Sundowners with a Difference – Gear Up and Explore

What’s one to do as the sun sets over the horizon in the central business district of Changi? Plenty, as John Maxwell a Long Stay Guest at Capri by Fraser, Changi City /Singapore will tell you:

“I saw the adverts for ‘Gear up and Explore – the cycling experience’ posted around the hotel. I thought it would be a good way to explore the local area and to get to know my fellow guests and the staff at the hotel. I have not cycled for years but the team at Capri by Fraser made my Changi experience so enjoyable. The pace was just right. The route was safe, scenic and well organised. Safety and comfort was a key concern for the Capri team and that was very reassuring. The break for food and drink was an added bonus. However, it was the warmth, kindness and friendliness of the Capri staff that made it not just a lovely experience but a highlight of my time in Singapore. After the trip I was buzzing, not just from the enjoyable experience but the fact that the acquaintances I had begun the journey with had become my friends.”

From left: Vernon Lee, General Manager with our guests, Rosemarijn Kriek (in yellow top), John Maxwell (in orange top) and Santosh Kumar Podishetti (in chrome orange top), along with our enthusiastic team of cyclists from Front Office

From left: Vernon Lee, General Manager with our guests, Rosemarijn Kriek (in yellow top), John Maxwell (in orange top) and Santosh Kumar Podishetti (in chrome orange top), along with our enthusiastic team of cyclists from Front Office

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Top Nosh: Uniquely Singaporean

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Singaporeans are unabashed about their love for food. In fact, food is viewed as a unifying cultural thread in this cosmopolitan city, an emblem of national identity. Over our brief history, we’ve managed to gain a reputation as a food paradise, full of international cuisines and styles, but none more loved than our multicultural take on local food. Here are some signature local dishes to try.

BBQ Sambal Stingray

The grilling of seafood is popular globally but what makes this dish uniquely Singaporean is the topping of spicy sambal – a chilli-based paste of shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallots, scallions, sugar and vinegar – and grilling the fish within a banana-leaf packet for additional flavour.

Ayam Buah Keluak

This iconic Peranakan dish of chicken stewed with spices and black nuts from the Kepayang tree is a labour of love. The distinctively tasting nuts require at least two days of soaking to be edible and the rempah (pounded spice paste) is made of seven ingredients and takes half a day to fry.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Originating from Hainan, this dish has been adapted to local tastes. Everyone loves chicken rice for their own reason, be it for the succulent chicken meat, the flavourful rice cooked in chicken stock and spices, or the appetising chilli sauce, ginger paste and dark soy sauce accompaniments.

Chilli Crab

Singapore’s most popular seafood dish is made of mud crabs stir-fried in a sweet and savoury tomato and chilli-based sauce. Not exactly spicy, its sweet ketchup-laced gravy is what makes it finger-licking good. The dish is commonly served with fried man tous (buns) to mop up the sauce.

Rojak

This dish is a delightful riot of flavours. Rojak consists of cucumber, pineapple, benkoang (jicama), bean sprouts, taupok (deep-fried tofu) and youtiao (Chinese dough fritters); doused in a dressing of belacan (shrimp paste), sugar, chilli, and lime juice; and topped with chopped peanuts.

Laksa

There are many variations of Laksa across the region, but the one in Singapore is Peranakan in origin, its curry gravy redolent of coconut. Swimming in the gravy are usually thick rice noodles, prawns, boiled eggs, taupok and fish cake. You can choose to add raw or lightly blanched cockles.

Satay

Our local version of the kebab, Satay consists of seasoned and skewered meat – typically chicken, goat, mutton or beef – grilled over wood or charcoal fires, and served with a peanut dipping sauce plus accompaniments such as rice dumplings, cucumbers, and onions.

Rendang

Originally a technique to preserve meat in a tropical climate, rendang is a meat stew rich in spices. Along with the meat – beef, mutton, goat etc, it has coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices, which includes ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, lemon grass, garlic, shallot, and chillies.

Roti Prata

The local evolution of the Indian paratha is popular for breakfast and late night supper. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, good plain pratas are commonly eaten with curry or sugar. Modern variations see ingredients like egg, cheese, chocolate, and even durian filling the pancake.

Ice Kachang

Take a bowl of chewy jelly and attap seeds, and sweet red beans and corn, heap on a mound of grated ice before pouring over various kinds of coloured sugar syrup such as palm sugar, rose syrup and evaporated milk, and what you’ll have a yummy cool treat!