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Dining in Singapore


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Final installment. I'm here at Changi airport using one of the FREE internet access terminals at 4:30 a.m., local time. Last night was not a satay bar, as I had thought. It was a satay club. In the downtown business district they close off one of the streets at 7:00 p.m. and fill it with tables and chairs. And very active hawkers. We had satay, fried black noodles, grilled stingray (which was nothing short of terrific), oyster omelet, grilled squid with chili sauce, and some tiny (I'd call them cherrystone) clams. And Tiger beer.

We had picked a good night for it. It was actual tolerable to sit outside. What a long, strange and wonderful trip this has been.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I think your hosts took you to Lau Pa Sat, a wet market in a previous incarnation. It is now an open-air food court. The Satay Club that you mentioned is no more as the site had to make way for the Esplanade, I think.

But three of the original stalls selling satay are making a comeback, but I cannot remember where they're selling now.

Brad, I hope the next time that you visit, you will have some time on your own to explore not just Singapore, but also Malaysia. Both countries have a wonderful variety of foods from the major races and cultures that will be a good introduction to the cuisine of South East Asia.

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I wonder if the tiny clams you ate were cockles, instead? Did they have very ridged shells? and did they give off reddish juices?

Yes, I believe the locals called them cockles. I can't tell if the juices were red, though, since the sauce was red -- and damned hot.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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  • 2 months later...

I know this an old thread, but here are some of our favourites from a few years back...

Kupu Kupu Barong...For cocktails on the deck overlooking the Agung River...spectacular view...just outside of Ubud...five minutes maybe and a must see.

Cafe Wayan...on Monkey Forest Road in Ubud. Fantastic Balinese and international cuisine. The owner was invited to California to do a series of cooking classes. Excellent food and on Sunday they have a Balinese buffet which is delightfully authentic.

Casa Luna...run by an Australian woman and her Balinese husband. Janet's Balinese and international dishes are outstanding. She had a cook book out now but don't remember the name.

Lotus Cafe...overlooking a giant lotus pond. Peaceful and relaxing

Ary's Warung...good food although it can be a little noisy as it's on the main drag

Ibu Rai...casual simple Balinese and American offerings with the coldest beer in town. Used to be one of the cheapest too, but don't know about now.

In Kuta try Made's Warung. Excellent food and a good place to people watch or just sip a cold one in the scorching heat.

CM

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  • 2 weeks later...

A collegue of mine is heading off to Singapore come Dec. to teach. Her budget is going to be tight.

She has heard that eating out in Singapore is very expensive. Cooking at home is the way to go. However, the company is putting her in a hotel, so cooking may not be possible.

Any suggestions on where to get decent food at fair prices would be appreciated! :smile:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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If your colleague is adventurous, she should head over to the ubiquitous hawker centres that are near every bus interchange, located in each HDB Flat estate, sprinkled all over the downtown core, etc.. Most of them are hot, a little 'dirty', but, the food is amazing.

A delicious plate of food can be had for S$2-5, with a drink costing about S$1. It is the best deal in town, and there are so many types of dishes from which to choose.

Edited by lannie (log)
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I went to Singapore over the summer, and I've been to some supermarket and hawker store. The trend I notice is that most food items are cheap, except for vegetables and some type of fruits. The price of vegetables and fruits are high compare to other dishes in the store/market. Also, for an Asian country, the vegetables and fruits prices are relatively high. Am I going to the wrong place for vegetables?

Edited by Yuki (log)
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Ditto what lannie said. Actually I found that the hawker centres like Lopasat very clean compared to the unorganized, riotous, willy nilly groups of peddlers and hawkers in places Bangkok, Guangchou, even Hong Kong of a few years ago. I also found good food and good bargains in IndiaTown. Oh, Nonya food is GREAT.

Edited by Ben Hong (log)
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I agree that the hawker centres are the best places to taste the real Singaporean food. I had been to Singapore once. I ate mostly at those hawker centres (modern Dai Pei Dong in Hong Konger terminology). They offer Chinese (mostly), Malay and Indian food, plus great dessert soups, fresh fruit juices, etc.. It was wonderful.

In particular, I really liked:

- Chili crab and curry crab. I was treated by my friends to a famous restaurant for those 2 dishes. (They set up tables along the street at night if I remember it correctly) Perhaps the locals on this board can provide name and direction to that place.

- Beef Satay (hawker stands near the Singapore harbor)

- Mutton Curry and Mutton soup (hawker stands near the Singapore harbor)

- Pork jerky in Singapore's China Town? Those were great! I never had pork jerky as juicy and soft as those. They made it fresh off the grill when I bought it.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Dejah,

There are also air-conditioned food courts in many shopping complexes these days that sell more or less the same varieties of food. It's just that there may be specific stalls that sell superlative versions of some local food that gourmets and gourmands seek out.

If your friend wants to be more selective, perhaps you can ask her to check out these websites :

http://www.makantime.com/index.html

http://food.asiaone.com.sg/

In addition, there are television programmes that feature eating places. One current one tells you places around the island that you can eat for under $2.

Eating out in Singapore is no different from any major city - you should expect to pay top dollar for good food, ambience and service in multi-starred establishments. But there are also lots of good places where you can have a good meal without burning a hole in your wallet.

My suggestion is for your friend to ask her Singaporean colleagues and friends where to eat. We're so crazy about food that practically everyone can tell you somewhere to go to satisfy your cravings!

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As someone who used to live in both locations I can give a small update as well:

Bali - Ku De Ta http://www.kudeta.net/

Singapore - You have to go to Newton Circus for the local food or I recommend you check out the other end of the scale at Alkaff Mansion http://www.rmgtours.com/tours/incentives/a...nsion/intro.htm

CHEF JOBS UPDATE - September 07 !!

Latest global Chef jobs listing and news now available!

Take a look online here:

http://www.hostec.com.au/newsletters/chef/sep07/

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Singapore - You have to go to Newton Circus for the local food or I recommend you check out the other end of the scale at Alkaff Mansion http://www.rmgtours.com/tours/incentives/a...nsion/intro.htm

No no no. Newton Circus is not a must go, there are other hawker centres that offer more variety without robbing the tourists. Such as the Chinatown Complex food centre, the Old Airport Road Food Centre and the Tiong Bahru Food Centre. All easily accessible by bus or taxi.

Alkaff Mansion is no longer in operation.

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Showing my age!

There are certainly other legendary hawker centres, I just couldn't remeber all the names.

There is one that sticks in my memory with the best roast pork (char siu) that I have ever tasted, just can't remember.

When you go to a hawker centre, get something to eat from the stall that has the biggest line.

What happened to Alkaff?

CHEF JOBS UPDATE - September 07 !!

Latest global Chef jobs listing and news now available!

Take a look online here:

http://www.hostec.com.au/newsletters/chef/sep07/

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True true, there are gems all over the island! Nonya food in the katong/geylang area, hokkien noodles in Ghim Moh, grilled sambal stingray at serangoon gardens and prata at jalan kayu! Ask her to ask her local colleagues (that's the best way to eat :biggrin: )

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A really good Chinese place is the Lee Garden Restaurant. Cantonese style, but I haven't been there in years.

Like many "high-end" places in Singapore, it's attached to a hotel, usually also "high-end". I'd probably avoid western cuisine, unless you're after burgers and fries in a chain, due to influx of many highly paid ex-pat frenchies/belgos/germans/the odd yank/brit/aussie working in the town charging exhorbitant prices and serving up food that simply wouldn't pass muster back in their home turfs...

...read Culinary Grade B-sters.

I await the onslaught from Singaporeans. That way, we might find some really good places the paid-for-plug magazines don't mention.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Mezzanine at the Grand Hyatt passes muster, I think. Australian chef when I went and quality was up to snuff.

If it's not high-end atmosphere you're after, but a mind-blowing fairly expensive meal, put yourself in the hands of sushi chef Nogawa at the Japan Club.

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Lunch at the Hawker Center near the old airport. A Hawker Center is like a food court, but more informal and less clean. There are rows of food stalls all around, and tables in the middle. You order what you want, from this stall and that, and then wait at your table until the food is brought to you.

I went with four locals today, which made is easier to get a large array of food. We had barbecued duck, braised pig leg, some dish made with pork intestines, a seafood noodle dish, Malay-style fish cakes cooked in a banana leaf, and some kind of slightly pickled cabbage dish. And noodle soup. And soursop juice.

Definitely delicious.

Bruce

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Malay-style fish cakes cooked in a banana leaf, and some kind of slightly pickled cabbage dish.  And noodle soup.  And soursop juice.

Definitely delicious.

Bruce

Were those char-grilled otak-otak? We have them here, but the ones in Singapore are phenomenally delicious. Though the wet chilli crabs are more popular, I always prefer the drier pepper crabs. Carrot cakes, oh my! Not what one would think -- savory luscious luscious! Char kway teow, murtabak, and not to be missed, barbecued stingray on a banana leaf - spectacular! Oh, wait -- fish head curry, too.

Right on, hawker centres are the way to go lah!

Edited by spaghetttti (log)

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Ahhhh....

You guys are making me really hungry reading about all these great dishes!!

Been over 6 years since I last tasted otak, grilled stingray, hokkien noodles...

Eating out in Singapore is actually quite inexpensive!

But be sure to eat at the hawker centers or food courts and not in the restaurants.

The hawker center food is excellent for the price.

I love and wish to have:

1. Hokkien noodles

2. Fish ball noodles

3. Laksa

4. Won ton noodles

5. Chicken rice

6. Chicken Briyani

7. BBQ chicken wings

8. Otak

9. Nasi Lemak

Edited by BastilaShan (log)
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My current favourites:

Japanese: Akane at Japanese association, Kaisan at Raffles Hotel

Chinese: Royal China at Raffles Hotel. Crystal Jade Golden Palace at Paragon. Crystal Jade Palace at Ngee Ann City.

Western: have not been impressed by any so far. Not the most high end, but I like to eat at the lesser known chef-run restaurants like Ember at Keong Saik Street, and Salt at Telok Ayer Street. Older stalwarts like Moomba (high end Australian?)at Boat Quay has become my new favourite, the prices are very reasonable and the food quality consistently high. Heard good things about Iggy's and La Petit Village but am waiting for the dust to settle before trying.

I was at Mezzanine a few weeks ago and did not like it at all; the food was of average standard but the prices were high.

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