Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Binge - Brimming with Red & White

National day is coming up and what annoys me is the way some people think it’s hip to be cool about it. Not to care, stick their noses up in the clouds and think the excitement is only for school kids and grassrooty people, whereas they are far, far too superior to marvel at fireworks, the parade and get into the National Day mood. But I say, life is too short to be cynical. Any reason to celebrate and be happy, please!….and if I’m being campy and corny, so be it. Snoots are not getting any apologies for that. And that’s why we’re running a National Day theme this week….for wholehearted celebrations require time for planning!! Let’s fling ourselves into feeling all overflowing with red and white!

Such magic in the fireworks, unadulterated fun in waving those little plastic flags you buy from the provision shop knowing that a stranger could be waving it back at you...and have you been to the parade? I know tix are hard to get, but I went once with some friends (we were already in our 20s then) and it was magnificent! The crowds, the lights, the little fluorescent sticks you wave in the dark, the aunties in their sunshades, and the mass singing of nationalistic songs for the season …..Lah! It was breathtaking. Lovely! Is one not brimming over with patriotic fervor yet? Does one’s cup not runneth over? Mine is! I’ve also picnicked on empty grounds near the indoor stadium for a few years running just to see the fireworks, keropok, kua-zi and Tiger beer in hand in true Singaporean style. “Stand up for Singapore…..”

Admittedly, now that I’m on the scintillating side of 40, I don’t really want to jostle with the crowds… But this is what I will do. I will wear red and white underwear (red on top, white at the bottom…must remember that…), I will make my family wear red and white all day, even tattoo the kid’s face with the flag (a temporary one, of course!), and if I am not checking into one of those hotels to catch the fireworks, I’ll be watching the flypast from East Coast beach and having a supremely Singaporean barbecue in the garden with family, complete with un-haute bee hoon, chicken wings, satay (Kwang’s satay is the best), chicken curry with French loaf from an HDB bakery and overcooked green bean soup for dessert. Howzat?

But elegance can prevail. This are what some the hotels/restaurants are doing for the occasion which caught our patriotic eyes.
Get a room in the Ritz Carlton (Tel: 6434 5118 and quote “Fireworks Fiesta” room package) on 1 August to watch the Parade preview and the fireworks. It’s just $400++ for the night with brekkie for a family (2 adults and 2 kids). What’s great about this place? You can even see the fireworks from the bathtub. Down at the lounge, drink to the nation with their special Fabulous 44 cocktail, concocted with an amazing 44 ingredients and decorated with moon and stars….. And the Ritz certainly got it right. 44 is fabulicious! Chin chin!

Jump into local fare at Orchard Hotel’s Orchard Café (Tel: 6739-6565) with the Go Local buffet (now until end Aug for lunch and dinner). Expect the usual irresistible suspects like Hokkien mee, char kway teow, bak kut teh and kueh pai-ti, and live cooking stations for yum-yums like kway chap, mee siam, laksa, etc. Round off with durians galore - durian pengat, durian puff, durian roulade and durian cake…..enough said. Go dressed in red between 1 and 9 August and get a 44% discount too. From $36++ onwards.
  • Go to Forlino’s (#02-06 One Fullerton; Tel 68776995) for dins with fireworks. A 7-course dinner with beef tenderloin carpaccio with truffles, duck with goose liver and port wine sauce, parsley tagliolini with baby cuttlefish, etc. Nice price - only $120++.
At way out destination restaurant Vanilla Pod (Mandai Orchid Garden, 200 Mandai Lake Road, Tel: 63680672), which has a brand new team is offering diners whose birthday falls on 9 August on any year, a free main course on National Day. But those whose birthdays fall on 9 August 1965 will get a complimentary three-course meal on National Day. (Two days advanced reservations please.) The rest of us can sink our teeth into their National Day Weekend Pork Knuckle Promotion (7 – 10 Aug). With every order ($25.80 big enough for two), top up with $19.80 and get a bucket of five Tiger or Heineken beers. Since you can’t catch the fireworks there, get your own sparkles with the girly, fizzy Grant Burge Moscato 2008 for $28.80. How can you get more patriotic? First go to the Zoo, then dins at Vanilla pod surrounded by Singapore orchids! Aunties will surely like! - Ee Waun

*Little Black Book Alert*
To get your little black book of these telephone numbers, SMS:
“LBB[space]ND[space]age” to 77688


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