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Sep 30, 2009 04:30 PM

Singapore - need some recs

I'm going to Singapore for the first time in about 7 yrs and I'm only going to be there for about 3 days. So, I want to get all the classics, here's what i'm tenatively planning, but i'm happy to hear any other "must eat" type places or places that are better than the place i'm planning going:

- chili crab / black pepper crab: Eng Seng Restaurant...btw does anyone know if they moved or if they are still on joo chiat place and still road? I read somewhere that they might have moved. Also, what's their phone #? If i remember right you need to reserve crabs and show up early
- bah kuh teh: Ng Ah Sio; also, i think this place is not that convenient to get to is that right?
- hainan chicken rice: tian tian hainan chicken rice
- bak chor mee: Tai Hua
- laksa: i'm not really sure where to go for the best version of this?
- sup tulong: Stall No. 13, Golden Mile Food Cente


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  1. btw one more thing at Eng Seng, does anyone remember what the dish that is a you tiao (fried cruller) with the fish cake running through it and then they top it off with a little mayo is called in mandarin?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lau

      Eng Seng on Still Rd is still there at the same place. I don't know how to say the yu tiao dish in Mandarin, but the waitress (Ah Hoon) knows enough English to understand you nd, btw, it's filled with sotong (squid) paste, not fish cake.

      Ng Ah Sio bah kut teh is easily reacheable by taxi - but know that they are closed on Mondays, and they operate from breakfast time until lunch only (2.30pm). Read more here:

    2. I think we "met" before at Manhattan Board 1-2 years ago when I request for advise about the NY dining scene.

      Eng Seng is well known for black pepper crab, not chilli crab. There are some rumors that their chefs have set up a new restaurant called House of Seafood at Yio Chu Kang. Eng Seng is still in Still Rd; the tel number is 64405560; you are supposed to be there at 4:30 to 5pm. I am lucky that I always have a friend who will order and pack the crabs back for me so I don't need to queue att Eng Seng. They are also well known for mee goreng, a local Malay style fried noodle.

      Most Bar Kut Teh stalls are closed on Monday since pork is not for sale on that day. Like what Gomez wrote, Ng Ah Sio is opened till 2pm. I tend to prefer Bar Kut Teh in the evening so my preference is actually Ya Hua at 593 Havelock Road #01-01/02. Both are quite well known but NAS is cleaner than YH so perhaps it is a better option. If you like offal, I would recommend the kidney and other stuffs.

      Hainan Chicken Rice is more controversial; it is like debating which has the best pizza in NYC. I like the rice in Tian Tian but not impressed with the chicken and sauce. If price is not an issue, I will recommend Chatterbox at Meritus Mandarin. It is much more expensive but the overall presentation is good. Another good option is Hainanese Delicacy on the 5th floor of Far East Plaza. For the chilli sauce, I actually thought the best is Big Bird at Balmoral Plaza; for the chicken, my preference is Chicken House at 255 Upper Thomson Rd since I prefer the "kampung" chicken (organic) rather than the fatty ones commonly available here. Two legendary names which I am not such a big fan are Sun Kee at Margaret Dr and Wee Nam Kee at Thomson Rd; but they are very popular. This blogger has a good rundown of the popular chicken rice stalls in Singapore; I don't agree with his opinion but I think you should take a look :

      Tai Hua is a good choice for bar chor mee. Don't forget to order its dumpling soup, pretty good for local standard (but do not compare to Hong Kong or Macau standard).

      For laksa: my preference is Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa at Blk 531A Hong Lim Market #02-6. But the most famous one is the "katong laksa"; I believe the original branch is 328 Katong Laksa at 216 East Coast Road. If someone think I have the wrong information (about the original branch), let me know.

      Not a fan of sup tulong, unable to advise.

      For chilli crab, I like the Sri Lanka version at Palm Beach in One Fullerton.

      Not too sure what you meant by "must eat" type since the varieties here is wide. Other local favorites would be Hokkien Mee, Char Kway Teo, Oyster Omelete, Carrot Cake, Nasi Lemak, Crab Bee Hoon, Rojak, Nasi Bryani, Curry Fish head, Roti Prata, Satay, Fish head Noodle etc. And don't forget about the Peranakan food. Let me know what your interest is. Are you more adventurous? Do you prefer spicy stuff or fresh ingredients or simple comfort food?

      4 Replies
      1. re: FourSeasons

        m_gomez - thanks for the advice, funny i've eaten at eng seng like double digit amt of times and i always assumed it was fish paste, thanks for the correction...very much looking forward to it

        FourSeasons - i believe i do remember that and thanks for the detailed advice

        eng seng - i used to eat at eng seng like a couple of times a month when i lived in singapore and we used to go for the black pepper crab, but i liked their chili crab so given my short stay i figured i'd knock kill two birds with one stone

        hainan chicken rice - yeah i figured it would be the never ending debate, but i love that stuff, i used to eat it for lunch half the time (i ate nasi lemak the other half). I think i've been to that place hainanese delicacy, thanks for reminding me. My gf has never had a good version of it (its terrible in NY and LA - where i usually am), so i figured this would be a "must eat" for her

        tai hua - thanks for verification, ill be HK for a week before this so ill probably kill my dumpling soup cravings there

        food preference - i'll eat anything; the type of animal or offal or whatever doesn't matter as long as its good. i grew eating chinese food and i lived in singapore for 6 months, so singapore isn't all that different for me, but i love the food there. as far as spicy vs fresh ingredients etc it doesn't matter as long as its good, price is not an issue and i don't really care what the place looks like as long as the food is top-notch although i don't think that expensive / nice translated to the best food in singapore, my favorite meals were usually hawkers or small family run restaurants when i was there....happy to hear any places u love?

        as far as "must eats" go - i covered most of them, but i was just seeing if there was anything i forgot that i really need to try...i do love nasi lemak, satays and chicken mubarak so i would love a rec for those. Also what do you rec for peranakan place? i forgot about that...also what about malay?

        sorry for the million questions, but i'm literally planning out meal by meal here given my short time frame and the fact that its been so long since ive been there, im very excited about eating in singapore in fact there wasn't really a reason for me to go there, but i decided that since i was going to be in hk / taiwan, i need to stop here strictly to eat

        1. re: Lau

          boon tong kee at balestier does a pretty good chicken rice if u ask me...

          1. re: Lau

            Let me just provide a few of my favorite local dishes. Place and dish listed below:

            Ocean Curry Fish head at #01-53 BLK 212, Toa Payoh Lorong 8: curry fish head; (only for lunch)

            Ka Soh at 96 Amoy Street : Fishhead Noodles, Prawn Paste Chicken, order the extra bowl of fish head soup which they will restrict only one bowl per table.

            Sin Huat at 659/661 Geylang Road : Crab bee hoon and gong gong. (only at night


            Lor 9 Beef Kway Teow at Geylang Lor 9 : beef hor fun;
            Qiu Ji Hokkien Mee at Geylang Lor 9 : Hokkien mee;
            Lion City Frog Porridge at 235 Geylang Road (Lor 9) : kung pao frog legs with porridge;
            (The above 3 stalls are close to each other on the same alley; only open at night)

            Dai Dong Prawn Noodles at 97 Rangoon Road: prawn pork rib noodle soup (only for lunch, very close to Ng Ah Sio, about 5-10 minutes walk)

            Sin Lee at at 47 Neil Road: braised shark fin soup, fatty beef hor fun. (Open at night)

            For peranakan food, I prefer House of Peranakan at the basement of Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel at 10 Claymore Rd.

            That should be more than enough for a 3 days stay...

            1. re: FourSeasons

              awesome thx for the recs now i'm sort of sad that ill only be there for 3 days...ive forgetten how much good food is in singapore

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