A Taste of Singapore

September 1, 2017

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Here’s the deal: Singapore is full of incredible, flavor-packed meals, but not a one of these tasty plates is called Singapore street noodles. Don’t fret, and instead try one of our suggestions in order to fill your belly with something authentic and delicious.

You’ll probably hear a lot of chatter about chili crab (mud crabs stir-fried in a tomato and chili sauce), but we think the savory black pepper variety is where it’s at. No matter your preference, visit Eng Seng Restaurant, a fantastic, no-frills crab shack. Take heed that you’ll need either a reservation or to be in line by 5:30pm to have any chance of nabbing a crab. Despite that, locals swear by it as the crustaceans here are always meaty and freshly caught.

Tiong Bahru Pau. Image by Bernie Baskin.

Looking to try laksa (spicy seafood noodle soup)? Then head to Sungei Road Laksa. It may look modest, but don’t be shocked if there’s a queue. The mouthwatering coconut milk-based broth is spiced with the likes of garlic, star anise, coriander, lemongrass, shrimp paste, turmeric, shallots and dried red chilies, before vermicelli noodles, sliced fishcake and fresh cockles are added to the appetizing mix. At less than SG$5 (US$3.50) a pop, this bowl of savory goodness is hard to beat.

Though pau (steamed buns with a variety of fillings) are a dime a dozen in The Lion City, you’ll be hard-pressed to find buns more tender, airy and toothsome than those plated up at family-run Tiong Bahru Pau. Their char siew (barbecue pork) buns have an outer skin that melts so quickly in the mouth, it melts your heart.

Ah Chew Desserts. Image by Bernie Baskin.

Chicken rice is the subject of much debate — who serves the best, whether or not the chicken should be steamed or roasted, bone-in or boneless — but at Yet Con Chicken Rice (where the bill is calculated using an abacus. For real.) all arguments cease. The succulent, steamed chicken pairs wonderfully with the garlic chili, and the aromatic rice — boiled in chicken broth with ginger and shallots — is divine.

When it comes to local sweets, you’ll want to visit Ah Chew Desserts. Pop by their original location in Bugis for mango sago (a tropical palm starch) with pomelo or the fresh milk steamed egg white, a creamy custard that you can order plain or topped with a crumbled chocolate cookie. Two, please.

For more great insider recommendations, pick up The HUNT Guides on gatehousepublishing.com.

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