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Jan 4, 2007 03:47 AM

Singapore Hawker Centers - need recs

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.


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  1. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

        2 Replies
        1. re: grocerytrekker


          Makansutra Gluttons Bay
          Singapore , SG

          1. re: grocerytrekker

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

            1. 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.