Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bohemian Singapore

Pockets of bohemian areas have been sprouting up in Singapore. Perhaps "sprouting up" is not exactly accurate since these areas are carefully thought out and developed/created by the authorities, thus throwing up that eternal debate about whether one can create a Bohemia or do these areas naturally evolve. If a bohemian area is man-made especially one carefully constructed by urban planners, can it truly be bohemian since it seems to contradict the essence of what "Bohemia" is?

I think in Singapore, it is not so much as creating a Bohemia out of nothing, but that once such an area shows signs of evolving into one, the authorities take over and try to put some structure around it instead of letting it continue to evolve in its own course. This post is not a paper to debate the merits and demerits of such a process, perhaps if I were to write another thesis for another Masters in Art course, I might pick this as my research topic seeing as it has my favourite elements for research - creativity, arts and the law, but that is for another time and place.

Back to food (but of course). One of our last meals in Singapore was at the Barracks at Dempsey Village, so named because this was the former site of the Ministry of Defence and the new restaurants, cafes, art galleries, spas and various shops are housed in old barracks and other Defence offices.

The Barracks is a delightfully-converted building, housing a cafe-restaurant, bar and a spa. It has a "greenhouse" area for larger groups and the restaurant overlooks the forest, a rare sight in urban Singapore. Here, a vast expanse of green meets the eye as you tuck into yummy dishes such as the salmon stew I had and the pumpkin salad we shared. Even the teas were special house concoction, I had the "muah-muah" tea which sounded quite exotic as I perused the menu but I now forget what went into the brew, while G had the vanilla something chai tea.
The ambience was just right. The decor was stylish and with that right touch of Bohemia, created by a stylist instead of the authorities. But it felt right. We think that if/when we relocate to Singapore, this might be one of our favourite places to have a weekend brunch. We just need to find more Bohemia to replace the ones we have in our backyard right now.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home