It’s our first anniversary month! To sort of celebrate this, Francis and I did two things for the first time: 1) we traveled abroad, and 2) we traveled abroad together. Our first stop (among hopefully a gazillion more stops)? Singapore!
He’s too tired to wake up for the obligatory pre-check in photo 😂
Why Singapore? Our first reason is it was on sale on Jetstar when we booked last July pa. Second, it’s in Southeast Asia so it’s Visa-free. And we found out there were a lot of vegan and vegetarian food there. (Although not as many as Thailand, of course – Thailand’s heaven.)
The moment is we stepped out of the plane, I was 100% sure that I was going to fall in love with this Singapore. Changi Airport is beautifulllll. (I’m a city woman, you know. Shopping is my happiness.)
And I suck at fake walk shots.
Since we’re both amateurs at this, Francis and I actually got lost on the way to immigration and ended up in the Sanrio display.
Not a Hello Kitty fan but swings are my weakness.
Anyway, soon we found our way to immigration. The first thing we did was get the 2-day tourist pass for approximately Php630 (SGD26, with SGD10 refundable upon return). This is truly every tourist’s magic key to the country. It gives you free rides on the incredible MRT and the public buses.
Please don’t mind my nail. I forgot. Hahaha.
From Changi Airport, we headed to our hostel in Little India to check-in our things (which we weren’t a lot). Then we set forth onto our first mission: our first meal of the day.
Meal 1: Pizza and Ice Cream (Dinner)
Having done our research beforehand, this pizza guy and ice cream girl decided to go to Brownice, a 100% vegan restaurant at Sin ming Centre. It pegs itself as an Italian vegan ice cream and kitchen.
Forgive us for choosing Western first. But February 9 is apparently world pizza day! We’d hoped to show the omni pizza houses that vegan pizza can beat them anytime. Hahahaha. Plus, I read that the ice cream at Brownice is really nice.
As I expected, Francis almost spat out the pizza on his first bite. Unlike me, he isn’t amazed with our food tasting like meat. But soon, he began enjoying it. Because what’s not to enjoy? The soy ham really did taste like ham… or at least as I remember, since I haven’t had ham since 2012. It also has sundried tomatoes, which I really love in pizzas.
Since I’m an ice cream woman, we also had the ice cream. I got strawberry (the recommendation of the kind lady who led us to the store when we got lost) and Francis had the earl grey. Mine was seriously the best strawberry ice cream in the world – including non-vegan variants. But Francis’ was the best ice cream ever.
We spent SGD24 for our dinner and Patti was a happy woman.
We were too tired to do more walking so we returned straight to the hostel after dinner.
Meal 2: Two Indian Breakfasts
Ananda Bhavan Restaurant
The next morning, we set forth to make our very short Singapore experience a fruitful one. We started by looking for Ananda Bhavan, a vegetarian restaurant at Serangoon St., which was just walking distance from our place. We passed by this pretty flower elephants by the intersection.
Then we walked on to our destination. According to our research, the oldest Indian vegetarian restaurant in Singapore would be open by 7 a.m. and it was.
Unfortunately for us, it was very early so they didn’t yet have rice meals yet. So, we helped ourselves with what was available: samosas and something that looked like a corndog but had a huge chili inside… but not after a difficult convo with the cashier whose English we can’t quite understand. Haha.
The samosa was yumminess. It was the second samosa I had in my entire life and now I know what it’s supposed to taste like. Heaven! I’m officially in love with vegan Indian food.
The chili corndog was not delicious at all. In fact we left our leftovers at the Chinatown hawker center later.
Anyways, it was so cheap. Two delicious samosas and three not delicious chili corn dogs just cost us SGD4.
Being itinerary-less, we were surprised to discover that the Little India we were looking for was just a few steps away. Personally, I’m excited to explore Little India and find that iconic colorful house where America’s Next Top Model once held a photoshoot. I especially loved the colorful buildings. Then, we found this by accident:
and of course we cannot pass up the chance to have another breakfast.
The helpful cashier/manager showed us which of the items were vegan. Envious of an Indian man eating there, Francis was determined to try the paper dosai.
Which, like many Indian dishes, was supposed to be eaten by hand.
And OMG. I thought I make decent curry but this is curry. It was heavenly. The spices were just perfect. Of the three dipping sauces, my favorite is the tomato-based one on the left. The flavors were so subtle yet so yummy. Francis loved the curry in the middle.
Francis would soon declare that this was his favorite amongst everything we ate.
After our satisfying paper dosai breakfast at Komala Vilas, we walked around to check out the heritage walk and look for the iconic colorful house I mentioned before.
Finding this, coupled by my delicious hearty breakfast, my day was officially done.
But that’s crazy. We only had a few more hours left at Singapore and we’re not wasting them. We rode the MRT to Chinatown, hoping to find vegan noodles.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any. And honestly, we were getting dizzy and sick with the sights and smells of dead ducks everywhere that we immediately left after a mug of sugarcane juice at the hawker center.
We headed straight to Marina Bay to have the obligatory Merlion shot.
We also had our short stint at Jubilee Walk but we were so hungry by then.
Meal 3: The Chicken Rice
Then, the highlight of my weekend: my faux chicken rice experience.
From Raffles Place, we rode an STS bus to Ang Mo Kio. The bus itself wouldn’t be driving to Avenue 10, where the hawker center we were looking for was. But the kind and cool bus driver – he said I’m a cute girl, hahahaha – asked us where we were going and said he was going to drop us off at Avenue 1 where we would ride Bus 45. It was a very long drive and I fell asleep one quarter of the way.
Then finally, 33 Vegetarian Food.
I seriously won’t leave Singapore without having chicken rice. Along with laksa, sambal, and nasi lemak, chicken rice is a quintessential Singaporean dish I’d always been curious about.
And the long, boring ride was sooooo worth it. I almost cried as I savored the poached faux chicken. You really don’t have to miss your favorite food once you go vegan. (But we’re more WFPB vegans so faux meat is just an occasional treat.)
By the end of the meal, Francis and I were so full. My biggest regret is I didn’t get to eat vegan laksa… but someday I will. Maybe next year? Hahaha.
Two sets of chicken rice was for SGD15.60.
We shopped for pasalubong at a nearby store before going home.
Last Supper: The Most Delicious Rice Meal Ever
We went back to the hostel for a quick rest before dinner, since we decided to head back to Changi Airport before 9:30 pm to return our passes and refund our SGD10. We decided to have our last dinner at Ananda Bhavan because Francis still hasn’t moved on from wanting that dinner set meal he’d missed at breakfast.
But before that, a quick stop at a nearby mall’s foodcourt to have taho and would you believe it? Vegan pan de coco!
You don’t know how I feel. Soft bread stuffed with coconut is my favorite bread and I haven’t had it in years.
So anyway, Francis bought the dinner set and I had two sweets from Ananda Bhavan. Sorry to say we were too overwhelmed by the size of the dinner set (apparently enough for four people of our appetite) to take a photo. But it was delicious! Francis liked the spicy curry with squash while I loved the eggplant one with the peanuts. (If my research skills are as good as I think they are, it’s called “baghare baingan.”) And their rice is so soft and fluffy.
I think I gained 10 pounds after this trip.
Our flight home is at 6:25 in the morning. I know right? Anyway, our Changi experience was so tiring and a bit frustrating, not because Changi is frustrating but because we were super sleepy. Good thing we found beds at the snooze lounge and got some sleep. We even got a free foot massage through the massage chairs.
- I love Changi Airport! I haven’t been to many airports but the restrooms alone are enough to convince me this is indeed the best airport in the world.
- Singapore is hot – even hotter than where I live. But the heat isn’t painful on the skin.
- I’d go back for the chicken rice. And by then I’d make sure to eat laksa.
- I’m obsessed with Indian food now.
- Singapore is a vegan-friendly country.
Well, that’s my long narrative of our Singapore trip. It’s more like a food trip, isn’t it?