The next, and final stop on the SE Asia circuit was the Country/State of Singapore. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the country as a whole, but one thing that kept floating to the top, the food. I had 2-3 days to experience Singapore, and that’s exactly what I did, mainly through taste, but that’s the most fun part of traveling for me. Trying new food!
Singpaore is known for it’s vast number of Hawker Markerts. These came to exist well before the Food Truck craze took over America. Generally a vendor will specialize in one or two items and those are the items you should get. Also look for the ones with the longest lines, it’s generally worth the wait. One vendor in particular got some praise from Anthony Bourdain, so I had to make it my #1 stop on the Hawker Market checklist. Luckily it was also 5 minutes from my hostel. That dish in particular was, hainanese chicken rice from Tian Tian in the Maxwell Food Centre. The rice is the star of the show here, while the chicken comes in a gooey/gelatinous form with little taste. While it was good to try, it’s not anything worth coming back to, unless i needed a quick meal.ant
The next stop was to Little India to take a crack at what they had to offer me. The meal was decent, but i had a sneaking suspicions I might get sick, just because the sanitary conditions didn’t look nearly as good as the other stalls. But i finished and survived, and then finished up with a savory snack. For better or worse it was a prawn donut and it was quite good.
There were two items however outside of the hawker markets that blew my mind.
Flavored Xiao Long Bao from Paradise Dynasty and Baked Pork Buns from Tim Ho Wan. While I’ve had the simple versions of each, and they are usually my favorite any day of the week, the additions to the food here took it to another level. The foie gras and the black truffle dumplings were probably my favorite, and I think I could eat those pork buns every day. What they did differently was sprinkle sugar on the top of the bun, and made it more of a sugar donut with bbq pork inside. Typically waiting times at Tim Ho Wan can last for a couple of hours, so I was happy to take-away 4 buns in under 5 minutes.
Lastly was my visit to Gluttons Bay, where I procured some Char See Kwoy.
It was pretty solid, a little heavy, but overall a good dish, definitely much better than the Chicken Rice.
Stay tuned for what I thought about Singpoare, if food wasn’t part of the equation.