FOOD DIARY | Singapore

This is such an overdue post, but better late than never right? I spent four days in Singapore back in the end of January, it was my first time at a completely solo trip, and I am so glad that I went! Although four days isn’t a long time, it was enough for me to fall in love with the vibrant city. 
The multi-faceted culture, the friendliness of its people, the humid weather, the beautiful sceneries, the all-so-famous Orchard Road (where all my money went), and most importantly, the food, oh the food, I could literally go on for days. 
I managed to hit up five hawker centres, and ticked off almost everything on the list that my friend (ily Coco) gave me. Not a bad effort I reckon, considering the difficulty to order for one person at times.
So, without further ado, here is the compilation of my four days of food-ventures in Singapore! I’ll try give a short review and details of the restaurant if I remember, if not then… I’M SORRY PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME LOL 😦
Nameless Restaurant #1

My first meal in Singapore! Congee with stewed beancurd and pork belly. I can’t remember the name of this restaurant but it was right across the street from the hostel I stayed at, The Hive Hostel (convenient location, excellent service, would recommend).

Tim Ho Wan
http://www.timhowan.com/
68 Orchard Road
#01-29A
Plaza Singapura
Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6251 2000

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork

YES, SO MUCH YES. I cannot wait for Tim Ho Wan to open in Melbourne, legit so excited!

Vermicelli Roll stuffed with Pig’s Liver
Literally cannot find this on any menu?!
Steamed Egg Cake

Super fluffy and light!

Mango Sago Pomelo

Nameless Restaurant #2

Left: Salt Baked Chicken
Right: Iced Milo

This was again, opposite my hostel. I went here for dinner and the chicken was really nice and moist, and the rice was nice and fluffy! The iced milo was a must, since the humidity is so real in Singapore at all hours of the day.

Food Strip near Chinatown

Oyster Omelette

Maxwell Road Hawker Centre
1 Kadayanallur St
Singapore 069184

Left: Sugar Cane Juice
Right: Hainanese Chicken Rice from Tian Tian

Said to be the best Hainese Chicken Rice in Singapore, of course I had to try it for myself. It was indeed, amazeballz. Seriously, the chicken was tender and flavoursome, but what really made it stand out for me was the rice. The intensity of the chicken stock flavour was insane, I could seriously eat bowls of the rice on its own.

Oh yeh, $1.50 sugar cane juice, what’s not to love?

Ice-cream cart on Orchard Road #1

Durian Ice-cream Sandwich

Surprisingly, I didn’t see a lot of ice-cream carts around Singapore, so when I did spot one on Orchard I jumped at the chance. Such a novelty, but was also great for cooling me down!

Forty Hands
http://www.40handscoffee.com/
78 Yong Siak Street
#01-12
Singapore 163078
Tel: +65 6225 8545

Left: Truffle Fries
Right: Iced Mocha

After a stroll in Tiong Bahru (Books Actually is hands down the cutest book store I’ve ever been to!), I walked in 40 Hands for an afternoon treat. Although no truffle can be seen on the fries, the smell was super strong, and the fries were crispy, with a succinct truffle flavour! The iced mocha was less memorable, but still a necessity considering the weather haha.

Makansutra Glutton’s Bay
http://www.makansutra.com/
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-15
Singapore 039802
Tel: +65 6336 7025

Left: Fried Mantou
Right: Chilli Crab

You can’t say you’ve been to Singapore until you’ve had chilli crab, or so I’ve been told. I thought it would be an impossible task for me though, since there was no way that I could finish an entire mud crab on my own. But luckily, after watching the light and water show at Marina Bay Sands, I stumbled upon Makansutra Glutton’s Bay, and there was a stall that served single portion chilli crab! It was sweet and spicy, and definitely left me craving for chilli crab from time to time since I’ve been back.

Food Court in Ion (?)

Hokkien Mee

Dunkin’ Donuts

Peanut Donut (?)

Got this because I always see Dunkin’ Donuts in American Vloggers’ videos, but it was pretty average I gotta say.

Tsuru Koshi Udon in Takashimaya Basement Japanese Food Court
391 Orchard Road
Takashimaya Shopping Centre Food Hall

Plain Udon

Yonehachi in Takashimaya Basement Japanese Food Court
391 Orchard Road
Takashimaya Shopping Centre Food Hall

One of the sets with the grilled fish and scallop rice

Although pretty, this was not very substantial! There are plenty of choices in the food court in Takashimaya, and I probably would not recommend this one.

Ice-cream cart on Orchard Road #2

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in Bread

I wanted one everyday, but could only find these carts on Orchard Road 😦

Lau Pa Sat/Telok Ayer Market
http://www.yoursingapore.com/en_au/see-do-singapore/architecture/historical/lau-pa-sat.html
18 Raffles Quay
Singapore 048582

Satay Combo

Lau Pa Sat is famous for their satay, so that’s what I went there for! I got the combo that came with chicken, beef, and prawn satay sticks. The chicken was very tender, beef was slightly on the drier end of things, but the prawns were my favourite! I wish we had satay prawns here in Melbourne.

Chin Mee Chin Confectionary
204 E Coast Rd
Singapore 428903
Tel: +65 6345 0419

Clockwise: Kaya Toast, Custard Tart and Sausage Puff, Kopi, Soft Boiled Eggs
Chin Mee Chin was highly recommended to me by one of my Singaporean friends (thanks Kim!) for being one of the last few remaining old school kopitiams in Singapore. So before I ventured out to Sentosa on my third day, I headed off here for some good ol’ Singaporean brunch. 
Seriously, I need more kaya in my life, it’s essentially a coconut egg jam, but the taste is super unique and I loved it from the first bite! Although kaya jam was also offered in my hostel, it was nothing compared to this. I have tried to recreate soft boiled eggs sooooooo many times since I came back, because I bought a tub of kaya from Chin Mee Chin and really wanted some soft boiled eggs to go with the toast, but I’ve failed every time 😦
Service was probably the only downside of Chin Mee Chin, the toast was served 10 minutes after the eggs, tbh I think the lady just forgot about my order.
Food Court in Sentosa
Lor Bak

Din Tai Fung
http://www.dintaifung.com.sg/
Resorts World Sentosa
26 Sentosa Gateway
#01-217
Singapore 098138
Tel: +65 6686 3565

Steamed Pork Dumplings

I saw a Din Tai Fung after I came out of S.E.A Aquarium in Sentosa, and decided to finally pay it a visit. It was my first time at Din Tai Fung, and I’m so glad I went! The restaurant was pretty much empty at around 3pm, compared to the hour long waits at the Melbourne one – I know which one’s my pick haha. The signature XLBs were delicious, the skin was thin and translucent, and there was plenty of soup to be slurped up.

Steamed Truffle and Pork Dumplings

I also tried the truffle and pork dumplings ’cause, well, truffle, need I say more?

Steamed Truffle and Pork Dumplings

The truffle can be seen and tasted, and adds quite a strong taste to the dumplings.

Steamed Chilli Crab and Pork Buns

And well, when in Singapore, order anything related to chilli crab right? The skin of the bun was light and fluffy, and the folds replicated the folds in the XLB.

Steamed Chilli Crab and Pork Buns

There was plenty of crab meat in the filling, giving the bun a seafood-y crustacean-y taste.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre
20 Kensington Park Rd (Serangoon Gardens)
Singapore 557269

Fried Carrot Cake (White)

Chomp Chomp Food Centre is often said to be the best hawker centre in Singapore, I don’t know if it’s deserving of that title, since everything I ate in Singapore was above par, but it definitely left an impression! I started off with some fried carrot cake, and this was what caused me to seek out Bert’s Cafe.

BBQ Stingray with Sambal

This was probably one of my favourite dishes in Singapore! I’ve never had stingray before, and this exceeded my expectations by far! The meat was perfectly cooked, and there was ample amount of sambal on top to make the fish super tasty.

Clockwise: Sugarcane Juice, Gong Gong, Chicken Wings

I moved seats so people wouldn’t judge me for eating more HAHAHA. More sugarcane juice ’cause that’s pretty much a requirement. The gong gongs were recommended to me by Kim again, but I wasn’t a fan of these! They tasted kind of funky, but not in a good way. The dollar chicken wings are also quite famous, and they had a sweet glazing, and were fun to nibble on!

Tekka Centre
665 Buffalo Rd
210665 Singapore

Top: Coconut
Bottom: Beef Briyani

I really wanted to try the chicken briyani, but I was so out of it when I ordered that I got the beef one instead 😦 It was still good though! And the fresh coconut water was also a great thirst quencher.

Toast Box
http://www.toastbox.com.sg/

Clockwise: Soft boiled eggs, kopi, kaya toast

I went to a shopping centre close to my hostel on the last day to try out the curry puffs, and saw Toast Box on the way. I couldn’t say no to one last piece of kaya toast, but these were super dry and yeh, tainted my memory a little unfortunately.

Old Chang Kee
http://www.oldchangkee.com/index.htm

When my friend recommended Old Chang Kee to me I didn’t realise they would be a franchise, but turns out they originated back in 1956, and has since had its shopfronts sprawled all across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and they even have a store in Perth out of all places in Australia!

Chilli Crab’O

The pastry of the curry puffs were perfectly flaky without being dry, and the chilli crab mixture consisted mainly of seafood sticks, and was a mellower version of other chilli crab dishes I tried.

Chicken and Mushroom’O

The chicken and mushroom filling reminded me of a pie, and was very creamy and subdued in comparison to the chill crab curry puff.

Nameless Restaurant #3

Roti Praha?

For my last meal, I asked for recommendations from the girl at the hostel, who was super friendly and nice throughout my entire stay. She told me to get the banana roti from this place “down the road”, so off I went. But I was told that they didn’t have time to make the banana roti or something? Since I was there already I just picked something else off the menu and took it back to the hostel to eat. The food was unmemorable, I just remember we kept on laughing at the most random things and before you know it, it was time for me to take a cab to the airport!

I took a subject this semester in uni that delved into Chinese settlers culture abroad, and we spent a lesson discussing Singaporean culture and lifestyle. Something that my lecturer said really stuck with me, “Singaporeans are very fluid in accepting other people’s cultures, and can blend in easily in any country. They don’t try to enforce their culture onto anyone else, with the exception of their food maybe.”

Singapore certainly left an impression on me, and I can’t wait to visit it again in the near future! On top of the amazing city itself, Changi Airport is perhaps the best airport I’ve ever been to, I might even purposely book flights that have a long layover time in Singapore just to explore haha!

Dessert Story

Dessert Story serves up a range of Taiwanese desserts, and has opened up several stores in Melbourne over the years. My friend and I popped into the one on Swanston Street for some quick dessert after it started pouring one night.

Coconut Colada with Aloe Vera and Diced Mango – $5.90

I was really thirsty and decided to get a drink, this was actually the first time I’ve tried a drink from Dessert Story. The coconut colada had a distinctive coconut taste, and the aloe vera and diced mango both added some textual interest to the drink. I do wish that the colada itself was a bit thinner in consistency though, so that it would be easier to drink through the straw.

Salty Crispy Popcorn Chicken (Spicy) – $6.80

Nothing spectacular about these popcorn chicken, but they were still quite nice to eat regardless. It wasn’t really spicy though, more chilli powder please!

Red Bean Milk Crushed Ice – $8.90

Red bean syrup and condensed milk were poured over a tall pile of crushed ice, and there was plenty of red beans at the bottom too. The ice can get hard sometimes, which is why I’ve always preferred the snow ice over regular crushed ice. The sweetness of the condensed milk and red bean was not overwhelming, and it was a nice combination of flavours.

Dessert Story is a place that serves up a selection of decent renditions of Taiwanese desserts, I always know exactly what to expect when I come in, and that reassurance is probably one of the main reasons that I return to Dessert Story regularly.

How to get here:
Dessert Story is located on Swanston Street, 5 minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

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Satu Produk Durian

Satu Produk Durian is a new Asian styled dessert place in Chinatown. It’s pretty easy to miss, since there’s no obvious signs or anything, but it was actually pretty busy when we visited on a weekday night.

Durian Mille Crepe – $6.80 

Durian crepe cake? Yes, please! There was too much cream for my liking however, which weakened the durian flavour.

Durian Balls in Iced Milk (Part of Meal 3) – $10.80 

The durian balls in iced milk may sound strange on paper, but it was hands down our favourite of the night. It was literally durian chunks in cold milk, with slices of frozen milk too, and who knew that durian would taste so good with milk? I guess durian milkshake is a thing for a reason. The cold milk stopped the durian from being too rich, and added a refreshing touch.

Durian Pancake (Part of Meal 3) – $10.80

The durian pancake was part of a set meal with the durian balls in iced milk, and it’s tinyyyyy, photos just don’t show the proportion properly.

This was pretty much the durian mille crepe in a different form, but had a little more durian once you split open the two halves.

Satu Produk Durian originated from Macau, and has a number of franchises in China already, this was its first Australian location. If you like durian, definitely come and try out some desserts, since it’s something that’s not easily accessible as of now.

How to get here:
Satu Produk Durian is located on the Ground Floor of Mid City Arcade in Chinatown, two blocks down from Melbourne Central.

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Nine Taiwanese Dessert House

Straying away from the usual choice of Dessert House, we ventured out to Nine Taiwanese Dessert House after our meal at Jimmy Grants one night.

Soy Tofu No.5 – $7.70

The taro and sweet balls were nice and chewy, but the mashed taro was a little lumpy. The soy tofu was very smooth, although it was a little bland because the the soup itself lacked flavour.

Mango Silk Tofu Pudding – $7.50

This icy cold dessert went down a treat in the long gone Summer nights. Mixing the mango through the sugar syrup definitely elevates the silk tofu to the next level.

Sago No. 4 – $7.00

On the photo shown on the menu there was fresh mango on top of the sago, and we were quite disappointed when the mango wasn’t there. Regardless, the sago in coconut milk was quite pleasant and refreshing, and the mango coulis of some sort was a nice extra touch.

Nine Taiwanese Dessert House was not all that memorable, but I’m glad at least I gave it a go I guess. Oh yeh, the floor’s super slanted inside the restaurant which weirded me out a little.

How to get there:
Nine Taiwanese Dessert House is located on Swanston Street, 5 minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Nine Taiwanese dessert house on Urbanspoon

Straits Cafe

Straits Cafe has been a family favourite for years. It may not look like much from the outside, but it serves up some of the best Malaysian food in Melbourne.
Sar Hor Fun – $12.00

Best Sar Hor Fun in Melbourne, enough said haha. But seriously, the egg sauce on top is full of flavour, and I loveeee the tiny pieces of crispy pork fat (it’s not crackling, since it’s got no skin just the fat) and the pickled jalapeño cut through the richness of the sauce perfectly, I always ask for extra!

Sar Hor Fun – $12.00

Underneath that amazing sauce, the hor fun has ample amount of wok hei – omnomnom, with a range of the usual accompaniments – chicken, bok choi, fish cake, prawn, calamari, I can eat this all day everyday.

Straits offers a simple menu, but everything we’ve tried has been delicious! That’s when I’m able to stray away from the Sar Hor Fun LOL. Definitely a hidden gem on Stud Road!

How to get there:
Straits Cafe is located at the Studfield Shopping Centre on Stud Road, catch the bus 664 and get off at Studfield Shopping Centre/Stud Road, or alternatively, catch 737 and get off at Stud Road/Coleman Road, both bus stops are less than 5 minutes walk away from the restaurant.

Straits Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Waya

How quaint is the little water tap?

There are quite a few Japanese restaurants popping out in Glen Waverley, I’ve heard great things about Waya from a couple of friends, and decided it was time for me to try it out.

Panoramic ’cause that’s how much we ordered LOL

Waya had a nice selection of sushi, sashimi, snacks, bentos and ramen, the long menu meant that we literally took half an hour deciding what to order, because we wanted to try a little bit of everything.

Waya Sushi | 4 California rolls, 2 grilled salmon nigiri, 1 prawn nigiri, 1 tamago nigiri – $12.50
One of my friends really wanted some California rolls, but instead of ordering a whole plate of that, we decided to order a nice platter that gave us a selection of several sushis and nigiris. The standout was the grilled salmon nigiri for me, the salmon was nicely blow-torched, with a little bit of sweet soy drizzled on top.
Waya Maki | Inside out rolls with salmon, cucumber and avocado topped with tobiko and spicy sauce | $12.50
I love tobiko, they have such an unique texture, and added a lot to these rolls. The salmon didn’t taste too fresh though, but once doused in soy and wasabi, it was barely noticeable.
Wafu Salad | Mixed vegetables with tomato, cucumber, onion, corn served with special Japanese sesame sauce – $7
To counter-balance all the fried food we ordered, we decided to get one salad at least. The sesame dressing didn’t have a strong sesame flavour, which was a shame. Although it was not stated on the menu, most of the bowl was filled with shredded cabbage. The salad was pretty average, but more dressing definitely would’ve helped. Oh yeh, fun fact of the day – apparently corns don’t get digested at all.
Takoyaki | Deep fried octopus balls with special sauce and mayonnaise, topped with boniko flakes – $6.50
There was certainly a lot of boniko with the takoyaki, it fascinated me everytime when the flakes curl up due to the heat. The takoyaki that were hidden underneath were quite tasty, with plenty of octopus pieces.
Seafood Nuggets | Deep fried scallops served with mayonnaise – $8
After seeing seafood nuggets on the menu, I thought it would be fried crab stick or something, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were actually scallops that has been deep fried, with a crumbly batter! The scallops were plump and juicy, and paired perfectly with the kewpie.
Chicken Teriyaki Bento – $13.80
We decided to order a bento as well, ’cause you know, we need more food. The bento was served with teriyaki chicken, two pieces of califonia rolls, tamago, seaweed salad, yakito, and a salad. The teriyaki chicken was average, tasted pretty similar to one that you could get from the food court to me, and the yakitori had a similar sauce to the teriyaki chicken, but it was a lot drier, probably our own fault for eating it last haha.
Waya
The eating experience at Waya was quite pleasant overall, they served up some nice dishes, and the booths towards the back of the restaurant felt quite secluded and gave us some privacy to laugh at stupid things without disturbing the other customers (or so we thought). It’s not authentic by all means, but then again, I haven’t visited Japan, so my expectations aren’t that high, yet.

Also, just a side note. UNAGI.

How to get there:
Waya is on Kingsway, a couple doors down from Century City Walk, which is 5 minutes walk away from Glen Waverley Station

Waya Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ajisen Ramen

The first time I ever had Ajisen Ramen was in Hong Kong International Airport back in 2009, I remember it so vividly LOL, not the actual food, but just how hot and stuffy it was in the airport, and why the hell did I choose to eat a big hot bowl of ramen?!

Memories aside, I’ve tried out the Ajisen Ramen in Melbourne Central. We were at Glen Waverley one afternoon, none of us felt like Chinese food, but we still wanted to keep it reasonably cheap, so we went for Ajisen Ramen.

Tonkatsu Ramen | Ramen served with deep fried pork. egg, and vegetables – $12.50

Tonkatsu Ramen | Ramen served with deep fried pork, egg and vegetables

The service at Ajisen Ramen was pretty minimal, but the food came out real fast. The tonkatsu was decent, how can anything deep fried in batter not be? The pork was a bit dry, but once soaked in the soup it was all good. I hate that they put cabbage in this though, it just taste so bland, because it was probably just blanched in some water and dumped in the soup. The ramen itself was alright, the noodle a litter over-cooked, and the broth on the salty side, but strong with the pork flavour.

Spicy Miso Ramen | Ramen served with spicy meat, egg & vegetables in miso broth – $11.50

Spicy Miso Ramen | Ramen served with spicy meat, egg & vegetables in miso broth – $11.50

This didn’t taste that spicy when I first had some, but the more I ate, the spicier it got. The miso broth had a much milder flavour in comparison to the tonkotsu broth that the other ramen was served in. I like the vegetables in this ramen a lot better, shredded seaweed and bean shoot, there were still some cabbage but I just ignored those.

Nasu Dengaku | Deep fried eggplant served with miso sauce – $6.50

I don’t think the eggplant was deep fried, probably just grilled. Nonetheless, it had a silky texture, and paired perfectly with the miso sauce.

Ajisen Ramen in Glen Waverley was exactly what I expected, authentic by no means, but still manages to offer some decent renditions of Japanese for a reasonable price. When I can’t be bothered to travel far for a bowl of ramen, I’ll be happy to hit up Ajisen Ramen

How to get there:
Ajisen Ramen is located next to Century City Walk, a short 5 minutes walk from Glen Waverley Station.

Ajisen Ramen on Urbanspoon