A Foodie’s Notes from Singapore

Article and photo contributed by Sanjay Keswani

This is an excerpt from Sanjay’s mail to Nivanthee, in the matter of providing some guidance on the food available in Singapore. I thought it may prove interesting to others too. All dollar notations ($) refer to Singapore Dollars. – Sid

Unfortunately, this time we were in a large group with diverse preferences and at times, not willing to experiment. I was therefore unable to explore all that Singapore has to offer as much as I would have liked to. However please find below my recommendations on places I did try and and which should put you on the right track when you’re there:

Newton Food Centre
This is a must try for all, is open till about 11.30pm and is recommended for dinner. I was here twice in 5 days. Don’t pay much attention to the various servers who will accost you as soon as you enter; take your time and have a good look at the various stalls. The BBQ Stingray($10/12/15) and the Black Pepper Crab ($3.8 for 100gms) are a must try here. The famous Singapore Chilli Crab is not really spicy and I much prefer the black pepper version and so do the locals. I feel the other seafood they push you to buy, tiger prawns for instance, are overhyped, overrated and too expensive for my taste.

I also had the Oyster Omelette ( $5.50) here; very good if you like oysters, which can be an acquired taste. Carrot cake is also a Singapore staple, is made of stir fried radish thought I’m not sure how it tastes at the Newton Food Centre. You may sit anywhere and order from any stall. Each table is numbered. Simply tell the guy at the stall your table number and they will deliver to your table.

Hygiene Tip: Singapore is quite safe and I have never had a problem. The stalls are marked A, B, C etc per their hygiene scores by the Health Department with A being the best, however I would eat from a B graded stall anytime as well.

Ion Orchard Food Hall
I’m sure you will be going to Orchard road at some point. The food hall here is especially good. The Dimsum counter is great and I had some fabulous scallop dimsum here ( $4 for 3 pcs). Also, the seafood mee goreng ($6.90) here was superb and great value for money, the Hainanese chicken rice, a bit bland for the normal Indian palate but a must try in Singapore and finally try the Laksa here; quite good in my opinion.

Bugis Junction Food Court
Another nice place. There are a variety of stalls here; in particular the Indonesian counter just at the entrance to the right that has some nice Indonesian grilled chicken sets. I normally love it but this time I felt it was a bit bland for me though the flavor was quite good. I thought the chicken wings and pork / chicken / beef satay at this food court were quite nice. Cross the road to a Chinese marketplace and you will find nice pepper sausages on a stick (A dollar each ) and freshly squeezed exotic fruit juices ($2).

Orchart Point (open-air hawker centre)
On Orchard road there is another open-air hawker centre called Orchard point, close to the Meridien Hotel. This is recommended for trying more hawker style food if you are looking for a late night bite – they’re open till midnight and after. The restaurants and food courts all over Singapore close around 10 Pm and will shut down in a matter of minutes. You can get everything here at reasonable prices that taste good too. The Seafood Char Kuay Teow ($6) and BBQ Duck Rice ($5) here are good; that’s what I had this time. I’m sure others will be equally good.

Apart from these there are numerous food experiences to be had in Singapore for various budgets. Just try whatever you fancy and I’m sure you will have a great time. Bread talk / Bread Society outlets are nice for a quick snack or dessert. Another famous food place is the Lou Pa Sat food Junction, quite close to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. You must go up to the sky walk for the stunning views in the evening. I was unable to go here this time.

If you do want to splurge on a 5 star meal, I would highly recommend the buffet at Mezza 9 at the Hyatt on Scotts road. Its the best but a bit expensive, though appreciably better value for money when compared to Delhi’s 5 star hotels.

I hope this puts you in the right direction. Have a great trip and let me know if you need any more assistance.