Saturday, December 01, 2007


circa 1900;

a "quay" is a fancy synonym for a small pier,
and since the British Colonizers were a fancy bunch,
they used the word to refer to the many docking areas
for these small boats doing business in the Singapore River.

When I was a troglodyte La Salle transfer student
mangling the English language as an Ateneo HS freshman,
Mr. Pagsanghan taught me that "quay" is pronounced "KEE",
as in the last syllable of Span-ky.

Boat Quay,

original refuge of expats in search of cold drinks,
and regular haunt of locals in search of hot crabs.
The only boats plying the river these days are for tourists
eager for a different perspective of the center of the city state.

A similar development,
Clarke Quay has just been renovated,
and is now a haunt of hipsters.

Obsessed shoppers still go to their beloved Sue Quay,
and I don't want to venture into what goes on at Key Quay.

Tanny Chua,
my best friend and co-conspirator of cutting classes
from our (ahem!) honor section 1A High School days,
has been based in Singapore with his family for 8 years now,
and I finally was able to pay them a visit.

Our first order of business,
The Traditional Singaporean Welcome Dinner:

Jumbo Seafood Gallery
is situated at the quieter end of Boat Quay,
a perfect place for a fine dinner with a view,
and a great jump-off for a post-meal riverwalk.

We started off with the crunchy squid heads
and sweet fresh shrimp with my favorite wansuy,

and then moved on to the main course:
and since in Singapore, there is truth in advertising,
the crabs really were JUMBO!

From Ronnie Nathanielz's homeland;

may just be the reason why he had crab mentality
when he was President Marcos' spokesperson.

Kaylee and Coby size up our dinner!

I didn't practice Kodakus Interruptus this time;
once the Chili Crab was placed on the table,
my camera was set aside, and you can just imagine
how messily we ate that and the
Black Pepper Crab.

There definitely was a lot of licking and sucking.

In a very wholesome way, of course.

After dinner, it was time for the RiverWalk.

Our start off point, the gallery view of our restaurant:

The bright walkway by the river.

I'm pretty sure former Mayor Lito Atienza was inspired
by this kilometric bright and boozy row of restaurants
when he set up the much missed Baywalk on Roxas Blvd.

Ironically, current crusty & crabby
Manila Mayor Alfredo LIM KUAN YEW
put an end to those Singapore-style establishments.

Authentic Thai,

all the Indian food I've ever wanted,

and even a place for Bangers & Mash and Fish & Chips!

Yes, there still are thousands of countrymen
of Sir Stamford Raffles,
the gentleman founder of the City of Singapore.

The pub above was moved brick by brick from the UK.
A bloody good place for snogging & a smashing taste of home!

We continued walking towards the Financial District,

and gazed at the grand Fullerton Hotel,
so majestic, so European.

Along the way, we saw
a priceless work by Salvador Dali (!),
"Homage to Newton":

a 40-foot Christmas Tree,

The Asian Civilization Museum,

and the fun, funky details that line the RiverWalk:

a mother cat and her kitten,

these young boys forever diving into the river,

and right before the end of the walk,
the ultra-modern Espalanade theaters by the bay,

leading up to the grand finale,

one of the musts of this trip,
my MERLION moment!


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