. We only had time to have a late dinner, sleep, have breakfast, and take a 40-minute bus ride from our hotel to the airport. And we stayed at lyf Funan.

According to travel sites, it's classified as a hotel. But lyf itself describes itself as "co-living space", which I think, is very appropriate.

Although their rooms are typical of any hotel where you have a private bathroom and a bed, they seem to be designed to help you work. A room will have several ledges where a guest can put a laptop on and work. There are a lot of places where one would find electrical sockets as well. Each section of lyf that has rooms also has a pantry, that has a hot/cold water dispenser and a microwave oven. The pantry will also be close to a washer and dryer, and an ironing table.

There are also other common areas where guests can work alone or in groups. And by the signages that one would see on lyf's walls, guests are encouraged to get to know each other and collaborate. It's like a co-working space that also has sleeping quarters.

Marina Bay, Makansutra Glutton's Bay

But before Heidi and I could sleep, we of course, had to have something in our bellies. The plan was to have crabs from Heidi's favourite stall at Makansutra Glutton's Bay, from when she was still living there. Makansutra is pretty much like a mercato— one one side, there's a line of stalls with each one selling a specialty item; in the middle are plastic tables and chairs where the diners eat; and everything is under a set of foldable tents.

Makanstura itself is beside the Esplanade, a mall where you can have an actual marriage ceremony at.

One of Marina Bay's banks is behind Makanstura. There's a wide space where people can ride their bikes on. There are also ledges where people can sit and admire structures like the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer. Merlion was also somewhat visible from where we were even if it was some distance away.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to eat crab at Makanstura because we arrived too late. So, after taking pictures and sitting a bit at Marina Bay, Heidi decided to take a gamble on Chijmes

CHIJMES and New Ubin Seafood

CHIJMES stands for “Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School”.

As the name says, it used to be a convent. But at some point, the place was converted to an entertainment, food and beverage destination. It sort of reminds me of the old El Pueblo in Ortigas, at least in looks. But there's no comparison in terms of history, size, and variety of food offerings between the two.

We ended up going to a place called New Ubin Seafood. Getting there at 11PM, we were already preparing to get disappointed. But the New Ubin staff were very kind and accommodated us, since their last order was at 11:30 anyway. They sat us beside an older Indian couple, who were taking time with whatever it was they ordered. Both the staff and the Indian couple assured us that we didn't need to hurry in finishing our meal.

Heidi and I shared an order of Live Mud Crab, Classic Chilli Crab Sauce, and several Deep-fried Man Tou. It was heavenly!

After dinner, one of the Malay-looking staff thanked us for coming, hoped we had a pleasant meal, and wished we'd eat there again if ever we came back to Singapore. And since, as he said, they are used to having a lot of Filipino diners, he gave us a warm salamat before we headed out.

North Bridge Road

It turns out that Chijmes was a lot closer to lyf than lyf was to Marina Bay— in fact, we were then only two blocks away from a shower and a soft bed.

We decided to walk the two blocks along North Bridge Road. But not before having a couple of after-meal cigarettes beside a trash bin, near the Land Transportation Authority office.

On that short walk, we saw Raffles City mall, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Capitol Theatre, and Singapore Judiciary building. And because we forgot that the North Bridge entrance to the mall where lyf was was already closed, we had to go through a narrow footpath to get to Hill Street where we also so the Old Hill Street Police Station, Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, and the Central Fire Station.

Good thing we walked at night because the humidity in Singapore is nearly unbearable for a newbie— which I found out the following morning.