Brunei Darussalam


[NOTE: The domain JANSHIM.COM watermarked on photographs is no longer in use.]

← continued from LIGHTS, CAROLS, ACTION!

Quoting The White Rabbit’s website, “a restaurant and bar housed in an awe-inspiring and beautifully-restored old chapel off the Dempsey area in Singapore. We serve a fresh take on both classic European comfort food and age-old cocktails all inspired by the past, while cleverly showcasing the present.” It helps to know that Dempsey Hill used to be the Central Manpower Base of Singapore (CMPB) and former British army barracks. The dining experience for many locals may be a walk down memory lane but for me (and my new foodie friend Melo) this is history in the making.


Attention to details is my thing and while I didn’t have my favourite macro lens on this trip, the Canon EF24-70mm’s “macro” capability was good enough to pull off what I would normally use a EF100mm f/2.8 for in particularly commercial food photography.


We were supposed to have “Salad of Figs, tossed with confit of cherry tomatoes and pearl mozzarella served with balsamic and olive oil” but in the absence of fresh figs, king prawns were offered instead. I’m no foodie and have almost no dietary limitation when it comes to all things scrumptious. Being the first meal off the plane, it was refreshingly good (not comparing it to airplane food) and I was warming up to the relaxed diner and getting acquainted to my new friends from the Philippines and our fabulous Singapore guide.

Read more about our dining experience at The White Rabbit on Melo’s blog Pinoy Food Cravings including pictures of our main course “Chestnut stuffed farm chicken served with carrot puree, Brussels sprouts and thyme jus.”

I can hardly sit still and every chance I got, I would leave the table to check out the rest of the premise. I particular like the simple elegance of the establishment.

Believe it or not, in the four days I was in Singapore, The White Rabbit was the only place I was able to get free WiFi to check my mails and update my Twitter status. Everywhere else was a tease and even with a free wireless@SG account, I couldn’t get the account to authenticate. I was assured that it’s entirely normal 🙂

Chocolate lovers will love Beschle chocolates located on the ground floor of the Mandarin Gallery. I sampled

Fine and exclusive chocolate made from the best ingredients became a mega trend long ago. Sophisticated and unusual creations are no longer the preserve of the trained palate; they have now captured a growing and discerning clientele. The traditional Basel-based chocolate manufacturer Beschle Chocolatier is hoping to surprise the market with its extraordinary creations and sees itself as an haute couturier in a growing market. Such a claim demands high quality, which is why the company in Basel has set itself a code of practice that will provide Beschle’s sophisticated clientele with a unique and enjoyable chocolate experience. — Beschle Chocolatier Suisse

Now, here’s something interesting, no, unique as I mentioned in Lights. Carols. Action! Most cafes and restaurants serve breakfast for a limited time and if you’re the nocturnal sort who wake up just in time for lunch, you’ll be pleased to know that at Wild Honey where breakfast is served all day and every day.

The second I walked into StraitsKitchen at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, it immediately reminded me of Marche Restaurant the Swiss “fresh market” dining experience except here all dishes are Asian and a wide delectable selection if I may add. The warm lighting, the bustling crowd, the combined aroma from the mind boggling variety of dishes from different Asian cultures available contribute to a sensory overload. So much so I decided to let the Melo and Wilson (our guide) sort out dinner. Check out Melo’s take on StraitsKitchen—his cravings for laksa have finally been tamed.

A pillar of traditional tea pot collection at StraitsKitchen

I love open kitchen concepts where chefs interact with patrons and vice-versa. I’m of the opinion that chefs should be a part of the dining experience so the dishes we consume come with a personality.

Freshly prepared Poh Piah (spring roll)

Nothing beats a freshly wrapped spring roll. I don’t remember if it was Melo or Wilson who brought this to the table but I do recall it was my wife who first introduced this to me beginning of Dec ’09 when she brought back Poh Piah take out. It was great! We like the Vietnamese spring rolls too but they’re not easy to find and in their absence, I’ll take these ones any day.

Prawn wanton noodle soup with fried shallots and spring onions. I know, disgustingly yummy, right? 🙂

On the eve of our last stay, we hit Privé for lunch. Located at the scenic Marina Keppel Bay, this was to be our second last meal together before we each return to our humble abode. This was also the beginning of a very long day at Sentosa where we visited attractions such as Wave House and MegaZip Adventure Park before ZoukOut 2009 @ Siloso Beach.

This scene takes me back to my days in Perth, Western Australia some decades back

Privé is divided into three sections: Bakery Cafe, Restaurant and Waterfront Bar. Our lunch was served at the Bakery Cafe which overlooks picturesque Keppel Bay. I felt like I was in a different city and frankly speaking, I dread having to leave there after a good meal and company. My starter was a mushroom soup that’s made of button mushrooms, dried forest mushrooms cooked in chicken broth, thyme and onion.

Melo’s main course: Beef Pot Pie with puffy pastry, shin, tendons, mushrooms, carrots, onions and celery.
For more pictures from Privé Bakery Cafe check out Melo’s Pinoy Food Cravings blog post.

I caught this moments before Melo made the entire pot pie disappear!

and mine …
Beef Stew with mashed potatoes, shin tomatoes, tendons, mushrooms, carrots, onions and celery

Followed by dinner @ Tastes of Singapore in Sentosa resort right after Wave House, MegaZip Adventure Park, Cafe Del Mar and a general tour of resort. I have walked past this attraction numerous times with the family and until now, had never gone inside the restaurant. There’s an adjoining souvenir shop that well presented and stocks a wide range of interesting gifts including books. I imagine my kids would love it there!


Soft shell crab, Tandoori chicken, Satay, mint sauce, laksa, chicken rice, this combo represents multi-ethnic and culturally diversed community that is Singapore today.



  1. OMG!!!!!!!!!

    I want that satay…. that laksa…. that chicken rice… that tandoori..that Prawn wanton noodle soup and i wanna eat all that at the Old-chapel…

    Photos are amazing… makes me hungry… it looks if it’s right on my working table.. but when i try to grab, it’s not there… hehehehe


  2. delicious foods and places again~ I can’t resist from going to The whitle rabbit if I get a chance to visit SG. Another choco freaks here!


  3. I have been to Singapore quite a number of times and I have always love the food diversity I get to try and experience while there. Looking at your photos though, I realised there are so many more places in Singapore I haven’t visited!! What’s more, your photos manage to portray the art in cooking!! It’s no joke but seeing those photos with an empty tummy is just painful!! ahaha Awesome photos Jan! Just marvelous!


    1. I would have opted for that idea if I didn’t care about staying in touch with my family, friends and clients. I would also require a second mobile phone to use a Singapore SIM card which most people do and if I were to swap out my card with a new one in SG, it would mean having to forward my contacts my temporary overseas number—such inconvenience. I wonder how others do it, surely there has to be a more convenient solution without breaking the bank. A friend who read your comment last night said a “prepaid mobile broadband” service isn’t exactly cheap and to compound the inconvenience is not really knowing which makes more sense (and uses less cents)—a roaming account from BN or a local SG SIM card.

      Ideally, since my Nokia E71 is WiFi enabled, there should be a way to purchase a prepaid solution that will allow me to sign on to any of the available island-wide broadband service so I keep the use of my Brunei roaming number for SMS convenience. Some techie friends said WiMAX infrastructure is offered in SG and that’s the “ideal solution” for me. Is it ?


        1. On behalf of my friends who after reading my Twitter post about the M1 package, thank you very much for your suggestion. I received a message from one in particular who is currently in Singapore and she IM me from the M1 broadband access. Great stuff like this should be shared so there’s one less roaming casualty.


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