Birthday Post 2

We had a great dinner last night at a restaurant called The White Rabbit located in an area of Singapore called Dempsey Hill. Dempsey Hill is the former site of the British army barracks and the Central Manpower Base of Singapore, where young Singaporean men had to report for their compulsory military service (two years of military service is still compulsory for Singaporean men but they just go to a different place now to report for service). The old buildings have been converted into a chic retail area with clubs, bars and really interesting looking restaurants (and a big Ben & Jerry’s that I am pretty excited about). The White Rabbit is located in a converted garrison church – one of two churches that were part of the old Dempsey Hill neighborhood.

Me with a flaming baked Alaska although you can’t see the flame

I found out about this restaurant from the Time.com list of 10 things to do in Singapore. Their list is a little questionable, given that number 4 on the list is “plastic surgery” – something I have not yet tried here but am seriously considering after seeing myself in some photos and mirrors recently. Another item on their list is “Artwork at the Ritz Carlton” – is that really one of the 10 things worth highlighting to do in Singapore? (Either Time.com needs a new travel writer or Singapore needs a new director of tourism.) The White Rabbit was number 8 on their list and was described as serving “Euro comfort food.” I feel a little guilty describing this meal since I have yet to write about all the great Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malay, Indian, etc.) food we are eating on a daily basis (including for breakfast by the way). But I’ll get to all of that eventually. If comfort food is code for good and fattening, the description is apt. I had 48-hour braised short ribs (so good), Erez had their signature dish – truffle-drizzled Mac & Cheese (he loved it), and Moshe had sea bass filet with olive tapenade (just ok,but not great – that’s what you get when you order fish at a comfort food restaurant). One of the best parts of the meal were the toasty warm mini baguettes and butter they served – bread  being served with dinner is something you really start to miss when you are mostly eating at Asian restaurants. The desserts were also pretty excellent. We ordered a flaming baked Alaska so it stood in for birthday candles, and a chocolate fondant cake with vanilla ice cream.

Me smiling before I became outraged about the overpriced water charge on the bill

My only complaint about The White Rabbit, which Moshe says was my mistake for falling into the “bottled water trap”, is that when we got the bill they had charged us $S20 for water! Two 750ml bottles of still water (as I mentioned in my last post, I have no concept of amounts in the metric system, but I don’t think this is a tremendous amount of water for 3 people to consume at dinner). The water cost more than either mine or Moshe’s alcoholic drink.  The hostess had asked when we first sat down if we wanted still or sparkling water and I said still, but should have just asked for tap water, which is fine to drink in Singapore. Erez didn’t even like the still water that much because it was Evian, which he hates (although apparently he drank about 8 glasses of it). Moshe told me to forget about it, but I was outraged and complained, so they took the cost of one bottle off the bill.

Otherwise, it was a wonderful birthday dinner and birthday day doing the rainforest walk with Moshe and Erez. Was it the best birthday ever? I would have to say no, first and foremost because my wonderful, funny, brilliant redheaded daughter, Elana, was not there to spend it with me (okay, I admit I am completely tearing up just writing this sentence and now I actually cannot see what I am typing and have tears dripping onto my keyboard). Also, I have had the great good fortune to be in some pretty incredible places on my birthday since we are often on vacation in late August, including a Greek island, the south of France, Jackson Hole, WY with our very good friends, the Gonsenhausers, and , even in Long Beach, NY celebrating with my sister, Bonni (whose birthday is two days before mine) and the rest of our family. So I am hard-pressed to choose a best birthday ever. But this was definitely a good one here in Singapore and I appreciate Moshe and Erez making it so special.

261 Comments

  1. I finally had a chance to catch up on these posts (and by that I mean begin reading them). They are brilliant and I am looking forward to more. Thank you for sharing.

    P.S. I will begin working on material for an October guest post, in case I am called upon for such a thing (just don’t ask me to ‘make babies’)…

    B. Sandler

    • Can’t wait for you and Adam (and Laurie of course) to be here, and I would LOVE to have a guest blogger – consider it a done deal. The Singaporean government will not be interested in having you make babies because they are trying to increase the native Singaporean population. My sister, Laurie, on the other hand, is most likely interested in having you and Adam make a baby. No pressure however.

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