Makansutra Guide to Singapore -- What's Your Opinion?
Just added the 2011 edition of the Makansutra guide to Singapore's street food and restaurants to a copy I have from last year. A marketing blurb on the Makansutra website quotes Anthony Bourdain as describing the Makansutra Guide as "a sort of better-than-Zagat guide to Singapore's hawker stands, eating houses and street food."
I'm wondering how the local chowhounds and others who are familiar with Singapore's eateries feel about the guides. Do you tend to agree with the choices they've made of which establishments to include and of how they've rated the places they've included (nb - the lowest rating any place worthy of inclusion gets is "good" while the highest rating is "die die must try")?
Makansutra is definitely good-to-have, especially for newbies to the Singaproe food scene. I don't own the latest copy but have a 5 year old one which listed down the usual suspects in each category. Makansutra's pretty accurate as KF Seetoh (the editor) gets input from various foodies, food reviewers, etc. And Singapore's a pretty small city, so the choices don't go too far off the mark.
I also keep track of openings/closings of food places via local media, and jot down these updates on my old copy of the Makansutra guide.
There is a foreward by "research editor" Andrew Why, who says he was tasked with updating the current edition.
The major frustration I am having with the guide is that there is no listing of recommended dishes according to food centre. If you have plenty of time to go all around singapore at your leisure, it's fine to just list places by general region (north, south, east, west, central), as the guide does. But since location is the deciding factor for most folks, it would be extremely useful to have a listing of the recommended dishes and stalls at each centre. Then I could decide which centres i wanted to visit on a given day.
This is one way in which an online edition would be extremely useful, allowing the user to sort by food centre as well as by dish and/or cuisine and days open/closed.
Second, it would be nice to include maps and nearest public transit stops instead of just addresses.
Third, in terms of the actual selections, it seems weird that they have included places like California Pizza Kitchen and Chili's but they left out some of the pastry shops like Canelé.
re: racer x
Couldn't agree more with the above. The poor organization of the thing makes it borderline useless for a tourist. You cannot just show up to a hawker center with this book in hand and expect that it will tell you anything. In order to get any utility out of it, I had to study the guide in the morning with pen and paper and then use Google and a map.