Singapore - Resorts World Sentosa's Malaysia Food Street
Well, well - looks like Malaysia's Genting casino group, which owns and runs Singapore's massive Resorts World Sentosa is going back to its Malaysian roots with its new, insanely popular Malaysia Food Street, located near the main entrance of Universal Studios.
Warning: If you must come here, try and arrive when the food court opens at 11am on Saturday or Sunday - before the hungry hordes descend upon food court like a pack of crazed piranhas at lunch-time. Queues can be positively killing at peak meal-times.
Also, be forewarned that the 17-odd food stalls, featuring Malaysian street-food cooked by employees of Resorts World Sentosa using recipes and instructions given by legendary hawkers from Penang and Kuala Lumpur, are all opened only on weekends. During weekdays, half of the stalls will be closed each day - they take turns to close so you never know which stall will be open on a particular until you get there :-(
When I visited Malaysia Food Street (mostly out of curiousity since I'm actually based in KL these days) last Tuesday, the famous Fried Hokkien Mee stall (from Jalan Alor, KL) as closed. So was the Lim Brothers Char Koay Teow stall (from Penang).
But stalls featuring the famous Hai Beng Lor Mee stall (Penang) and Hon Kee Fish Congee (KL) were both opened for business.
I'd written about Penang's famous 55--year-old Hai Beng Lor Mee before: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691846
The version at Malaysia Food Street, at first whiff, was identical to the one in Penang! Great!
Then, sheer disappointment set in - like many, many other food stalls in Singapore, the one I got here was very stingy with the ingredients: In Penang, one's Lor Mee will be replete with pork and other delicious bits. In Singapore, you get three tiny curls of gelatinous pork skin!! Why?!!
Especially since the one in Singapore, like everything else, costed 2.5 times the one in Penang.
And KL's legendary Hon Kee fish congee place in Petaling Street had been extensively discussed in Chowhound previously:
The version in Singapore tasted good, almost as good as the KL version. But the fried crullers ("yau char kwai") here was chewy and not fresh. Also, the server-cook here took the liberty to "localise" the version in Singapore by providing much, much less julienned ginger, perhaps to suit Singaporean tastes, at the expense of compromising the authentic KL taste.
Verdict: Nice place to get a taste of Malaysian street food - but don't expect the level of expertise or skill shown by Malaysia's hawkers (most of whom had been churning out their specialties for decades) nor too much authenticity, as cooks in Singapore often alter the dishes to suit local tastes.
Malaysia Food Street @ Resorts World Sentosa
8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269, SG
I also found that Malaysian food has always gone through some modifications when sold in Singapore. It's always "no lard', "less salt", "less oil", "less sugar", "more chillis" etc etc. And then we wonder why the food tasted different from when we ate the same dishes in Malaysia :D
That's too bad.
I fail to understand why TPTB would do such a thing as you describe - dumbing down and adulterating the food so badly, as it would inculcate a mistaken idea about what these Malaysian dishes should correctly taste like. Especially as those who care to could easily go to KL or Penang (it's not far, not hard, so long as one has travel documents and a little spare cash) could find out what these dishes truly taste like. What pops into my mind are those "chop-suey" Chinese-American facsimiles/pastiches of dishes from years ago which formed the idea of what "Chinese cuisine" was in the USAmerican mind for generations... :-(