Food is synonymous with Singaporeans, especially good and cheap fare. So what better way to show off our national spirit with a local food trial round our sunny island this National Day holiday? The CLEO team ate our way through 10 hotspots in a day for under $80 and here’s how you can do it too.
What we ate: A butter kaya bun, two soft-boiled eggs and two cups of kopi.
Where: Chin Mee Chin Confectionary, 204 East Coast Road
No introduction needed for this famous old-school breakfast spot. A thick slab of butter on a perfectly toasted bun slathered with kaya? Yes, yes, and definitely yes!
What we ate: Fried Hokkien Mee
Where: Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee, #01-32, 51 Old Airport Road, Old Airport Road Food Centre
It doesn’t come with as much gravy as we thought it would, but that’s because it already contains all its flavour in the noodles. P.S: we love how the slightly chewy bee hoon complements the yellow noodles wonderfully.
What we ate: Mango swiss roll and chocolate swiss roll
Where: Rich and Good Cake Shop, 24 Kandahar Street
It took us forever to decide on two out of the nine types of swiss rolls they offer. The mango one came with a slightly salty tinge and pieces of fruit in the cream, and the chocolate one was, like the shop’s name, rich and good.
What we ate: Kueh dadar
Where: Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry, #01-39, 55 Tiong Bahru Road
Cost: $4 for a box of five
How they made the kueh dadar skin so thin, we really want to know. Also, the generous white coconut filling is fragrant and not overly sweet.
What we ate: Original shake and espresso shake
Where: Coco Shack Shack, #01-33, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Maxwell Food Centre
Not exactly the most Singaporean food, but so refreshing after all that food we ate. If you need a boost, get the espresso shake to perk yourself up!
What we ate: Mutton biryani and mango lassi
Where: Bismillah Biryani Restaurant, 50 Dunlop Street
This corner joint claims to serve a healthier version of biryani and sure enough, it was less oily than we expected. What’s great is that we could taste the vast combination of spices they used in every grain. It’s spicy, so if you can’t take the heat, get a mango lassi to effectively extinguish the flame in your mouth (tried and tested by yours truly).
What we ate: Chicken rice with tofu
Where: Seletar Seafood Centre, #01-135, 146 Potong Pasir Ave 1
Residents of Potong Pasir will know of this chicken rice stall hidden in a zi char restaurant. The chicken has a unique nutty flavour and you must order tofu as an add-on. Made Thai style, this sweet and sour tofu is wrapped in a crispy skin and goes so well with your chicken rice.
What we ate: Honey/milk paper prata and teh cino ice
Where: The Roti Prata House, 246M Upper Thomson Road
This popular supper haunt never fails to satisfy us. Together with a nice cup of iced teh cino, the sweet and crispy paper prata gave us a nice break after the two savoury dishes we had before.
What we ate: Nonya laksa
Where: Nonya Delicatessen, #B1-K69, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, Bukit Timah Plaza
Before you buy anything from this stall, you need to know that the man behind the counter is extremely good at persuading you to buy more. But that’s OK, because everything we’ve had here is really sedap.
What we ate: Kaya butter bread
Where: Nature Bakery, #01-04, 651 Jurong West Street 61
We’re pretty sure some nutritionists would not approve, but this bread is so darn soft and fluffy we could just eat the whole bag ourselves.
Photography: Alexander Ow
Text: Liu Kai Ying
Additional Text: Chow Rong Qian