SINGAPORE FOOD GUIDE
I am often asked for recommendations for good places to eat in
Singapore. The list below is culled from my personal preferences and
reflect my tastes. Be warned, I like food that bites back.
The list ranges from the inexpensive
side-of-the-street cha siew bao to more expensive restaurants. Some places have table
clothes, and some have no tables. Some have wait staff that speak
English, whilst others prefer Chinese. Its all part of the food
experience in Singapore. Most places know how to
cook excellent food with taste without adding MSG. These pages are a meal-in-progress, so
please return as new restaurants are added. I don't ask you to agree
with my choices, but please enjoy. Use the characters as 1, 2 and 3 star
Scroll down for NEW!! additions.
EAST PEOPLE HOME) On the edge of China Town. Start at Coffee
bean in China Point Complex, cross the road towards China Town, and
turn left down Upper Cross Street .
This is a no compromise
restaurant for homesick Beijing. The outside signboard is in Chinese – no
English so look for
. The menu does
have pictures and some interesting English translations of real Beijing
favourites. If your Chinese is no good, or non-existent, you can point to
the pictures to order. Some staff have some English, but the food makes the
inconvenience worthwhile. The bitter gourd and egg is a wonderful contrast
of flavour and texture. Its an old Beijing standby. The jiaozi , steamed or
fried, are very very good. They do need a good dongbei sauce to go with
them. The menu includes other Beijing local favourites which are worth
trying, including the fried freshwater fish. This is smoked and preserved
and then recooked. Try the Harbin beer, which is perfect for the flavours.
The stir fried sliced potatoes with green chilli is excellent. Add a touch
of black vinegar for a favour lift. I will be returning. The sweet potatoes
dish is a true Harbin special. The sweet potato is coasted with sesame and
toffee. You pick up the sticky pieces and then dip them into cold water to
harden the toffee. The location is 22 Upper Cross Street. Look for the
signboard, and the red characters on the footpath white pillar near the shop
wall. Its close to the Spring Court Restaurant and on the same side of the
NEW WONTON STORY – Bugis Junction food court,
downstairs. This is a chain of restaurants, and this one is located in Bugis
Its good, simple, tasty food. My
preference is the wonton soup set with noodles and mince pork. Then I also
order the triple boiled pork. My partner likes the wontons, and I mix the
pork with the noodles to make a delicious noodle dish. The triple cooked
pork is flavoursome without being oily. It’s a good, tasty, and inexpensive
meal. The asparagus wontons are very tasty.
NEW XI’AN RESTAURANT – China Town food street,
restaurant opposite the food cart stalls.
Finally I manage to find the
mutton kebab cooked in Xi’an style with cumin and chilli powder. These are a
wonderfully tasty dish. The mutton is correctly prepared so there is no
strong smell or taste. A serve is 5 sticks minimum. I order 8 and a glass of
cold Tingshao beer. The flat cut noodles are so-so. They come with a soup
rather than a sauce and meat dip. Not quite the Shanxi style that is common
with flat cut noodles. Also these noodles are exceptionally long and
difficult to handle. The advantage with flat cut noodles is the way the
ragged edges catch the flavours and give a different texture, or mouth feel.
The roast rack of lamb ribs is disappointing. The stir fried potatoes with
green chill is good, but not exceptional. This is good honest cooking. I
return mainly for the cumin mutton kebabs.
EARTH KITCHEN Near Tanjong Plaza MRT, International plaza exit.
This is good eating. The jiaozi
and baozi are tasty, plump and the skin is soft. The xiao long bao are some
of the tastiest I have eaten for a long time. The soup is tangy, not sweet.
The simple sauce is tasty and robust. This is great for a quick lunch or a
quick dinner. The Kwaey Teow is also nicely done and enough to satisfy those
who do not want to eat China style xiao long bao. The kalian is crisp and
tasty, not overcooked
Tea House Si Chuan Dou Hua: Parkroyal Hotel, Beach Road.
The new tea house is to the
right as you walk towards the restaurant is brilliant. It lifts the standard
of tea houses in Singapore to match some of the better tea houses in
Beijing. The range of teas is excellent. The service is quite,
effective and unobtrusive. Tea menu is in Chinese and English. You may
have to point as staff are PRC nationals and English is not always a strong
point. Traditional tea snacks are also available. The Long Jing and
Biluochun are very pleasant green teas. This is a wonderful location for an
afternoon of quiet conversation, or quiet read and quality tea.
Yangzhou Restaurant, Smith street, China Town.
This is the main night stall street.
This small restaurant tries hard and the xiao jie outside
sells hard. Once inside, the service is a bit abrupt. It’s a busy location
full of tourists, but the menu fare does not seem to appeal. The restaurant
is not always filled. The food is Yangzhou style and not out of place in
mainland restaurants. This means many of the dishes are unfamiliar to the
Western tourists, so they stay with satays and chilli crab available outside
at other stalls. Food is competently cooked but what I ate was not
outstanding in flavour or presentation. It’s a nice change to have a better
quality chopstick provided – metal instead of plastic or bamboo. Good green
tea is available, but its not what is offered first to customers. You have
to ask, because it not on the menu. Its worth a visit to try some of the
cold dishes and vegetable dishes that are uncommon in Singapore.
Beijing Lil Spice Hut: Corner of Food street,
near the Hindu Temple.
Clustered around hutongs in Beijing are small
restaurants. The food quality is variable and the best is good home-style
cooking. Forget ambiance. You get plain tables and plain walls. This is
food for living, plain, not too fancy and a reasonable quantity. The Beijing
Little Spice Hut is huotong style away from home. Its huotong food as I
remember it. I tried their mutton with cumin, a Beijing special imported
from Xinjiang Province. Taste was OK, but I have eaten much better versions of
this dish. Their egg and tomato also common in China home cooking was OK,
but not out of the ordinary. Unlike even the most basic huotong restaurant,
tea was tea bag tea. Given the competitive location at the end of Food
Street it needs a more effective selling point. Service was pleasant. I was
offered a newspaper while I waited. Price is a little expensive for the
standard - $12 -$14 a dish, so it was a surprise not to have credit card
Bi Feng Tang: Downstairs United Square, near Novena MRT
In Shanghai there is a chain of good restaurants with a
similar name with a wonderful range of food. I hoped this might be a
Singapore branch. It’s not. Its solid food and makes no claims to greatness.
That said, its not bad. The la mian noodles with pork and peanut is
surprisingly good. Just a nice bite to the sauce. Their pork and century egg
porridge is a generous serving, although a bit thick for my preference. Not
bad food if you are in the area.
Tung Lok Signatures
Vivo City, first floor on the waterfront
Clean, modern, efficient with a
good a selection of food and good quality. This was a quick test meal but
the quality was enough to make it worth a second visit. Good range of
seafood dishes with a Shanghai bias. Stewed eggplant with pork and
tofu was not oily. Cold sliced pork hock was good. The waitress did gently
try to suggest a more acceptable European alternative in the roast pork. It
shows a good consideration for customers.
Teochew Restaurant Huat Kee: Right hand side as you
walk down towards the end of Amoy Street from the Fire gate exit from Far
This is a popular and crowded
restaurant - always a good sign. The sliced roast goose is very good. Its a
cold dish and goes well with Teochew rice porridge. The goose is not fatty.
It well flavoured and goes very well with prawns and gailan. Good service,
good food, and many more items on the menu that I want to try in the future.
This is good teochew cooking. Try the teochew desert porridge.
Muthus Curry Restuarant: 138 Racecourse Road. Ask a taxi driver
to take you.
This is an excellent Indian
curry restaurant. Curries are pungent, flavoursome and properly prepared.
Many vegetarian curries are also available. Side dishes from naan bread to
yoghurt dips are wonderful eating. Service is on banana leaf, but the
restaurant is modern and spotless.
Moi Kong Hakka Restaurant: Food Alley opposite Maxwell Hawker
Center and towards Tanjong Pagor MRT.
The Hakka omelette is good. Fish
and chicken dishes are good eating. This is a good sold meal in a local
Its Dim Sum: To the back right of the escalators
leading to the Marina Square food loft on the upper floor.
This was disappointing. The
fried rice was ordinary, the eggplant very oily and the tofu and pork with
beans lacked flavour. Service was pleasant, but not enough to compensate for
the ordinary food.
Cuisine: Purvis Street,
opposite the new library near the Intercontinental hotel.
Each dish is prepared using different varieties of tea. The pork
slices are very good particularly when combined with mantou.
(Steamed bread) You will need to ask for mantou as this is not
listed on the menu. The deep fried tofu is very good, with a creamy
centre inside a thin crisp coating. The tea cooked duck is
excellent, and it comes with mantou. Their Shi Feng Long Jin tea is
excellent quality. Service quality is very good, with frequent clean
Qun Zhong Eating House
21 Neil Road. Behind Tanjong Pagor Road, and near the new
Buddhist temple on the edge of China Town.
This has a limited but good
menu. The jiaozi are Beijing Style. Onion pancakes and other dishes are
northern Chinese style. Unless you are lucky, be prepared to wait for a
table, and also to share a table. Its a great way to meet new people. This
is a small, busy eating house with basic tables. Go for the quality of the
food and a taste of Singapore eating style.
House: UIC Building, Shenton Way, upstairs, 5th floor
This is classic quality
Chinese food. The vegetable with 3 styles of egg is good. Double
boiled pigeon soup has a delicate flavour and is served in narrow
bamboo cups. The three roast meat cold starter dish is well prepared
and the pork is particularly nice. This is good quality food in a
classy ambience. Its a good choice for quality and business dining.
Grand Shanghai: you need a taxi for this one as its some
distance from the CBD. Address is Kings Centre, but taxi drivers
will be more familiar with Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel which is
This is set up as a 1930 Shanghai style nightclub. Dinner includes
two female singers and a good jazz band. Its low key rather
than a noisy modern equivalent. Restaurant is dominated by local
Chinese diners and this is a good guide to the quality of the food.
It has a good, but expensive wine list. The crispy skin duck is
succulent and moist. The range of Shanghai dumplings is good. The
food is a combination of Beijing and Guandong style, rather
than the oily Shanghai style. This is a good combination of
ambience and tasty food from an extensive menu. Service can be
idiosyncratic. BTW, singing is in Mandarin, not Canto pop.
Si Chuan Dou Hua: Parkroyal Hotel, Beach Road.
This is the original restaurant in the chain and has been
upgraded. The ambiance is good, the food is excellent and the
service also excellent. I think it is now better than the Coleman
Street outlet. The new decor is a pleasant mix, with fascinating artifacts. This is elegant but relaxed dining. The new tea house
attached to the restaurant is brilliant. It lifts the standard of
tea houses in Singapore to match some of the better tea houses in
Beijing. It is a wonderful location for an afternoon of quiet
conversation and quality tea. The eight treasure tea in the
restaurant is very good and the art of refilling the cup with long
spouted tea pots is a pleasure to watch. Crispy Chicken with Ginseng
is succulent. The crispy Soon Hock fish is melt-in-the-mouth
tenderness. The desert of home made bean curd with wolf berries is a
wonderful end to a meal of finely balanced flavors. This is
excellent business dining, but also suitable for family dining on
STRAITS CHINESE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT: Basement UIC Building,
This restaurant is tucked away down
a set of stairs, but its worth the search. This is good honest Straits
Chinese cooking. Its tasty peranaken food without frills. Use the right hand
side of the restaurant, on the raised section. Japanese and Chinese tour
groups use the left hand section on the lower floor. Often tour group
restaurants have unremarkable food. This restaurant is an exception. The
kang kong is very tasty.
CANTON WOK BY CHEF KANG Joo Chiat Road
This is located in almost
unreconstructed Singapore as it was 30 years ago. The area is dominated by shop houses, many
restaurants and KTV. Its an interesting nightlife that also supports many
good small restaurants. The area has many Vietnamese restaurants. I found
this was more Shanghai style cooking than Guangzhou style, with a relatively
high oil content in the eggplant dish. Mixed pork has some interesting
flavours. Surprisingly the dishes tended to be on the sweet side. The chef
does the rounds of the tables during the evening. Joo Chiat Road is a
distance from the CBD.
To the right as you come out of City Hall MRT. Also
several other locations
Its a fast, smooth, efficient
sushi bar. Nothing particularly outstanding about the food, but is all good
quality. Good for a fast lunch. The dragon sushi - avocado strips on the
outside with prawn tails - is interesting.
Rendezvous Restaurant: Bras Basah Road in the Rendezvous
Hotel - the end of Orchard Road.
This is excellent nonya cooking - a combination of Malay and Straits
Chinese cooking styles with delicious curries and spicy gravies. The
beef rendang is very good, with a good balance of spice and flavour.
This is tasty food. The restaurant is like stepping back into
Singapore in the 60's. Its not a theme restaurant. This is the
original setting, with tiled walls, simple tables and a focus on
tasty food. The basic display of food looks simple, but it hides a
complexity of taste and flavour.
UPGRADEKoo Kee Dumpling & Ramen
House: 233 Victoria Street - opposite Bugis Junction near the night
is an upgrade review that reflects the change in menu. The food is
now very good. The fried tofu with cereal is excellent. The cereal
is the same as used with cereal prawns, and the hint of curry leaves
with the tofu is an excellent combination. This is a dish
worth returning for. Fried beans and pork are also nicely done. The visual appeal here is
the hand prepared noodles or la mian. Each noodle order is stretched by hand. Noodle dishes and
sauces are good. There is a Pau Dian outlet nearby, but I prefer to take the time
to catch a taxi to the New Bridge road outlet.
Ling Zhi Vegetarian: Far East Square.
This straddles those vegetarian restaurants which try to convince
you with mock meat, and the pure vegetarian restaurants that make no
compromise on their menus. The eggplant is very tasty. The bean curd
baskets are also full of flavour. This is a quality restaurant with
good service. This is a good introduction to vegetation food for
those who think that vegetables are a side dish accompaniment to
Shanghai Hao Chi Lai Restuarant: Purvis Street, opposite the
new library near the Intercontinental hotel.
Their deep fried beancurd is exceptional - thin crisp skin with
silky texture inside. The eggplant and pork is tasty. The pork belly
with egg is tender and tasty. The dark coloured egg has enhanced
flavours, but it is not as strong as century egg. The egg and tomato
is cooked Shanghai style, with eggs fluffed in shallow fry oil. Some
dishes are very good, but others are spoilt with the excess of oil
often found in genuine Shanghai cooking. Choose carefully to avoid
the oil, and the food is worthwhile. Surprisingly there are no Shanghai style jiaozi, baozi
or guotie- steamed, fried and pan-fried dumplings.
Express: Raffles food court, but also many other outlets.
This is efficient and
tasty food. The green curry is aromatic, spicy, but not overpowering
with heat. It strikes a good balance. The bean curd popiah pancakes
match the best of the street food quality in Bangkok. This is tasty
food with good quality.
Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant, upstairs, Grand Plaza Parkroyal Hotel,
Coleman Street near the Church close to Raffles City.
Unless you book, expect to wait. This is always a good sign and the food
does not disappoint. The crispy skin chicken is superb. The skin is
crisp, and the meat is moist and succulent, but not red or pink. This is
a restaurant with good food and good ambience making it suitable for
good eating with style. I look forward to returning and trying more from
their extensive menu. Their ba bao cha (eight treasure tea) is also very
good, and the cups are replenished frequently using the traditional
extended long spout tea pourers. Appreciate the skill and the tea.
The Beach Road outlet has a better ambience and decor.
Treasure La Mian Xiao Long Bao. To the left of the escalators
leading to the Marina Square food loft on the upper floor.
Their hand made noodles and bao have a wonderful variety. All dishes are
prepared as they are ordered, so they are fresh. The bean curd with
century egg is good. The bean curd ribbons are true northern Chinese
style, with taste and consistency. Great with soybean. The real surprise
is the desert Souffle Egg Ball with Red Bean and Banana. A visit to
this restaurant for this dish alone is worthwhile. The souffle is puffed
egg white, deep fried and it just melts in your mouth. Visit several
times so you can sample a wide variety of dishes.
Din Tai Fung On Orchard Road in the Ngee An City complex. There is a
small sign on the footpath directing you to the restaurant. This is
also now in Raffles City Basement.
Offers a wide range of excellent fresh food. The Dan Dan noodles have a
subtlety of flavour not normally found in this dish. The dou miao
(vegetable) is sweet and crisp. Rice with egg and pork, or pork chop, is
a nice balance of flavours. Their jiaozi dumplings are freshly made and
the fillings have a good balance of flavours. This is very good
food, fast service and fresh. If you want more ambience, then the Bishan
outlet is better. Turn left coming out of Bishan MRT, then left again in
the middle of the shopping centre.
Northern Handmade Noodles, Marina Square food Loft. Just behind and
to the left as you get off the escalator.
There is not a lot of choice at this food court stall, but the noodles
are very good. The beef noodles are very good, but you may like to ask
them to hold back on the dried fish. Excellent choice for a quick, good tasting meal. The
Local Delights - to the right and behind the escalator, offers a
wide range of congee (rice porridge).
Xiao Er, Marina Square, second floor. This is a small shopping mall
Food is good quality. Their herbal duck is excellent eating. Braised
pork melts in the mouth. Try the Kai Lan with lime juice and lemon
grass. It is a wonderful vegetable dish and a break from the usual
Restaurant 111 Frankel Avenue, East Coast - a little hard to
find, but the search is worthwhile. (There are 3 branches).
The sambal kang (vegetable) is excellent. The fish maw and crab soup is
also very good. Their chicken and prawn paste is equal to the best I
have tasted. The restaurants are not fancy, but the food is excellent.
Pau Dian, New Bridge Road -
opposite Yue Hwa Products store.
This is one of several stores,
including one opposite Bugis. This is by far the best. You can watch the
cha siew bao, (roast pork buns) zhuruo bao, (large pork buns with egg)
and other tasty morsels being freshly prepared and cooked. Its noisy
with loud Mandarin and Hoikken exhortations to buy the days special - 5
char siew bao for $2. The food is fresh and delicious. Seats on the
footpath are a great place to eat the hot steamed buns. It is a quick
and satisfying lunch or snack. This is my second stop after stepping of
the flight. A four hour layover gives time to leave the airport, eat at Pau Dian, and return in time to catch the flight home.
Silk Road, Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagor.
This is excellent Sichuan food in very pleasant
surroundings with efficient service. This is spicy food in the way that
only Sichuan cooking can provide. You will not even find relief in the
vegetables as Sichuan peppers are also included in the preparation of
some of these dishes. The heat is not chilli hot. It is a tongue
tingling bite that can temporarily overpower lesser flavours.
Their 8 treasure tea is quite different from other that I have
had, but it is well suited to the Sichuan spice. Ask for Long Jin tea. The initial brew is poured from a
long spouted pot. It is an art form that is entertaining.
Beijing duck is good, mapo tofu is very good and with Sichuan peppers,
even the lengpanr (cold dishes) are warm! Some of my Singapore friends
who enjoy spicy food found this a bit hot! Just one disappointing footnote. When I eat at this
restaurant with Singaporean friends, the food is as described above. I
ate there recently with European friends, and despite my request to the
contrary, the food was spiced down and disappointingly bland.
Lao Beijing, Singapura Plaza.
This is set up as a classic Chinese
eating place, although it is no where near as crowded as Bi Feng Tang
restaurant chain in Shanghai. Wait staff are mainly from PRC and if you look like
you can speak Chinese you are greeted with "Huanying" in clear northern
Chinese Mandarin. The lunchtime Peking duck is good. It is served just
on pancakes as a single meal. The braised pig trotter is excellent
and a meal in itself when served with a side order of rice. The
restaurant specializes in northern Chinese cooking with plenty of
noodles and steamed dishes. Many of these are classic winter dishes.
Kitchen On the upper walkway between Raffles Link and Marina Square,
near the waterwheel.
This is surprisingly good. The braised bean curd with pork floss in
exceptional with a light nutty flavor. Congee is standard fare and could
do with a side dish of ginger. This is good quality good. Other dishes
are well cooked and tasty. Plenty of variety.
Spring Court, 52 Upper Cross
Street - near Hotel 81.
You can tell the quality of a
restaurant by the crowd outside waiting to get in. Spring Court is always crowded. Expect to wait for 10 to 20 minutes to get a seat. The
wait is worth it. This is fast service and good food. The Peking duck
includes the duck skin on pancakes, and then the rest served
with noodles or soup. The duck is carved at the table. This is Cantonese
and Hokkien cooking. Its a good place to go with 3 or 4 friends so you
can sample the wide variety of dishes. It is noisy with the chatter of
Chinese, but the food is very good.
Thanying Thai, in
the Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagor Road.
This is Royal Thai cooking
and it is brilliant. My absolute favorite is red chicken curry - but be
sure to ask for the side serve of salted dried fish. These come as large
crackers and are dipped into the rich curry. The combination of flavors
is wonderful. The quality of food, the balance of flavors and the
combination of spices are outstanding. The Tom Yum is to die for.
Best appreciated with a group of friends so you can spread the dishes
around. The silver service is efficient
and discreet. You need to book ahead, especially for a business dinner. I prefer the Amara outlet to the
one in Clarke Quay.
No Signboard Seafood
Restaurant - Geylang. Any taxi driver will know the location.
This is consistently
the best chilli crab I have found - and the best cereal prawns. The 'humble' branding is a cover for
excellent cooking. The Geylang restaurant is side-of-the-road eating on
plastic chairs and tables. This is local food and local atmosphere so
you can eat the crab with enthusiasm. Messy eating is acceptable because
enjoyment is the objective. Chilli crab, Tiger beer, lime juice and good
friends. This is one of the quintessential Singapore meals. The Stadium
road outlet is much more formal but the quality of the food is just as
good. It has wonderful views over the water and is a great place to go
when you want something more up market.
Yum Cha Restaurant, 20
Trengganu Street - in China Town, on corner, next door to a
This is the place to go
for yum cha. Meal times are very busy. Mid morning for a late breakfast
is a good compromise. The range is wide, the quality excellent, the
trolley service always tempting. To reach the restaurant you must walk
through a single door and up a narrow set of stairs. It looks unimposing from the outside,
but upstairs opens into a sizeable dining area.
Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant, 190 Clemenceau Ave - near the Malaysian Airlines head office.
You do not see many non-Chinese
here which is a pity. The food is wonderful. The rice with chicken and
salty fish has just the right balance. Their almond soup for desert is
refreshing, particularly after the crisp salt and pepper prawns. The
restaurant is usually very full, but the service is discreet and
efficient. This is not a noisy restaurant. Stay with the
known Chinese dishes if you wish. They are all very good. But try some
of the others because they have the same quality. If you want to try
something different, then this is a good place to start because you can
be confident the food
is well prepared.
Chuan Restaurant, 9 Purvis Street - near the Carlton Hotel.
Serves excellent Dan Dan Mian
Tiao ( Dan dan noodles), jiao zi (Shanghai dumplings) green beans
with pork and other dishes. They serve absolutely the best bao ba cha
(eight treasure tea) that I have found in Singapore. This is Sichuan
style cooking and my favorite every-day eating place. I also use it for
business meals. The staff are excellent
and mainly from the PRC so speaking Mandarin is an advantage, but not a
necessity. Some local staff are also on hand when your Mandarin fails.
This is my first stop after stepping off the flight to Singapore.
Teajoy - 420 North
Bridge road - opposite the national Library.
This is a tea house where
I go for a quiet relaxing drink by myself or with friends. This is where
I buy my Jasmine Pearl tea. If you want to learn about Chinese tea in a
quiet personal environment, this is the place to go. Its not fancy, and
they do have a range of good tea pots, cups and teas. The tea education
is personalized for just one or two people. They will ship tea overseas.
Teahouse - 30 Tanjong Pagor Road - Just up from the Y intersection.
Vincent has an
entirely different approach to Teajoy. I buy my silver or white
tea from here. This is a more up market tea shop with a clear
focus on tourists and local education. Vincent is very knowledgeable and
I would recommend you take one of his tea lectures which are offered to
groups. This is quality tea and quality products. It is always
interesting to sit down and talk with Vincent or Alice and take tea.
They will ship tea overseas.
Man Fu Yuan - Hotel Intercontinental.
This is a silver service restaurant. Excellent for
business lunches, or private dining. Service is smooth, efficient,
discreet. Food is excellent, with a well balanced array of flavor and
texture. Their Peking duck is excellent, as are the salt and pepper
prawns. They come in the shell, as they should. Eat them shells and all.
The crunch is part of the experience. The wine list is small, but good
Japanese Dining Sun, in Chijmes
complex, 30 Victoria Street.
Its a bit
hard to find upstairs, but its worth the search. The restaurant has
excellent atmosphere and offers a good variety of tempura, rice, sushi
and other Japanese styles of cooking. There is also good variety of
those who do not like raw fish and other seafood combinations. Despite
the impressive surroundings, the price is very reasonable.
Chomp Chomp, Serangoon Gardens. Take
a cab and instruct the driver, 'Chomp Chomp, Serangoon Gardens'.
As this is a hawker centre, you will find a great variety of Chinese
food in there. Chomp Chomp has a long history since the Second
World War. If fact, the estate was apparently catered for the
British soldiers stationed here. Hence English street names in the
estate. Anyway, there are about 30 food stalls serving mostly Chinese
cooked food. The popular ones are (not in any
1. the barbeque seafood (if you like spicy food, the BBQ stingray would
be highly recommended),
2. the satay bee hoon (peanut sauce served with steamed bee hoon and
3.the Chao Guo Tiao (fried wide and flat rice noodle fried cockles,
eggs, bean sprout, a bit of dark sauce and 'special cooking oil')
4. wan ton noodles, simply just Chinese steam dumplings and char siew
served with dried egg noodle (watch out for the home-made chilli) but
Most stalls start their business at 6pm. so if you arrive at about
630pm, you'll get good seats (as in out in the open) and avoid traffic
Lao Shanghai - Old Shanghai - 55 Temple Street - in China Town.
The Shanghai style jiaozi, baozi
and guotie - steamed, fried and pan-fried dumplings - are very good. The
spicy sauce adds the flavor. The serves are quite large, so its good to
eat with a friend so you can try a good range of dishes. Noodles are
Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant -
Fullerton 1 opposite Fullerton Hotel.
This is a western name for an very good Chinese restaurant. Their
specialty is live seafood, outside dining by the river and excellent
service. A good
place for a formal business lunch. Service inside tends to be
superior to the service delivered to the outside tables.
Bengawan Solo - in The Arcade near
Change Alley. To the right as you walk in, ground floor.
Kueh are Malaysian/Nonya sweets. Most people know the
green and white layer sweets. Be adventurous and try a wider range which
includes pandan and taro, gelatinous balls filled with palm sugar (onde
steamed delights with peanuts and sugar, (putu piring) coconut balls filled with sweet
peanuts and others like Soon Kueh with turnip and mushroom fillings.
When I do not know the names I just point and
select 1 or 2 each of those items that look interesting - or several of
my favorites. These are a quick snack. Rather than have desert in a
restaurant I often prefer to look for kueh to end a meal. This Arcade
outlet is just one of many, but their range, freshness and cheerful
service keep me coming back to this location.
Tian Jin Restuarant - Bras Basah Complex.
Singapore home cooking for expat northern Chinese nationals. It is a
no-nonsense restaurant with plain tables, and ordinary people with well
behaved kids. Food is relatively plain, simple and tasty. No fancy
flourishes, but there are times when you just want plain rice, ordinary
chao fan (fried rice) , good noodles, and fresh vegetables without
having to change into a business shirt. I like their rice with
chicken and salty fish spiced up with shredded ginger added from the
Westlake. This is in a shopping
centre, OG Building, Level 3 Peoples Park, on Upper Cross Street near
This looks like an ordinary shopping centre restaurant amongst the racks
of clothes. It serves excellent Beijing style tim sum. The stewed pork
wrapped in mantou bao (Steamed bread buns) is very good. This is
sometimes called a Beijing sandwich. Add a touch of Shanxi style vinegar
for a stronger North Chinese flavour. It is a long way from the fabled
West Lake Gardens in China, but the food is still very good.
Crystal Jade Kitchen, Bugis
Junction - downstairs opposite Food Junction and tucked beside Carrefour.
This is a chain restaurant, but it
serves a quick and satisfying meal. Their zhong guo cha - Chinese tea -
is served in large glasses which is a shock for those accustomed to the
usual small teacups. However this is the way tea is often served in
China. Service is fast and efficient and food quality is good.
Serves tend to be small, so its easy to have some old favorites and then
branch out and try something new or different. The tea cakes from the
attached bakery are excellent. This is the place to go for desert. The
Hong Kong buns are particularly good. The same store now has an outlet
in Changi airport. Its much better than the food available in the Qantas
Noodle Place Restaurant - Centrepoint, up the first set of stairs
and to the left.
This is another place where you may have to wait for a table, although
it is not fancy dining. They serve good food. I particularly like their
chicken and salty fish fried rice. With over 130 items on the
menu, there is plenty of choice. When I am in Orchard Road this is where
I go for quick, no-nonsense, good quality and tasty food. Try their sour
and spicy dumplings for a taste assault.
Nooch Noodle bar - in City Link Mall.
There are several branches of these. They have a wide
choice of Thai, Chinese and Japanese noodles. Eating is fast, service is
very efficient, and food is always very good. A good place for a quick
quality lunch that is not heavy on the pocket. Their Pad Thai and tom
yum are always good.
Ya Kun Kaya Toast Coffee Stall - near
the metal gate, Far east Square.
This is my
favorite place for kaya toast. (There is a picture taken here that is
used with my Smart Investor articles.) Ignore the trendy restaurants on
the edge of the square, and wander down to the edge of the street. Its
on the corner, with open walls and outside seating. Tables are
utilitarian, and plastic stools are the only seating. Wander here for
Sunday morning breakfast and sit with locals rather than tourists. I
enjoy kaya toast and 'pulled' tea. Kaya toast looks like very dry, warm
crisp brown bread. It is served as a sandwich with thick kaya jam
filling. This green jam is made fresh from coconut, eggs and pandan. I
enjoy the fresh flavor and the contrast in texture. Its not everyone's
favorite, but give it a try. The 'pulled' tea is Indian style, heavy
with milk. Anyone who has served in the Armed Forces will recognize the
color, taste and texture of Army tea. Its a bit of a nostalgia trip, but
it does go very well with kaya toast.
Simply Thai - city link mall, about half way through.
This has very
tasty food in a small busy cafe style. Pad thai is good. Curries are
tasty and well balanced. Also a good selection of Thai sweets. Good for
a quick lunch or a light evening meal.
Food Junction - near anywhere in
are food halls for busy shoppers. The food is fresh, well cooked, cheap
and quickly served. Apart from a quick snack, they provide an
excellent way to explore Singapore food. Serves are small so you can
sample a variety of dishes. If it is not to your taste, then simply push
it to one side and order another meal. At around $5 a meal, this is an
effective way to try new dishes. If you find something you like, then
you can order an upscale version next time you go to a more expensive
restaurant. Food Junction is a good place to try kway teow noodles.
These are a Singapore favorite. They should be simple and tasty.
Restaurants tend to dress them up, so they lose some of the original
appeal. They retain their simplicity at Food Junction outlets.
Restaurant - in China Point.
Simply good Hong Kong Cantonese cooking. Lots of variety. Try the
vegetable dishes. There is so much more available than the standard fare
of bok choy. Good Chinese cooking prepares a wide variety of vegetables
in a wide variety of ways. The choice here is good. Meat dishes,
particularly pork, are also very good.
Wah Lok Cantonese - Carlton Hotel.
at the Carlton because of the location and the excellent service from
staff, but, apart from breakfast, I do not eat here. I enjoy the
Carlton congee ( rice porridge) for breakfast with shredded ginger,
shallots, fried dough sticks and spring onions. The lunch time tim sum
at the upstairs Wah Lok restaurant is very good. The evening a la carte
menu is uninspiring and the main course meals a little jaded. I
found that flavors do not mix well, or that they clash.
Sanur Indonesian Restaurant - Centrepoint , Orchard Road.
This is very good quality Indonesian food. Good value,
good service, and good food. Their rendang and spicy grilled squid
are very good. I am not a big eater of Indonesian food, but this is
good. Often very crowded.
Hu Cui, Crystal Jade Shanghai - Ngee Ann City, Orchard Road.
This is stylish restaurant with good quality food, however I found the
service a little on the thin side. Many diners, including myself, had to
replenish their own teacups. This is unusual in any Chinese restaurant,
but more so in one that aims at a more expensive clientele. Menu choice
is quite extensive. Food is well prepared and nicely served. It includes
some Shanghai style dishes. It has a pleasant ambience.
Palace - Purvis Street.
This is one
restaurant where I did not mind getting a phone call which meant
finishing the meal early. Some Thai cooking is a delicate balance of
spice, heat, sour and sweetness. This is one meal I found where heat is
the predominant sensation. I started with Tom Yum. It was the hottest I
have ever had. One fresh coconut later I breathed a sigh of relief when
the basil rice arrived. It was even hotter than the tom yum. Two
coconuts later the green curry arrived, and I was worried. Sure
enough, it was even hotter. Then my handphone rang. CNBC had brought an
interview forward. Could I come in early? It was just the excuse I
needed to leave the meal unfinished. If you like very hot spicy food,
then this is one of the places to go.
The Asian Kitchen. Many outlets, we used the
one in Raffles City.
The food has a heavy emphasis on deep frying and oil. The deep fried
tofu I found similar to British fish and chips. Overpowering, oily
batter that smothered the tofu. Salt and pepper ribs were OK, but again,
very oily. Not a meal to my taste.
Space @ myhumblehouse - Esplanade Mall, part of the Entertainment complex.
Perhaps designed as an overflow point for its more prestigious My Humble
House next door, this restaurant has the modern chic associated with the
new Esplanade entertainment complex. The food is a mixture of Thai,
Chinese and Asian fusion modern. I found the food uninteresting and the
service poor. The menu choice ranged from the artful disguising the
mundane to a chicken burger for children presented as fusion food. There
are better choices for a meal before a show in the entertainment centre.
Next time I will book to be sure there is real space at My Humble House.
The Ultimate Fried Rice Riverside Point.
Its difficult to miss the sign advertising the restaurant. The signature
dish is Imperial Golden Fried rice. This has a slight curry flavour, a
variety of meats, including expensive seafood and a high level of egg
yolk. It is a rich dish. I found other dishes less impressive. The
cereal did not stick to the cereal prawns, and the prawns were flowery
and overcooked. I have eaten much better elsewhere. Service was
diffident, menu uninspiring and food was ordinary.
Hing Wa Restaurant. Beach Road, on the corner
across from Centrepoint.
This is Teo Cheow cooking. Upstairs is more stylish, but the food is the
same. Cereal prawns are good. Other seafood dishes are also good.
Restaurant - in the Funan Centre, 109 North Bridge Road.
standard Thai. Not outstanding, but not bad. Their green curry is
good. Its good for a quick inexpensive lunch.
Haeboks Korean Restaurant: Tanjong Pagor Road, near Chinatown
I found the food uninspiring and
the service inattentive. This is in the heart of KTV country so perhaps the
standards improve later in the night or early in the morning.
Palace - Purvis Street.
Singapore restaurant has excellent food. This was a disappointment. I
found the food bland, ordinary and forgettable.
Chef Chans -
opposite Raffles Hotel.
In most hotel
rooms there is a Singapore travel guide. Restaurants are listed. Some of
these are disappointing. I found Chef Chans fell into this category. The
ambiance is excellent but I found the service is abrupt and out of keeping
with the wonderful decor. Good food is readily available in Singapore, so good
service and knowledgeable staff provide a competitive edge. Food was
interesting, but not particularly appealing. Perhaps I tried the wrong
Lei Garden - in the Chijmes complex.
Great location, exclusive venue, bookings required, quality dining
experience, but food tries too hard to be modern Asian fusion. Small
serves stranded on large plates. I do not find it a relaxing place to
eat, nor one that is conducive for business. Great for impressing your
partner with classy service.
Blue Ginger - Tanjong Pagor Road near the MRT.
This is now the heart of KTV club country. This restaurant tries too
hard to be chic modern, from the furniture, to the austere walls and
austere servings. Guess I am not young enough to appreciate this.
(G) Food is quite good Nonya or peranakan style, with a strong
leaning towards Malay influences. If you want to try real durian, this
is a good starting place. (Yes, it is that smell that distinguishes this
restaurant from others) My advice - start with durian pancakes and work
Tony Romas - Suntec City
Just to prove that I don't eat only Chinese, Nonya, Thai or Japanese
food. The experience here helps to explain why Americans are the largest consumers of sugar in the world. I swear
the ribs are cooked in sugar syrup.
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