Singapore (must try)
I hate these types of post as it makes a poster out to be too lazy to research. I have tried but I am a little overwhelmed with all the info and I have no time.
So we are here for a quick last minute business trip and need to hear about the Top 5 must try's and restaurants. We are booked into Waku Ghin on Saturday but need to quickly work out what else to try. Cheap and good is fine including great murtabak if possible.
Thanks in anticipation.
I'd do a local chilli crab place - either Long Beach at Dempsey, Palm Beach at One Fullerton or 3 Crab Delicacy on Outram Road and a Eurasian/ Nyonya place.
I'll let the Sing hounds suggest the other places as I'm from Malaysia and the food is similar so whenever I go, I go for Western or Japanese places which are better in quality than those here but that may not be what you want. I did Waku Ghin, Gunther's, Cut and Guy Savoy recently and liked Waku Ghin the best although I'm not sure what the situation is with the Japanese produce now as they said they were doing a menu revamp based on what may no longer be available.
PhilD - I would suggest spending a morning at a hawker Centre and just picking your way through whatever appeals. Tiong Bahru hawker centre would be a good option.
You could then poke through the wet market and head to nearby Forty Hands for excellent espresso.
For great murtabak - how about Singapore Zam Zam? It's a reliable place for murtabak (though not a fan of their prata and briyani), opens late (12 or 1am if I recall correctly), and is also near the Arab Street / Kampong Glam area where you can have good lunch-time nasi padang at a number of stalls e.g. Sabar Menanti, HJH Maimunah. A 5 minute walk away is the Golden Mile Food Centre on Beach Road for Tulang (spicy bone marrow) in the basement.
To maximize your time since it's a short business trip, I would suggest hitting the following (all either in the CBD or close by):
* Maxwell Road Food Centre - good stuff at this hawker centre (best to arrive around 11 or 11.30AM to try & beat the crowds) include Tian Tian chicken rice, Xing Xing Tapioca Cake's onde onde & tapioca cake, Lim Kee's goreng pisang (fried bananas - the original & dare I say, the best in Sgp), Jin Hua fish soup with milk (opposite the popular Zhen Zhen porridge stall). Am also partial to the 'yu sheng' from the porridge stall that's not Zhen Zhen (the name slips my mind now).
* People's Park Centre - my go-to place for char siew rice, very different than the HK style (ask for the fatty cut), there are two good stalls there, Toh Kee and Lee Kheong. Both in the same hawker centre & along the same row... I believe Toh Kee is at #01-1016A & Lee Kheong at #01-1040, one is closed on Mon & the other on Tues.
Btw in the CBD you might also like to swing by the original Ya Kun at Far East Square for a bite of kaya toast, and some teh tarik or local coffee ('kopi') at the rather quirkily-named Mr Teh Tarik Cartel in the same building.
Maxwell Road Food Centre
1 Maxwell Rd, Singapore, Singapore 07, SG
I'm a bit of a stuck record on Singapore because I'm usually only there a couple of days and I have my favourites.
Airport to East Coast seafood for chilli crab. Fish head curry or lamb chop curry at Muthus. Hainanese chicken rice in a food court with the office.
New discovery last visit a couple of weeks ago: Indonesian avocado smoothie with palm sugar for dessert. Odd but strangely delicious.
Phil, please post back on your more expensive finds as I have a holiday stopover in a few weeks.
Here are my three must-visit food clusters:
(1) HONG LIM FOOD CENTER (JUST RENOVATED)
Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa #02-66 --- 11am-6pm, closed Sun
Outram Park Char Kway Teow #02-17 --- 7am-4:30pm, daily (?)
Heng Kee Curry Mee #01-58 --- 9am-5pm, closed Sun
Tuck Kee Ipoh Sah Ho Fun #02-40 --- crayfish ho fun
(2) TIONG BAHRU FOOD CENTER
Jian Bo Shui Kueh #02-05 --- 6:30am-11am, daily (?), good for breakfast
Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice #02-82 --- 10am-9pm, daily
Koh Brother Pig's Organ Soup #02-29 --- closed Mon, glutinous rice sausage with dark sauce
Tiong Bahru Lor Mee - #02-79, hours (?), closed Mon
178 Lor Mee - #02-58, 6am-9:30pm, closed Wed
Long Ji Soya Bean #02-63
Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk #02-69
Fried carrot cake right next to chicken rice stall (i.e. not the "Kampung Fried Carrot Cake" stall)
(3) EAST COAST ROAD
328 Katong Laksa --- 8am-10pm, daily, at Ceylon Road, otak otak is good as well
Marine Parade Laksa --- 8:30am-5:30pm, daily
Boon Tong Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice --- 11am-10pm, daily
Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice --- 9am-3am, daily, flagship location (kampung chicken)
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice --- 2nd location of famous one in Chinatown
Laksa and Hainanese Chicken Rice are two of my favorite food items in the world, and Singapore does an excellent job with both dishes.