This will be my last post on Singapore street/hawker food during our Nuffnang Awards trip. Next post, will be my fantastic meal at Jaan Par Andre.
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
I touched down in Singapore a day before everyone else, so I had a bit of time to explore. The first thing I did was go to Orchard Rd so I could find a shirt for the awards night. I somehow forgot to pack a shirt, so I was left with a suit and about 5 t-shirts, what a disaster.
Luckily my dinner was a bit more organised as Teresa and I had planned to meet Leslie from ieatishootipost for what he would call late night supper. We met up at 10pm on a Thursday night for this feast, something which would be unheard of in Sydney. Also making an appearance was Nuffnang co-founder Ming, who loves his food as much as any one else. He is very passionate about his food, especially on what is Singaporean or Malaysian as often some dishes can be claimed by either country. We agreed to let that debate run another day, and just enjoy the food because we were all starving.
This is apparently one of the best satay bee hoon you can find in Singapore. It doesn’t look too appealing, but it’s something which needs to be eaten to be admired. Beneath the sea of nutty satay sauce is rice vermicelli noodles and slices of pork. This to me is comfort food and believe me, it doesn’t need to look good to taste good!
The chicken satay wasn’t any different to what you can find in Sydney. What you won’t find in Sydney is perhaps the good price of $3.
I made an effort to try as much oyster omelette’s as I could in Singapore. It’s the type of dish you can get sick of easily (like pancakes), but it’s interesting to see the different ways the dish is prepared by different stalls. The key is fresh oysters, a hot chili sauce and a balanced use of potato starch. This store had it all.
Rojak is a type of salad which is often made from fruit and vegetables. This one is made up of fried dough fritters, bean curds, boiled potatoes, prawn fritters, and cucumber mixed with a sweet thick, spicy peanut sauce. To my surprise, it also has pickled ginger and a preserved egg called century egg. The ginger and egg is new to me, but it is a great substitute for the usual hard-boiled egg.
I tend to neglect fruit and vegetables when I go overseas, so a fruit platter was something needed to keep me in check. You’ll find fresh pineapple, mango, pawpaw, water melon, pear and kiwi fruit.
After eating at East Coast Lagoon with Leslie, it seems that he has the insider knowledge on what is good to eat in Singapore. I made a note to eat with him again before going back to Sydney, but this time bringing along the rest of the es&t crew and also Suze and Helen.
We ate at Siang Hee, which is a cze shar restaurant. What the hell does cze zhar mean ? Well, it is usually a Chinese outlet which serves a variety of ala carte style dishes. These are usually served with rice and soup. For the Sydney siders, if you go into the Eating World foodcourt where Gumshara Ramen is you will see a few of these stores. It is usually a casual style eatery, Cabramatta has a few of these as well-run by predominately teo chew people.
Anyway what makes this store so special is the unique dishes created by the Chef. She is constantly trying to be unique and creative with her dishes, and thanks to the exposure Leslie has given on his blog her sales in her Restaurant has increased dramatically. As a result, she’s coming up with new types of dishes all the time and we were luckily enough to try a few.
Most people who come from a Chinese family would know about a soup or herbal tea made from Luo Han Guo . It is actually a fruit, but a lot sweeter. The Chef here reduced the fruit into a thick sauce along with a few other mystery ingredients. The end product was a taste like sweet and sour pork, but with the added kick of luo han guo sweetness. It’s hard to describe the taste.
Deep fried pork knuckle with copious amounts of crackle. This wouldn’t look out-of-place at a German Restaurant such as Lowenbrau. This wasn’t just normal fried pork, the meat was still tender and you could taste some of the collagen still hanging on it’s dear life on each piece of pork.
This was probably our only proper intake of vegetables throughout the trip.
This oyster omelette was a bit different to others. It does not contain any potato starch in it, resulting in a more natural taste. The fried garlic pieces on top really top off the dish.
This is Leslie’s “spin doctor” and right hand man, the man who helps him out on his forum. It’s tough life blogging in Singapore, I’m not sure how they do it in the heat!
Our vegetable intake returns to its normal daily requirements. This stir fry dish of house tofu with one side coated with spinach, mushrooms and vegetables is a simple dish and looks like something which you can find in most Chinese restaurants.
Deshelled prawns coated with a light batter, deep-fried and served with a creamy pumpkin sauce.
Steamed groper, served the classic Chinese way with soy sauce, fried garlic pieces and shallots.
This is called har cheong gai and seems to be an original recipe from the Chef. The secret (or not so secret) ingredient is shrimp paste. Leslie sums up the dish well on his blog :
For her new Har Cheong Gai recipe, she changed her Prawn Paste to a brand from Hong Kong. She also tells me that in order to get the flavour deep into the bit between the two bones, she marinades the wings over two days. Lastly, she uses seven different flours to make the batter so that it comes out thin yet super crispy.
Food Republic Food Court
This food court is located in the Wisma Atrium shopping centre.
Shopping in Singapore
To break things up a little because of all this food talk, I’ll provide a few tips I picked up while shopping in Singapore.
For a Shopping Centre experience with designer brands such as Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Prada, LV and smaller stores such as Top Shop and Zara, I recommend the newly opened Ion Orchard Plaza. If you catch a cab, they even have someone open the door for you. You won’t find that in Paramatta Westfields that’s for sure. There is also a massive food court at the bottom level.
For the Paddington and boutique/vintage store experience you must visit Haji Lane. It’s got the Surry Hill’s, laneway, indie vibe to it and has cool cafe’s and graffitied laneway to match. Along with name brands, you will also find alot of Independent designers there. I managed to pick up Van’s shoes for only $45 AUD and also some very cool A.P.C and Band of Outsiders style shirts for about half the price of what it would probably cost at Incu. For the girls, check out Lady Melbournes wrap up of what she bought there.
Haji Lane is also good for Hookah, if you are into that type of stuff. It’s good relaxing fun without the tobacco.
Photo taken by grabyourfork
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
1220 East Coast Parkway
89 Zion Road
Food Republic Food Court
Wisma Atrium Shopping Centre Level 4
Just take a cab and ask for Arab St or Haji Lane