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Old 26th October 2012, 18:10   #16
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Default Re: G'Day From Down Under-Australia Album.

After enjoying the very informative and eye appealing Tiger Show, we moved on to the other attractions of the Park.

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Some customary pics, later souvenirs to be.....

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.....we proceeded to the pick up point form where we boarded our pick up shuttle....

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It arrived, bang on time and proceeded towards the hotel....

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.....through some familiar sights....

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.....and some exotic eye candy.....

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.....for a well deserved rest in the hotel as we had to leave the next afternoon for Singapore. We packed at night so that the next day would not be spent in packing, distributing various things in various bags. We travel light. Not one of our bags was over the max allowed kg limit. The key is not to carry along and buy useless stuff. Most of the people i know have reached their max limit in weight when they ate still departing their country.

The next day i woke up early and as the wife and kids were surfacing, i grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel and sped out to catch the nearest bus to Burleigh Heights, a suburb of Gold Coast and around 20 -25 minutes away from the hotel. I had done the homework the day before taking directions and bus routes from the concierge.
As soon as i stepped in front of the bus stop, i got my bus.......and off we were...

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Last edited by V-16 : 26th October 2012 at 18:12.
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Old 26th October 2012, 18:20   #17
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Default Re: G'Day From Down Under-Australia Album.

......and a few stops away, alighted at the beautiful suburb of Burleigh heights. From there i caught a cab and showed him the address where i wanted to go. He fed the address in his GPS and a short drive away, he bought me to my destination....

The Mecca of 4x4 in Australia...ARB

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Unfortunately the stuff i wanted was either too heavy or too expensive so i settled for a few nick-knacks and spent time browsing in their shop. This was a place where you could buy their stuff and get it fixed at their shop too. My camera played truant on me and the battery went dead so i could not take any pictures of the drool worthy stuff displayed in the shop....sorry!

But before it died, i did manage to click some pics of their fitted and kitted 4x4s.

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We had a plane to catch from Brisbane, a 40 minute drive from Gold Coast so being the hyper guy that i am, i hailed a cab and decided to travel all the way in it to the hotel. The cab bought me back in 20 minutes.

As we were packed and ready, we proceeded to the lobby and waited for the ConXion man and his van pick up who arrived in time as usual.

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He looked very pleased to see us ready and waiting in the lobby, something which he is not used to when he has to pick up Asians he mentioned. Thats why he always came 20 minutes early for a pick up. Great, we thought, as i prefer to be at the airport well before time especially if it is for foreign travel. Another thing he was amused with was that we were only carrying four bags, two medium size and two small ones and that too quite light. HE asked us again... " U guys live in India or you just Indian Origin" I knew where he was coming from, i said we were born and lived in India and were proud of the fact. HE seemed to love Indians and surely Indian food. The old man was quite a talker and kept us busy showing us the sights and places of interest as we drove to the Airport.


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.....Past beautiful water front houses

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Since we had left before time he was nice enough to take us through a short detour to show us the docks where a Cruise liner, The Pacific Dawn was docking.

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We reached the airport well before time...

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...which gave us ample time to check in, go through immigration and security formalities, through all the shops and finally board our flight to Singapore.

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As we were individually fiddling with our entertainment screens, going through the menus for what would be our only entertainment for the next many hours i wondered how, when you are enjoying yourself, that time literally flies, days seems like minutes and when you are not, it seems to stand still, minutes becoming hours and even days. With this thought we flew to our next destination, the much visited Singapore, hoping to find something new to see there. With a heavy heart we bid adieu to Australia, carrying back memories of a good family time we had. G'day!!

Next Stop Singapore!!
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Old 3rd November 2012, 12:18   #18
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Default Re: G'Day From Down Under - The Australia Album

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd November 2012, 21:05   #19
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Lets talk about the food in Australia!!

When i say food, there all kind of food. Besides the local cuisine......(what is the local cuisine, besides, pies and steaks) there is a whole array of foods available. When i was here in 1999, the on;y foreign food available here easily was Indian (yes it was popular back then too), Italian, Chinese, besides American fast food. Japanese was just appearing and now they seem to have taken over. Sushi is almost a way of life. Ill take you on a culinary tour, city wise.


Among the many places where you will find wonderful eating places, cafes, restaurants, Darling Harbour and the Rocks are dotted with restaurants and cafes all over, serving a variety of cuisines, yes also pure vegetarian food, Vegan too. They understand vegetarianism very well though it is a tad difficult to explain to them that cakes and pasteries need to be eggless too. Rather than explain the religious beliefs to them, what they understand is No meat, No fish, Vegetarian, Allergic to Egg.

Darling harbour was where we had most of our food, delicious and the variety was great. Amongst them was the famous Zaffran (nothing to do with the Bombay restaurant of the same name) owned by a celebrated Indian chef.

Italian food is almost everywhere. It is more prominent and hence a more popular cuisine here. One will find all kinds of Italian restaurants all over. From Hatted, to Michelin Starred to inexpensive Trattorias serving the most delicious Pizzas. Follow your nose and eyes.


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Pizza with Prosciutto (a kind of ham) and Aragula (Rocket) leaves

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Pasta Carbonara

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Steak; Very Rare as you can see

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Sheesh Touk

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The servings here are rather large and they love their meat for obvious reasons.The best meat comes from Australia.
One will find as many Grills and Steak houses here too. Amongst the best are the chains called The Meat and Wine Co and Angus, found all over Australia. We visited both, the below pictures are from the Meat and Wine Company.

The Kids loved the way they were served their Mocktails. A welcome change for them from the usual Cola or aerated waters.

Watermelon Mocktail

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Iced Tea

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Caesar's Salad with grilled Chicken

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Rack of BBQ Ribs

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Roast Chicken Peri Peri

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If one is craving for Asian food i would recommend the acclaimed food court at Dixon Street, called the Dixon Food Court. Im sure all the stalls are great but the stall number B-11, had accumulated cult status as a Hot Pot must go. Inexpensive food cooked to perfection is served here on a hot plate. I discovered this pace on my last visit, way back in 1999 and had 5 meals here in two days. So was the fascination. At that time it was just started and the husband wife team were working on fast food mode to satisfy the customers. Now they are joined by a few more younger lot, im guessing, their sons and daughters. If you google this place, it seems this is one of the most recommended place in Dixon Court and amongst all food court food available in Sydney. Go early and prepare to stand in line to order the food. Worth it if you are a Chinese food fan.

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Thai Food

Thai food is really popular. Most of you watching the Master Chef series must be familiar with the runner up in one of the season's, Poh. Poh, an Australian Thai has since then started her own restaurants and has become a celebrity having her own food show called Poh's Kitchen.

We visited a small suburb in Sydney where a bylane had an interesting places to eat. Amongst them was a small Thai restaurant run by an Englishman, married to a Thai girl, who loved Indian food. We got talking and we had one of the best Thai food i have eaten in Sydney.

Stir Fried Traditional Thai Flat Noodles

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Thai Chicken Red Curry

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Grilled Tiger Prawns with Mushrooms

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Old 3rd November 2012, 21:24   #20
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Melbourne Dining

Federation Square, Flinder's Street, Collins Street, almost everywhere one finds eating places. Nothing to beat the Food at the Crown Casino and Entertainment complex. Just across the Yarra River on cannot miss this huge complex which is a Hotel, Casino, Entertainment complex and a food haven consisting of dining options to cater to every pocket. We trotted off to another hole in the wall place, a small Trattoria, again specializing in Italian and Mexican food. I found the place cramped, Dim and too noisy. Suddenly i heard a "Sat Sri Akal Ji" greeting,in a deep baritone voice. Looking up i saw a strapping young lad, all of 6 feet 5 at the minimum and built like Arnold's younger brother. He introduced himself as Kanwaljeet from Bhatinda, Punjab (of all places) and in chaste Punjabi blurted out that he had come to Australia to study and was working in the cafes for an extra buck. He hardly knew any English but in the last one and a half year he had spent in Melbourne, he was fluent in Italian.......of all the languages. I never bothered to find out how or why and he recommended what we should be eating, honestly brushing away a few of our choices as 'No Good, trust me" We did and whatever he served us was delicious.

The place was small with the menu on the wall.....hey that rhymes Sorry about my son,i just cant get him to pose with a straight face.

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Pizza with Minced Pork

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The Crown Complex

One could get lost here,its so huge. Back in 1999 the place was almost new and even then was a huge tourist magnet. The dancing fountains and the glass chandeliers which did a musical routine of coming up and down in a sequence, synchronized with music was a huge draw. Unfortunately, the fountains dont work so well and now most of them are shut. Not expected of a place like that. The upkeep i must say has not been up to the mark.

Inside, the high end shops have increased with larger, more visible brands. Famous restaurants like Nobu's have also opened their shutters. The huge restaurant which spanned among almost 15,000 sq. feet has given way to a huge food court, which is the best place to go and eat. The food is just great and the variety is mind boggling. It is very well priced too, keeping in rhythm with all food courts. There is food available from almost all parts of the world.

Most of them will serve you a plated meal with a lot on the plate. That means you get a portion of what you choose with accompaniments. During lunch and dinner timings, many have a choice of plate, say if Asian choose any three dishes and a rice or noodle.

Italian-From Salad, to Paninis to Pastas to Riso Balls or Risotto

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Pies, Roast and Grill-Australia's favourite local kind of food.

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Are you kidding me? This kind of fusion shows the popularity of Indian Food

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Desserts and Coffee-By far the biggest display

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Old 3rd November 2012, 21:38   #21
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Middle Eastern

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Smoothies and Juices

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Also many seafood deals available across the complex.

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If you would like to dine in style or partake meals in fine dine style, there is a huge array. Unfortunately, for those travelling with minors, some of the areas are off limits as minors are not allowed in the gaming area, where some of the best restaurants are housed. Tough luck, take a walk to the others which are not off limits. Nobu of London is a big draw and has been one of my favourites for Sushi. As for the rest of Japanese food,i think it is too bland for our palate.

Nobu at the Crown Casino and Hotel - We ordered Seafood Tapas and

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Stylishly served Lemonade at Nobu

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As you must have guessed, Sushi was on our list all the time. While we walloped some of the freshest Sushi available, the kids didnt want to go anywhere near that. I guess its the age. Maybe when a bit older they will start appreciating the finer tastes of life and food.

The Art Of Sushi

One orders what one wants and is usually served in portions in the form of Rolls or Raw cut fish. Not all Sushi is made of raw seafood. Sashimi is on the other hand just plain raw fish of your choice, cut and served decoratively.

Sushi is served with certain condiments mainly a light Soy Sauce, Wasabi paste which is Japanese Horse radish (which is not actually horse radish but actually grated root of a plant) and Gari which is wafer thin slices of sweet pickled ginger.

Sushi may be had at hoity-toity expensive restaurants or at quick serving places like the Sushi train. The concept is fantastic. There is a centre island table with a conveyer belt on which the sushi is plated in small portions, in different coloured plates and circulated.

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The board usually announces prices in colour codes. For eg the red plates are priced as X , the Blue Y, the Green Z and the Orange P.

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One picks the plates as one pleases and eats and piles up the empty plates next to oneself. After one is done, the steward will count the number of plates and bill you according to the different colours. Quick, easy and no nonsense.

Sushi- Tune Rolls (Raw Tuna)

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California Rolls (Cooked Crab and Avocado)

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Roll with steamed Chicken

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Old 3rd November 2012, 21:43   #22
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One starts by picking the Sushi and placing the Gari on it (this can be had after putting the Sushi in your mouth also)

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Placing as much Wasabi as one wants. (PS Wasabi is more pungent than mustard and even a dot in excess of what you can tolerate will have fumes coming out of your nose)

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Dipping the prepared Sushi in light Soy sauce and straight into your mouth, whole, no biting pieces off as that would destroy the delicately wrapped Sushi. In any ways the portion size is very dainty and bite sized

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While we enjoyed our meal, the kids ate at the next restaurant ....Potato Skins....

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....Spaghetti Carbonara

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Steamed Prawns with cocktail Sauce

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And finally i joined them for some pure Ice Cream Bar Fun.

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Old 9th November 2012, 16:27   #23
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Our last stop en route to Bombay was Singapore. I have always liked Singapore for various reasons. Most unknown...just a feel good factor i guess. Its closer to home, has fantastic food, good shopping (though it was unaffordable with the SG$ touching 44/- INR when i visited) and a familiar place, all because we have been there so many times. The Climate i do not like. Hot and Humid, beating Bombay.
So we checked into our hotel on Orchard Road

Our Rooms with a View

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We stepped out on the famous boulevard for just a stroll. Every time we come her there is something new happening.

We walked across the city just to get acquainted with it, yet again.

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Construction is always buzzing, new shops have opened, some old ones are existing. The best part about being in SE Asia is that you Blackberry services are offered in the pre paid avatar. Except in Singapore and Bangkok, (with Bangkok being more BB friendly) entire Europe has no Pre paid BB cars available. They all want you to buy a post paid card which is expensive and also not easy to get. So the first thing we did was get a BB simcard from the local 7-11.

The Takashimaya store boasts of the best food court in entire Singapore and is situated in the basement.

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The unavoidable Chicken Yakitori Meal..a snack available fresh at the basement food court

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I wanted to show the kids the Indian side of Singapore, the South Indian side, so we dropped of their mom at Orchard road and i took them to Little India by the MRT. We got off one stop earlier to walk to Little India. It is said that the best way to see a city is to walk around. The kids were astounded and amused by what they saw.

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Even Jain Food This is no relation to the Bombay based restaurant with the same name.

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The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial

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Scenes enroute to Little India. Spot the Singaporean if you can

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Old 9th November 2012, 17:52   #24
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I took them on a stroll in Little India past the many stores that resemble Matunga/Kings Circle are which is called Little Madras. In a similar fashion, Indian food stuff was available, Indian clothes (Lungis etc), Indian foot wear and to top it all the shops had the choicest ear catching Tamil (I think) music blaring, latest Tollywood songs i was told. The shops here smell of Incense, Sandalwood, Jasmine being the most predominant, lined shops selling Idli, Dosa etc.

This original Singaporean chain has now found its way in India too.

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We walked past Arab Street and i took them into Mohammed Mustafa, one of the largest Dept stores i have seen which spans across a few blocks and across a few basements. Huge is the word and there is hardly anything that is unavailable here.

We returned back as it was getting late and we had booked a table in the famed Din Tai Fung Restaurant. This is a famed dim dum place all over the world. Since it was too early for dinner, we had decided to have a few starters here, head to the hotel, take a wash (most essential in Singapore if you are walking in that Uber Humid city) and head to Clark Quay, a happening place which is by the river side and is lined with entertainment, bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes. Basically a chill out place.

At the entrance you can see the chefs pre-preparing food and all kinds of Dim Sums. This board helps patrons decide what they want to eat, while they await their turn. There is a line every single day during peak hours.

The Entrance

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The Menu and Order sheet which you mark and keep for the stewards to serve you.

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Display Kitchen

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The Food starts with Tea Service and then your order as and when it gets ready

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We returned home, just a short walk away and caught a cab to Clark Quay.

The cabs in Singapore have all the information you need. From city maps to brochures to a lot of info about them. The Driver's name is boldly displayed on the dash with his picture and his license number. IN addition to the no eating, drinking, littering warnings and the corresponding fines displayed, are very prominently displayed the front and rear tyre pressures. I wonder why. Is that the law. Yes i was told. We proceeded in the night to Clark Quay.

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At Clark Quay

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Old 9th November 2012, 18:02   #25
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Default Re: G'Day From Down Under - The Australia Album

We settled for some Mexican food: Tacos, Quesedilla, Chili Con Carne and some soup served in a hollowed bread. You eat the soup and the bread too....if you can

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The next day we had planned just to do some kind of last minute shopping if needed. Thankfully no one found anything worth buying which was not already available here, cheaper. So we headed to the nearest Swensons for a bite

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Baked Meatballs Parmigiana and some awesome Sundaes.

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One cant loiter around in Singapore for a long time, indoors or outdoors. The Malls are huge and unless you are a compulsive shopper or permanently hungry, like me, ud get bored to death. On the outside, its too too hot and humid, unless you stop for a cool drink or juice every few steps ud be better off in an ac environment. The next day we had an early morning flight out so we decided to eat at the Hawker centres of Singapore. Newton Circus is one of the most famous ones there but i prefer the ones at Geylang, but more on that, when i visit there again.

A hawker centre is open till wee hours in the morning. It is a big part of the food culture in Singapore. This is like an outdoor food court, it is a dedicated place consisting of many food stalls, each specializing in a different dish or two and selling that dish. There are many rows with convenient numbered seating provided for the guests, throughout the centre. The customer, goes around the place choosing what he wants to eat and then places the order for his food from various stalls. One pays immediately and gives the number of the seat where the dish is delivered as soon as it is conjured up. One will find stalls specializing in just rice and noodles, Malay, Indian food, only juices and drinks, desserts, curries, etc.

Seating is on a first come basis so usually you will find locals carrying their small tissue packets (much needed) and placing them on an empty table or chair to announce that the seat is taken. It is the done thing here and no one complains so we did the same, else it becomes difficult to find a place at these centres.

Newton Circus has become more famous than the other centres therefore the prices of some food here are almost at par with some restaurants, especially the seafood. So dont come expecting to pay pennies for everything. Its not that expensive really but the food is worth it.

We knew what we wanted and ordered the following

Grilled Sting Ray Fillet in Banana leaf with chilli sambal. If you eat fish and dont eat this in Singapore, your trip is a waste

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Clams in Singapore chilli sauce

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Steamed Black Pepper Crab

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Murtabak which is nothing but or own Baida Roti

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We finished with some Ice Kachang which a dessert. Shaved ice is piled up in a mountain on a base of some sweetened boiled, beans, sprouts and jelly bits and covered with evaporated milk and some syrups and fruit bits. Very refreshing. I have eaten this in Bombay with a twist called Malai Gola.

So with our bellies full and warm with some great Singaporean sea food and other stuff, we retired for the night at our hotel.
The next morning was going to be a frenzy to get to the Airport. But our bags were packed with our cloths for the next day out. We were finally going home and however grand the holiday be, it always is a special moment when one gets back to one own home.

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