Singapore Information Overload
I have spent the last weeks pouring over this site, pouring over Leslie Kay's site, reading reading reading and I officially have a hellish case of information overload. We are going to be in Singapore for 5 days, which by my count means at LEAST 15 separate stalls. We plan to eat out every single meal (unless our hosts insist on feeding us). Can some delightful person give me a top 15 stall/dish list? Your absolute must not miss meals? Otherwise I fear I will end up paralyzed in the street, my chin smeared with sauce, weeping over lost possibilities.
A quickie highlight list to all you wonderful people who did such a great job directing me. First of all, because of YOU, Chef Willin Low told me that I was the most well-prepared food tourist he's ever met. And the man has given hawker stall tours to the likes of David Chang and Martha Stewart. Give yourselves a round of applause. We've eaten at so many stalls I can't honestly name them all, but I do want to give a shout out to Maxwell Fuzhou oyster cake, which was incredible, and to Roxy Laksa at East Coast Lagoon. We went out to Adam Road food centre to eat at Selera Rasa but he was closed! The adorable (If he's not married, someone should snatch him up quick) hawker was there though, and felt so bad about being closed that he promised us a free plate tomorrow if we can make it back there. It's a haul, but we'll try. I can't possibly go home without a good plate of Nasi Lemak. But I think the highlight of the trip so far was an actual restaurant meal. Willin Low of Wild Rocket made us a lunch that was so good I honestly don't know if I will eat again today. He's a genius with fusion. And I don't even LIKE fusion. But every mouthful was a delight.
Just a quick update (we're in the middle of our trip). Wilin Low, the incredible chef of Wild Rocket, took us on a hawker crawl today,with the incomparable Cheryl Tan. It was incredible. I'll post details when I'm not exhausted, but honestly, as crazy as this sounds, so far my favorite bite was the ondeh ondeh from Maxwell Food Centre! Everything else has been amazing, but that was perfection in a mouthful.
you have a sweet tooth! :p
your guides are foodies, so am sure you'll have a great time. boy, i wish i'm there with you right now, eat lots for the rest of us here!
btw, with the content in this post, we can create a new 'unlux guide' to food in singapore! (p.s. Lux guide is a small tourist booket with the top tips on where to go and what to do in cities around the world.)
Chowhounders, you people are fabulous, amazing, I adore you. OK, here's the list so far. Let me know if I've missed anything critical. (I've been frantically adding things, but surely missed many). At this point we will likely return home at least 10 pounds heavier.
--Tian Tian Chicken Rice, Maxwell Market**
--Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake,
East Coast Langoon
--Roxy Laksa & Prawn Noodle,
--Leng Heng BBQ seafood for black pepper crabs
--Ming Kee Satay Bee Hoon (sauce rocks)
Chomp Chomp Food Centre at Serangoon Gardens
--B-B-Q chicken wings,
--Satay Bee Hoon,
--BBQ Stingray, Char(fried)
--Kway teow (flat rice noodles),
--Hokkien Mee (hokkien style fried prawn noodles)
Old Airport Road Food Centre
--Nam Sing Fried Hokkien Mee **
--Hua Kee Hougang famous wan ton mee,
--Chuan Kee Satay (closed Mon&Thurs)
--Toa Payoh Rojak
Hong Lim Food Centre
--Ah Heng Curry Mee,
-- Old Stall Hokkien Street Famous Prawn Mee,
-- Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sar Hor Fun,
--outram fried kway teow
Chinatown Smith Street Food Centre (Blk 335 Smith ST.)
--China La Mian Steamed buns for Xiao Long Bao*
--Teochew Street Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle*
--Hai Seng Ah Balling (mochi dessert!)*
Beach RoadHawker Centre - fried banana fritters & Hai Nan Hokkien Mee
Singapore Flyer Food Centre - satay bee hoon, chicken rice, oyster omelet
Seangoon Gardens Way
--Blanco Court Kway Chiap,
Tiong Bahru Market/Food Centre
--Jian Bo Shui Kueh*,
--Tiong Bahru Bao & Dianxin,
People's Park Cooked Food Centre
--Newton Fried Prawn Mee,
--Yong Xiang Xing Yong Tau Fu,
Geyland Lor 29 Fried Hokkien Mee*** 396 East Coast Road (closed Monday)
-- Alauddin Biryani Rice,
Adam Road Food Centre
--Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak*
Zion Road Riverside Food Centre
-- No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow,
Newton Hawker centre
--Kwee Heng duck noodles & rice,
Whampoa Food centre
--Balestier Road Hoover Rojak,
Lavender Food Sq
-- Koo Kee wanton mee,
Amoy Street Food centre
--Yuan Chun Lor mee,
--Fish head noodle soup: Ko Soh
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
--Yuan Fa Claypot Chicken Rice,
Breakfast Outram Ya Hua for Bak Kut The
Zam Zam for Murtabak, Across Road Nasi Warong Pariaman for Nasi Padang
Hill St. Char Kway Teow in Bedok for Char Kway Teow
Tai Hwa at Crawford Lane for Bak Chor Mee
786 (Azmi) stall inside Thye Chong Restaurant junction Serangood Rd and Norris Road
--Mooon Keema and Chapati
Westlake Blk 4 Queens Road #02-139 for black pepper crab, Guo Tie, Long Bao Ji Ding, Kong Bak Pau. Also hot and sour soup.
Hong Lim Food Centre
531A Upper Cross St, Singapore 051531, SG
Blk 4 Queen's Rd #02-139, Singapore, Singapore 260004, SG
Some additional tips:
For Maxwell Market,
- there's a famous "ham chim peng" stall - fried Chinese-style pastries/bread, some with red bean paste ("tau sar") filling. Very famous there - sells out by end-lunchtime.
- If you're getting the "onde onde", the same stall sells steamed tapioca cakes coated with freshly-grated coconut. Try and get there early - the lunch crowd can drive you crazy and they sometimes sell out by 12.30pm!
East Coast Lagoon Food Centre
- if you're going all the way there, then look out for the stewed pig knuckle's stall. Served with rice & pickled mustard, that stall is the sole reason why I go to East Coast Lagoon - the other stalls are incidentals ;-)
BTW, Ka-Soh fish noodles restaurant is an eatery along Amoy Street, and NOT at Amoy Street Food Centre building itself. It's about 10 minutes' walk away, towards China Square.
Your list is too ambitious, you would need to narrow down further...For hawker centers, I would just stick to Chomp Chomp (although this one is quite far so you may want to miss it for that reason alone), Hong Lim and Old Airport. Maybe for early morning, you can try Tiong Bahru since they opened really early. I know many like Maxwell here, but I think that hawker center is way overrated, especially Tian Tian Chicken rice.
Actually one place that I think is missing from your list is Geylang district. Don't know why no hound even mentioned it. Perhaps its "red light" image deters others from recommending it to you. At night, it is more adventurous, more energy and better food than the hawker centers in your list.
In Chomp Chomp, you mentioned Hokkien Mee but there are quite a few Hokkien Mee stalls there. The one I like is Ah Hock stall #27. Many consider it as one of the best Hokkein Mee in town. Personally, i prefer this one than Nang Sim (extremely popular too) in Old Airpoer Rd that is recommended by others here.
I am not sure if Ya Hua Bar Kut Teh opened for breakfast since I only go there for dinner. You would need to check on this issue. If I am hungry for bar kut teh breakfast, I would go to Ng Ah Sio instead: http://www.ngahsiobkt.com/ , but I prefer YH to NAS.
Actually I have never been to Founder. It is just not a very convenient location for me, and I tend to be loyal to YH when I am hungry for BKT. Founder has opened a branch at Rangoon Rd, apparently a move to challenge NSA. But the track record of Singaporean restaurants opening branches has been quite poor, quality tends to suffer soon, just look at No Sign Board, Jumbo etc.
Some thoughts on your list:
Westlake is decent enough for the type of food they do, but honestly I think not worth a special visit to Queens Road / Farrer Road.
At Newton (better to visit at nightime), you can also try the oyster omelette and popiah.
On Maxwell - agreed with FourSeasons that Tian Tian's chicken is not as good as some other places (Boon Tong Kee, Chin Chin @ Purvis St - which is only a couple of minutes' walk from Raffles Hotel btw), but their rice is quite flavorful, so it depends what you go for perhaps. I personally think Maxwell is more worth visiting for the snacks like goreng pisang (I forgot to mention the stall name earlier - Lim Kee), onde onde (Xing Xing) and as it's an easy walk from other good eating locations like Amoy, Chinatown etc. Though if you do go to Maxwell, the fried fish soup from Jin Hua, where they do add milk, is not bad - you can contrast this with Ka Soh's fish soup at Amoy nearby, which doesn't add milk but relies on boiling the fish bones for a long time to achieve a milky soup.
At Amoy, also worth trying Hoo Kee's dumpling (bak chang). They finish steaming the dumplings around 12.45PM everyday and usually sell out before 2PM. Diagonally opposite from Amoy is Ocean, which sells fishhead curry. This is different from the style you get at Little India (as sampled by Anthony Bourdain), as it adds coconut milk.
If you're narrowing down your choices, I highly recommend the Amoy / Maxwell / Chinatown area. It has one of the widest variety of good food choices in a small area and Ann Siang Hill nearby is an interesting stroll... after all that eating, some walking is generally helpful I find. :)
Ah.. times like these really remind me how great it is to be living in Singapore!
Blk 4 Queen's Rd #02-139, Singapore, Singapore 260004, SG
ayeletw, agreed food regret is a terrible thing. :)
There are many great suggestions above, but if I could suggest some possible groupings to help orientate you (taking into account geography & other sight-seeing considerations - is this a 100% food trip or do you have other must-dos on your list?)
1) Little India & Arab Street - you can start in the morning with a visit to Tekka Market at the start of Little India (try: mutton briyani, appom, & teh tarik or bandung to drink). Sheng Siong opposite from Tekka Market is a local budget supermarket, or there's the 24-hour Mustafa's further down Serangoon Road, which is a multi-storied emporium of Indian & global goods, including groceries. Little India has a great selection of various foods from the Indian sub-continent. Among my favourites are Anjappar's (great kebabs), fish head curry (quite a few places along Race Course Rd), and paper / masala thosai + mango lassi at Ananda Bhavan's, all within walking distance.
A short cab ride or 10min walk away is the Arab St / Kampong Glam area (Malay / Middle Eastern enclave), where you can find good nasi padang (try Sabar Menanti II at lunch time- there are 2 outlets, the one along North Bridge Rd is better, Bumbu at Kandahar Rd for Indonesian/Chinese food) & murtabak (Zam Zam). Walk thru Haji Lane, a little alley wide enough for only 1 car to squeeze through, and lined with eclectic little shops selling local / vintage & a mish-mash of all sorts. Arab Street nearby is great for buying fabric btw.
This area is not far from your hotel, & Bugis. At Bugis, stop by Chinese desserts specialty stall 'Ah Chew', along Liang Seah Street. Very popular with locals & opens till late.
2) Chinatown - Maxwell Hawker Centre, Hong Lim (many suggestions below & in other threads - at Maxwell have the goreng pisang and don't forget to pick up some onde-onde early if you like sweet foods). More good places in the Smith St / Chinatown Food Centre area if you look around. Stop by the Chinatown Heritage Museum, a 2-storey dinky museum in a shophouse that recreates dioramas of Singapore in the early 1900s. The best time to visit Maxwell is around 11.30AM on a weekday. On weekends some stalls close while from 12PM on weekdays the lines of office workers gets incredibly long.
3) Tiong Bahru - not near to any tourist sights in particular, but you can go there on your way to Chinatown (or Sentosa, if you're eating at Joel Robuchon). Besides the hawker centre, there is a 'zhi char' (home cooking-style) place called Por Kee. Try the herbal frog soup, the champagne pork ribs have a succulent sauce albeit a little chewy. The former Indonesia PM used to patronize this place.
4) Orchard Road - Besides hawker-style food, I think it's worth visiting a couple of higher-end places particularly for Chinese food. When I was living in the US, I noticed that there aren't really any fine-dining Chinese restaurants of the standard you get in Asia. Suggest Imperial Treasures Super Peking Duck at Paragon (pre-order the peking duck & do get the scallops w/ egg white & truffle oil), or have dim sum at any of the higher-end Chinese restaurants on the weekend e.g. Imperial Treasures, Crystal Jade, Hua Ting, Taste Paradise... all in the Orchard Road area.
Stop by Takashimaya's Food Hall in the basement to buy your food souvenirs & have some Ya Kun kaya toast with local coffee.
5) Others - East Coast Lagoon Hawker Centre (adding to M Gomez's suggestion, also try the wanton mee & perhaps the satay beehoon) and seafood at UDMC. Do note that East Coast, Serangoon (Chomp Chomp) & Old Airport Rd Food Centre are a bit of a ride from the city, so you may not want to spend time going to all 3 on a short 5-day trip.
this is going to sound cliched, but it's da dong. then again, i believe it is the highest-rated peking duck on dianping (it was when i was there).
never tried qjd even though i spent four months there (as an exchange student). too many stories about that place. but would want to try it the next time i am in beijing (i can take a fair amount of "fat" without feeling grossed out). never made it to mic because none of my friends wanted to try it.
there's a new tonkotsu ramen place at orchid hotel (at tanjong pagar area). owned by keisuke. long queues keeping me from it at the moment. fourseasons, have you tried it (and if you have, is it any good)?
hehe. well you never know (about the MIC duck). they can't be using egg skins right? (i mean after all they are in beijing! lol...)
have never tried it because 1. the second last time i was there, i was a (poor) exchange student with other (poor) classmates who would've balked at going to. MIC; 2. the last time i was there i read reviews on dianping and people were saying that the restaurant is for tourists (yes i know it's my bad). will definitely try it out when i am there (together with QJD).
will try out the ramen place when the crowds are less insane =)
What about breakfast and dessert? I can never get the names of the places in Singapore right (next time, I'll write need to write it down!). Any recommendations for delicious breakfast/sweets like kaya toasts, shaved ice (there is this delicious shaved ice place in chinatown, nothing like you can find in the bay area), roti prata, bak kut teh...
Let me join the fun. 15 stalls or dishes, ok.
1. Chicken rice: Wee Nam Kee at Novena.
2. Fried Carrot Cake: Heng at Newton Hawker.
3. Bar Kut Teh: Ya Hua at Havelock Rd.
4. Rojak: Hoover at Whampoa Drive.
5. Duck rice: Lim Seng Lee at South Buona Vista.
6. Laksa: Sungei Rd Trishaw Noodle at Hong Lim.
7. Fried Kway Teow: Outram Park at Hong Lim.
8. Fish head noodle soup: Ko Soh at Amoy Street.
9. Wonton Noodle: Kok Kee at Lavender.
10. Fish head curry: Ocean at Toa Payoh.
11. Hokkein Mee: Come Daily at Toa Payoh.
12. Nasi Padang : Pariaman at North Bridge Rd.
13. Prawn Mee : Jalan Sultan Prawn Noodle at Geylang Lor 1.
14. Beef Hor Fun: Beef Kway Teow at Geylang Lor 9.
15. Kong Pao Pork Leg Porridge: Lion City Frog Porridge at Geylang Lor 9.
Tsk, tsk, now I know why the title of this thread is "Singapore Information Overload", I get overwhelmed just looking at the lists given to you.
One thing about Singapore hawker centres (they seemed to have re-named them as "food centres" now), you can findpretty much the same food in each & everyone of them. So what our fellow CHs are doing is to tell you which food centre has a better version of such and such food item.
Are you very sure you want to concentrate on hawker food in Singapore? The reason I asked is because many Malaysians (especialy Penangites like me), Thais and other South-East Asians do NOT like Singapore hawker or street foods. We come to Singapore to dine in the more upmarket Chinese, Western (French, Italian, etc) and Japanese restaurants because Singapore has better ones here compared to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok or Manila.
But when it comes to hawker food, Singaporean ones are just too bland and tasteless. They have given up on using very fresh ingredients, they don't use traditional methods of cooking anymore, and the younger generation of Singaporeans do not see preparing/selling hawker food as a career move, hence the trade is dying out in Singapore. There is no more father-to-son method of passing down the skills necessary to master a good, say "fried koay teow" or "curry mee" or "satay" & "nasi lemak".
We Malaysians used to come down to Singapore back in the 60s up to the 70s to enjoy their wonderful hawker food, from the now-extinct Glutton Square (Carpark hawker centre) opposite Centrepoint to wonderful Teochew cooked dishes from Ellenborough Street hawker centre - now also demolished. In those days, you get REAL hawker food in Singapore:- charcoal stoves, fresh prawns and vegetables straight from the sea and the farms, and skilled "master chefs" who'd honed their art through decades of practice. You DON'T get that anymore these days in Singapore. You CAN find these kind of genuine hawkers still in Penang, Bangkok or Taipei.
In my opinion, the top cities in Asia for the best hawker foods are:
3. Ho Chi Minh City
5. Kuala Lumpur
Do what I do when I come to Singapore to visit my old classmates (I was in University Malaya in Singapore back in the 1960s), go for Cantonese dim sum in Lei Garden or Crystal Jade or any of the other top Cantonese restaurants in the city. Singapore has the best dim sum in Asia outside of Hong Kong/Macau/Guangzhou.
Try Southern-style Nyonya food (very unlike Penang's Northern-style Nyonya food) at restaurants like Ivins or Guan Hoe Soon. It's unique to Singapore (and Malacca in Malaysia) and is a true favourite amongst local Singaporeans.
Go for good Southern Indian food in places like Komala Vilas in Little India. Their dosas and other South Indian foods are the best in Asia outside of the Indian sub-continent. No kidding.
Check out a good Japanese place, e.g. Tatsuya for sushi, Tonkichi for tonkatsu, Marutama for ramen, etc. Singapore is probably the 2nd best city (after Bangkok) in South-East Asia for Japanese cuisine.
Try one of the many Western-style restaurants in Singapore - this is my favourite eating activity in Singapore. Good Italian at Garibaldi or Il Lido, fantastic French food at Au Jardin Les Amis, or one of the many new restaurants in town especially those run by the international-celebrity chefs at the casinos. I haven't been to those new places, so I cannot comment on them but my fellow Chowhounds have written quite a lot about them already.
I appear to be out of date on Singapore's Japanese restaurant scene, Four Seasons:- I'd never heard of any of the restaurants you mentioned! Looks like I have to come down to Singapore again soon, and spend more time in your casinos. But Dec I'll be in Bangkok again, family get-together and my daughter & Japanese son-in-law coming down from Hokkaido with their children so we meet halfway.
BTW, do you find that the tempura in Singapore's Japanese restaurants are always done Kansai style? I can't find Tokyo style tempura whenever I'm in Singapore.
Next time if you ever want to go up to Bangkok, let me know so I can give you some tips on where to find good Japanese food there - I got a lot of Japanese friends living there, so I tend to eat out in Japanese places more in Bangkok.
Those I mentioned above are all newly opened in the last 2 years or so. Maybe it is due to the casino or the booming economy, I am not sure, but there seem to be many Japan-based restaurants that are opening up here recently. And they are giving local-based Japanese restaurants a good fight in their home territory.
Re tempura: have you tried Tenshin at Regent Hotel? That is the best tempura in town. Actually I am not sure if it is Kansai or Tokyo style...
A list of Japanese restaurants here that I am a regular which I can recommend:
Sushi: Shinji Kanesaka at Raffles Hotel;
Tonkatsu: Saboten at Parco Millenia Walk;
Ramen: Ippudo at Mandarin Gallery or Bario at Ramen Champion Iluma;
Yakiniku: Yazawa at Robertson Walk;
Yakitori: Shirokane Toritama at Robertson Walk;
Izakaya: Kazue at Cuppage Plaza (yakitori too but I prefer their small seasonal dishes);
Shabu shabu: Shabuhana at Moh Sultan (though quality decline on my last visit as boss not around);
Kaiseki: Goto at Ann Siang St;
Omakase dining: Nagomi or Ooi Dining, both at Cuppage Plaza; (Nagomi better value for money)
Japanese Italian: L'Operatta at Boat Quaye or Caffe B at Marina Bay Sands.
FourSeasons, you're making me very hungry with that list!
I know what penang_rojak meant with regards to Tokyo/Kanto-style tempura vis-a-vis Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto/Kansai-style: the former has a more golden-brown and moist-pliable "koromo" (or cloak) whereas the latter is crispy, lighter-hued, almost wheatish in color. I think Singaporeans (or most Chinese) prefer the crisp-battered tempura. As for Tenshin at the Regent - definitely Tokyo/Kanto style :-)
Folks - comments?
@ayeletw - penang_rojaks's comments on hawker food bear keeping in mind. My understanding is that his opinion is shared by others as well.
p.s. ayeletw - BTW, vis-a-vis your latest post (10-21, 12:01 pm) - "Hokkien Mee" means different things in Singapore versus Kuala Lumpur versus Penang. Search this board for "Hokkien Mee" for various comments.
I gather from your posting history that you are from the San Francisco Bay Area. I can't advise you on where to go in Singapore, but I wonder if you (and others traveling with you) are used to the Western custom of NOT sharing dishes. If this is so, I might propose that you consider suspending that custom and/or reconsider the level of squeamishness you might have with sharing individual plates of food - at least for the purposes of your trip to Singapore. (Use serving spoons) Again, if this is so, you could then take to heart the suggestion of posters here that you all order many plates at each place you go to and share in the food - so you will then be able to sample FAR MORE than just 15 dishes, especially at Hawker centers/centres. Your wording of your OP (you used the pronoun "we") suggests you are not going to be traveling by yourself. And, after all, when you eat in Chinese restaurants in SF you are likely to be served platters "Family Style" and everyone shares those platters of food....
Remember, too, that you don't have to finish every plate of food - especially when the cost of many different plates in Hawker centers and/or other hawker stalls is not that expensive compared with food in restaurants, in a general sense, in the SF area or in the US. (High-end dining in Singapore appears to be a very different matter)
wow there's lots of nice options here! Don't forget some hawker centers close very late (like at newton) so you can get Supper as well (bringing your total to 20 meals in 5 days!) So your best bet is to sort it out by hawker centers or area first, then tackle the food items. Dont' forget to bring packs of tissue paper,... we don't usually provide paper napkins at hawker centers :P
since you're at raffles, there's lots of nice choices along purvis street. U can try the hainanese chicken rice (#25), beef noodle (#17?), chin chin eating house (#19), first thai food (#23).
There's also Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice on 425 River Valley. And for late night Supper, I would highly recommend Spize, couple of doors down @ (#409)
Lastly, what's a trip to Singapore without seafood? I would recommend Jumbo at the East Coast Seafood Centre where u should order chilli crab, pepper crab, bbq stingray, drunken prawns, cereal prawns, kangkong balachan...
oh dear, i can't seem to end this... like what someone said, you're just scratching the surface.
my other favourites are
Salted Egg Crabs at Master Crabs near holland village (Blk 19 Ghim Moh Road, #01-229)
Crab bee hoon - Heng Kee House of Steamed Fish, 671 Geylang Road (Lor 35)
good luck and have FUN!!!
My choices for 15 best stalls -
1) Kwee Heng duck noodles & rice, Newton Hawker centre
2) Balestier Road Hoover Rojak, Whampoa Food centre
3) Koo Kee wanton mee, Lavender Food Sq
4) Nam Sing Hokkien Mee, Old Airport Rd food centre
5) Tian Tian chicken rice, Maxwell Road Food Centre
6) Yuan Chun Lor mee, Amoy Street Food centre
7) Selera Rasa nasi lemak, Adam Rd food centre
8) Hua Kee Hougang famous wan ton mee, Old Airport Road Food centre
9) Yuan Fa Claypot Chicken Rice, Chinatown Complex Food Centre
10) Tiong Bahru Bao & Dianxin, Tiong Bahru Food Centre
11) Jian Bo Chwee Kueh, Tiong Bahru Food Centre
12) Changi Village Nasi Lemak, Changi Village Food Centre
13) B-B-Q chicken wings, Chomp Chomp Food Centre at Serangoon Gardens
14) Mei Xiang Fish Soup, Golden Shoe Hawker Centre
15) Yong Xiang Xing Yong Tau Fu, People's Park Food Centre
Oh oh, looks like I ran out of my allocation of 15 recs for you. It's very very hard to choose 15 out of tens of thousands of stalls!!! Maybe you don't understand the length and breadth of hawker food culture in Singapore! Can you tell us where you are staying? It might make it easier so we can recommend places close to you!
Keep in mind that stalls are in hawker centers, which means you can try multiple stalls in one meal. You aren't limited to 1 stall per meal. I often will order 1 dish from each of 2-3 stalls for a meal, or if we have several people there (ie my extended family), we'll order multiple items from different stalls and then steal bites from each other (or order family style).
The Raffles Hotel is pretty central, but Singapore's compact enough for you to easily reach most of these food centres. Do keep in mind that food centres can be pretty crowded at lunch-times, especially on weekdays, so if you want to avoid long queues & having to wait for an unoccupied table, try and go there either very early (e.g. 11am) or else in-between peak-mealtimes.
I'd grouped my recommendation of 15 dining options to the respective food centres & the most famous stalls located therein:
OLD AIRPORT ROAD FOOD CENTRE
1) Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Noodles http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800439
2) Hua Kee Hougang Wan Ton Mee http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744161
HONG LIM FOOD CENTRE http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800314
3) Tai Hwa Pork Noodles
4) Ji Ji Wanton Noodles Specialist
5) Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee
6) The Old Stall Hokkien Street Famous Hokkien Prawn Noodles
7) Sungei Road Trishaw Noodles
8) Outram Park Fried Koay Teow
MAXWELL ROAD FOOD CENTRE
9) Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/474938?cbsi_footer_menu=
10) Zhen Zhen Fish Congee
11) Big Scissors Curry Rice
The queues are especially long at #9 - do come early. #10 is also very popular, but rice congee may appear similar to oatmeal porridge to Westerners, so may not be to youe taste.
TIONG BAHRU FOOD CENTRE http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743406
12) Jian Bo Shui Kueh - these are steamed rice cakes (custard-like texture) with salted veg topping
13) Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup - the name of the stall said it all. You get a salty-sweet soup with pig's intestines, liver, stomach, pork slivers, tomatoes, salted mustard leaves. Very tasty though, and Singaporeans come from all over the island to eat this.
14) Lao Chen Fried Carrot Cake
SERANGOON GARDEN FOOD CENTRE (CHOMP CHOMP
15) Barbecued chicken wings http://alfredeats.com/chomp-chomp-chi...
What?! Only FIFTEEN stalls?!!! My dear, that is not even scratching the surface of the wide choice of food which Singapore hawkers can offer!
Anyhow, my choice of 15 stalls would be the following:-
1) Tian Tian Chicken Rice, Maxwell Market
2) Pariamman Biryani rice, North Bridge Road
3) Blanco Court Kway Chiap, Serangoon Gardens Way
4) Ah Heng Curry Mee, Hong Lim Food Centre
5) Jian Bo Shui Kueh, Tiong Bahru Market
6) Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake, Maxwell Rd Food Centre
7) Parklane Zha Yun Tun Mee House, North Bridge Commercial Complex
8) Newton Fried Prawn Mee, People's Park Cooked Food Centre
9) Old Stall Hokkien Street Famous Prawn Mee, Hong Lim Food Centre
10) Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sar Hor Fun, Hong Lim Food Centre
11) Roxy Laksa & Prawn Noodle, East Coast Lagoon Food Centre
12) Alauddin Biryani Rice, Tekka Market
13) Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, Adam Road Food Centre
14) No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow, Zion Road Riverside Food Centre
15) Nam Sing Fried Hokkien Mee, Old Airport Road Food Centre
Oh my, I can go on all night and hardly cover 5% of the places I think you should try!!
Hong Lim Food Centre
531A Upper Cross St, Singapore 051531, SG
I'm a Californian who lived in Singapore 2006-2008. To some extent, the answer depends on where you live now -- if you can get good Indian food at home, spend less time in Little India, for example. If you can't, go there more than once. The below are the things I miss the most; most are pretty common (some might say "basic"), so there are many options for the "where," and as klyeoh says.
There's a book called makansutra which is organized by dish rather than restaurant, which I think works great for Singapore. It then gives the top 3 or 10 or whatever places to get each dish.
Remember, if there's more than 1 of you, you get more than 1 dish per meal!
Steamboat on Beach Street or Liang Seah
Chili crab or pepper crab or champagne crab
Kang kong with garlic
Soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung
Won ton noodles
Char kway teow
Yong tau foo
Banana leaf indian food
Satay (if you can't get good ones where you live)
Tropical fruit, mango juice, fresh young coconut...
Teh Tarik (hot tea) or ginger tea
What are the stalls on *your* list? It'll give us an idea on your food preferences (Chinese, Malay, Indian or others). I'd been eating out in Singapore since the 70s, patronized thousands of places, but still haven't been to some supposedly legendary, must-not-miss stalls/eateries!