Thursday, May 24, 2007

Singapore Restaurant

FOOD is one of the most important pastime in Singapore, yet easily available and very reasonable. Common folks eat at open air eateries called "hawker centres" or in the air-conditioned version called "food courts". Food courts are pretty much franchised affairs and there is little distinction. Hawker centres however are very local and provide great value for money. A newly introduced rating system helps the novice to choose from thousand of booth offers. Go for the one having a B at minimum, and shoot for A. This is not the type of hepatitis you are going to buy but the quality of the kitchen during the yearly inspection. Avoid C as much as you can, or you will remember it. Otherwise, find a store with a really long queue and you wouldn't be too far wrong.

Some great hawker places:

  • Newton Hawker Center
    The ubiquitous tourist trap, but you have to go and just say you have been there. Although this is where I saw the biggest tiger prawn in the city, and the most expensive, they are so massive, they look like mini lobsters.

  • La Pau Sat Hawker Center
    Probably the oldest and the most beautiful hawker center in town. But what's really famous is the adjacent street where street vendors sell amazing satays and stingrays from 7-11PM.

  • Chinatown Complex Food Centre
    Located right in the heart of Chinatown, this hawker centre is a favorite of the locals. Yes it is very crowded at lunch time, but there is simply no better place to check out authentic local cuisine than this place. There are plenty of food stalls and booths to try, everything from a Char Kway Teow (local fried noodle) to Ice Kachang (a popular local ice dessert).

  • Alexandra Village
    This is the closest hawker centre to "IKEA, Alexandra Road" or "Alexandra Village Hawker Centre". It is a huge IKEA next to it also where the Swedish meatballs are really good too

  • Crystal Jade (Not a hawker centre)
    This is a great chain of shops that sell Dim Sum. The one at Holland Village is 24 hours and it’s really good for food at 4 AM on your way back home.

Here is a list of dining Precincts

  • Boat Quay
    Boat Quay is one of the best spots in Singapore for alfresco dining. Once Singapore’s busiest port in the 1960s, it has been transformed into a popular hangout for locals, expatriates and tourists, with chic cafes, high-end restaurants, yuppie pubs and designer galleries.

    Situated in the compound of an old girls’ convent school, CHIJMES today is one of Singapore’s premier wine and dine destinations.

  • Clarke Quay
    Clarke Quay is Singapore's only riverside festival village combining dining, shopping and entertainment. On the 23,000 square-metre site are five blocks of building housing and shophouses, restored to their original 19th century style.

  • Club Street and Far East Square
    Far East Square is heaven for foodies! The award-winning architectural aesthetics, and restaurants, bars and cafés attract both tourists and locals.

  • East Coast Parkway
    Away from the city, chill out by the East Coast beach and relax with the seaside crowd. The East Coast is the quintessential beachfront recreation and relaxation for many Singaporeans and travellers alike.

  • Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
    Esplanade Theatres on the Bay / One Fullerton and The Fullerton Waterboat House both located at the Marina Bay waterfront. Alfresco diners and tourists alike will be drawn by the sea-breeze, the sound of waves lapping against the sea wall, and the stunning backdrop of Singapore's skyline at Raffles Place.

  • Sentosa
    Situated amidst natural tropical woodlands and in the middle of pristine nature, minutes away from the city centre, The Sentosa Resort & Spa is the perfect place to enjoy the serenity and indulge in fine-dining.

  • Stadium Waterfront / Oasis
    Soak in the scenic atmosphere of the Kallang River and enjoy an evening under the stars as you savour the wide selection of delectable international cuisine at the Stadium Waterfront.

  • The Arts House @ The Old Parliament / Asian Civilisation Museum
    The Arts House at the Old Parliament, the oldest government building in Singapore, hasn't just injected an arty air to the Empress Place precinct; it has also boosted the area's culinary quotient, with advent of three trendy restaurants and cafés.

Night Dining
Eating, arguably one of Singaporeans' favourite past-times. And on our bustling island, there are no time limits to this hobby Tuck in at one of the many 24-hour eating places, serving a gastronomical buffet of local and continental favourites!

  • Lau Pa Sat Festival Market
    18 Raffles Quay

    How to Get There
    By MRT : Raffles Place (EW14/NS26)
    By Bus : 10, 70, 75, 82, 97, 100, 107, 130, 131, 131A, 162, 167, 186, 196, 507, 605, 608, 700, 970

  • Newton Food Centre
    Along Clemenceau Ave North

    How to Get There
    By MRT : Newton (NS21)
    By Bus : 54, 66, 67, 124, 143, 162, 162X, 167, 170, 171, 518, 700, 700A, 960

  • Geylang Serai Market
    Beside Blk 1,3,4,5 Jalan Pasar Bahru

    How to Get There
    By MRT : Paya Lebar (EW8)
    By Bus : 2, 7, 13, 21, 24, 26, 28, 30, 40, 51, 60, 60X, 61, 63, 67, 70, 70X, 76, 93, 94, 135, 154, 155, 197, 853C

  • Glutton’s Bay
    #01-15 Esplanade Mall, Open 6pm to 3am daily.

    How to Get There
    MRT : City Hall (EW13/NS25) Bus : 36, 56, 75, 77, 97, 106, 111, 133, 162, 171, 174M, 195, 700A, 857, 960, 961, NR1, NR2, NR6, NR7, NR8

my Best Of
Best romantic dining:

  • The strip of restaurants opposite Holland Village – it is home of the vegetarian Original Sin, the pasta place Michael Angelo’s, the pizzeria Sistina and Da Paolo’s fine Italian dining.
  • La Braceria @ Greenleaf Road is top value @ decent money Italian food, right next to a slightly spartan but terrific oyster bar.

Best French restaurant:

  • Au Petit Salut, Holland Village Tel: 64751976.
  • Sebastian’s - French Bistro (Must book in advance) Tel: 64651980.

Best Japanese restaurant:

  • SHIRO @ Holland Village it’s expensive but a must try experience. Tel: 64622774

Best Deli:

  • Corduroy and Finch @ 6th Avenue/ Bukit Timah. Book ahead if you can.

Best Fusion restaurants:

  • Try the restaurants at Club Street – notably IndoChine Tel:63230503, also Oso (Italian- Tanjong Pagar road))
  • Cliff @ Sentosa Resort & Spa
  • Graze
    No 4 Rochester Park, Singapore 139215 - Tel: (65) 6775 9000

Best Sunday Brunch:

  • Raffles Hotel! You may want to also try Fullerton Hotel (a more pricey alternative, but all drinks & champagne are included).
  • But if you really want a nice British-style eggs and bacon, try The Cellar Door on Bukit Timah Road, next to Coronation Plaza.
    Mezza @ Hyatt Hotel,
    190 Café @ Four Seasons Hotel

Best High Tea:

  • Marriott Hotel: A must try International buffet starting from 3:00 – 5:30 pm. To make reservations please call: 67358967

Best dining by the sea

  • Pasta Fresca at East Cost after the Sailing Centre – the only restaurant in mainland Singapore that has tables directly on the sandy beach.

Best cheap dining:

  • Virtually any food court in Singapore is a must-try for the brave experimenters. An air-conditioned food court version with reasonable food for around $5 is the local chain Kopitiam (one outlet that is good is at the basement of La Meridien Hotel on Orchard Road, another is at Bras Basah Road near Singapore Art Museum)
  • Also try Lau Pa Sat Food Court (near Boat Quay. Taxis know how to get there). Takashimaya food court as well as Scotts food court with a wide variety of food.

Best Dim Sum:

  • Crystal Jade various locations.
  • Lei Gardens @ Chijmes Tel: 63393822 (More fancy)
  • Hui Chi @ Takashimaya Tel:62381011 (More fancy as well)

Best Indian food:

  • Jaggi’s, all the way at the end of Racecourse Road on the left side.
    Incredibly cheap incredibly good Indian food with minimal atmosphere
  • Riverwalk Tandoor The Riverwalk,
    20 Upper Cirular Road, #B1-38 Singapore 058416 (5min walk from Qlark Quay MRT Station)
  • Banana Leaf Apollo
    54-58 Race Course Rd., Little India, Singapore - (293) 8682

Best Fish Head Curry (Local Speciality):

  • Samy’s @ Dempsey’s Road Tel: 64722080

Best pastries :

  • Paris Gourmand@ Bukit Timah Tel:64660613.

Best places to buy wine & cheese:

  • Carrefour@ Suntec City (free delivery for purchases above $50),
  • Wine Culture @ Bukit Timah, Sebatian’s.

Best Supermarkets:

  • Cold Storage (Holland Village or online) now open 24hrs,
  • Giant,
  • NTUC Fairprice,
  • Carrefour & Shop & Save.

What to eat
  • Chicken Rice
    Voted the national dish of Singapore. It’s literally chicken and rice but done in a really fragrant way. BTW, Singaporeans love chicken legs; breast meat is not that big a thing in Asia, though because of the way chicken in chicken rice is done, chicken breast is good too

    Try any "boon Tiong Kee" store - just ask any Singaporean; he/she worth his salt should know or simply go to this place:

    Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant
    Name Of Business:
    Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant
    Enquiry Hotline:
    Fax Number:
    Business Address:
    275 Thomson Road #01-01 Novena Ville S 307645
  • Char Kway Teow
    Dark noodles cooked with lots of lard
  • Others to try
    Laksa: Spicy noodles - really yums
    Roti Prata - flat fried Indian bread: watch the man flip the bread; accompany this with drink called Teh Tarik - basically Tarik means pull in Malay; and Teh means pull; so the man literally pulls the tea for you. Its quite common and you can see it around.
    Bak Kut Teh - herbal pork soup
    Rojak - a mass of fruits (ege pineapples, apples), fried dough etc;
    black pepper crab - you can get your fill of seafood at East Coast Park; order the "Sri Lankan" crab when you order the Black pepper crab and ask for "fried Man Tou" or fried bread to go with it - very local and very yummy.

Top 3 fruits

  • Durian
    also known as "king of fruits" among the locals, this green thorny fruit is an absolute awfull though I know many people who tried it will challenge me on this; the key is to get past the pungent smell, which some have likened to a stinking drain (that is an apparent understatement) to sink your teeth into the soft, sweet yellow flesh and never have contact with the fruit. Nevermind, I don't like it still, but need to try, maybe in candy or ice cream instead.
  • Mangosteens
    The counterpart of the durian, this "queen of fruits" is sweet and has what the Chinese term "colling" properties
  • Other tropical fruits
    Rambutans, jackfruits, dragon fruits (BTW, it’s called papaya, not pawpaw in SEA)

Top 3 desserts / snacks

  • Nonya kuehs
    Kueh are like little cakes; they are readily available from any "Bengawan Solo" shop which can you find at Holland Village
    Must trys are: the 9-layered kueh (Gao Ting Kueh); Pandan cake, kueh lapis (this is what we eat during Chinese New year as well), "ang gu kueh"
  • Desserts at a Hawker Centre
    Order "Cheng Ting" - actually anything at the stalls are great
    common drinks in Singapore other than the fizzy sodas: "Barley", "sugarcane" or "Soybean" drinks - go for the freshly made ones
  • Other snacks
    Muah Chee - its like sticky dough with sesame seeds on it
    Popiah - vegetarian non-fried spring rollsBee Cham Kueh - peanut filled crispy pastry

Best must-try local seafood:
East Coast Seafood Centre to #01-08 Jumbo Seafood – the pepper crabs and drunken prawns are out of this world there. For other closer alternatives Newton food court centre – the most tourist-friendly food court in Singapore with a huge variety of local food but definitely not the cheapest.

Now after having done some very intensive research and many test sample here is the official Mintalo Best of Crab series ....

  • Best BLACK PEPPER CRAB in town
    Long Beach UDMC seafood restaurant
  • Best CHILI CRAB in town
    no Signboard Seafood
  • Best WHITE PEPPER CRAB in town

And after this entire post if you still some more reference I recommend then to check out Chubby Hubby blog, source of some food fun and lovely dinner experience from a big Chubby Hubby Fan.