Join me as I recap my brief street food tripping escapade in Singapore. I will share bits about my visits to a hawker center, a street closed for food stalls, and a coffee shop, all of which are prevalent in the economically forward city-state.
Day 1 Lunch
My colleague and I snuck out of the office at lunch for a 20-min commute (long walk then MRT then bus ride) to Lavender Food Square (a hawker center which is an open-air food complex) to fulfill my year-long craving for the Kok Kee Wanton Noodle there. When we reached the food court, my brain sensing the eager anticipation of my taste buds signaled my legs to rush toward the stall. To my dismay, they were closed for the two days I was there! “How unlucky!”, my friend uttered as I was meaning to catch it before the food square closes down in September. 😦
I settled with Duck noodle instead. I missed taking the shot as we were in a hurry. The duck meat quality was good but the noodle wasn’t, nor was the soup flavorful either.
When we came back to the office after being gone for over an hour and a half, we were relieved to find our boss still smiling at us. Whew!
Day 1 Dinner
I suggested Satay at Makansutra Gluttons Bay to my friends. As a couple of them were Muslims and were about to finish their long fast (both solid and liquid!) for the day, I made sure that the food was Halal and that they would have other options. But knowing how tired, hungry and incredibly thirsty they were, I felt bad because it took a while for us to get there and the place was packed as expected. Eek!
For refreshments, a friend got us all Sugarcane w/ lemon juice (sorry no photo), a drink commonly found in Singapore’s food courts. It was indeed refreshing!
We decided to get several items for sharing. Satay was of course the primary choice.
The Chicken Satay was yummy! The Mutton tasted good as well but the meat was quite tough I had to spit out some parts. The sweet peanut sauce was awesome I kept pouring some over the meats! I was glad to have gone there for Satay (though my favorite remains to be ones in the “closed street” behind Lau Pa Sat in Raffles area).
Next is the BBQ Chicken Wings from Huat Huat. There are a lot of wings out there but this is hardly ordinary. It tasted as delicious as, if not better than, it looks! There was also more meat to be had than the usual as the wings were pretty sizable (probably from big and muscular fowls!).
We added Mutton Murtabak from the Old Satay Club to the feast. I initially wanted to get their Roti but my friend told me that the Murtabak was worth trying for a first-timer as it’s also Roti but has your choice of meat (minced) and other stuffings like egg and onion inside. It’s served with yellow curry sauce as well.
I became fond of the Murtabak as I could catch the mutton scent with almost every bite. The fillings made a decent mix and are adequately seasoned that you could do away with the curry. Though it was quite a heavy dish, my friends and I enjoyed it till it was gone.
Dinner was hearty and above satisfactory overall. It was made even better with good company.
Day 2 Lunch
I went out with a few colleagues to what Singaporeans call a Coffee Shop.
When I was first invited to a “coffee shop” years ago, I assumed that I was going to an establishment like Starbucks. To my surprise, we stopped at a place that looked like a canteen.
Later, I clarified my understanding by actually looking up the definition of a coffee shop. Google says it’s:
- a small, informal restaurant, as found in a hotel
a cafe serving coffee and light refreshments
Moving on, we were at the awarded Novena Fish Head Bee Hun coffee shop.
I ordered the Seafood Soup which contained thinly sliced steamed fish, 3 pieces of prawn, small portions of squid,a few slices of vege, and small semi-burnt garlic strips. I took the option of having milk added.
The soup was a bit spicy that my nose was both running and sweating enough to amuse my Malaysian Chinese friend who didn’t detect any hotness (she was even adding red chili peppers to hers!). Apart from that, it was mildly tasty and felt somewhat healthy.
As if we weren’t full yet, we went to the neighboring cafe for desserts. I was told that the other branch in Bugis was often crowded with people queuing outside. My expectations were raised.
I ordered the Mango Sago. It was okay, nothing new to me as it’s a dish that’s typically served in Chinese banquets.
I also tried my friend’s order, the Black Glutinous Rice w/ Vanilla Ice Cream. I initially wondered if it were like the Champurrado/Champorado, a sweet chocolate rice porridge in the Mexican and Filipino cuisine, but the Chinese’ version didn’t have cocoa. They were in fact just black or dark purple grains that are sweetened with sugar after they’re cooked. The inclusion of the vanilla ice cream and almond slices made it especially delectable.
I will come back to try their other menu items.
Back at the office about an hour and a half later, we were thankful that our boss was not rigid with the schedule (so long as we accomplished what we had to or I could be rationalizing). He was again still smiling. 😛
Each item presented above has its price ranging from 3 to 7 SGD, except for the Satay which was ordered for sharing (15 SGD for 20 pieces).
That wraps up my 1 1/12 days of Singapore street food tripping. There’s plenty more appetizing dishes the country has to offer in their various eatery formats and given the cultural diversity of their population. I will just feature them as I go.
Zài Jiàn for now! 🙂
Device: iPhone 5s