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Singapore Hawker Centers - need recs

c
ChewChew Jan 4, 2007 03:47 AM

Hello all: I'm a San Francisco 'hound visiting Singapore for the first time on business at the end of January. After reading your posts on this board it's clear that I'll be spending much of the free time I have in the hawker centers sampling as much as I can.

My client is located on Phillip St. near Raffles Interchange (according to my map) so I'd imagine my hotel will be close by. What hawker centers should I visit? I'm public transportation- friendly and would happily venture to other neighborhoods to find places high on the variety and authenticity scales. What shouldn't I miss?

Also, I'll have a free evening on Thursday, February 1st so if any local chowhounds want to connect for a chowdown, perhaps we can arrange something.

Thanks in advance for your recs.

Marc

  1. c
    ciaoeater Dec 20, 2007 11:44 PM

    Tekka Centre! Tekka Centre! I was there in October and had delicious masala tea and banana roti. Yum--I still crave both and think I will for a long time to come.

    Also had good carrot cake at Newtown Circus, and, though not a hawker center but a restaurant, Song of India has delicious Indian food. I highly recommend!

    Have fun!

    1. a
      aventinus Aug 8, 2007 03:02 AM

      I just spent a few days in Singapore, and am by no means an expert, but I did eat a ridiculous amount of (ridiculously cheap) food from hawker stalls. Often I found the food just OK (though great for the price). By far my favorite place ended up being the dessert stand inside the air-conditioned Tekka Center (near Little India, on Sungei Road). Their durian cendol is one of the greatest Asian desserts I've ever had. I've eaten cendol maybe 7 times on this trip to Singapore and Malaysia, and no other version came close.

      Also, though I guess it doesn't quite qualify as hawker food, make sure to check out the katong laksa on East Coast Road.

      1 Reply
      1. re: aventinus
        h
        Hot Chocolate Sep 10, 2007 07:51 PM

        the best indian food in singapore is around that area. there's banana leaf apollo (in all the guidebooks) for fish head curry (their north indian is also very good ... and their naan is among the best). Komala Villas (also in your guide book) along serangoon road near buffalo road for dosas and uttapam. Jaggi's N. Indian cuisine on race course road for you guessed it north indian curries. Not in the guidebooks is Chopsticks along Race course road near banana leaf for Chinese Indian (chicken drumsticks and gobi manchurian). also not in the guide books is Raj (vegetarian / south indian) which is on the same road as mustafa a bit further away from serangoon ... a block away from mustafa's...they have amazing chaats and damn good uttapam / dosa as well as some innovative curry.

      2. j
        jaweino Jul 14, 2007 06:46 PM

        I just returned from Singapore and tried two hawker centers. One was in the Marina Mall and the other was outdoors in the Changi area. My strategy in both was to pick the place with the longest line and ask people in line what they recommended. I got to try some new and unusual, to me, dishes and was not disappointed.

        1. c
          ChewChew Jan 4, 2007 09:05 PM

          Thanks so much for these replies. I promise a full report upon my return. Cheers and happy new year.

          1. grocerytrekker Jan 4, 2007 05:25 PM

            You can't miss hawker centers wherever you are. Just ask anybody where the nearest one is. Singaporeans are foodies. They will be happy to tell you about their favorites. I have many picks myself but my recs would be far from current. Whichever one you go to, you should just let serendipity dictate what you eat. Look around and you'll see what you want. You can't go too wrong.

            Sounds like you'll be in the financial district. Yes, go for the Makansutra Gluttons Bay. (Thank you, MOREKASHA.) Possibly a pleasant -hot & muggy, sorry- walk from your hotel, not too far from the Promenade and the Merlion.

            Newton Circus used to be the big food centre where the tourists were sent to. Plenty of locals, too, nothing really bad or unusual about it. Heard some renovation rumors. I can't tell you what it is like today.

            http://www.makansutra.com/index.php

            2 Replies
            1. re: grocerytrekker
              grocerytrekker Jul 4, 2007 01:51 PM

              Link:

              -----
              Makansutra Gluttons Bay
              Singapore , SG

              1. re: grocerytrekker
                c
                chuckycheese Sep 5, 2007 08:54 AM

                Newton Circus used to be fun, interesting, inexpensive and good but things have really changed. I have been to Singapore 7 times and used to enjoy going there. On my last visit, I found that it has been totally rebuilt and has lost all of it's charm. It was extremely commercialized and very expensive. Sadly, I left after about a 5 minutes stroll through the place. I'll never bother going back. Having said that, Singapore is absolutely filled with great hawker centers and most are really great!!

              2. j
                jbh11 Jan 4, 2007 04:03 PM

                My wife and I were quite pleased with the Maxwell Road center (within walking distance from Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar MRT). Great Hainanese chicken, red bean pancakes, Thai style tofu.
                Throughout the city, we enjoyed our last trip so much that we're headed back in 2 weeks mainly for crusing the hawker centers. If we hit any good finds, I'll post toward the end of the month.

                1. MOREKASHA Jan 4, 2007 02:43 PM

                  As soon as you arrive in Sing, get to a bookstore, (there's a Borders on Orchard Rd) buy a copy of the Makansutra guide (usually they have the guide @ the check out). You can't go wrong w/the guide/bible.

                  I think you're near the Makansutra Glutton bay center. This is Makansutras "best of". it's only open from 6pm onward. Some of my fave dishes are chicken rice, "bbq stingray" (grilled skate w/a thick chilli type paste).

                  Sing is an Asian version of San Sebastian.....I miss the food already.

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