Manifesto

Topshop funnel neck top, COS shirt and pants, Mango sandals 

Deriving inspiration from Margaret Howell's menswear F/W 2015, I like how the funnel neck peeks through the collars of the shirt. The search for a sleeveless turtleneck/funnel neck top makes for some terribly stressful scouring, but as fate would have it, I found it sandwiched in between racks of boho chic styled clothes in Topshop. I think funnel neck flatters me better than turtleneck will, because it shortens my neck and will only emphasise the roundness of my face. Not that it will ever stop me from wearing them—I will definitely whip them out when the season comes! 

Shrimp Back



One of the things I am going to miss once I leave Singapore for good: prawn noodles. Nothing is more rewarding than a bowl of piping hot flavourful goodness accompanied with thirst-quenching lime juice after sitting hunched over a report for six hours straight. This shop serves arguably one of the best prawn noodles in Singapore, though I am not one to say because I have yet to try any other prawn noodle shops. My dad swears by this shop, and every time he visits we would always stop by this place. Being a seafood addict I would always order the jumbo prawn noodle, and it never fails me every time. The prawns were huge and fresh, and the noodles had a springy texture which I like. The broth is light and tasted perfect with a discernible prawn taste, a savoury base and a hint of sweetness which is not overwhelming. How the light broth can still bear such deep and complex flavour is beyond me. Although I have to travel quite a distance to reach this shop, honestly I don't mind because it is just that good. I mean really. 

Old and New




Chinatown; a colourful neighbourhood that sets itself apart from the surrounding streets with an extravaganza of glowing lanterns and colourful shophouses. It is an exotic emporium of street stalls selling all kinds of things, from touristy souvenirs to Chinese medicines. The rickety street stalls look more inviting than intimidating with the smell of food wafting through the air. Repeated shoutings bring on a hoarseness with the sellers beginning to call out to the passersby, the energy contagious as I immerse myself fully into the mob of this lively scene. 

Comfortably nestled in the midst of Chinatown bustling neighbourhood, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is a sight that is often overlooked in Singapore. The grandeur of the architecture is nothing short of beautiful and I would always find myself marvelling at the mere sight of this magnificent facade every time I pass it by. This temple incorporates elements of Tang Dynasty architectural style in a prominent red colour, exhibiting a rich Buddhist art and culture with its collection of imposing statues with intricate detailing. The place is always crowded with tourists and devotees praying, while nonchalant old people hang around the outer boundaries of the temple, wandering their day away. In the topmost floor of this multi-tiered temple is a rooftop garden that is the perfect place to recover your inner peace. Every corner of the open space is luxuriously filled with lush greens and a numerous varieties of orchids, forming a serene sanctuary that will calm the senses of both distressed and faithful wanderers alike. In my secular mind, I find that a quiet meditation on the beauty of the plants is as worthy as a prayer in front of the sculptures.  

Located strategically opposite of the temple, Maxwell Food Centre is one the most iconic hawker centre that houses several famous stalls. Many travel here with a sole purpose to feast on the local street food staples. The place is especially packed with an unceasing crowd during lunch hours, but it is always worth the hurdle in countering the manic ocean of people to savour some of the best street food staples. 

People are flocked in front of the stall and judging by the long queue which is far stretched out beyond the food centre, you can tell that Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice has been an enduring favourite of both locals, tourists and anyone in between. The intense smell of the fragrant rice make my stomach growl, and I can already taste the chicken rice as someone walked by with one. Waiting for almost about 20 minutes, I am quickly served a plate of fragrant rice and succulent, glossy chicken that was drizzled with thick soy sauce. The rice is so delicious I can eat it by its own. It is oily but not overwhelmingly so. The umami of the chicken is further heightened by its accompanied chili sauce, a flavourful blend of ginger, garlic and lime. Being an Indonesian I can almost brag about my ability to eat spicy food, but the chilli sauce is enough to make me snotty. The tanginess is such a refreshing taste to the savoury flavours of the dish that I decided to smother my whole plate with it. I am completely curious at the rich, complex flavors this simple dish is able to bring out. It definitely deserved the rave reviews and celebrity status it achieved.

As the evening drew to a close, a different spirit seemed to animate Chinatown. Tracing the district lights and narrow street markets, the stalls and shophouses are lit up with a vibrancy that seem to infinitely linger throughout the night. Street performers are often neglected even as the unending myriad of people pass them by, their performance completely blocked by the tremendous hullaballoo in the crowd. A stark contrast to the bubbling scene that is cramped with people, meandering around the dark, empty alleys of Chinatown is as if walking through a wasteland of emptiness. I would feel an insatiable emptiness inside, a loneliness that seemed to consume me. I somehow feel like I am behind a glass wall, watching it all happen from the opposite side.