Gator has been procrastinating in updating the food blog. Blame it on other priorities in life - one of which is data collection for research. It is indeed a time consuming exercise and one should not underestimate the time to contact people etc. The most exhausting component - your mind just keeps on thinking while you are speaking to people. Research is indeed an iterative process. So, this is going to be a backdated post.
Gator was at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore and it was such a marvelous visit. I mean this entire garden spanning some 101 hectares of land is totally reclaimed. It just shows how much discipline is needed to really develop a city and the landscape. Trust me - Singapore has its faults and sometimes, the relentless work pace and the drive of the people to work till they zonk out seems so exhausting. But very few cities that are cramped for space actually devote that amount of land to develop a garden instead of more high rise buildings. So, that did impress Gator.
Gator visited two conservatories - the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The former is supposed to mimic the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean region. It does seem weird to have a Dutch theme with windmill, clogs and tulips surrounded by this glass of insulated artificiality - the glass acts as a physical barrier from the external tropical climate to a sizable space of controlled cool air and low humidity. In one sense, Gator can see a lot of parallels between this engineered environment with the general controlled physical landscape of the city state. Gator has become too philosophical with a lot of political analogies here.. (hehehe)
|Check out the little wooden clogs|
|Little Holland in the making?|
|This is not frozen ice but is a miniature cactus|
The other conservatory is Cloud Forest with an artificially created cool-dry climate, almost similar to the tropical highlands.
|Huge waterfall greets visitors at the entrance of Cloud Forest|
|You can walk around the cascading waterfall with this elevated structure.|
|Peeking into the city landscape from the waterfall|
|Gator felt a bit acrophobic walking around the waterfall|
|Outside Gardens by the Bay - with a view of the Singapore Flyer in the background.|
The use of air conditioner in the two conservatories did worry me a fair bit but I read online that the buildings are supposed to be environmentally friendly. One of which are these super trees which supposedly harness solar energies. The glass surrounding the conservatories are also double glazed to reduce the heat.
|The man-made super trees said to generate solar energy|
Finally, the Makansutra Glutton's Bay which highlights some of Singapore's famous street or hawker fare. I actually think the food was generally passable - you can better hawker fare at grittier places, outside the city centre. We ordered a range of typical Singapore hawker food.
|Roasted chicken rice - this was passable. The rice is traditionally cooked with chicken fat.|
|Satay - chicken and beef with rice cakes and cucumbers.|
|Oyster omelette- loved the crispy bits|
|Ngo hiang - an assortment of fried meat, tofu, fishballs and even crispy prawn fritters.|
Value for $$: It is considered slightly on a pricer side for local hawker food but rent in the city area is not cheap, I guess
Overall Experience: Gator was famished after walking around the Garden and devoured the food. The ambiance is pretty quaint but the quality of the food is pretty average.