A view of Singapore's skyline from the 18th floor of the HSBC Building. The newer and taller buildings are in the financial district, which was where we were so they can't be seen.
Hub and his younger bro were leaving as scheduled this evening. But BIL wanted to to eat Cartel's St Louis' ribs before he goes home.
Set lunch at S$9.90/RM24/US$7.40 includes a soup (tastes like packet soup), creamy chicken and rice and a dessert. And all-you-can-eat bread, which is the best item in Cartel.
Cartel's St Louis' pork ribs. Not as bad as I expected, but very very salty.
Cartel's dessert. What the.
F likes the fine things in life (who doesn't). She swears that the afternoon tea at The Fullerton Hotel (TFH) is the best, better than the famed Raffles Hotel, Singapore or Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong. I've been to HK over 20 times but never found time from shopping for the famous tea at Peninsula. I must do it when I go next month. I'm told Four Seasons is not to be missed too.
Frankly I have never heard of TFH until last year when my bro Clive pointed it out to me. "Most expensive hotel in Singapore," he said. Actually that is not so. Raffles is still more expensive, and Ritz Carlton is another top hotel. But TFH is more stately and very grand, especially at night when the lights are up. It is in front of the sea and the famous Merlion statue of Singapore is right in front of it. Incidentally, I think it's time to build a bigger Merlion. Anyway, my friend Su was on a business trip the week before I went to Sing and she urged me to go earlier so that I can stay with her at TFH (so nice of you, Su! Invite me again next trip?). I was so tempted, but in the end opted to go later with Hub and Ming. F is extremely kind; she flew down from KL and squeezed in some time for us by taking us to the afternoon tea at TFH when she heard about my missed chance to stay at TFH.
You can choose the Traditional English Afternoon Tea for S$36++/RM86++/US$27++, Tea with a glass of wine for S$46, or Tea with champagne for S$56++. You get a 3-tier tray stand filled with teeny weeny sandwiches and desserts, all golf-ball sized and replenishable. You also get, per person, a choice of two teas and coffees. I chose the Bellini tea, which is a fruity drink; lovely. F had an excellent Earl Grey while Ming chose a Sing-English blend that tasted like cough med.
I have never eaten scones with clotted cream before (also in pic, a lovely creme brulee). In Australia, they serve scones with whipped (dairy) cream. The texture of clotted cream is very much like mascarpone, very fine and meltingly smooth, like whipped butter, and not wet and airy like whipped cream. Imagine, clotted cream in Singapore!
The scones are served with a superb marmalade sauce, clotted cream and a berry jam. I think we had 6 rounds of these, cleaning out the cream each time.
Open sandwiches of cucumber (too wet with butter), smoked salmon, cheese and aspic and very tasty egg mayo.
Scones, muffins, tarts, jelly, sponge cakes (some with gold foil which Ming kept eating; they are so light in color they probably are tin foil...) that are only as big as golf balls.
My Bellini tea.
TFH's afternoon tea is served off the lobby which I didn't quite like because it was too open. TFH is not opulent, which is nice. I found the inside not as impressive as the outside.
So how do I find TFH's afternoon tea? Very frankly, I think they could expand the selection. For that price, they could throw in some canapes, petit fours, some English ham, a selection of cheeses and throw out the humble muffins even though they were very good. I'd rather have high tea at Cova, only about S$14++ per person. For once even Ming admitted that pricey doesn't necessarily mean the best.
The Poser, with Clarke Quay behind him.
After the tea, we walked towards Clarke Quay, which is across the Singapore River. Clarke Quay is a waterfront esplanade of restaurants; very pleasant. I have always loved South East Asian countries for the warm weather that doesn't require a sweater in the evenings; Singapore is very pleasant because it is very safe and there are no major issues. TFH is the building on the right. Those domes are The Esplanade, the place for concerts, plays and operas. Known to most people as The Durians, I find them to be more like the compound eyes of houseflies. But don't tell that to the Singaporeans.
Too bad it was about 8pm, so we skipped Clarke Quay and took a cab to Ngee Ann City on Orchard Rd. We managed a glance at Tiffany's (crowded!), I considered the stainless steel Tank at Cartier (empty!), F brought me to Jimmy Choo and Chloe where she had just bought a handbag each last week. We both thought Chanel, Celine, Bally and Fendi were too 'aunty'. I fell in love with Loewe's Nappa Airre (the gold & bronze one) as shown in their display screen, but it was sold out. We both agreed we love Marc Jacobs but On Pedder, the store that sells funky labels such as Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Stella McCartney, was closed. The next day, I went back and bought myself a black Gryson Baladyne (Joy Gryson used to be the design director for Marc Jacobs; I prefer bags that aren't so 'It' yet. Plus, her bags are still affordable) which is so heavy it'll probably give me a frozen shoulder, as had the Chloe Paddington that F has since given away. I felt very guilty as I left the store (is it only me? I change my mind the minute I'm out the door!). But while waiting for Ming, I saw an old man on a wheelchair (pushed by a Filipina maid) and his 70-something, very classy and trendy wife. Hung on the wheelchair were big shopping bags, the one outside says 'Burberry'. As they clambored frailly into their chauffer-driven Merck, I reminded myself that money can be earned, but not time. Besides, the bag was 50% off.