Tuesday, 9 August 2011

7 Days in Singapore

I've been sticking mostly to food things to do while here. It's cost me a little over my budget to get my bike here and replace some stuff. But here's my brief guide!

Maxwell Road Hawker Centre
Tian Tian Haianese Chicken Rice
The best of the chicken rice stalls in Maxwell Road Hawker Centre is Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice according to a lot of sources, and there always seems to be a line up out the front which might be proof of this. I've only tried chicken rice here twice and it is the tastiest thing I've had, and as far as I can tell the only real difference in vendors is the condiments. The Boneless Chicken Rice stall down one end of the centre offers separate chilli and ginger which you can mix together yourself, at the Tian Tian stall it's mixed already but it's a much better (and hotter) sauce. The only problem with it being mixed is you miss out on trying a mouthful of extreme ginger chicken rice. It's cheap at $3/$3.50 for a small/large plate of the Chicken Rice and this probably explains the reason for the popularity more than anything. They seem to run out mid afternoon so don't expect it to be open too late, and if visiting at lunch time be prepared for a long wait.

The other standout place I found in this centre was the Indian/Malay place in the south west corner. It was one of the only places to serve nasi goreng that I've found. One of the best nasi gorengs I've had so far! And after 4 days here it was the first thing I tried that had any real chilli in it. They're either leaving the chilli out because I'm white, or the locals like everything really mild.

As always there are many drink stalls with cheap(ish) beers, $5.50 for a longneck of Tiger isn't too bad. I think the most I paid in any hawker centre was $7 for a bottle of stout. Also when drinking there are ladies that will come around and top up your glass, and get another bottle for you. This is all too convienient. I wasn't aware of this at first and just thought it was someone that the guy I was sharing a table with knew.

The link above mentions the Char Kwey Teow from the Marina South Delicious Food Stall, but I'd go elsewhere for that. Which leads me to...

Lau Pa Sat
One of the 'streets' in this centre
Lau Pa Sat is another very clean hawker centre with a lot of options. There's a lot more variety in this one than in the centres closer to chinatown, with Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Indian food along with the usual Chinese I'm used to seeing. It also has a Wendys, a Panini place and another place that served western food. It's right next to the large city buildings so there are a lot of office workers that appear very quickly at midday.

Best thing I had here was the Lai Heng Char Kwey Teow, which was the best char kwey teow I had in Singapore. There's something about the way they make it in Australia that I prefer though, probably that they just load it up with more of the chinese sausage. Still, this one was better than the other 4 I tried here!

Ya Kun Kaya Toast

Ya Kun Kaya Toast is the original of the kaya toast outlets apparently. You can get the Kaya Toast at a lot of the Kopitiam's in the hawker centre, but the lonely planet guide and several other reviews all point to the original of this chain in the Far East Square.

This is what I've been having for breakfast for the past few days. You can get a Kaya Toast set for $4.00 which is Coffee (with condensed milk), two soft boiled eggs (whites still runny), and the Kaya toast which is toast with coconut jam and butter on it. I've found the same sets at other places for $2.50 however.

The Olde Cuban

I stumbled accross The Olde Cuban here in chinatown and it's a cigar and whiskey bar. The entrance is at the back of a restaurant, not far from the MRT escalators. There's a big selection of very old very expensive whiskeys, and also cigars in their own little humidor room too if you're in to that sort of thing. I recommend the Highland Park.


Brewerkz is a microbrewery here in Singapore. It seems to have the biggest selection, as shown here:

All the usual styles, a few odd ones thrown in. On the bottom of the pic you can see their scaled pricing, so between 12 and 3pm you can get a pint for $6, this goes up to $15 depending on the time of night. There are also more expensive options of course. It makes it worse that the more you drink the less chance you will have of working out the best value.

The beers were pretty average for their styles, I had nothing really outstanding. It was also really unnerving to be in a brewery with table service and then having to ask for the check when I was ready to leave. The bonus here was it was only $6 a pint (plus 7% GST) at the right time. Other places charge $15.


Go to any 7-11 and get the StarHub MaxMobile prepaid broadband SIM for $12, the $12 also counts towards your credit. Once you've got it connected up you can add more credit (certain countries cards only, and this process was broken for a day also) to get more days out of it. You can use recharge cards, but DON'T USE THE $17 OR $28 CARDS! They're not for this service, and the only note I saw about this was in the recharge screen while trying to use the $28 card.

Anyway. Once that is all set up you can get online at 7.2Mbit, 2GB/day for 5 days, for $20.


Get the EZLink card from an MRT station. Cheaper fares (slightly) and then you can roam anywhere the MRT goes. I never tried the buses, but in the area I'm in there are 4 stations on 3 lines all within 15 minutes walk. Note that at the moment the circle line is still under construction and stops at Marymount, however all the signs up in stations show the completed circle.

Next stop, Malaysia.

1 comment:

  1. You should try the nyonya kuehs and the ice kacang (superb for cooling down in the tropics!) You can't find good ice kacang in Austraia. You still have a chance to try when you are in KL. Where would you be in Malaysia and Thailand?