Trip Report - Singapore
Summary of some of the meals my wife and I recently ate in Singapore. Other threads will follow on Yogyakarta, Ubud & Seminyak.
I should note that I was feeling rather unwell on a couple on days on the way back through Singapore, and so we ate less than planned. For example, we'd planned on Hong Lim Food center for lunch one day, but ended up skipping lunch altogether - tradgedy :(
Venue: Crystal Jade
Address: Changi Airport, land-side
Total Bill: S$55
This is obviously a popular place, because we had to queue for around 15 minutes to get a table.
We ordered 4 dishes:
Sweet and sour pork: The wife insisted we order this bastion of UK-based Chinese restaurants, but it turned out to be an excellent choice - nothing like the overly sweet rubbish made with lashings of tomato ketchup that we typically find in the UK :) The balance of sweet and sour was just pefect, and as well as the more 'traditional' pineapple it also contained apple, which I'd never encountered before in this dish. It worked well.
Stir fried beef with assorted mushrooms: The beef was truely superb, melt in the mouth tender, with a great smokey and seasme flavour. This was the star dish for me.
Steamed pork dumplings: Not the best sumplings I've ever had, but good anyway. The skinds were nice and thin, but the soup was lacking somewhat in flavour.
Fried pork dumplings: These were good, but not a patch on the steamed ones. They were a bit odd - steamed and fried only on one side, which somehow resulted in the 3 dumplings being stuck to a sort of cooked, crispy 'plate'. I found these to be a bit too greasy, mainly because the 'plate' was holding so much oil.
We also had some plain rice and a small plate of spicy vegebatble pickles (carrot and the like). We didn't ask for the pickes, but they were put on the table and charged for on the bill. They were rather nice though :)
Overall, a very good meal, especially considering you are in an airport. There is plenty of choice on the menu, and I'd certainly eat here again next time I'm passing through Changi.
They were a bit odd - steamed and fried only on one side, which somehow resulted in the 3 dumplings being stuck to a sort of cooked, crispy 'plate'. (from Crystal Dade)
Those were Northern Chinese-style dumplings called "jiǎozi" ( 餃子) and similar to Japanese gyoza, GordonS.
In the US, they are called potstickers - a friend from Beijing once showed me how they are made. The wrapped dumplings were placed into a heavy-based saucepan with some heated oil at the bottom. The base of the dumplings would be cooked till slightly browned.Then, some thin pork or chicken broth would be poured into the saucepan till the level of the liquid came up to one-third of the dumplings. The broth would be allowed to boil till it's fully evaporated, by which time the potstickers would be cooked & ready to be served :-)
Venue: Islamic Restaurant
Address: 745 North Bridge Road
Total Bill: S$28.60
After wondering around Katong and then Kampong Glam, we went for lunch at Islamic Restaurant based on an old recommendation by klyeoh. Turned out to be a good one :)
Chicken biryani: A substantial portion - a whole chicken supreme, cooked very nicely, moist & tender. The rice (of which there was a lot!) was excellent - not too dry and with plenty of delicious, rich sauce. Served with small bowl of veg curry, which was also excellent. One of the best biryanis I've had!
Chicken jalfrezi: The wife went for this favourite of UK-based curry-houses, which she had actually never had in a UK restaurant before (though she does cook a mean version at home :) Again a large portion, boneless chunks of perfectly cooked chicken in a deep sauce, rich with tomatoes and peppers. This was a lot deeper and richer than the kind we normally find in the UK, and less oily too. Excellent.
Kashmiri rice: Large portion of rice, rich with raisons and flaked almonds.
Lushini naan: garlic naan, full of big garlic flavour. Not too greasy, and the perfect thickness.
We also had a green apple juice which was very good (pure apples prepared on premises), and an iced coffee ('cause I hadn't had any coffee for at leat 4 hours by that point ;)
Highly recommended, and good value too. We went in just before 12:00, and it was almost empty, but by 12:30 the place was full.
Address: On and around Pagoda Street
Total Bill: S$14.5
I had been planning on going to a Twochow place, Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant on Mosque street, but wife likes eating from random hawkers in Chinatown, and I was still feeling ropey, so I caved in :)
We had another couple of BBQ pork buns from Da Dong Dian Xin, which were just as good as the night before.
The wife then noticed an Austrian wurst stall, which was rather out of place! So I rolled my eyes and caved in again :) We placed our orders with the sweaty, angry looking Austrian guy, and waited patiently. As it turned out, the sausages (smoked sausage with cheese) were actually excellent, as good as we've had in Vienna! S$9 for 2, each in a bun with mustard and ketchup.
We were both rather hot by this point, so I suggested trying an ice kachang, which neither of us had ever had before. Now, before I go on I should say that we both normally avoid SE Asian deserts, because we don't find them sweet enough, and they tend to be full of 'random' things like noodles and bean paste ;) We just find it weird eating those things we consider savoury in deserts.
Anyway, how could we go wrong with ice, fruit and syrup?
So I ordered a mango ice kachange to share for S$3.50, and was presented with an enormous mound of colourful ice on a plate, which looked rather pretty with the ice dyed several colours. But on inspection, as well as the expected mango sauce which was running down the icea mountain we found... sweetcorn! Gah! And upon digging through the ice, what did we find under the ice mountain? Crushed beans! Double gah! Ignoring those things, it was quite nice, and certainly refreshing. One of the syrups that coloured the ice was pandan flavoured, which was rather overpowering.
Venue: Singapore Zoo
Total Bill: S$22
We were at the zoo so had lunch at a restaurant there, though I can't remember the name of the place. We both went for the Hainanese chicken rice, which is a firm favourite of mine.
Considering where we were, it was surprisingly good, and good value too! The soup was full of chicken flavour, and the rice was great too. The chicken itself was cooked almost perfectly, just a tad over where it should be.
Address: On and around Pagoda Street
Total Bill: S$16
We just went wondering and tried a few things from different street hawkers.
Bak kut teh on Pagoda street: This is a firm favourite of mine, so I was looking forward to it. This was the variety with the thinner soup (as compared to the other type I've encountered in Malaysia with a much thicker soup). The soup wasn't that great though, pretty bland in fact - should be full of exotic Chinese herbs! Having said that, the meat was wonderful! 5-6 large pieces of knuckle and rib awaited, perfectly tender. Would have like some you tiao to go with it, and of course the meat would have been even better had the soup been better. S$8 for a large bowl.
Terikayi chicken skewers from same place as the bak kut teh: $6 for 3, with plenty of meat on them. Wife said they were very good, but I didn't try them myself.
BBQ pork buns from Da Dong Dian Xin stall on Pagoda street: Excellent, actually among the best I've ever had. Lots of filling, not overly sweet. S$2 for 2.
Yes, the main flavour in the soup was indeed pepper!
So I've had 3 types then:
1. A thicker, dark soup in Lot 10 in KL
2. A thin soup made with many Chinese herbs - I've had this in Singapore and just across the water in Batam. You can buy packets of the herb mixtures too, got some in my cupboard :)
3. A thin soup made with pepper and garlic (the one I mentioned above :)
Venue: Singapore Food Trail
Address: Next to the Singapore Flyer
Total Bill: S$18
Surprisingly, both locals and toursists were present, and it seemed to be more locals than tourists.
We were planning on trying a few different dishes here, but our plans were somewhat scuppered by the first dish we ordered from Old Airport Road Satay Bee Hoon... I was expecting rather small portions, but we ended up with massive plates bulging at the seams with noodles! The noodles were drenched in a satay sauce - a bit too much sauce actually. You could choose what items you wanted fried to have with your noodles, so we went for chicken kebabs, prawns, spring rolls and... cheese. Yes, cheese! I had no idea such a thing existed in Chinese cuisine! Perhaps this came from the Indians? Anyway, it did indeed taste like a sort of fresh cheese; a bit like paneer, but with a slightly 'cheesier' flavour. Im not an expert on satay bee hoon by any measure, but this dish didn't really blow me a way - I'd say it was just 'good'. S$16 for two massive plates.
We were so full after the noodles that we only had room for some BBQ pork buns from a dim sum cart after that. They were just 'OK' - not enough filling meant that they were a bit dry and 'bready'. The filling was also a bit on the sweet side for my tastes. S$2 for 2.
Later on that night we had some gelato from a place just outside the food court. I can't remember the name of the place... something like 'Gelissimo'. The green apple and lychee flavours are to die for, especially in the Singapore heat! Sort of like getting smacked around the chops with a bunch of frozen apples and lychees (in a good way!)! S$7.50 for 2 scoops.