The Best Things We Tried in Singapore
Singapore is one of those cities that we both agreed that we will visit over and over again and possibly live in. It is so vibrant and has such a diverse and exciting food scene, a great starting point for exploring South East Asia. This is largely due to the fact that the residents are people from all over the world, the majority being from Malaysia, China and India. We spent three full days in Singapore and loved every second of it (except the durian ice-cream, lol). We literally ate our way through the city. We opted for hawker centres and street stalls for lunch and more upscale restaurants for dinner. Of all the things we tried, here is a list of the things we enjoyed the most along with details of where to find them, if you are ever in Singapore.
Sambal stingray and fried rice at Newton Food Centre
Newton Food Centre is the hawker centre from Crazy Rich Asians and it did not disappoint! The sambal stingray was the perfect first lunch in Singapore, after an afternoon of exploring the Gardens by the Bay. The sambal paste was the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and smokey. We are so keen to bring this to one of our dining clubs (once we find a local fishmonger that sells stingray).
Sugarcane juice at Newton Food Centre
One of the highlights of my childhood was spending time at my grandpa’s house and enjoying earthly treats. One treat I always looked forward to was sugarcane. Seeing juice being extracted from the sugarcane I enjoyed munching on as a child, evoked feelings of nostalgia and at the same time, opened my eyes up to new possibilities. The juice was so refreshing and it was the perfect drink to go with our sambal stingray and fried rice. I am definitely going to remake this, albeit with some alcohol.
Chilli crab at Jumbo Seafood
We couldn’t come to Singapore without trying this. We had this on our first night and it was so enjoyable (apart from a little mishap where I accidentally sent a piece of crab shell flying into SK’s eye). The deep fried mantou buns were the perfect accompaniment. We spent the whole night trying to deduce every single ingredient that contributed to the awesomeness that was the chilli crab; it was that good.
Kaya toast at Ya Kun
When I read about this initially, my first thought was what could be so special about toast, eggs and coffee for breakfast? However, I was wowed by how something so simple could be so enjoyable. The service was indifferent and borderline hostile. However, the saltiness of the soft boiled eggs drizzled with soy sauce, the sweetness of the kaya in the toast and the pick me up that only coffee can give you, more than made up for the nonchalant service.
Prawn mee noodles at Chinatown
Chinatown in Singapore is home to the cheapest Michellin-starred ‘restaurant’ in the world - Hawker Chan. Naturally, when we arrived that was the first place we headed to, to try their famous honey soy chicken. After queuing for an hour along with other tourists, we were incredibly underwhelmed by what we were served. It really just fell flat - nothing spectacular. As a result, we were forced to take a look around and find something to satisfy our expectations for lunch. We eventually stumbled on a stall where prawn mee noodles were being made, we stopped by, ordered some and watched them make it. When it was finally served, it was so warm and comforting and definitely lifted our spirits.
Hum jin pang at Maxwell Center
Hum Jin Pang has a really cool concept of letting you fry your own dough fritters, coat it in a sweet or savoury dip of your choice and bag it. We really enjoyed doing this after eating our way through Chinatown (which was right across the road). Enjoying the ‘fruits of our labour’ afterwards felt so rewarding.
Popiah at Po, Warehouse Hotel
Po is a restaurant located at the gorgeous Warehouse Hotel. The decor is really minimalist and modern. The menu, on the other hand, is essentially a tribute to “Popos” – an affectionate way Singaporeans refer to their grandmas. To elaborate, the food is inspired by grannies’ recipes and humble local classics which are given an updated twist. We opted for the Prawn Popiah platter, which was served family style. We thoroughly enjoyed the freshness of the ingredients offered as fillings. It was really fun to experiment with the different fillings with each wrap.
Souffle pancakes at Seiwaa Okonomiyaki & Tekanmayaki
We had souffle pancakes for breakfast on our final day in Singapore in the cutest restaurant. We loved how unapologetically Japanese the decor was. We opted for the sweet pancakes, which were so fluffy and decadent. We enjoyed being able to flip them ourselves. As you have probably figured, by now, DIY is a running theme at some of our favourite places in Singapore. Any chance to get involved in the action is always a nice touch for us.
Ice-cream sandwich on Orchard Road
The ice-cream sandwich is made by an old man who has set up shop on Orchard Road. I was initially really skeptical about trying this, after a horrible incident as a child, I am very weary of soggy bread. SK was really keen on trying this, so I decided to try it too. It was surprisingly good. Ice-cream wrapped in a slice of bread is still a weird concept to me, though. Regardless, it was a lovely way to end an afternoon of walking around the Singapore Botanical Gardens in the sun.