Designed by Mr Fraser Brunner, a curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium, the lion head represents the lion spotted by Prince Sang Nila Utama when he re-discovered Singapura in 11 AD, as recorded in the "Malay Annals". The fish tail of the Merlion symbolizes the ancient city of Temasek (meaning “sea” in Javanese) by which Singapore was known before the Prince named it “Singapura” (meaning “lion” (singa) “city” (pura) in Sanskrit), and represents Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village.
Another must-see landmark is The Esplanade.
The Esplanade is a waterside building located on six hectares of waterfront land alongside Marina Bay near the mouth of the Singapore River, purpose-built to be the centre for performing arts for the island nation of Singapore. Taking its name from the nearby Esplanade, It contains a 1,600 seat concert hall and a 2,000 seat theatre for the performing arts. The library@esplanade is located on the third floor of the building. There are outdoor performing centres, and retail and food space at the Esplanade Mall. There is an outdoor open space on the fourth floor of the building.
Hubby fondly calls it The Armadillo because of it's spiny shape. But it's actually designed after the fruit, Durian.
It was quite late when we arrived to both landmarks way past dinnertime. A particular restaurant caught our eye, it's called "No Signboard Seafood". The name itself caught our attention. The place was jam-packed with locals and expats alike. A winning combination.
The place is quite pricey and we were on an extremely tight budget. It's only the second day of our trip, after all. We settled for simple and cheap dishes of sauteed asparagus, homemade tofu and a Salad You-Tiao. Appetizers of peanuts and chili come for "free" (SGD2 is added to your bill)
The asparagus were typical stir-fry, crisp and yummy. The tofu was a bit different, it has some sort of wet crust on it that tasted bland. The You-Tiao or squid "logs" with sesame crust was good and can easily be re-created by using good quality squid balls dipped in sesame seeds and then quickly fried. The dipping sauce that went with it was just plain mayonnaise.
I guess the specialty of the restaurant were crabs and lobsters, sold per 100 grams and we have plenty of that in Manila. And as I mentioned earlier, we're on a tight budget. Our meal for the night was SGD46 (P1380 or US$29). That would have bought us 7-10 varieties of viand from Chinatown!
Oh well, maybe tomorrow night we can find a better restaurant.
Hubby snapped this photo as I was walking in a deserted basement hall on our way to the MRT station.