Singapore has always been high on my list to visit. It’s a relatively quick flight, there is no additional language I need to study up on and of course, the food. I kept hearing about the food.
We tried the kaya toast and soft boiled eggs sets, which are served with strong coffees sweetened with condensed milk (think Vietnamese café sua but sweeter). Prices are very reasonable, the service is friendly and the food is simple and delicious. Eat your eggs with soy sauce and white pepper.
The China Street branch is the original store and is located a few streets from the heart of bustling Chinatown. It is open early.
18 China Street (#01-01), Singapore
After wandering through Haji Lane in Little India, we stopped into Zam Zam, a Muslim restaurant specialising in murtabak. It is a bustling and loud restaurant spanning two levels.
We tried a few different filled murtabak, which were stuffed with meat and folded; fried and then eaten dipped in a spicy curry sauce. We also filled up on mee goreng and nasi goreng – both which had a big chilli kick. Everything was full of flavour and a great way to try out different flavours in the Arab Lane district.
We tried out a few of their milky drinks, which we again found very sweet but are loved by those in Singapore. Prices are very reasonable and whilst it may look busy, the staff will be happy to squeeze you into a table upstairs.
697 North Bridge Road, Singapore
We headed out to the East Coast Seafood Centre to get our chilli crab fix. Located out of the main city area close to the airport, the centre houses close to ten huge restaurants serving much the same fare. Jumbo is on the water and is one of the biggest restaurants I’ve ever eaten in. My first try of chilli crab was not disappointing. The spicy sauce is more like a gravy – messy and delicious. I loved the bite of the black pepper crab also.
Bring your own extra wet wipes, order your beer by the jug and don’t forget to order extra mantou buns to wipe up all of the delicious sauces. Grab a cab out to the east coast or visit one of the other branches a little closer to the city centre.
1206 East Coast Parkway (#01-07/08), East Coast Seafood Centre, Singapore
Toast Box is another great Singaporean chain specializing in breakfast sets, a great way to fill up before a big day walking in the heat. We visited the Suntec City branch, close to our hotel.
We had a few of the egg, kopi and toast sets and also tried the mee rebus, mee siam and the laksa sets. The soup sets were so full of flavour and the piles of chilli sure did wake us up! I love having a steaming soup for breakfast, it’s something that I’d love to be able to get easily in Australia.
All of the sets were priced at around SGD$5 each.
1 Raffles Boulevard (#B1-126/127 Tower 5), Suntec City, Singapore
Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese chain of noodle and steamed dumpling restaurants. Recently it’s Hong Kong branch was awarded a Michelin Star. We visited the Marina Bay Sands branch. Grab a number at the entry and decide on your menu before you are seated – you will be sure to get hungry watching the chefs making dumplings in the glass windowed kitchens.
We grabbed a range of yum cha favourites – steamed pork buns, xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings) and because we were in Singapore, steam chilli crab and pork buns. Service was friendly and efficient and the food was so fresh and tasty. Order more than you think you’ll need. Trust me, you will want more.
2 Bayfront Avenue (#B2-63), Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
We stumbled upon Hifumi in ‘The Dining Edition’, a relatively new dining area within the Marina Sands shopping centre. Hifumi serves up bento-style Japanese meals with access to an all you can eat appetizer bar. It’s a great option for a fuss-free and affordable dinner to fill you up between bouts of shopping.
6 Raffles Boulevard (#02-106A), Marina Square, Singapore
- Subway stations and shopping centres house everything you require in Singapore. Don’t be afraid to explore – we stayed at the Marina Mandarin hotel and it took us a few days to realize that the Esplanade MRT station had an exit through the Marina Square shopping centre, right next door to our hotel. It also accessed the Suntec City centre across the road and also boasted a cinema, bowling alley and dozens of great restaurants. Note, many shops do not open until late morning, however, are open late at night (even on Christmas day).
- If you are looking to find a shop or restaurant, take note of the level and number provided in their address. Most centres have half a dozen levels, it will make it much easier to locate with this information.
- The MRT subway system is clean and easy to use and taxis are quite reasonable. We took a seven seater taxi to and from the airport – they can arrange them at the transport desk at the airport.
- We had free wi-fi at our fantastic hotel (the Marina Mandarin), however, it was pretty easy to come by in shopping centres also.
- The sights we visited were: Marina Bay (don’t miss the light show), the Merlion, Chinatown, Bugis Markets, Arab and Haji Lanes, the Formula 1 track, the Marina Bay Sands viewing deck (the pool is now unfortunately closed to tourists) and we spent Christmas Day at Universal Studios.