My latest trip to Singapore was a food journey. Again the city state has proven that it is indeed the melting pot of cultures. Here are just some great pictures to share from a great week that was.
Hawker Chan in Chinatown is a must. Chan Hong Men’s dishes belonged to the street food classification in Singapore, one that’s popularly known as hawker. But in 2016, Chan earned one star-Michelin – to become the first hawker’s food to earn the a star.
Now Chan has branched out to the streets of London, and I am not sure where else. Maybe, there is one in the Philippines. The roast chicken and pork with noodles which I ate as a treat from my IT colleague Wilson Chua and wife is simply superlative. Wilson, who’s now based in Singapore, helped start the ICT advocacy in Dagupan and now he writes for Manila Bulletin. I had no choice but the come back again the following day for another helping, this time, with rice.
I also tried their automated ordering system at the door, and well, it took me around half an hour to wait for my number to be called amidst a long line of people, skipping the system to hit the old-fashioned queue.
Then there is the famous bakuteh of Song Fa, I have been dying to taste again. I was enjoined to dinner by Ivan Lau and wife Elvie. Ivan was an NUS student who went to Negros Occidental, particularly Bago, to found Bagosphere. Today it is one of the most inspiring social enterprises in the Philippines that help young people get the skills to land a job in the ICT industry. Aside from the bakuteh, I fell in love with the pork trotters in soy sauce and these crunchy breads. Over-all, it was a lovely dinner.
Of course, I would now miss the famous Din Tai Fung of Taiwan. Michelin star awarded Din Tai Fung is one of the world’s Top 10 Best Restaurants by The New York Times.
I was craving of Xiao Long Bao (steamed dumplings). And this time I ordered the one with truffle. I also got the bun with yam. And it was just so yummy! I ate here alone, to really savor each and every dumpling which by the way is around a 100 Php each. There’s an always full to the brim branch at Suntec City, where you can wifi all you want – free!
Then a buffet treat at the Ellenborough Market Cafe near the Swissotel from a lovely Singaporean entrepreneur, Michelle Leong, was also unforgettable. The spread was enormous, with giant shrimps and blue crabs. But the one I really enjoyed was what Michelle called the Perenakan cuisine version of Filipino lumpia. It was unbelievably yummy, I had to eat around six. The last dish I picked was a soup with meat balls that are so juicy and tasty.
I did not take a picture of the durian pate (durian fruit reduced to a paste) – absolutely delicious. I also had the experience of watching fresh noodles being made. It was an amazing gastronomic night topped with a nice walk along Clark Quay.
Other than these places, I forgot the exact names but I kind of scoured the whole Suntec City for food and here are some more gorgeous pictures. The fresh salad bowl is like a “pick your own ingredient thing” and I just love the tofu, the baby mushrooms, and the avocado paste. The lamb was a plus and guess what the whole fresh salad dish was only around 300 Php. I ate with Kim, a fellow AVPN-Asia policy Forum Fellow from Korea.
Then I stumbled upon a nice Korean restaurant where I was nicely enticed by a Filipino waiter to dine. Since I love Korean fried chicken, I ordered one of three different flavors, thinking they were small. But oh my, they were bigger than my hands. I also got the usual Chap Jae or glass noodle, and as usual, always a winner. Kimchi and cold tea were unlimited.
Finally, the Chirashi Don. I will never forget this beautiful Japanese ensemble from a small corner, again in the second floor of Suntec mall.
In between these great finds, I munched on the famous Salted Egg Potato Chips which I bought from a convenience store and stretched for a whole week.
Frankly, I cannot remember the dishes I ate in the hotel breakfast buffet or at the four-day conference. Those ones I ate to survive. These ones I shared – I ate to understand why Singapore is food. The best food in Asia are all here.