Ask what they’re having for dinner and they could probably list out the exact places they’re going to dine at. Indeed, don’t be surprised if you find yourself being a ‘food addict’ once you step foot on this food haven. Singaporeans are well known for their efforts too, in sniffing or would I say munching out the great food finds around the island. Let us now help you along…
This Month’s Tips
Those fond of our local delights might want to try the delicious satay beehoon (thin rice noodle) at East Coast Lagoon Food Village (1220 East Coast Parkway). This dish consists of boiled beehoon topped with kangkong (water spinach), sotong (squid), cockles and fishcake. The best part of this tantalising dish is the generous dollop of a very smooth peanut sauce that’s also sweet and mildly spicy. The peanut sauce is similar to the one served with satay (sticks of barbecued meat, a Malay dish), thus the name satay beehoon. I was so tempted to just lick the entire plate. Look out for this great find at Meng Kee Satay Bee Hoon, stall number 17.
The newly renovated food village makes your eating experience rather pleasant and calming. What was formerly known as East Coast Lagoon Food Centre now has beautiful ambient lighting and an easy circular structure that makes it easy to find your way around. We love the sand added for a lagoon effect. A beautiful place to relax and enjoy while you digest your food.
Chicken rice is by far the most popular among both Singaporeans and tourists alike.
There are in fact tonnes of chicken rice stalls all over the island. What makes chicken rice so alluring? Could it be the fragrant rice that’s cooked with chicken stock? Or perhaps the tender white meat that melts in your mouth. Whatever it is, my favourite chicken rice stall is located at 275 Thomson Road. Wee Nam Kee’s Chicken Rice is more commonly known as the chicken rice place opposite Novena Church.
I guess what draws me to this place is the flavourful chicken which is cooked to perfection. You have a choice of having either the steamed or roasted chicken. I love the aromatic rice which they serve. Though it tends to be a tad too oily, it blends well with the chicken. One thing to add, anyone who eats chicken rice has to eat it with the specially made chilli sauce which includes garlic and ginger. Be prepared to face crowds, especially during lunch times.
Ivins is the place to go if you want to have authentic Peranakan food. A lovely place to have dinner with your friends and family, it is an experience that will put your tastebuds to the test. Most of the dishes tend to be spicy so beware and make sure you don’t set your mouth on fire. A definite must try is the ayam buah keluak. This dish is a personal favourite of mine. It is actually chicken stewed with black Indonesian nuts.
I must say, this is an acquired taste. The nuts add a smoky flavour that some might be put off by. Flesh from the nuts are usually dug out and eaten with the gravy. But trust me; it brings the word scrumptious to a whole new level. For those who are not so adventurous, you might want to try the babi pongteh. This is a sweet pork dish that is cooked with salted soybeans. The result is rather savoury and sweet. Rather safe, if you ask me. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for spicy food. Do try also, the sambal kangkong while you’re at it.
The blend of dried shrimp paste with lots of chilli sambal complements the leafy vegetable. I like the way Ivins cooks it – it’s not soggy and you can taste the crispiness of the kangkong. Located at 201 Upper Thomson Road, Ivins has an ambience that adds as a plus point while you dine in air-conditioned comfort. It has a simple and cheery layout that does not dampen your experience while you enjoy the lovely food. They have another branch at 21 Binjai Park, around the Bukit Timah area.
Good luck and I hope you have a gastronomic experience like no other!