Rosemarie John on Eating Out in Singapore
Singaporeans love to eat out: this is one of the first things you will discover when you visit the city. Eating out is an essential part of the culture that has evolved and been fine-tuned over the years. A glimpse of Singapore’s cultural diversity can be seen in the array of local cuisines available throughout the island – Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan, to name but a few.
Dining out is not an expensive affair, and that is why you will always find the food courts perpetually busy. It is also a great way for family and friends to bond, especially after a stressful day at work. Good food makes everyone happy, and if you’re a lover of the epicurean lifestyle, you won’t be disappointed by what Singapore has to offer. Following our Secret Singapore: Foodie Edition post, here are my favourite eat out joints for you to check out. I’ve included everything from reasonably-priced food court stalls to chic cocktail bars.
Oyster Omelette from Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters
This stall is located at the Singapore Food Trail, set against the backdrop of the iconic Singapore Flyer. Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters was founded in 1976 by Mr Law Jock Keah, who spent 10 years learning the trade from his relatives before finally deciding to venture out on his own. His speciality is Fried Oyster Omelette, commonly known in Singapore as “Orh Lua”, a Chinese dish of Teochew origin, which consists of a deliciously fried omelette cooked with pork lard and filled with small oysters. A small plate of this yummy dish costs about S$5.00.
Location: Level One #01-09 at 30 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039803
American Food from Botak Jones
Offering Western cuisine from burgers and steaks to gumbo and Cajun chicken, Botak Jones is a unique way of experiencing authentic American food at decent prices. A cheeseburger with two sides costs approximately S$10 and will satisfy that craving for a thick and juicy meat patty you might have had all day. There is a general waiting time of 12 to 15 minutes, as every burger is made to order. The food contains no MSG and the bill carries no GST (Goods and Services Tax).
Location: Blk 892C Woodlands Drive 50, Singapore 732892
Bone Marrow Curry from Masala Hut
For the best spicy lamb bone marrow curry, head to Masala Hut in Little India. Trying to eat this dish is half the fun, as you try to get the marrow out either by tapping it on your plate or the traditional way of sucking it out. You can’t help but eat with your hands! This dish is so good that it can be eaten on its own or accompanied by a spread of vegetables, rice and curries on a banana leaf. Two plates of bone marrow, one plate of dry fried lamb and two banana leaf meals will set you back around S$20. Please note that the bone marrow curry is only available on Sunday.
Location: 21 Chander Road, Singapore 219533
Fried Kway Teow from Chinatown Food Street
If you love noodles, order up a steaming hot plate of Fried Kway Teow from Chinatown Food Street. Made from flat rice, the noodles are stir-fried in a deep black wok with garlic, bean sprouts, cockles and prawns, and coated in a sweetish savoury soya sauce. This scrumptious plate of noodles gets its special taste from being cooked in a little pork lard, topped off with some Chinese sausages called lap cheong. Each plate of Fried Kway Teow will cost you approximately S$7.00.
Location: Stall 7 on Chinatown Food Street, Smith Street, Singapore
Long Bar at Raffles Hotel
This heritage watering hole at Raffles Hotel is steeped in history and quirky traditions. It’s a place that many a traveller visits to make their Singapore journey complete, being the birthplace of the iconic Singapore Sling cocktail. Entering what was formerly known as the “Rendezvous of Planters”, the Long Bar transports each visitor back to a world of rustic décor, old ceramic tiles and the cracking of peanut shells underfoot. It’s a place where established traditions never die and where the past and present merge together in cocktails, food and merrymaking. Try the Fables of the East (a cocktail made from rum, St. Germain and passion fruit purée) priced at S$27.
Location: 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
Anti:dote Bar at Fairmont Hotel
True to its name, Anti:dote at Fairmont Hotel offers a progressive selection of non-conventional concoctions, cleverly disguised as “cure-alls”. A must-try is The Charlatan’s Cure (S$23) made from hum, lime juice, green chartreuse and rum, which leaves a wonderful cleansed palate after each sip. From the food menu, make sure you order the Caramelised Foie Gras with vinegar glazed leeks and crisp puff pastry (S$18). If you’re looking for a trendy new spot to end the day, this brand new watering hole boasts a chic and modern aesthetic, with influences of local heritage – a reflection of Singapore’s warm yet sophisticated culture. Bon appétit!
Location: Level 1 Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560
Rosemarie John is a travel blogger currently based in Canberra, Australia. She is the founder of Travel and Beyond, an award-winning blog that portrays a kaleidoscope of all things travel-related, mixed with just the right amount of history and culture. You can follow her on Twitter @TravelnBeyond.