Watching NDP rehearsal on Singapore Flyer

Last Saturday evening.

Hand in hand, dressed in our elegant best, the Goonfather and I strolled into Marina Bay prepared to be treated to a $300 dinner onboard the Singapore Flyer, where we would be pampered with the world’s first full butler dining service in the sky.

Singapore Flyer

The moment we arrived at the Bay, the succulent fragrance of fried chicken hit me.

My eyes took on a glazed expression.

I turned to the Goonfather and said, “Let’s go eat Popeyes, instead!”

Popeyes Chicken

What can I say? I’m a simple girl with simple wants.

Of course, we didn’t get to dine at Popeyes because our gracious hosts for the newly-launched Singapore Flyer Premium Sky Dining were expecting us at the VIP Lounge.

Singapore Flyer

That’s where sky diners chill out while waiting to board the Flyer.

Boarding the Flyer is a pretty cool experience. The capsule doesn’t stop (it’s constantly in motion) so there’s only a small window of opportunity to board the capsule.

But the movement is slow enough to not require a diploma of stunt mastery.

Singapore Flyer

My first time on the Singapore Flyer. I hardly felt any movement the entire hour I was up there.

But, like, once in a while, you look up from your dinner and the scenary has changed. I suppose it’s a bit like dining at the Top of the M (Meritus Mandarin’s revolving restaurant).

Of course, dining on the Singapore Flyer is something else altogether. Because you’re stationed in a little glass capsule, you feel all the more connected to the, um, elements.

Singapore Flyer

That is, assuming you do look out the capsule once in a while.

Considering that it was a butler service three-course fine dining thingy, I was up on my feet a lot, photographing stuff.

Being in the media, you get a lot of perks like free dinners and free 10km mounting climbing races, but they come with a different kind of price.

While you’re experiencing the event firsthand, you’re at the same time trying to experience the event vicariously through yourself. That’s a bit oxymoronic but that’s how it is. You need to experience it with a third-person perspective in order to better report it to your readers/viewers.

So, ironically, you kind of lose the firsthand experience a little. You’re always experiencing it through a camera, whether you’re taking stills or videos.

Well, I did take many photos.

Like, of the menu.

Singapore Flyer

Of our welcome drink (fresh summer berries in ginger ale).

Singapore Flyer

Which was really delicious and I could do with more of, by the way.

Of the National Day Parade rehearsal below us.

Singapore Flyer

Of the night city skyline.

Singapore Flyer

Of the food.

Singapore Flyer

The food was quite excellent; immeasurably worth giving up Popeyes for.

I had the pan-seared fillet of Chilean sea bass with X.O. sauce. Ah, it was a killer, juicy, tender and almost milky with the flavourful burst of fish oils.

The Goonfather chose the roasted duck confit, which arrived looking like a tortoise.

Singapore Flyer

Well, my photos don’t do the food justice since it was dark and I’m using a cheap compact camera, but I’m not a food blogger so it’s okay.

I’m a camwhore blogger!

But a failed one at that, since I only have one photo of myself (and it wasn’t even a solo shot) on the Flyer, as opposed to about a hundred photos of food and scenery.

Singapore Flyer

The highlight of our evening was actually the NDP rehearsal but we didn’t manage to catch much of it because the lure of fine dining and good conversation was too strong.

But we did all stand up to ooh and aah at the fireworks display.

Singapore Flyer

Fireworks are always nice!

You see the three little paper boat things on the river? They’re actually floating in air rather than cruising on the water. Very cute. I like them!

I took a video of the fireworks. Watch till the end to see the heart-shaped fireworks! They’re pretty!

More views through my camera. Our fabulous expressways:

Singapore Flyer

A model of the upcoming Marina Bay Integrated Resort, perched somewhere atop the Singapore Flyer:

Singapore Flyer

More fireworks:

Singapore Flyer

Most people seem to love these huge mushroom cloud fireworks, but I find them messy and uninspired. I prefer the intricately-patterned, colourful ones. Like the heart-shaped ones. Now I want to attend the NDP just to see it again!

Our hour passed by really quickly. The Singapore Flyer had gone two rotations and it was time for us to head back to the VIP lounge for dessert.

Us:

Singapore Flyer

Our dessert (chocolate souffle):

Singapore Flyer

It was all very nice. I enjoyed myself so much that I even drank two cups of tea after my dessert, even though I don’t usually like drinking tea. Nor coffee, for that matter.

In fact, everything was so good that I even finished up the cured salmon they served us for starters, even though I normally hate cured/smoked salmon.

Singapore Flyer

This one was quite appetising because of the sauce. The menu calls it “citrus herb dressing” but I thought it tasted like Thai chilli sauce, which I love.

In any case, I think it’s a worthy experience to try out, especially if you have a girl you want to impress. The Singapore Flyer Premium Sky Dining comes at a cost of $299+++ per couple but there is now an introductory price of $199+++ until July 31, 2009.

One day advanced booking is required.

Each capsule hosts up to 10 people. You could do a group booking or couple booking and the tables would be arranged accordingly. Find out everything you want at the Singapore Flyer website.

Worth considering also is the Formula One package, which comes at a hefty price tag of $688 per person but gives you three days access to unparalleled views of the F1 race.

I probably can’t afford that, but I’m going back there for Popeyes next time!

NDP fireworks brought haze to Singapore

When people ask me to go watch fireworks, I always say, “Siao lah. Never see before is it?”

I will never trouble myself to travel somewhere just to see some stupid sparks in the sky, especially since I know that 20,000 other people will be there fighting for the best spots to stand at and wait for hours.

But when fireworks are brought to me, in a manner of speaking, I can’t keep my eyes away.

Fireworks make such sluts of us.

On National Day evening, which was last night, when half the nation was out being stampeded by the other half of the nation in the name of patriotism, I was hiding in the comfort and safety of Cindy’s apartment.

Cindy and Paul had kindly invited us over for dinner, solving our dilemma of wanting to meet for dinner but not wanting to be stampeded by patriotic Singaporeans.

The apartment had a great view and we were actually able to catch some of the fireworks display from the balcony.

Nice.

Of course, one can’t fully enjoy a fireworks performance if one is busy snapping photos throughout, hoping some of the shots will turn out good. But that’s one of the job hazards a blogger has to get used to.

Then again, no one wants to see crappy fireworks photos taken with my gimpy camera because the entire nation of people have already seen the real thing for themselves, anyway.

So I’m going to show you something else, instead.

Smoke!

Shortly after the first pattern exploded in the sky, smoke started forming.

It thickened progressively and hung in the sky like a widow refusing to move on with her life and find another man.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best analogy in the world but it kinda just popped in my mind.

Very soon, the smoke blocked our precious view of the fireworks.

My friends and I booed at the smoke, which, of course, was unmoved by our impassioned jeers.

A few minutes after the fireworks started, it stopped.

A thick cloud of smoke streaked across the skyline.

It got thicker by the second and refused to dissipate.

I don’t know what the view was like for those with front row seats at Marina Bay. I hope the smoke didn’t disturb their show.

For us in the apartment, when the fireworks came again, it looked like this.

Excuse the bad focus. My hands were shaking with excitement.

Not really.

I just wasn’t able to get a good shot because there were only a few sparks this round.

All I got managed to get a good shot of was the smoke.

We decided to go back to the living room to watch TV.

Periodically, over the next hour, I went outside to check on the smoke situation. Here’s my stills version of a time-lapse.

The entire sky was totally smoked out after about half an hour.

It took about an hour for it to clear considerably.

Oh, well, at least it was something different to watch.

Did you have a good National Day?