Last weekend, mum and I were down in Singapore for a 3-day working “holiday”. Many thanks to Singapore Tourism Board, I had a blast at Singapore. Well, it wasn’t all play and no work. My work is my game. A photographer, you see. 😀 Anyway, one of the things we did there was the Tingkat Cruise. Tingkat as in the tiffin carrier not the number of levels the cruise has.
The Tingkat Cruise was a 45-minute dinner cruise along the Singapore River. Priced at S$35 per person, the cruise started at the Merlion Park from as early as 4pm, with six cruises a day for the 10-day duration of the Singapore Food Festival from July 16-25.
The boat, a bumboat, was quite small and places were limited to about 30 customers maximum. The boat finally arrived and we gingerly stepped on board. The braver ones decided to take a chance and sit at the open space in the back of the boat to enjoy the fresh air (and possible rain) while the rest of us preferred the air-conditioned and more comfortable seating inside.
As we enjoyed our lovely late dinner, the guide on board gave a running commentary on the scenery on both sides of the river and a short story connected to each landmark.
The food was not exactly the stuff to write home about though. Similar items on sale at the Clarke Quay Food Street were far more tastier. I didn’t mind the chicken rice, fried noodles and the soon kueh but the carrot cake tasted more like an omelette and the sweet broth was quite bland.
Still, the whole experience did add up to a rather exotic adventure for the younger generation and for foreign tourists.
The Singapore Food Festival 2010 focused on the foods of the five mainstream Chinese dialect communities and apart from the Tingkat Cruise and Clarke Quay Food Street, included events such as Chinese Dialect Street Snacks, Heritage Feast, River market and Culinary Master Classes with cooking games and cooking demonstrations.
You get to sit by the window if you like. Watching the gorgeous Singapore landscape.
On each table were four bright red tingkat with pretty flowers prints on the sides of each of the three tiers.
I thought that putting the food into the tinfoil trays kind of deflated the experience of eating out of a tingkat but later, I realized that this was to keep the tingkat reasonably clean for the customers to take them home after the dinner cruise. 😀
As for the tingkat, in the topmost tier were two tinfoil trays containing Teochew carrot cake and fried Hokkien noodles.
The middle tier had a piece of Hakka soon kueh and Hainanese chicken rice while the bottom tier held dessert – a plastic tub of Cantonese beancurd skin and barley broth with a quail egg.