Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bag infidelity at Prada and delicious dimsum at Din Tai Fung in Marina Bay Sands



Last week in Singapore, living a TRAVELIFE, one of the first things I did upon settling into my hotel after my cruise from Thailand to Singapore, was to meet up with an old friend for lunch at Din Tai Fung.

This is the Singapore outpost of the famous dimsum restaurant from Taipei that the New York Times reportedly called one of the 10 best restaurants in the world.

XIAO LONG BAO FOR LUNCH



I'd suggested having lunch at Din Tai Fung, since I like comfort food when meeting up with old friends. If I'm having a meal with old friends, I don't really care about the food as I'm more into the conversation -- and in that sense, comfort food is perfect for such a setting.



I'd just had a late and big breakfast at TWG Garden, also within the same vicinity as Din Tai Fung in the Marina Bay Sands complex, so I walked around the shopping complex for a while to work up an appetite.



SHOPPING AT SEPHORA

My first stop was Sephora, to get some very good sunblock for my upcoming South African trip. An SPF 50 sunblock that didn't really feel like sunblock. Fortunately, I found a very good Korean brand on sale at Sephora, and so I picked up a couple of these.

LOUIS VUITTON'S EYE CATCHING DISPLAY



Then I walked past the Louis Vuitton and Prada boutiques. I like nice things but I'm not really a fashion brand person -- preferring to just buy what I like if and when I see something I like, regardless of who made it.

So I passed by these shops never intending to go in. But the beautiful display at Louis Vuitton caught my eye, making me realize the power of window displays. I've posted a photo here and you'll see what I mean. This is a design of Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama, by the way, who is now very big in the art world.

BAG INFIDELITY AT PRADA



Prada, too, had a very eye-catching photo on its show window. And when I glanced in, the first thing I saw was their new handbag on display, in an assortment of colors. It's not the one in the photo above, though, as the one I like is simple and larger, but also more classic.

ALWAYS ONLY ONE BAG

My friends know that I use only one handbag, from one brand, and in the same size 30 and design, but just different colors and leathers.

Talk about fidelity here, but I've never looked at another bag since the first day I set eyes on this particular bag I use, about 18 years or more ago. I'm a creature of habit and I sure got used to this bag and its quirks. I also like the fact that I can keep it open all the time.

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A MOMENT OF THOUGHT

But last week, in Singapore living a TRAVELIFE, the vision of this Prada handbag actually made me contemplate the equivalent of bag infidelity. I seriously toyed with the idea of bringing one of those beautiful bags home.

However, I ended up not doing so; and just in time, as well, as when I looked at my watch it was 2 PM and time for lunch at Din Tai Fung.

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BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL IN DECOR

The original Din Tai Fung in Taipei has a charm all its own, but -- at least when I was last there -- it was a hole in the wall that's crowded, steamy and rather greasy. But we all go anyway because the xiao long bao is so good.

So I was happy to visit this more contemporary version of Din Tai Fung in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, which was clean, comfortable, bright, and rather hip.

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DELICIOUS XIAO LONG BAO



In Singapore's Din Tai Fung, we ordered the traditional xiao long baoTaipei's Din Tai Fung made this famous, but it's really a dumpling that originated in a historical restaurant in Shanghai. I've been to the Shanghai restaurant several times (no relation to Din Tai Fung) and I really like it for the overall experience.

My friend also ordered another version that came with a spicy soup and some chili.



Both were good although I seemed to imagine that the one I first had in Taipei was tastier, for some reason.



Then, because I wasn't feeling 100% perky, I ordered Din Tai Fung's famous chicken soup, which was very nice and comforting.

No dessert for us, though, as I was due for another big meal in a couple of hours, in just another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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