GET OFF THE AIR­PLANE MODE

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - WELCOME GARDENS BY THE BAY, SINGAPORE -

Ionce in­ter­viewed ac­claimed Aus­tralian chef Tet­suya Wakuda about his ob­ses­sion with Sin­ga­pore. He said that for more than 20 years he’d made reg­u­lar pil­grim­ages to South­east Asia for a hit of pep­per crab (less fa­mous than the chilli ver­sion, but ac­cord­ing to Tets, far su­pe­rior), hawker mar­ket favourites chicken rice and bak kut teh (spare rib soup in a pep­pery broth), and to wine and dine his way through the long list of Miche­lin­starred restau­rants.

Such was his love of Sin­ga­pore, he told me, that if he was fly­ing to Europe, he’d choose an air­line with a lay­over in this culi­nary mecca, and quickly exit the air­port be­tween flights for a bowl of laksa or help­ing of “morn­ing glory” (wa­ter spinach).

He even­tu­ally opened his own place called Waku Ghin, lo­cated at Ma­rina Bay Sands ho­tel and casino, and which is presently ranked at num­ber 23 on San Pel­le­grino’s Best 50 restau­rants in Asia.

I use this story to il­lus­trate the point of our cover story: if you’re faced with the prospect of a 24-hour plus jour­ney from your home in Aus­tralia to your ho­tel/ship/villa/pen­sion/chateau/ B&B/hos­tel/tent/camper­van on the other side of the world, don’t just get off the plane to stretch for a few hours; stay a night or three and have a mini hol­i­day be­fore the big one starts.

As a big fan of Sin­ga­pore as the sole des­ti­na­tion, I can vouch for Tet­suya’s as­ser­tion that it’s one of the best places in the world for eat­ing and drink­ing at both the bud­get and ex­pen­sive ends of the spec­trum and a very wor­thy place for a stopover.

If you’ve done Sin­ga­pore, try Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong or Bangkok, and ar­rive at your fi­nal des­ti­na­tion fresher and ready for ac­tion.

JANA FRAW­LEY, NA­TIONAL TRAVEL ED­I­TOR

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