Day 5 – Bugis, Food, and Helix Bridge

Day 5 was our last day in Singapore. The plan for the day was to go shopping, get some more Tze Char food for lunch, and then walk the Helix Bridge to view the evening lights. The feeling of the trip nearing its end was slowly sinking in. We had a tiring but awesome time in Singapore! The weather forecast for the day was not great. NEA was showing plenty of rain all morning. We were lucky not to get any significant rain throughout our trip, but today was the first time that it was going to be different. We were so glad to have finished our Universal Studios trip on Day 1. Had we left it to the last day, it would have been a terrible experience. My travel tip to you: Finish all your top attractions first, at the beginning of your trip. If the weather is good, then go to your most anticipated destinations first. Do not leave the high-priority places for later on because you never know how those days will turn out. And towards the end of your trip, you won’t have much flexibility to re-schedule.

That morning, as soon as we stepped out of our hotel, the rain was pouring down as heavily as the Mumbai rain of July! We wait for over 20 mins before the rain finally slowed down. We were starving and walked to Syed Alwi road for some breakfast. Murugan Idli was open and unlike our crazy experience on Day 2, it was totally empty! We enjoyed some amazing South Indian breakfast before taking the MRT to Bugis. There are plenty of malls in Singapore (probably one every 5 blocks) and to get the most out of your shopping, you first need to understand what’s unique about each shopping area. Bugis and Mustafa center are great places if you like bargains and reasonable pricing. Orchard or MBS are your high-end luxury malls. Suntec and Millenia Walk are a mix of high-end and mid-level shopping. Vivo City, Velocity Novena, City Square, etc. are your mid-level shopping malls with the usual brand names. So depending on your preference and budget, go to the right mall because all of them are huge and will easily consume a few hours of your day.

We were interested in bargain shopping and gift purchases, so Bugis was a great option for us. As we walked out of the Bugis MRT station, we ended up at Bugis Junction, which was just a typical mall. But, as we walked further down the street, we arrived at Bugis Street, which is an area of hundreds of small shops selling the stuff that we were looking for. We haggled and bargained, and bought a few things. There we plenty of interesting shops at Bugis Street and we totally lost track of time exploring them. At about 2 pm. we finally realized that we were late for lunch. So, we left Bugis and headed out to Jalan Kayu in the north. It was an odd and far out-of-the-way place to go for lunch, but it was worth the journey.

bugis street singapore

                                                                                   (bugis street shops)

SHU Vegetarian was the restaurant we were headed to. It was one of the most highly acclaimed vegetarian Tze Char restaurants in Singapore. The journey to Jalan Kayu was long. We had to take the purple line to Sengkang and then get on the LRT train to Thanggam. The LRT was a little bit different from the MRT. It had a smaller coach, almost like a capsule darting around with 20-25 people in it.

As we alighted at Thanggam station, we felt like we were in a proper residential area of Singapore. It was the route that only the locals took. There were no tourists there. Lots of school children walked out of the station with us. SHU Vegetarian was a short walk from the station. We reached the restaurant at almost 3 pm. Since it was way past lunchtime, there was no crowd. On other days, and especially on some evenings, SHU is known to have long wait times. We ordered some mixed beancurd with mushroom and basil, fried Mee Sua (noodles), and the famous claypot vinegar with vegetarian meat.

SHU vegetarian barley drink

                                                                         (we started with a barley drink)

SHU vegetarian mixed mushroom basil

                                                               (mixed beancurd with mushroom and basil)

SHU vegetarian claypot vinegar

                                                      (very unique dish – claypot vinegar with vegan chunks)

SHU vegetarian mee sua

                                                                          (refreshing Mee Sua noodles)

The noodles were freshly tossed and stir-fried. The beancurd dish was great because it was actually used to replace eggs. The omelette-like pieces in the curry were actually made of beancurd! The star attraction was the vinegar-infused vegetarian meat with black beans. While this dish may not be to everyone’s taste, if you like vinegar then this dish is a must. The sauce was great with the sourness of vinegar, the savory flavour of soy sauce, and a slight kick of ginger. I would definitely visit SHU Vegetarian again if I visit Singapore in the future. It serves excellent local Chinese cuisine and is in the same league as Gokul.

After lunch, we head back to the city. We had a free afternoon with nothing planned. We decided to stay close to the Bayfront area because we wanted to walk on the Helix Bridge in the evening. So, the best option was to go down to Suntec Mall. That mall had plenty of shopping and it was within walking distance of the Helix bridge. Some of the stores there had great deals running. Adjoining Suntec Mall was another mall called Millenia Walk. We checked out the shops there as well and came across a bakery called Patisserie G. We had to try out their chocolate dessert which was delicious.

patisserie g chocolate mousse cake

                                                                    (chocolate mousse cake at Patisserie G)

After spending a couple of hours at the two malls, we headed out to Helix bridge. Singapore’s well-known ice-cream uncle was selling the classic ice-cream sandwiches at the start of the bridge. If you want to try the bread and ice-cream combo which locals in Singapore love, then Helix bridge is a good place to do so. While you are there, take a picture with the ice-cream uncle for memories. Since we were already stuffed with all the Tze Char food and the chocolate dessert from our afternoon binge, we did not buy the ice-cream.

marina bay sands view evening

                                                      (evening sunset view of the famous Marina Bay Sands)

singapore skyline evening

                                                                     (downtown Singapore in the evening)

fullerton hotel evening view

                                                                              (the famous Fullerton hotel)

The Helix bridge at night gave one of the best views of the city’s night skyline. The other good location for night views is the area with steps right next to the Merlion. All these locations are free of cost. However, if you want to, you can always pay some money and go to the top of MBS and get awesome pictures from the observatory. Or, you can also buy tickets for the Singapore Flyer. We did not do any of that. Instead, we got some fantastic pictures from the viewing points on the Helix bridge. The bridge itself also lights up with hundreds of LEDs built in the shape of a DNA strand. Because of this shape, the bridge is named as “The Helix Bridge”.

helix bridge and mbs

                                                                          (beautifully lit up Helix bridge)

mbs and artscience museum night view

                                                      (The ArtScience Museum and Helix bridge along with MBS)

mbs and artscience museum night view

                                                           (The ArtScience Museum and downtown Singapore)

singapore downtown lights

                                                                            (beautiful Singapore skyline)

After walking along the Helix bridge, it was time for our last dinner of the trip. We had enjoyed plenty of Chinese and Indian food during our trip, so we decide to get something different. We headed over to Eunos for some burgers at VeganBurg. VeganBurg is a homegrown Singapore brand which specializes in vegetarian burgers using innovative ingredients that are all plant-based. They have a shop in San Francisco as well. We ordered the Mustang Relish and the Smokey Barbecue. The quality was excellent and the ingredients were fresh. We also got a side of their sea-weed fries. All in all, VeganBurg is a must for any vegetarian who likes burgers but is always disappointed by the lack of options at McDonalds and BK. Vegan Burg will give you about 7-8 different options. Everything on the menu is fully vegetarian and eggless. They also have seasonal specials, which are unique burgers that change from time to time. They had an Indonesian burger as their seasonal special while we were there. Some of their seasonal specials are actually more popular than their regular burgers.

veganburg mustang relish

                                                              (Mustang Relish burger and sea-weed fries)

veganburg smokey bbq

                                                                      (Smokey Barbecue burger at VeganBurg)

The foodies that we are, there was time for one last dessert after our burger dinner. We head over to Lavender station and then walked to a Parisian-themed cafe called Antoinette. They are quite well-known for their deserts. But be aware that the place is quite expensive. We tried their signature dish – the Antoinette. If you are a chocolate lover, then order that dessert with your eyes closed. It was getting late and so we headed back to our hotel. We packed our bags and went to sleep, as we had to catch a flight back home the next morning.

antoinette singapore

                                                                           (The Antoinette – signature dish)

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