GET OFF THE AIRPLANE MODE
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