Category Archives: Singapore

Singapore, Singapore – Soufflé Restaurant

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(See my other Food posts) – A couple of weeks ago we went to a French restaurant here in Singapore, Soufflé. The restaurant is located at 5 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089591.


Soufflé is not a very large place and as you would expect from the name, it specializes in preparing a variety of soufflés. I had an order of Soupe à l’Oignon (Classic French onion soup with grantinated cheese toasts) then a Roquefort Cheese (Freshly baked soufflé – with a hearty portion of Roquefort cheese) and a Mixed green salad lightly dressed with French vinaigrette as my dinner. I liked all of those choices. The others in our party tried a wide variety of items and they enjoyed them all. You can look over their full menu if you like. 

Then came the dessert soufflés. There are eight different “Sweet Soufflés” on the menu:

  1. Grand Marnier et Oranges Confites (Freshly baked soufflé with a generous dousing of Grand Marnier and candied orange Additional shot of Grand Marnier)
  2. A la Chartreuse (Freshly baked souffé with a generous dousing of Chartreuse; the popular French digestif made with over 100 plants and flowers)
  3. Valrhona Chocolat Noir et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soufflé with Valrhona dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream)
  4. Framboises et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soft soufflé with raspberries and vanilla ice cream)
  5. Caramel Beurre Salé, Glace Caramel (Freshly baked soufflé with salted caramel and salted caramel ice cream)
  6. Speculoos, Crème Speculoos (Freshly baked soufflé with speculoos spiced shortcrust biscuits accompanied by a speculoos cream)
  7. Soufflé Glacé Citron Vert (A tall fluffy zesty lime iced soufflé)
  8. Soufflé Glacé Fruits Confits (A tall fluffy iced soufflé laced with colorful candied fruit


There were six of us in the dinner party, so being the ‘crazy Americans’ that we are we ordered two of each! Well, actually three of the chocolate soufflé.

Out of this delicious list, I liked the chocolate, caramel, and lime soufflés the best. I got too involved in the enjoying the soufflés so I did not get photos of them all. As you can see though, they all look good.

I have to say that I much prefer eating at a restaurant with a good steak. This was an interesting dinner though and it was great to sample all of their dessert soufflés. If you like French cooking or soufflés, then you will enjoy this restaurant.

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Singapore, Singapore – Civilian War Memorial


When I went out for a walk around Singapore the other day I passed by the Civilian War Memorial. The memorial was built in memory of the civilians killed on Singapore during the Japanese occupation of the island during World War II.

Work began on the memorial in 1963, but the 230 foot (70 meters) high quad pillars were not completed until early 1967. It was formally dedicated on February 15, 1967. The four identical pillars of the memorial represent the shared war experiences of the Chinese, Eurasian, Indian and Malay residents who suffered through the occupation together.


An inscription is on the base of the memorial in the four major languages of Singapore – English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. It reads: “Memorial to the civilian victims of the Japanese occupation 1942-1945”.




IMG_0620The memorial sets in a 4.5 acre War Memorial Park located near City Hall in the central business district.  Most of the civilians who died were of Chinese heritage during the Sook Ching massacre. How many actually died is still a matter of debate. Japanese reported that 6,000 died, but official estimates range between 25,000 and 50,000.


See my other articles on Locations 

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 210 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Singapore, Singapore – Getting a Haircut


Singapore – I have been back in Singapore now for almost two weeks and I very much needed a haircut. I walked over to the nearby Plaza Singapura as I knew there was a barbershop there.  This shop is just outside the Cold Storage grocery store we frequent there in the mall.

They advertise (see the sign at the bottom of the window) a ‘Korean Style’ haircut in 10 minutes for $10 SD. At the time I am writing this that is equivalent to about $7.34 USD. Far less than I am used to paying back in the States.


The process to get a haircut here is different from at home. The first thing you do when you enter the shop is to go to the automated teller machine shown above, put in your money, and get a ticket. Once you have given one of the barbers your ticket they seat you for the haircut.

There was a bit of a language barrier but after a little pointing, pantomime, and broken English the barber finished the haircut. The outcome was not bad. Perhaps a little longer in the front than I would have liked, but I won’t hesitate to go back to that shop the next time I need a trim.

Last year I had a haircut in a shop in the Dhoby Ghaut MRT (subway) station adjacent to Plaza Singapura. They too had a machine issuing tickets. Their cost was $12 SD. The only real difference was the numbered seats for those waiting on a haircut. You took a seat in the available spot with the lowest number. As the barbers took a customer waiting to get their haircut from the #1 seat, those that remained would each scoot over to take a seat in the next lower numbered seat. An effective but different style of waiting in line.

A World Within a World: Singapore’s Unusual Biodomes

I enjoyed reading this blog and wanted to share it. I have not had the opportunity to visit these biodomes yet myself, but I will definitely have them on my list when I return to Singapore next year.

K.L. Kranes

Mirror rabits flower domeIn one world, Alice ponders a giant mushroom inside an arid wonderland. Two rabbits mirror each other with claws up as if fighting their own reflections. The scent of flowers fills the air.

In the lost world next door, a skyscraper sized waterfall beats against the ground. Mystical sculptures hide within a tangle of exotic plants. The paleolithic era of giant plants and vines weaves up a mountain.

These are the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, two separate worlds encased in a half- moons of glass on the edge of Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. Both magical and beautiful biodomes evoke an ancient, organic sensation nestled in with fairy tale and science fiction. Upon entering each world, it is as if you’ve been transported to an experimental outpost on Mars built by people with an interesting sense of humor.

The Flower Dome

purple flower, flower domeApproximately mid-way through our trip to Singapore…

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Singapore, Singapore – Black Tap


Food – A good friend here in Singapore recommended the Black Tap restaurant. We have now been there twice and have really enjoyed it. The Black Tap is located in the Marina Bay Sands Mall. Officially the address is 2 BAYFRONT AVE, SINGAPORE 018972. I didn’t realize it when I was there that the Black Tap is a chain of restaurants out of New York City.


The Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino are shown above, with the Mall spread out at its base. The Black Tap is actually located at the near end of the Mall (building with the curved roof) shown in the photo above.


It is one of the many shops and restaurants in the Mall. Notice at the bottom of the photo above you can see the ‘canal’ that goes through the center of this section of the Mall. It is complete with gondolas that you can purchase rides on.


Exploring the Mall alone is worth a trip to the Marina Bay Sands.


But we had come to the Mall specifically to dine. I chose the Steak Au Poivre Burger (a Blue Cheese Burger) with fries. It was very good.


My wife had the Baja Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fries, which she enjoyed. While these, and the other items on the menu, were good, they were not why we visited the Black Tap.

The Black Tap also specializes in Crazyshake Milkshakes. If memory serves me, we ordered the Cookies ‘N Cream Supreme Oreo Shake (vanilla frosted rim with crushed Oreos topped with a ‘cookies ’n cream’ sandwich, crumbled oreo, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle) and the Sweet N’ Salty Peanut Butter Shake (chocolate frosted rim with chocolate gems & PB cups topped with a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle). These are just two of the eight shake masterpieces that are available.


We were lucky to have a seat where we could look over to where the shakes were being made. What better entertainment! Dining at the Black Tap is an experience I am sure I will repeat and I recommend it to anyone.

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Singapore, Singapore – Hard Rock Cafe


Food – A few days back I took the two-mile walk to one of the local Hard Rock Cafe‘s here in Singapore. This one is located at 50 Cuscaden Road, #02-01, HPL House, Singapore 249724. There is nothing really unique about this location, but I find visiting a Hard Rock Cafe while traveling is like taking a little step back home to the States. Sometimes it is comforting to see food just the way you are used to seeing it.


This location is pretty large and is set up for live music.


It even has an upstairs with more room for seating. I visited in the early afternoon, so there were not many other customers. I suspect that the place is much more crowded in the evenings and especially on weekend evenings.


While they have a nice menu, I kept my order simple opting for the cheeseburger and fries. It was a very good lunch!

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Weirdest Place on Earth and Its Ghosts (More Singapore Travel Adventures)

I enjoyed reading this interesting article on a part of Singapore I had not heard of. I see that Haw Par Villa is closed now for repairs, but will open 3/1/19. When I return to Singapore after the Christmas Holidays in the US I will have to plan a visit to it. It only looks to be about 4 miles from where I am living.

I am glad that I could ReBlog this post.

K.L. Kranes

Tiger balm. Chinese folklore. Decaying statues. What’s not to love about Haw Par Villa in Singapore? (Maybe the ghosts?)

Warning, this blog contains what could be some disturbing pictures for younger readers. No joke. Don’t let the references to Disneyland fool you. There are no sweet, happy endings at Haw Par Villa, only moral lessons featured often in very graphic, violent stories. Oh, and there are ghosts. You’ve been warned.

Welcome to Haw Par Villa – A Little Bit Violent, A Little Bit Sexist, A LOT of Weird

There are so many ways to describe Haw Par Villa.

Imagine a type of Disneyland built by two Chinese immigrants channeling Tim Burton then abandoned 50 years ago.

If you prefer architecture or art, I could describe it as reminiscent of Antoni Gaudí and Salvador Dalí with a touch of Stephen King.

Haw Par Villa cave.jpg

However I choose to mentally draw that picture, the bottom line is that…

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Singapore, Singapore – Black Angus Steakhouse


Food – On one of my walks here in Singapore I came across the Black Angus Steakhouse. It is about two miles away so it is not a place I am able to visit very often. This location of Black Angus is at 1 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 247905. As stated on their website:

Black Angus Singapore is the only franchised Black Angus steakhouse licensed by the U.S. Principal for the whole of South East Asia.


Black Angus Steakhouses originated in the US in 1964 and have several US locations, though I have not visited any. I have enjoyed a very good burger on both of my visits to this Singapore location. They have a good menu to choose from with several Steak and Prime Rib options.

I enjoyed my meal on both occasions and I am sure I will be going back. This is a nice place to have a casual, but very good dinner or lunch.

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Singapore, Singapore -Dean & Deluca


Food – My wife and I walked over to a nearby Dean & Deluca location a couple of nights ago for dinner. While it looks empty in this photo, it is generally very busy. We were there a little early. This location is at ORCHARD CENTRAL, 181 Orchard Road, #01-09/10, Singapore 238896. It is one of three locations here in Singapore.

We each ordered a pasta dish which we were pleased with, though I liked mine more than my wife liked hers. We decided to take one of the outside tables to be by the water feature and to be able to watch the people walk by.


The highlight of the dinner was when this little fellow flew up and landed on our table. He sat there looking at us a short time them off he went.

The restaurant is located in a large enclosed atrium that goes up five or six stories. We think this little guy came in through the large sliding glass doors, but we are not sure. The food was good, though not exceptional. Having this guest land at our table though will make the evening memorable.

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Want to Carve a Pumpkin? Can You Spare a Dime?


So it is that time of the year where pumpkins are being purchased to be carved up into Jack-o’-lanterns. People are preparing for Halloween here in Singapore as in many other places around the world. When walking through a local grocery store recently I saw the prices in the photo above and they really made the higher cost of living here stand out.

Now those pumpkin prices are in Singapore dollars, not US dollars, but they are expensive. Using Coinmill to convert the $39.90S for the large pumpkin into US dollars I get $28.99. Less, but far from cheap. Even the medium pumpkins at $26.90S are over $19.50 US. Far more than I am used to seeing at the HEB back in Central Texas. I checked their website and see “Fresh Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins” listed for under $7.00 US.


One of the local malls had a couple of BMWs on display a few weeks ago. If you can’t read the price on the BMW X2 shown above it lists the vehicle ‘from’ $152,888S ($111,070.11 US).


While talking about autos, what does fuel cost? The prices shown on this pump don’t look that bad . . . until you realize that the price is per liter. Looking at the website the average price per liter of gasoline in Singapore over the last quarter was $2.22S with a minimum of $2.18S and a maximum of $2.28S. If we think in terms of gallons and US dollars the average is $6.10 with a minimum of $5.97 and a maximum of $6.25. About double, or more, what we see back in the US.

Returning to the grocery store lets look at ice cream. You see here small 458 ml (essentially a pint) of Ben & Jerry’s for $13.90S and a 1.66 L (3.5 pints) of Tillamook for $19.95S. That is $10.10 and $14.50 respectively.


They don’t have hamburger here, at least not as we know it. The closest is this Australian minced beef at $29.90S per kilogram. This is just over half a pound of hamburger for $5.70 or over $11.00 per pound.




Eating out isn’t cheap either: a Three Meat Pizza for $27.90S ($20.25 US), a chicken sandwich for $17.90S ($13.00 US), a Philly Steak sandwich for 20.90S ($15.18 US) and gourmet hamburgers for $22.00-$26.00S ($15.98 to $18.89 US).

So while it is beautiful here and the weather is quite nice, though a little warm and humid, it is an expensive place to live. Having said that, the same can be true for pretty much any island that has to ship in most items. While I have not been all over the island of Singapore, from what travels I have made I have not seen any land in use for agricultural purposes. In the grocery stores, you see many items imported from the US, Australia, Japan, and Korea.