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Nov 29, 2013 06:55 AM

Singapore: Solo Sunday dinner in Little India?

I am very excited to be heading for my first visit to Singapore tomorrow (and have been wondering how much eating I can pack in around my work commitments...).

I land in Changi at 5.30pm Sunday and am staying near our office in Chinatown (Anson Road). If the jetlag hasn't killed me, I'm hoping to head out for a solo dinner that night.

Here in Brussels, we get NO good Indian food--so I was thinking of heading to Little India. From C'hound commentary, the two restaurants that really intrigue me are Banana Leaf Apolo and Madras New Woodlands.

For those in the know, would one or the other be more tolerant of/welcoming to a solo, slightly disoriented diner? If you were said diner, to which would you go?

During my stay (four nights), I'm also hoping to get to at least a few of the classic "greatest hits." Would love any recent thoughts or re-direction on any of these:

--Chicken rice at Maxwell Food Centre
--Xiao long bao at Crystal Jade or China La Mian in Smith St. Food Centre
--Chili crab at No Signboard in Geylang
--Char kuey teow (not sure where)
--Fish-head curry (not sure where)
--Roti prata (not sure where--the only solid rec I have is for a place out on East Coast Highway; would love something close to Chinatown, where work will keep me)

I think there's a work lunch lined up at The Blue Ginger, so I'm hoping to try their ayam buah keluak.


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  1. You could do your fish head curry in Little India at Muthus, which would be the other place I would add to your shortlist. I have never had a problem as a solo diner anywhere in the Indian belt, but service is not always fantastic for anyonbe

    1. Hi Kelly, welcome to Singapore!

      Both Banana Leaf Apolo and Madras New Woodlands can take solo diners. Fish-head curry is the main thing at the former (portions are big - you can get other cuts as a solo diner but to my mind not as fresh or good as the fish head), the latter is all vegetarian (thosai and the like) so it really depends on what you feel like having. Location-wise, Banana Leaf Apolo feels that little bit safer to me than Madras New Woodlands, especially for ladies. Singapore also offers a fairly wide variety of Indian food from different regions (Bengal, Kerala / Goa..) that may be worth a try if you can't get any good Indian food at all in Brussels (alas!). Gajalee's at Esplanade is one convenient option.

      Other quick answers:
      --Chicken rice at Maxwell Food Centre >> Tian Tian still ok. Other recs on this board for Maxwell also still relevant.
      --Chili crab at No Signboard in Geylang >> their salted egg yolk crab is better than their chili crab, which is not in my mind a good representative of what chili crab should be. Seafood Paradise or Jumbo would be better, although generally chili crab standard in Sgp is not as good as it used to be.
      --Char kuey teow >> Hong Lim hawker centre
      --Fish-head curry >> Well you've got Banana Leaf Apolo up there. :) Although since you're at Anson Rd I would definitely recommend Ocean at lunchtime (ask your colleagues as I'm sure they'll know)
      --Roti prata >> Anson Rd area is not the best for roti prata, but there are a few places around Telok Ayer St (including Gayatri) that are passable, or Akbar (24H, at 2 Lim Teck Kim Road). Must be freshly made or it won't be that good.

      Also near Anson Road, good lunchtime options:
      -- Eng Kee at Enggor Street for roast meats (ask for fatty char siew)
      -- Amoy Street hawker centre (Hoo Kee dumpling, Piao Ji fish soup)
      -- Teppei (get the off-menu chirashi-don)
      -- Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh (http://www.hungrygowhere.com/singapor...


      Lines at the first three are usually long so get there before noon if you can. Enjoy!