Expat Life: Week 1 – 3 [Part 1]

This week marks my 3rd week here in Singapore. It’s been a busy 3 weeks and personally I feel that i’ve managed to balance my time between work and fun (exploring). Every week I try to go to different parts of Singapore and I kinda enjoy roaming around on my own without a map or anything. I suppose that’s the great thing about Singapore because I feel totally safe getting “lost” and I know eventually i’ll find my way around the place.

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On my first day after work, I went around Marina Bay with a friend. All decked in my office clothes with laptop bag in hand, I made a whole circle round the Marina Bay area. It was actually quite a pleasant walk with a nice night breeze. So I didn’t really mind all the walking. It also helps to have a friend accompany you because while you’re busy chit-chatting, you won’t even realise that you’ve walked that far. While walking round the place, we also coincidentally made it just in time for the light show. I’ve seen the light show before during my last visit to Singapore. But I think they switch it around a bit from time to time, so it’s like a whole new experience again. I loved how they had bubble blowers as well. It was really scenic with all the bubbles floating round the area with all the lights and sounds.

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I also went around Clarke Quay and had Japanese for dinner at Tomo Izakaya which was right by the riverside. Lovely scenic view and great atmosphere. Food-wise it was alright. You can’t really go wrong with sushi anyway. Other than this restaurant, there’s a whole bunch of other restaurants laced along this area so you would really have a wide range of options here. One particular restaurant that caught my attention was a Spanish place called Octapas. The name itself drew attention with it’s logo of some kinda octopus lady and the wordplay on octopus + tapas. It looked like a pretty interesting place so i’ll definitely check that out sometime later. Other than the Japanese restaurant, I’ve also tried a seafood place called Jumbo Seafood and this one is also right along the riverside. I came here with 2 other colleagues and ordered 1kg chilli crab, fried shrimp with salted egg and stir fried garlic kailan. The portion was just perfect for the 3 of us and I would say the main star of the meal was definitely the chilli crab. (It’s like the “must have” kinda meal while you’re in Singapore).

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As for my office, it’s along Phillip Street and within walking distance from Raffles Place MRT. So there’s a whole bunch of food options around. Some of my usual places are the following:

  • Market Street (aka Golden Shoe) Food Court – A hawker centre with cheap food options and lots of different cuisines ranging from Chinese, Malay, Indian and even Japanese. This is my go-to place for quick and cheap lunch meals on my typical work day. I can get chicken rice for like 3 dollars and a big plate of mixed rice from the Nasi Padang stall for like 2.80 dollars. That’s how cheap it is! But beware of the huge crowds during the typical lunch hours. So I would advise to come here either before or after the 12-1pm rush hour. I also usually just pack my food because it’s really difficult to find a spot to eat there.
  • Circular Road – There’s a long stretch of restaurants along this road and again it’s a mixture of all kinds of cuisines which are mostly within the low-mid range price. I’ve been here twice. Once for Thai (Around 15 dollars for a set meal), and the other time was for briyani rice (Around 10 dollars for rice and drinks). There’s also a really good Gelato Bar here called Plus39. You definitely should drop by if you’re around the area.
  • Raffles Place – There’s a food court upstairs at the top floor which is another spot for relatively cheaper meals. I’ve tried the nasi padang stall here (around 5 dollars for a meal of rice, veggie, and some fish) and also the korean stall for the saba fish with rice which was also just 5 dollars. This one is my fav so far. Cheap and good! The fish is pretty huge too. If you don’t really fancy anything from the foodcourt upstairs, there’s also another food centre downstairs in the basement. I usually get my salads here which would cost around 8 dollars.
  • The Arcade – Another building with lots of food options between the low-mid price range. I tried this sushi roll/salad bar kinda place called Maki-san. Their salads/maki rolls starts from 7 dollars+ and they also have the lunch specials which are around 5 dollars+. Love the stuff here and the cute packaging that comes together with the sushi roll.
  • China Square – Stretches of cafes and restaurants along this area which fall within the mid-high price range. I had Thai at a place called Folks Collective. They serve great lunch sets in red stacked containers. The lunch sets are around 15+ dollars. I also heard there’s a really good Vietnamese pho place around here so if you like pho you can try the one here.

Ok that’s a fair bit of what i’ve done over the past few weeks. I’ll continue off in part 2~

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