Looking forward to the Year of the Goat, and Sibos coming to Singapore
Singapore is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Since the early days of independence the Lion City has grown to become a major global financial centre, one of the world’s busiest ports and according to the World Bank the easiest place to do business. A fitting venue for Sibos in 2015. And to help you make the most of it we’ve put together an informal travel guide.
EAT Chili crab, Chicken rice
First stop on a visit to this island of culinary treasures is to a local hawker where you can sample South East Asian cuisine. One dish proudly associated with Singapore is the famed chilli crab. A messy, sweet and spicy treat, this is as much about the fun of eating as it is about the delight of tasting. The crab is steamed and served smothered in a delicious tomato-based sauce. Small dough balls (or man tou) are used to mop up any remains and are worth it for the trip alone. Our Top tip – wear the bib! This dish leaves its mark!
Jumbo Seafood on the East Coast Parkway is about 15 minutes by cab from the Sibos conference centre.
Chicken rice is a worker mainstay. Skin-on roast chicken breast glistens beside a mound of white rice cooked in a special stock, sometimes with the added flavour burst of pandan leaves or coconut milk. It’s served with a hot chili dip with soy or sliced ginger. A Hainanese import, this dish is available island-wide and is highly recommended. Follow the queues at the Market Street Food Centre, Raffles Place.
DRINK Kopi, Tiger beer
Jet-lag can be a burden on flagging spirits. To give your system a boost, get a caffeine jolt with the local coffee, pronounced kopi. The beans are roasted in sugar and butter to create a thick, dark brew that this proudly poured from a height and via a sock – honestly! The strong coffee aroma will awaken even the most tired traveller. Order yours with condensed milk (kopi) or evaporated milk and sugar (kopi C). For those with a slightly less sweet tooth, try it kopi siu dai. A local favourite chain is Killiney Kopitiam.
Tiger Beer was first brewed in Singapore back in 1932. It’s a pale lager with a light taste that is now shipped worldwide, but pours so much better in its land of origin. Particularly inviting with a plateful of local food, this popular drink is sold everywhere – from petrol stations to 5-star hotels. Keep an eye out for the Tiger Beer Aunties in the local hawker who’ll deliver chilled mugs and litre bottles right to your table.
SEE the Merlion, Gardens by the Bay
Sibos this year is at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort. The stunning hotel is a centrepiece of the CBD area with a nightly light and water show. A short walk across the bay will lead you to an imposing creature, called the Merlion. He has been roaring since 1972 as the symbol of Singapore and no trip is complete without taking a snap with the gushing beast.(http://www.yoursingapore.com/content/traveller/en/browse/see-and-do/family-fun/attraction/merlion-park.html)
Singapore prides itself on being the Garden City, a motto which comes to life in the Gardens by the Bay. Situated at the back of the Marina Bay Hotel, the Gardens are built around lakes, a Supertree grove and the world’s largest glass greenhouse. A perfect respite from the excitement of Sibos with a stroll through their open-air gardens or chill out in their cooled conservatories.
The fabled Mass Rapid Transit system (or MRT) is as immaculately clean as the guide books describe. Admittedly it can be a little snug during rush hour but not to worry, there’ll be another one along in 2 minutes. An inexpensive marvel, with air conditioning and free wi-fi at selected stations, the MRT is links the island via an extensive underground network to the Sibos Convention (Circle MRT line, Marina Bay station). All for less than the price of a kopi.
We hope that has whetted your appetite! As Sibos approaches we look forward to seeing you in the Lion City, and if you need any help or advice on what to expect, or how to make the most of the world’s largest financial conference, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Cognito Singapore team on firstname.lastname@example.org powered by Disqus