Monday, May 6, 2013

Eating My Way Through Singapore

I'm not kidding when I said I went to Singapore to eat. While many take the three-hour flight for theme parks and to go shopping, I have set my eyes on sampling  authentic Haiananese Chicken from ground zero. The city-state is a veritable foodie paradise, and as you can see from this post, I left with a happy tummy.

1. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken
This is what I went to Singapore for--the Hainanese Chicken. This is not just your ordinary chicken, as this was approved by Tony Bourdain no less. I lucked on my hotel, which is just a skip and a hop away from the Maxwell Hawker Center. My heart skipped  a beat when I saw the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stall, which proudly bannered Bourdain's likeness. For a little over P100 (sd 2.50), I was in heaven. The chicken was so soft,  flavorful, delicious, unforgettable. The chicken was so good on own its own you can do without the sauces. The rice was infused with so much flavor. The accompanying soup reminded me of good tinola.

Tip: when in doubt, pick the stall in the hawker center with the longest line. That's a good sign it serves good food.

Maxwell Food Center
1 Kadayanullar Street

2. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
pork ribs
chicken feet
fried dough strips
I didn't mind going solo in my first leisure out-of-the-country trip, but with a sizable Filipino population, I got quite a number of invitations to meet up. One was from a Singapore based advertising executive friend who, knowing my passion for good food, promised me good ole bah kut teh. Bak kut teh, Chinese for meat bone tea, is a soup made from simmering pork ribs for hours in herbs and spices. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh is a dining institution in Singapore. Their bak kuh teh is of the Teochew variant, which is light in color and uses more pepper and garlic. And how did I find it--the bak kut teh was flavorful and well-balanced. I love the pork and ribs and the fish bak kut teh

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
11 New Bridge Road

3. Hokkien Hae Mee (Hokkien Stir-Fried Prawn Noodles) 

Hokkien Mee is a fried noodle dish cooked in the Hokkien/Fujian style. Eating this took a little effort--I was still mastering using chopsticks, and this involved also the use of  Chinese soup spoon. But I enjoyed it-- a well-balanced, flavorful squid and shrimp noodle dish, both salty and spicy. Another friend introduced me to this dish, which we bought in a food court in Sentosa. 

4. Iced Jelly with Aloe Vera

Who knew aloe vera could be a very refreshing iced dessert, perfect for Singapore's warm weather? Scored this at Kopitiam food court at Clark Quay.

5. Le Chocolat Cafe's Layered Chocolate Cake
Just the right sweetness, and topped with gooseberry, my first taste of this exotic fruit--sweet and mildly tart. Crunchy sweeter base provided textural interest. Perfect with tea. Very pretty cake, as you can see. For one more pretty cake, go here

Le Chocolat Cafe
28 Ann Sinag Hill

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