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In Singapore with family for 5 days

dazed2 May 27, 2012 09:05 AM

I have been lurking around anything Singapore related the past few weeks as me and my family are going to Singapore this week. I would love to get recommendations from the respected 'hounds here as well as other local Singaporeans here. I will be staying in the vicinity of Scotts Road/Orchard and I expect the heat and humidity to be pretty punishing for my 3 kids (my youngest being just 4 yrs old). As such I humbly ask for recommendations near or around the area as we will be dining out for all our meals. We will also be visiting sites such as the Singapore Flyer, Singapore Zoo and Sentosa. Any recommendation is appreciated. Our food preferences are (in no particular order) local Singaporean, Thai, Chinese (any), Malay, Vietnamese and Japanese. I would like to leave out any Western food (way too much of those after our Orlando trip) and Indian food (as the kids are not as adventurous as I). Thank you.

BTW, I have party-decided on a myriad of Tian Tian Chicken Rice (Maxwell), Jin Hua Fish Bee Hon (anywhere near I can spot it?), Palm Beach for the Chilli Crabs,Killiney Kopitiam and Ya Kun Kaya (my daughter's request) and Din Tai Fung. Chinatown Food Center also ... Any other recommendations I am missing? Or anyplace I should take out with relation to ease of access for us?

Also, the last time I was in Singapore was around 8 years ago and I went to Lau Pa Sat and had one of the best Chai Tow Kueh (Fried Carrot Cake) there ... Any recommendations for that and also for Laksa (my wife's fave)? I have read almost if not all of the post regarding Singapore and some of the spots are pretty far flung for a family of 5 travelling on the MTR (as there are fewer maxicab taxis that can take us 5 passengers). And I can't stress the travelling with 3 kids part enough ...

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  1. k
    klyeoh RE: dazed2 May 27, 2012 05:53 PM

    The heat & humidity in Singapore can be quite punishing - and it's even hotter than usual at the moment, with many folks falling sick even.
    For fried carrot cake or laksa, but in a comfortable environment on Orchard Road, try the food court at Basement 2 of Takashimaya, Ngee Ann City; or the Food Republic on Level 4 of Wisma Atria.

    There's Din Tai Fung at Wisma Atria, as well as Paragon, so no worries about having to take public transport.

    For Indonesian, try Pepes at Ngee Ann City - aircon comfort! Indon food is a close substitute for Malay food. But if you're still hankering for the "real" thing, try Warung M Nasir on Killiney Road which is walking distance from the 313 Somerset mall on Orchard. Whilst you're at Killiney Rd, you may also want to try the famous Killiney Rd Kaya Toast at its original location & where the now-famous chain derived its name.

    No eating trip to Orchard Road is really complete without having dim sum at Crystal Jade Palace (Ngee Ann City) or Peking duck at Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck restaurant (Paragon).

    Tonkichi at Isetan Scotts (Shaw House) serves some of the best tonkatsu in town. It's worth a try.

    Singapore doesn't really have good Vietnamese, but if you must try some (and don't mind paying more for it), then go to Annam, which is just behind Isetan Scotts (attached building), facing HSBC & Pacific Plaza on Claymore Hill:


    Do let us know if you'd like any more specificinformation.

    6 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh
      dazed2 RE: klyeoh May 28, 2012 10:48 AM

      Thank you for your reply. I really look forward to eating out in Singapore! We would probably hit the ones at Shaw House and Wisma Atria first as these are the closest ones. Btw, Yet Con still recommended? My friend told me to go there for the Hainanese Chicken Rice but reviews here have been ... so so I guess?

      1. re: dazed2
        klyeoh RE: dazed2 May 28, 2012 04:56 PM

        I like Yet Con for its "old world" atmosphere (Singapore coffeeshop circa 1940) and its plethora of a la carte Hainanese dishes (stir-fried fishmaw with Chinese cabbage & seafood, egg foo yong, Hainanese pork chop, or fried tunghoon with cuttlefish) which go well with their chicken rice. Hard to find these elsewhere in Singapore. And it's air-conditioned :-)

        1. re: klyeoh
          dazed2 RE: klyeoh May 29, 2012 03:56 AM

          I look forward to going to Yet Con then! I guess the clincher here would be the airconditioning! I've read that this place gets packed really early though. I know it's on Purvis Road, any tips on what MRT stop to alight and what direction to go from there?
          Thanks a lot.

          I hope to be able to contribute like you guys do even in my own little way for all the hounds here.

          1. re: dazed2
            klyeoh RE: dazed2 May 29, 2012 06:13 AM

            City Hall MRT. Get off and walk thru the Raffles City shopping centre. Cross the road at the other end and walk thru Raffles Hotel to Seah Street - ask any folks along the way, they'll be happy to point you in the right direction, or get your hotel concierge to print out a Google map for you.

            Purvis Street is parallel to Seah St, and several little lanes will link up the 2 streets. Probably take you 10 minutes to get there from City Hall MRT, unless you get waylaid by the sights & sounds along the way, which is *very* likely ;-)

            When are you planning to go? If it's a weekday, try and go before 12 noon for lunch, or 6 pm for dinner.

            1. re: klyeoh
              dazed2 RE: klyeoh Jun 3, 2012 08:46 AM

              Was at Yet Con today. Great Fish Maw with Cabbage! Hainanese chicken was good but then the rice would probably have been better if it was hot (it was just warmish). The porkchops were my son's fave but we ordered the bee hon instead of the tong hun (my mistake), it was still delish though.

              My 2nd strikeout was at Food Republic at Wisma Atria. It was closed for renovations!

              1. re: dazed2
                klyeoh RE: dazed2 Jun 3, 2012 10:32 PM

                Things happen so fast in Singapore. I just walked thru Food Republic 2.5 weeks ago, and there was no indication they were going to close for renovations, although we do know that Wisma Atria is undergoing extensive upgrading work on its facade fronting Orchard Road.

                Glad you liked Yet Con - one of those old Singapore dining icons: there are lesser & lesser of them remaining with each passing year :-(

    2. M_Gomez RE: dazed2 May 28, 2012 12:46 AM

      I wanted to recommend to you Crystal Jade Kitchen in Shaw House, but I then realised it closed down just a few weeks ago! I don't know why! Crystal Jade Group is doing pretty well, and this branch was their second-oldest one after the Ngee Ann City's main branch.

      ION Orchard has a large but quite high-priced foodcourt at the basement. It also has some good restaurants you can try like Imperial Treasure Noodle & Congee, Canton-i, Paradise Dynasty for its xiao long bao, and Taste Paradise for top-class Cantonese cuisine.

      You can look at this link for discussion on eating possibilities at ION Orchard.

      For Cantonese seafood (not chilli crab!), you can also try Jade Palace (not related to Crystal Jade Palace) at Forum Galleria shopping mall next to the Hilton.

      If you are feeling a bit adventurous and want to try some rough-and-ready Indonesian fare, explore Lucky Plaza, where several Indonesian fried chicken places are.

      5 Replies
      1. re: M_Gomez
        dazed2 RE: M_Gomez May 28, 2012 10:52 AM

        That is really too bad that Crystal Jade has folded up in Shaw House. Would have been a nice first breakfast/dimsum for the family. My friend recommended Taste Paradise at ION also but then told me to be ready to pay an arm and a leg for it ... Can you give me an insight of how much would the arm-and-leg cost? =)

        Thanks for all your replies. Every bit of information helps out a lot!

        1. re: dazed2
          huiray RE: dazed2 May 28, 2012 06:32 PM


          1. re: dazed2
            M_Gomez RE: dazed2 May 28, 2012 06:52 PM

            If you order conservatively and stay away from the high-ticket items, then expect to pay about US$50 per head (current exchange rate is US$1 = S$1.25). Taste Paradise is famous for the sharksfin soup served in a stonepot (Korean dolsot) which is one of the best in Singapore!

            Another dish which it is famous for is the fried carrot cake with XO sauce, which propelled it to fame in its old Mosque Street location.

            Here are some set meals, but they are over-priced and you can really order a la carte, which is more reasonable:-

            A write-up on Taste Paradise' dim sum by my fellow Singaporean Chowhound, klyeoh:-

            1. re: M_Gomez
              dazed2 RE: M_Gomez May 29, 2012 03:44 AM

              Thank you ... at least I have a ballpark of how much I will be spending. By the way, just to make sure, most of these establishments (except of course the food courts) accept credit cards right?

              1. re: dazed2
                klyeoh RE: dazed2 May 29, 2012 06:18 AM

                Yet Con only accepts cash. The others will accept credit cards :-)

        2. makanputra RE: dazed2 May 28, 2012 10:49 PM

          Besides those already mentioned, I would recommend Shashlik at Far East Shopping Centre - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825673 especially for its Borsch soup.

          Don't miss Soup Kitchen in the DFS Building on Scotts Road, between Pacific Plaza and Royal Plaza at Scotts Hotel. Its Samsui chicken is hands-down better than any Hainanese poached chicken.

          Also, I quite like Coffee Stars by Dao for the most authentic Thai street food and great cakes - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783296.

          5 Replies
          1. re: makanputra
            dazed2 RE: makanputra May 29, 2012 03:52 AM

            Hmmm ... Russian cuisine ... something worth exploring. So far the only thing I have tasted
            Russian is borsch so the other items in the articles seem to be intruiging.

            The DFS seems to be an unlikely place for good food. I will definitely check it out as that seem to be one of the nearest us second only to Shaw House.

            Coffee Stars will also be one of my to-go places as I love Thai food. It is second to none to Cantonese, Singaporean, Japanese, and any other good food ... I just realize that I am such a shameless glutton (sigh) ... =)

            Thank you everybody for all the tips! I will be off tomorrow afternoon but will be following this thread all throughout my stay in Singapore.

            Happy Chowing to everybody everywhere!

            1. re: dazed2
              dazed2 RE: dazed2 May 31, 2012 07:55 AM

              Was at DFS today. Soup Kitchen they said wasn't located there anymore.

              1. re: dazed2
                klyeoh RE: dazed2 Jun 1, 2012 07:52 AM

                Hey, dazed2, try Paragon if you wanrt to do Soup Kitchen:

                1. re: klyeoh
                  dazed2 RE: klyeoh Jun 3, 2012 08:52 AM

                  Thanks. Will try to check it out. Arrived too late at Maxwell the other day also. Never got to try the new Chicken rice stall as it was closed already (so was Tian tian)

                  I realized something ... it's really hard to be a foodie when you have kids in tow. =)

                  Din Tai Fung was a fave though. Tried the chili crab and pork steamed bun. Nice!

                  1. re: dazed2
                    M_Gomez RE: dazed2 Jun 5, 2012 01:54 AM

                    The best time to do Maxwell Road Food Centre is to arrive around 11am - 11.30am, when the more popular stalls start opening up and the crazy crowds have not arrived yet. After that time - GOOD LUCK! ;-)

          2. d
            dazed2 RE: dazed2 Jun 5, 2012 03:03 PM

            Thanks to everyone who helped out! Singapore was a blast! Hope to be back soon.

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