East Side Story
January 19, 2012 § 14 Comments
If you’re looking for a girl named Maria who works in a bridal shop on a New York city street, then Broadway’s ‘West Side Story’ is where you would want to be. Our version—the ‘East Side Story’—is about a furball named Miss Maple who ventures from her home in the western part of Singapore in search of sun and sand along the eastern shores of the island. Since we don’t often head out east, we decided to make it a full-day event for the little tyke.
To ensure that we had plenty of energy to expend, we fuelled up at The Garden Slug for a hearty brunch. Nestled in the bohemian-chic neighbourhood of Joo Chiat in eastern Singapore, this bistro offers weekenders a place to laze the day away with an extensive food and drinks menu that could easily take you from breakfast to lunch to dinner.
Sandwiched between a pet store and a vet clinic, it is not surprising that this eatery is a pet-friendly establishment with outdoor seating to accommodate patrons and their four-legged companions.
For once, Maple got to enjoy being perched on a chair and soaking in the views from above ground. Of course, this also meant that she was dangerously close to the table top where food is served and temptations beckon—this includes the ‘All Day Breakfast’ that MM ordered and the ‘Pumpkin Cheese Gnocchi in a Beer-Spiked Lamb Ragu’ that I selected from the Specials of the Day menu.
The description of the dishes sure had our mouths watering, but upon trying them our taste buds were soon disappointed. The highlight of the ‘All Day Breakfast’ was the lone Bratwurst, and not much else. We’ve had more memorable breakfast dishes that really wowed us, so it would take a pretty strong contender to win us over. The ‘Pumpkin Cheese Gnocchi’ was an interesting concept and all the flavours seemed to work with one another in creating a robust meal. Unfortunately, there were nuggets of minced lamb that, although cooked, seemed to have come straight out of the refrigerator. I’m not sure what happend there—perhaps this plate was meant to be served warm and not piping hot? Nevertheless, I would have preferred the dish to be heated through and through.
With our tummies full, we moved to the next item on our itinerary: Katong Park and Dog Run. Little did we know, upon entering the park, that we were standing on the grounds of a historic site. During the early 19th century, Katong Park and its vicinity formed one of the earliest settlements in Singapore. Over 150 years ago, Katong’s seaviews and abundance of lush coconut trees attracted urbanites wanting to escape from Singapore’s overcrowded city centre. Katong was the recreational/resort hub of its days. Today, what was once sea is now reclaimed land. It’s hard to imagine the Katong of yesteryear when our eyes gaze out into the horizon, only to see a multi-lane expressway!
But, all is not lost. As we would soon find out, the beach is merely a hop, skip, and jump from Katong Park. It’s off to East Coast Park we go! With a 15-kilometre coastline and unobstructed views of the sea, East Coast Park is one of our favourite urban oases in Singapore. Maple ♥ East Coast Park—she can spend all day doing just two things: (1) watching the waves roll, and (2) basking in the attention showered on to her by rollerbladers, bicyclists, joggers, and pedestrians alike. It doesn’t take much to make Lil’ Miss Maple happy :D
By 4:00pm it was getting far too warm for comfort and we had to call it a day, but what a day it was! We’ll be back to visit the east, that’s for sure. But, until we do, Miss Maple will be dreaming of seashells by the seashore.
Disclaimer: HAPPY.BARK.DAYS is an independent entity and was not paid to write this review by any of the commercial enterprises mentioned in the article.