Need advice! Singapore 3 day trip!
- big_apple_ken Jul 6, 2009 11:33 AM
Alright, so I'm going to Singapore for a wedding at the end of July. Will be staying at the Regent (on Cuscaden Road near the Forum Galleria). Need some suggestions for places/food I MUST go/eat if I am ever in Singapore. I'm talking 'final supper' good. Not looking for pricey food this time around. Please take into account I will be staying at the Regent and won't have a car so if the place is too far away it might be a minor issue. Meals can be breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Obviously my #1 want is to grab some good Hainan chicken rice. Was thinking about hitting up Tien Tiens in Maxwell Hawker Center but I've heard there are other chicken rice restaurants that are just as good (if not better).
Tian Tian at Maxwell is like 15 minutes taxi drive from Regent so that maybe an issue to you.
If you don't mind to pay a bit more, I will recommend the Hainan chicken rice at Chatterbox in Meritus Mandarin. 10-15 minutes walk from Regent. Another option close by is Hainanese Delicacy at Far East Plaza (5th floor), about 5-10 minutes walk. Big Bird at Balmoral Plaza is another option for 5 min taxi ride, not as well known but I thought the rice and chilli is the best.
Not sure what you meant by 'final supper' and "meals can be breakfast...dinner". Seem that covers everything. Please be more specific; what type of food, budget, solo or group, spicy/non-spicy, nice ambiance etc.
For late night supper, I would recommend you to try Bar Kut Teh at Yah Hua @ 593 Havelock Road. It is 5-10 minutes taxi ride. Another option is go to Newton Hawker Centre, which many consider tourists-trapped: try white carrot cake at Heng (stall 28), best carrot cake in Singapore, in my opinion. Hokkien mie at stall 15 Kwang Huat is good too.
Notice you are new to CH. There is a search function above; many past threads on Singapore food scene, so just type "Singapore" and you can get some clues. Another option is look at my profile and click my twitter site where I gave some ratings on the local food scene.
Iggy's at Regent Hotel has been voted as the best restaurant in Asia by Meile Guide (whatever that is worth..). It is a fine dining place.
I wrote an email to an American visitor sometime ago who ask similar question like yours. I just "copy and paste" below for your reference:
This will be my recommendation for you:
1. Morning: for breakfast, go for bar kut teh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bak_kut_teh . And the one I will recommend to you is Ng Ah Siou http://www.hungrygowhere.com/restaura... . I think they close on Monday and open as early as 6am from Tue-Sun but do double check again. I would recommend you to request for the long rib (instead of the one in menu which is just short rib), which they will request additional $2 or $3. If you don't mind offal, order the pork kidney as well. Make sure you get youtiao (it maybe included) and you can perhaps add one more vegetable. If you are a big eater, you can ask for the pork leg (or knuckle) in dark soya sauce.
2. Lunch: for two days, I will give you 3 options:
A. Hainan Chicken Rice: I will just recommend the most expensive one, that is in Chatterbox in Meritus Mandarin Hotel: http://www.meritus-hotels.com/index.p... . It still has a legendary name on chicken rice though much more expensive than compared to the hawker stalls. My two favorites are actually not very well known and they are located in residential neighborhood which may not be convenient for you. So I think this is the right one for you.
B. Curry Fish head: Unfortunately, the boss of my favorite restaurant for Curry Fish Head decided to take a rest and close his shop just a month ago, so it won't be available when you are in town. I seldom try other places so I am at a loss which to recommend to you. So instead, I will recommend an Indian shop called Lucky Prata located at an old shopping mall called Lucky Plaza: http://www.asiaone.com/Wine%252CDine+... . This place is famous for Nasi Bryani (Indian rice with chicken, mutton depend on your selection). They also serve very good Roti Prata, a type of Indian dough with curry sauce. Less well known is its Curry Fish head, but I think you get to try all three in this place!!! Most Singaporeans will tell you to head to race course road (such as muttu curry etc) for Curry Fish head but I am not a fan of those places.
C. Peranakan cuisine: I will recommend House of Peranakan at Meritus Negara Hotel: http://www.hungrygowhere.com/singapor... . I will recommend dishes such as Ngo Hiong, Ayam Buah Kelak, ikan otak otak, pan fried pomfred with chilli sauce on top.
3. Dinner: 4 options to you. The first two are really popular with tourists as location is convenient. But if you are more adventurous, you can go for C or/and D.
A. Palm Beach at One Fullerton: it is quite close to your hotel. You can order Chilli Crab here and other local seafood dishes. One thing about Chilli Crab, in my opinion, is that the standard has declined over the years due to influx of tourists for this dish. Everyone wants Chilli crab, so what happened is that the few famous seafood restaurants (Palm Beach, No Sign Board, Little Red House) has expanded aggressively with chains, but yet not able to maintain the quality. To me, it is like a commodity now, but to tourists and others, they still love it. This place is a good option, the food is still decent, nice ambiance with good view.
B. Newton Hawker Centre. This is the most famous hawker place in Singapore, some called it a "tourist trap", which i partially agreed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_F... This is where most tourist go to in the evening. You can select whatever dishes you like from the stalls but the one I will recommend is the Singapore style white carrot cake (don't confuse with Hong kong Dim Sum's carrot cake) at stall no 28 Heng and perhaps Hokkien mee at stall no 15 Kwang Huat (for whatever reasons, I always prefer to order to pack away as it taste better eating at home than there; I suspect it is because the broth soaked longer in the noodle which provides better flavor). You can also select a seafood stall there to order local favorites like cockles and chilli stingray. There have been a few cases that tourists complained of being overcharged for ordering jumbo prawns so it is better to confirm the price of seafood before the order.
C. Now if you are more adventurous, I will suggest you to head down to Geylang district, http://www.makansutra.com/Makanzine/m... which is kind of notorious as it is also a red light district and perhaps the HQ of gangsters, so it does not have the "clean" image that is always associate with Singapore. One that is made well known by Anthony Bordain is Sin Huat where the dish Crab Bee Hoon was declared the best dish he ever had. You probably can check out in youtube. Now incredibly for a lousy ambiance, bad service and not very good location, this place is not cheap. People just go there for the food and nothing else. Beside the Crab Bee Hoon, I will recommend the Gong Gong, a type of conch, and steamed garlic squid.
D. Beside Chilli Crab and Crab Bee Hoon, another well know crab dish in Singapore is called Black Pepper Crab, and the best, I think, is Eng Seng Restaurant at 247 Joo Chiat Place, not exactly a convenient place for tourists. Now the thing about this place is that you have to queue at 5pm, and the other dishes (you can try the mee goreng here) are not as good as the Black Pepper Crab. So one option is to go for early dinner at 5pm and another place for late dinner at 8 or 9pm. There is a blogger who review it, you can read here:
4. Late night option:
A. Now if you have a bottomless pit on your stomach and crave for late night dining, I will recommend Sin Lee at 47 Neil Road. This is a local style Cantonese restauarant that caters for late night guests, so I think it opened at 6pm and close at 4am. There is some write up on this place in Chowhound; I contributed some comments there. Just use the Search function on Greater Asia Board in Chowhound. Some signature dishes include braised shark fin soup (maybe politically incorrect for Westerners or New Yorkers???), stamed garlic bamboo clams, beef hor fun, ( I think they are very good with these 3 dishes).
B. Another option for late night is Ka Soh at 96 Amoy Street, but last order is at 10:45pm. They have been in business for 70 years, may not sound that long in NYC, but that is a long time in Singapore, considering the history of this country is so short. Famous dishes are the Fish head/ (or Fish slices) noodle and Prawn paste chicken: http://www.ka-soh.com.sg/menu.php
Hawker food is the way to go, if you can stand the heat and humidity in Singapore. Maxwell Hawker Centre, besides Tian Tian chicken rice is also good for its Hainanese curry rice, Thai cooked food stall, porridge stall, and many other options.
If you want airconditioned comfort, cross over to Mitzis on Tanjung Pagar Road for some real Old Singapore-style Cantonese food. You'll love the boneless chicken spread with minced prawns.
I never fail to recommend people to try Eurasian and Nyonya food in Singapore. For Eurasian food, go to Quentins at the Eurasian Community House, Ceylon Lane (near Joo Chiat) for frikadelle, Curry Debal, and a slice of delicious sugee cake. It's very Portuguese-Eurasian, in a very Singapore way.
For Nyonya food, try Baba Inn (Frankl Ave), or its other sister branches in East Coast Rd and Pan Pacific Orchard (quite near your Regent Hotel). Or you may want to try Singapore Indian, Malay & Chinese street foods all in one place: aircon comfort in Grand Hyatt's beautiful Straits Kitchen. Book ahead - tell you concierge to help you get a table: very, very, very popular!!
If you want good Alaskan king crab or lobster, try Ting Heng steamboat in Tiong Bahru. It's a culinary scret spot amongst us locals, ha ha! Your hotel concierge should also be able to find you the address & do booking.
Singapore also has the best Indian food in Southeast Asia. Go to Little India for breakfast at Komala Vilas or one of the many wonderful south Indian breakfast spots - great thosais, pratas, idlis. Near your hotel is Tanglin Mall, try Yantra Indian restaurant there, very good tandooris and northern Indian food.
Or go to Arab Street for nasi lemak breakfast.
If you look at the Greater Asia Board Discussion threads listed on the right side of this page, you'll see several similar queries which will satisfy your curiousity about what to eat and where to find them.
But if you need any more specific information, then do let us know and we can point you in the right direction.
i actually quite like boon tong kee chicken rice. its just different from the rest. this chicken rice is for u if u like gelatinous chicken skin.