SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) – For those looking for a different way to mark the start of 2019 instead of with the usual fireworks or just sleeping through the whole thing, here’s an idea.
Eat your way into the next year with a side of fireworks thrown in.
For convenience, I’ll spin this around the south and east of Singapore, so you can also catch the pyrotechnics live at Marina Bay.
Gather the gang at 9.30pm. Remember to skip dinner, and maybe lunch.
And I left some walking from stop to stop for bonding and calorie-burning.
9.30pm: Keng Wah Sung Coffeeshop, 783 Geylang Road (by Lorong 41)
Assemble at this popular roti kaya kopitiam at the edge of Geylang for a slice of real local night coffee shop culture.
Their own-made kaya is thick and rich – order the soft and toasted bread version. It is okay to get breakfast-style soft boiled egg at this hour and wash it down with a cup of kopi.
Then head to Paya Lebar MRT station (about 13 minutes’ walk) and head to Nicoll Highway MRT station via the Circle Line.
10.15pm: M A Deen Biasa, 95-97 Jalan Sultan
Walk about 12 minutes and dive into the uber-peppery sup kambing (a method they employ to calm the gaminess of the mutton).
Remember to have it with dunk-size pieces of baguette and enjoy what may be the last few alleyway alfresco seating places in Singapore.
Head back to Nicoll Highway MRT station and proceed to Esplanade MRT station. This is where it gets fun.
11.20pm: Gluttons Bay, 8 Raffles Ave, beside the Esplanade
It’s best to enter from across Marina Square to avoid the masses.
The Swatow Seafood Restaurant folks now have a dim sum station at the food market and the Combo Dumping Platter is a must-makan. The three glass skin dumplings set – with red bean, chives and radish hae bi – is the restaurant’s signature dish and there is a reason why every other table has an order of it.
Then tear into Syifa’ Satay, whose new operator and chef is currently making waves in the makan circle. The meat is grilled well with the insides soft and moist, unlike the roasted cardboard ones we get at many so-so places.
Order takeaway and head to the steps outside Marina Square, where you can reserve a higher spot to get a big picture view of the extended fireworks display at midnight. When you have had enough, return to Esplanade MRT station and make your way back to Paya Lebar MRT station.
1am: New Scissor-cut Curry Rice, 669 Geylang Road (by Lorong 35)
Walk 15 minutes to Lorong 35 and jostle with some taxi drivers – this is one of their favourite midnight chow spots – for a serious meal of Hainan Scissor Cut Curry Rice.
Must-have toppings include the thin pork chops, braised cabbage and a fried egg.
It is very comforting to see them slather the rice with two types of thick but tame curries.
After the meal, walk six minutes towards Lorong 39.
1.45am: Rochor Beancurd, 745 Geylang Road
My usual order of cold tau huay milk with a bowl of hot silky bean curd is my favourite nightcap. Devour it slowly, ponder the year ahead, make some resolutions (top of which is to go easy on overeating in 2019), then stagger home.
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