After the fourth noodle dish before 3 p.m., I needed some respite. Eating in Singapore carries the constant risk of too much of a good thing, and though I fell for kopi hard, hitting this kind of brick wall demanded something more pure.
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Kopi is a dark and full bodied brew, less bitter (and, you could argue, more aromatic) than Vietnamese versions, but with the same subtle caramel-sweetness that comes from canned condensed or evaporated milk. Most importantly: it's good.
From your morning coffee to your afternoon teh tarik, your drinks in Singapore arrive, more likely than not, in real, re-usable cups. So what do you do when you want your drink to go? Get it poured into a bag, tied with lanyard, and stuffed with a straw.
It happens. You pry open your swollen eyes and remember climbing into the cab to head home, but not crawling into bed (hey, at least it's your own). And your credit card: "Oh no...is it still at the bar waiting to be closed out?" With a morning like this the last thing you want to do is make decisions. Especially the hungover breakfast question of the day: "Do I want salty or sweet?" Fortunately if you're in Singapore, their national breakfast has got you covered: Kopi and Kaya Toast with eggs. And you won't have to drag yourself far because it's right outside your front door.
Spend the night out in Singapore and there's a good chance that you'll end up either warbling your inebriated heart out to Barry Manilow at a karaoke bar, or sitting next to a group of old Chinese men (call them "uncle", please) at a hawker stand at 5 a.m. as you add your last bottle of Tiger to the dozens of empties besieging the table.