Food,  Singapore,  Travel,  Western

Brunch @ GRUB + A Visit to The Istana

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Howdy, Glitzies! I told myself that I would try to blog every other day to be in touch with you guys but recently, I was caught in a turmoil of things and made one of the toughest decisions in my life. I was so glad that I am out of it now but having that said, I knew that it is going to be a tough road ahead of me but at the same time, it always comforts me to know that God is right by myself. And knowing that you are reading what’s up with my life right now is heartening. 
So I am just going to spring forth with my recent visit to Istana and brunch date at GRUB. It was really lovely spending the public holiday out with my loved ones to soak in some sunshine and gobble up some really good food.
We headed to GRUB at Bishan Park for their burgers and signature Mentaiko fries. It’s certainly a must-try. Ever since I became less strict with my vegetarian diet, I find myself being more open about trying and discovering new things through food. It’s the best decision for me I guess but as much as possible, and if given a choice I would choose a green option like the other day, I went for portobello mushroom burger.

Watch my vlog below.

One eco-conscious way of dining which I practised these days is to support and frequent eateries that  are socially responsible. They could be using responsible ingredients such as using natural ingredients or meat obtained from grass-fed cows. Such sustainable and green efforts should be encouraged to make a positive shift on this planet. You think that such efforts are small and not impactful but it will one day when more of such enterprises are stepping up their green efforts with more consumers being more eco-conscious. 
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Their burgers were pretty average but not so for their Mentaiko fries (SGD 9) with nori seaweed which is pretty memorable in some ways. It’s as good as indulging in a really good plate of truffle fries. If you can’t stomach McDonald fries because you don’t know what goes into it, these fries should be safe enough to eat.
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The Portobello burger (SGD11) comes with crumbled feta and lettuce. What’s really striking is their glossy hamburger buns which aren’t exactly very soft in texture. The burger was quite alright but maybe a little more seasoning or sauce would have enhanced its taste.
As for my date, he had Har Cheong Gai burger which has a slab of prawn paste marinated chicken in it. I I don’t think I have heard the Cantonese words ‘Har Cheong Gai’ but it’s a household dish here in Singapore where everyone seems to be enjoying fried chicken.
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A good meal ends off with on a sweet note with some coffee and cakes. Sam chose the rainbow cake and very generously empties the plate with a few mouthfuls of the coloured sponge cake. It’s always a food battle for the both of us when it comes to desserts because this man has an appetite for sweet stuff. And girls, like myself, always feels that dessert calories are worth burning for.
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My fascination with tea has diminished like a puddle of water under the hot sun. I would go for coffee nowadays. It would be a couple of months from now before I rekindled my love for tea again. 
It’s a cycle and it repeats by itself.
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I would have gone for a walk or a jog in the park before settling down for brunch but Sam didn’t like sweaty dates. In fact, he wanted to bring me to a secret place. Girls love words that starts with the letter ‘s’. 
Secrets, surprises and…
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I would definitely come back to GRUB again to chill and enjoy their Mentaiko fries again. Let me know if there are other must-try dishes in the comment box below!
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I hadn’t had much clue to the secret place until he brought me to Dhoby Ghaut and I guessed that it has just got to be the Istana since there aren’t many attractions around in that area which we’ve never been before. And now I know that Istana opens on Public Holidays.
Not bad, Mr.Sam. I enjoy exploring new places with him – it’s akin to an adventure.
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We received a full dose of vitamin D with that shot of light energy from the Sun. My skin was slightly burnt for the first time in 2016 and thank goodness, there’s some wind to cool our burning skin.
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It was my first time here at Istana after living so long here in Singapore. It’s a great place to visit since it is our very own so-called ‘White House’.  
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Every weekend or holiday should be something like this – letting loose of your hair and let it get tangled naturally with the wind.
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They say UV rays are bad but getting a little sunshine won’t hurt either. It makes your skin glows too.
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The Istana grounds are huge! I remember the guards standing at the main gates as young kid and my mother would say, ‘ even if an ant crawls on their body, they can’t move a single bit!’ It must have been really fascinating for me as a kid back then to have remembered every word of what she said.
We managed to comb the Japanese Garden, the lawn and visited The Istana Building where we paid $2 each to enter. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside so I could also capture the scenes through words.
Istana which means ‘palace’ in Malay is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore. In it, we saw the reception hall, banquet hall and stateroom. The banquet hall shows a display of royal gifts given by other countries. From exquisite perfume bottles to handcrafted swords where were as gifts to our nation. 
It’s not fair to say that Singapore doesn’t have much history. This building speaks for itself. Our national heritage is indeed diverse. The Istana’s architectural style is similar to 18th-century neo-Palladian buildings and the building has a Malay-inspired tropical layout. It was first built by the British Colonial government as the Governor’s official residence and was known as the Government House back then. 
It was designed by Colonial Engineer, Major John F.A McNair and constructed by 3,000 convict labourers. But since then, the Istana was heavily renovated between 1996 to 1998 to add modern-day conveniences. However, it retains the character of the Istana still retains with its unique features like the stained glass panel in the atrium just above the banquet hall. 
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Is time controlling you or you controlling time?
We have the capability of creating time to breathe and enjoy some sun. Today is another weekend. Please enjoy it while you can!
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After the visit to Istana, I brought Sam to this Korean eatery called Kim Dae Mun at Concorde Hotel which is a stone throw away from the Istana. I had Korean food there once and it was good. It used to be a food court stall but now they have bought the whole space and transform it into a cafeteria style selling their Korean specialities. 
The seating area was big but most of the seats were already taken up by the time we headed there for dinner. I had Kim Chi Soup which was amazing and Sam had Spicy chicken served in a hot sizzling plate. The prices are good and it’s definitely worth coming back for.
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This is a hidden gem to get good and authentic Korean food!
Good food, good company makes one’s tummy happy.

Over the week, I’ve learnt to look away from the unimportant and focus on the everlasting.



A travel and lifestyle blogger based in Singapore.

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