One of the reasons I get excited about going to Singapore is because of the dazzling variety of street food you get to eat. Would you believe that other than breakfast, I’ve not eaten a single meal in a hotel in this city? Really, it’s true, the hawker centres here are so enticing that I tend to plan the rest of my itinerary around the meals I need to eat. I know I sound like a glutton, but I don’t mind! When the husband told me that we’ll be honeymooning in Singapore too, I was more than just thrilled. Yes, it is a place I’ve been to more than once but it is also a place that I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of. Even though both of us have been here earlier, it was the first time we were going together and I told him that I’d take him to all the good hawker centres that I know of.
Our quest for good food began the minute we got to this island, checked in to our hotel and headed out. We both had heard a lot about Kenny Rogers Roasters and both of us were very keen to try it out. But finding the place wasn’t easy, it wasn’t on Orchard Road like we’d been told so we were directed to Suntec City and after we took a cab and got there and walked through the mall we realised that it wasn’t just hunger and exhaustion but the place actually wasn’t there. Oh damn! A little bit of inquiring and we were informed that it was shifted to the swanky Marina Bay Square a few blocks away, so we headed there and finally after a bit of looking around here too, we found the place! Trust me, we both were so hungry by the end of it that we’d have polished off the corn muffins that they gave us the minute we placed our orders.
|A poster at the restaurant|
|The sign welcoming us|
|Sweet & savoury: The famous corn muffins|
|Special edition Tiger beer bottles in honour of the F1 at Singapore|
The aroma of the chicken roasting wasn’t really helping as we sipped on Tiger beer and waited for the freshly roasted bird to arrive at our table. Some things in life are worth waiting for and this roast chicken figures on that list. It was piping hot and the succulent meat was flavoured with a whole bunch of spices but what took the roast to another level was the addition of lemon zest that gave it a fresh zing.
|A very cheesy Mac n’ cheese, filling potato salad and scrumptious roast chicken for lunch|
We had a side order of some Mac n’ cheese, which was absolutely cheesily yummy, and a portion of the potato salad that rounded off the meal pretty well. Happy and full, we headed to the hotel for some siesta.
In the evening it was time to sample some of the local flavours. The one thing about food courts in Singapore is that all the stall look so amazing that you’re spoilt for choice.
|Menu at a food court|
|The world on a plate!|
We spent a good 10 minutes just looking around at the mind-boggling options and finally decided to tuck into some Thai fare. The husband decided to play safe and stick to his favourite – Thai green curry with chicken and some Jasmine rice. The curry was a beautiful balance of flavours and it was light enough to be had as a soup too.
|The Jasmine rice & Thai curry|
|Thai green curry with chicken & lots of baby eggplants|
I chose a Tom Yum prawn noodle soup that came in a bowl which was almost the size of a cauldron! The broth was extremely aromatic and flavourful. It really packed a punch and the addition of a handful of noodles, mushrooms and other veggies made it wholesome. But what I was thrilled about was the generous amounts of jumbo prawns, crab sticks and squid in the dish. I think I dreamt of seafood that night. Love!
|Tom yum and seafood in a bowl|
We finished the meal with some refreshingly sweet strawberry ice kachang, which is a whole lot of crushed ice with sugar syrup in various colours, condensed milk for the sweetness and bits of jelly, preserved fruit and red bean paste thrown in. We ‘splurged’ SG$ 14 for this meal for two and were more than just pleased with it.
|Colourful & fun: Ice kachang|
Our breakfasts at the Concorde Hotel on Orchard Road were fit for a king, literally! Apart from the usual trappings of a buffet breakfast, there was also some local delights – like chicken wonton soup, Singapore rice noodles – on offer that added some spice to the meal.
|One of the mega breakfasts at the hotel. The item in white in the centre is a steamed chicken pao, a local delicacy|
We wanted to take some fruits and other goodies back home, so we headed to Bugis Junction and spent a good hour just walking around the place sipping on some ice-cold strawberry juice as we dropped our jaws at the variety of produce available. The fresh fruit stalls were driving us crazy – the oranges beckoned, the apples tempted and the pears just called out to us, we bought a little bit of everything to take back with us. Another thing on our list was to buy some bacon, which we did, and then I suddenly remembered that I could pick up some dried berries for my Christmas cake mix so dried blueberries & cranberries made it to our shopping carts.
|Window display at a patisserie|
|A riot of colours: Fruit stalls|
After all the shopping and wandering around we wanted something quick that would fill us. One of the things that the husband and I were very keen on sampling was the Laksa. This soupy dish has a coconut-based broth brimming with Far Eastern flavours and there’s a whole lot of seafood – read prawns, fish, crab sticks, squid and cockles – along with some noodles and garnished with fried beancurd. What hits you first is the heavenly aroma – there’s the galangal, lemongrass and the shrimp paste. The flavour is a little mellow at the first sip – courtesy the coconut milk – but as you go on it keeps building and you discover that umami-like quality of the dish. The two of us turned wise and decided to share a huge bowl of this, it was a wise decision as the quantity was just right. SG$ 11 for a meal for two with so much seafood. Is that a good deal or what?
|Yummyness in a bowl: Laksa|
On our last night in Singapore, we decided to have dinner at another Hawkers Centre on Orchard Road. I know the chicken rice is a must when you’re in Singapore but we wanted to try something different. The husband wanted something meaty with simple flavours and I wanted something seafood (no surprises, I know!) with a punch. So we had some Beef chilli hot plate, which was a dish of beautifully cooked shredded beef slices in a mild chilli sauce that was enhanced with a generous amount of spring onions. I asked for the Mee Goreng that was a huge portion of noodles with everything under the sea (really!) – prawns (at least 5 huge ones), squid, crab sticks, fish slices, cockles and more. The dish was doused in a spicy, garlicky sauce with some pok choy, it set my tongue, nose and eyes on fire but this was a good thing because that meant I could douse the fire with Singapore’s famous Tiger beer.
|The delicious Beef chilli hot plate|
|Burst of fire: Mee goreng with seafood|
It is really difficult to put all your culinary experiences in Singapore on one plate. Just like the eating culture here – of stopping at various stalls in a Hawker Centre, the experience is varied and exciting. There is a surprise waiting at every corner and you will spot some old favourites along the way, it is this multitude of experiences that leaves you with delicious memories of Singapore.