Singapore Food Edition

I was in Singapore over the weekend on an impromptu trip. I got a fantastic deal on Singapore Airlines [Rs 24,500 Mumbai return]. Mornings between 8am – 11am seem to be the best time to be at Mumbai’s International airport. The lines at the counters are non-existent and the most dreaded immigration lines were a breeze. I was so taken aback with the lack of lines that I completely forgot to fill in the immigration card. But it was no problem since I could fill it at the counter itself as there was nobody behind me. The only downside of this is that you reach Singapore at 5pm and then get stuck in their “traffic” [quotes used as their traffic still moves and Singapore is a small city]

Before going, I decided that this trip would revolve around only food and nothing else. Since I have been to Singapore on multiple occasions, I could afford to skip the site seeing and the mall culture.

Let’s get straight to it

Kaya Toast at Toast Box  and  Ya Kun Kaya Toast.

What is Kaya toast you ask? It is a kind of coconut jam that is sandwiched between light toasted bread and has generous helpings of butter as well.

Ya Kun Kaya Toast has the original Kaya toast. I tried the Kaya toast at Toast box (part of Bread Talk) as well as at Ya Kun Kaya Toast. And I preferred the one at Toast Box a lot better. The kaya was a greenish colour at Ya Kun Kaya Toast, while at Toast Box it was brown and thicker. The main reason I preferred Toast Box was because the jam was evenly spread to the edges of the bread – goodness with every bite. And they were also generous with the jam! While Ya Kun Kaya Toast had it concentrated mostly in the middle of the toast and the generous slices of butter seemed to overpower the non-existent spread of kaya. Also I preferred the bread at Toast Box.

Meal Cost: Toast and Tea at both places was around S$6 –S$8

Location: Multiple locations around the city

Giardino Pizza Bar and Grill at Chijmes.

This was a church and school at one point but now it is an entertainment complex that houses a multitude of restaurants, bars and cafes. On this trip, I visited the Giardino Pizza Bar and Grill. We started off with some beer and the truffle fries (which came along with ketchup and mayonnaise ) and the Capricciosa pizza which has mozzarella, ham, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. These are authentic wood-fire pizzas which were delicious.  We also had the beef cheeks which delivered on the description of being slow cooked till fork tender. They were out of this world and would definitely recommend this. If you don’t eat ham or are a vegetarian, don’t worry, they have a lot of veg options too. For dessert we had the Yoghurt Panna Cotta and Budino Di Datteri. The Panna Cotta was nothing to write home about and completely avoidable. The texture was very unlike a Panna cotta. However the Budino Di Datteri was the surprise. This was a date pudding served with vanilla gelato and salted caramel sauce. The pudding was light and not too sweet and the entire combination worked well.

Meal Cost: This was kinda pricey as the total meal (including 3 beers) cost us S$170 for 3 people

Location: Chijmes

 

Food Court @ Westgate

We visited Westgate Mall in Jurong East and in the basement they have a decently sized food court which has a variety of cuisines like Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and yes even Indian. We tried the Vietnamese Chicken Pho which was this huge bowl of broth and rice noodles with shredded chicken as well as the fresh spring rolls. The broth was light and full of flavour and the noodles seemed home made and not out of a packet. If you are an average sized eater I would recommend you share the meal as the portions are huge. We also ordered  the stir fry beef with sticky rice. The beef itself was tender and the stir fry sauce was a perfect combination of sweet and savoury. I would definitely recommend this. If you are in any mall, do make a trip to the food court and try it out. Every food court has a variety of stalls and you will definitely find something you like.

Meal Cost: An average dish at this mall costs about S$10 – S$12

Location: In every mall

 

Lau Pa Sat Festival Market.

Lau Pa Sat is a must visit just for the experience. The satay street opens only post 7pm. Make sure you go to the back where they grill the meats  – you have a choice of chicken, mutton, beef, prawns and pork. They cost around S$0.50 per stick. Along with this we also sampled the sambal rice. The rice comes in various sizes with the price ranging from S$8 – S$20. You must try the Sting Ray here. Along with your meal they also serve beer, which is always welcome in hot and humid Singapore.

Meal Cost: The plate of satay we had cost S$24.50 while all the other dishes were S$12 each, beer pitcher S$20.

Location: 18 Raffles Quay

 

Pasarbella Farmer’s Market

I read about this market on the In-Flight magazine. It sounded fantastic and I immediately put it on my list of must visit food places. The market is situated at the Turf Club. It is a covered market which has restaurants/ stalls all around and you can pick which cuisine you want to eat and as well as you choice of drink. You can take your food and drinks to the centre of the market where they have free seating. We visited Pasarbella for Sunday brunch.

We had the Bacon and mushroom pizza, the spinach and ricotta quiche with a side of macaroni and cheese and the lamb shanks. The Pizza had generous serving of bacon and mushrooms. The macaroni and cheese lacked flavour. And I was not too impressed with the quiche as it was sort of bland. Out of the 3 dishes, the lamb shanks were the best.They were soft and juicy and falling off the bone. It was served with a side of potatoes and veggies. I ended the meal with some lip smacking peanut butter ice cream sandwich.

The Paella seemed very popular but we didn’t try it since our meal portions were quite large and we were too stuffed to even think about taking some for later.

You can walk around the market and buy the produce from the stalls. They have assortments of cheese, wine, sauces as well as some furnishings.

Meal Cost: Bacon and Mushroom Pizza S$10, Spinach and ricotta Quiche with Macaroni (S$20), Lamb Shanks (S$20), Fresh Juice (S$5) and White Wine (S$12.50)

Location: At the Turf Club

Brewerkz

This is a pub/ restaurant situated at Clarke Quay overlooking the Singapore River. It has an in-house brewery with a good selection of on tap beers as well as an extensive food menu.

We ordered the Salmon and Beef Burgers as well as the Baby Back Ribs. Both were very good. The ribs had a nice smoked barbeque sauce which was perfectly flavoured and not too sweet. The meat was literally falling off the bones. They have an extensive burger list and you can pick which sides you want. I would recommend the sweet potato fries and beer battered onion rings.

This is a nice place for catching up with friends on a weekend. The ambiance was really nice as it overlooked the river and the food was good.

Meal Cost: The burgers cost about S$25 each (excluding taxes)

Location: At Clarke Quay

 

Secret Recipe

Another really good place for Asian food is Secret Recipe. They have an extensive menu which includes pasta, Asian, chicken, vegetarian, fish and lamb and a separate kids menu as well. We stuck to the Asian Classics and ordered the Secret recipe fried rice with satay and Gourmet Seafood Laksa. The seafood Laksa had a good amount of seafood and the broth although light, was a little spicy. The chicken satay was tender and juicy, however I wished there was more than just 3 skewers of satay (since I was sharing this dish). I liked that it came with a serving of spicy peanut sauce.  The portions were substantial for an above average eater.

Meal Cost: S$44 for 2 mains and 2 soft drinks

Location: Multiple locations around the city

 

Paul’s Café

We stopped by at Paul’s Café for some evening tea to rest our tired feet after a day of light shopping. I really liked this Café as both, the service was good and the tea and pastries were wonderful. Besides tea, they also serve brunch and lunch, which by peeking over at my neighbours table looked really good.

We had coffee and vanilla tea along with macarons and strawberry millefeuille.The millefeuille had a layer of sliced strawberries and custard. I absolutely loved the custard as it was perfectly sweetened. The macarons were good but I find the ones at Le 15 Patisserie in Mumbai much better.

They also have an outlet at the airport in terminal 3, right after you cross immigration. So if you don’t get to try Paul’s in the city, then no worries you can always catch a meal at the airport, though the selection is limited.

Meal Costs: Pastries and tea/ coffee are around S$10- S$12 each

Location: Multiple locations around the city

 

Thai Express

If you want good authentic Thai food in Singapore then you should visit Thai Express. The food is good and so is the service. However it is not really a cheap eat. We ordered drinks (non-alcoholic), soft shell crab, non spicy Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai and Chicken. The Pad Thai has a combination of sweet, sour, spicy and nutty flavour. However I would definitely recommend the soft shell crab that comes along with rice. It is one of the best that I have tasted. It had just a touch of spice which worked well with the rice and onions. I liked that they served the chilli flakes on the side of the Pad Thai which allows you to adjust the level of spiciness.

Meal cost: S$100 for 3 people

Location: Multiple locations around the city

 

Other Places To Eat

Jumbo Seafood: A trip to Singapore is incomplete without a visit to Jumbo Seafood. The original is located at East Coast Road. Their speciality is chilli crab, black pepper crab, seafood fried rice and buns. Be prepared to clean the crab shells, hence avoid wearing anything fancy here. A meal for 2 people costs about S$150.

Dempsey Hill: It houses a lot of restaurants and bars and offers a variety of cuisine. I visited Jones Café for brunch and loved the Eggs Benedict with Salmon and the Scrambled Eggs with Avocado. A  meal for 3 people costs about S$100 for brunch (no alcohol). Guide to Dempsey hill

Nam Nam at Raffles Mall: This place has amazing Vietnamese food and the lines to enter this small eatery at times snake around the food court. The Beef Pho is supposed to be the best. Unfortunately I called for the chicken pho [since I was all beefed out :)]. The crackers were freshly made and the prawn spring rolls were refreshing. Meal cost ranges between S$10-S$15.

Grain Traders: After all the eating in Singapore if you are looking for some healthy food, head over the Grain Traders. They serve veg and non veg food and you can mix and match your meals to create your own healthy bowl. Grain bowls are priced at S$16.

 

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9 thoughts on “Singapore Food Edition

  1. Ive been living in singapore for almost 2 yrs now. I have come to appreciate the culture, food and yes the cost. In my opinion the places you visited can easily be found in any guide catalogs. What would be more meaningful is a visit to smaller jaunts that go missed eventhough they are bursting with favourful food and so easy on the pocket. A char grill bar for example, or hawkers center or how about moon cakes made in snow skin…. now thats a delight not just to eat but to learn about.

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    1. Hi Candida, This post was mainly from a travelers point of view. There are a few places that i’d go back to when im in Singapore and other places that I would explore over a period of time. I’m sure there are alot of local Singaporeans that write blogs on the smaller gems in Singapore. Since you have lived in Singapore for almost 2 years, do share some of your favourite places that you visit. Do keep reading and thanks for the comment.

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  2. Very nicely written. Brought alive the whole Singapore food experience and will serve as a handy guide to visitors. Please bring us more such pieces which will become a ready reference for trips.

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