I shop once a week for grocery at Bukit Timah's Fair Price Finest, and had never been to the wet market in the estate where I live, simply because it's inconvenient for car parking, not to mention that wet market in Singapore is really WET! And let's face it, our markets here don't really smell that good either. But I really do enjoy grocery shopping and visiting markets when I was travelling in Japan and Australia.
Last week, after letting my kids
run amok discharged their energies at Turf City's Fidgets, we went to Pasar Bella for a couple of hours. A sea of fresh produces, delicious food and some unusual retail products dazzled us, adults and children alike.
It was nearly dinner time, so we headed to the fresh seafood section first. This area reminded me so much of Tsujiki Fish Market in Japan, where seafood is so fresh that they are ALIVE!!
These lobsters were still moving! That's just how fresh the seafood here is! Buzzing with lives!
My hubby and I really love oysters, so when we saw the huge USA Taylor Oysters going at only $5 per piece, we just kept wiping our saliva off our mouths! Sheng Siong was selling oysters, slightly smaller, at $6.90 per piece and we would have to shuck it ourselves, so $5 oyster here is a definite steal!
Then we ordered some sashimi from Oceans of Seafood and had them sliced and served immediately. The salmon was ordinary, but the swordfish was really thick and juicy! You won't get the cheapest sashimi here, but I bet, it must the one of the freshest, you can get in Singapore.
After we finished with our oysters and sashimi, our kids were dying of hunger. They can't eat the raw food, so they were rather edgy watching us enjoying our food. We went on to explore the rest of the food stores and came across one selling paella, which looks really really good. My kids refused to go until we bought them a portion of that giant pan of paella.
While looking for a seat, we passed by a store selling suckling pig. I would have bought some if I hadn't just had suckling pig at my aunt's place a day before. But this piggy looks so tantalizing!
Look at my cheeky son, doing his personification of the suckling pig. I just love this little guy so much!
Down the stretch, another store was promoting its crackling pork belly, giving out food samples. My children rushed up and were unembarrassed to ask for some. My gosh, I have raised some of the thickest-skinned kids ever. The crackling pork belly was indeed very tasty, so we ordered some.
My kids couldn't wait to sink their teeth into their delicious dinner that they had picked out on their own. They enjoyed the food so much that within minutes they had the plates cleaned out!
There is a store which sell wines and they were also giving out samples to taste, but I was with the kids so I had to give it a miss. Glass bottles and hyper kids, in confined area, is definitely not a good idea.
After filling up their little tummies, we were able to continue to explore the other side of Pasar Bella, where there are stores selling from organic fruits to fun balloons, all lined up neatly and their products merchandised with so much passion and pride.
Anybody with young children know that it is almost impossible to shop with kids tugging your clothes' end every few minutes, getting your attention just to show you their latest discoveries. So we were glad to deposit our kids in the TV corner of an organic shop while we continued to indulge ourselves with the sights and scents of Pasar Bella.
When we were done, we picked up our children and went in search of a good dessert. My daughter was glued to this shop selling pastries and macaroons. But they aren't gluten-free, so I had to convinced her to give up the idea.
Pasar Bella transported me out of Singapore, I felt as though I was in a different country, where market flavours are bursting with innovations and excitement, like those in Europe or other western countries. Hubby cautioned the sustainability of such a place, where he observed to have many more curious 'one-time' visitors, then loyal, long-term consumers.
I don't know, maybe he is right, because I will be heading back to my trusted Fair Price Finest for my next grocery shopping trip. But Pasar Bella will always be my once-in-a-while escapade, since I haven't got any chance to go to Europe or USA.
PasarBella @The Grandstand Bukit Timah Singapore
200 Turf Club Road
Phone: +65 6887 0077
THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OR AN ADVERTORIAL FOR PASAR BELLA.