Thursday, June 2

Kueh Pie Tee! I am coming home!

Did you read my sister's post on that fabulous Singaporean meal in London? OMG, it has caused much turbulence here in Charlotte. I have been craving Kueh Pie Tee, Satay, Beef Rendang, and all things Singaporean ever since and am deeply frustrated by my lack of options.

As a result, I am dragging my friends, Swiss Chocolate and Rhoshogolla, to Cuisine Malaya in Uptown Charlotte tomorrow for lunch where I am going to declare that I am Singaporean and that they better serve me some authentic Beef Rendang!  If not, they are going to be dealing with one grouchy and hungry Singaporean!

I also sent my mother an email this morning. My little family and I are going to Singapore to visit my parents at the end of the month, with our friend Kohlrabi and her little ones for our summer break. I will also be attending my 20-year reunion at RJ.... (wah lau, 20 years!).  My mother had already informed me that she will be putting together an Excel spreadsheet for our 7 days there so that we squeeze in as much as possible during our stay. You know, Monday - Singapore Zoo, Tuesday - Botanic Gardens, Wednesday - that big ferris wheel that looks like the London Eye, so on and so forth. "You sure you don't want to take Kohlrabi to the Night Safari?" "No need, Amma! Zoo enough already!" The email I sent my mother this morning was a request to add another column to that spreadsheet specifying what we will be having for lunch and dinner that week. Tuesday - Botanic Gardens plus Dhoby Ghaut Popiah on the way back, Friday - Hindu Temple plus Maxwell Road Food Center etc.

I realized something though - many of the places that were popular 20 years ago when I left Singapore are not there anymore. I mean, where does one go for seriously good Satay? Satay Club is no more! It was razed for the durian building (convention center?). Seriously good architecture though....but that could have been placed anywhere! Is the Hokkien Fried Prawn Mee at Newton Circus still good? Botanic Gardens hawker center has Mee Pok made by Chinese from mainland China. Do they really know how to make Mee Pok?

So, I have a request to all our Singaporean readers and any recent visitors. Can you please tell me where we should go for the best local food? Please send us your comments and we will add it to the main text below. That way others can benefit too. Please give us as much color as you like and a pseudonym for yourself, if you prefer.

The Best of the Best:

1. Mee Pok (Dr Tea Party's husband tells us it is Siglap...)
    PR: Basement of Sim Lim
    Gula Melaka: Lavendar St Hawker Center

2. Hokkien Friend Prawn Mee
    Gula Melaka: Chomp Chomp Hawker Center in Serangoon Gardens

3. Laksa (don't tell me Mandarin Hotel. I ain't going there!)
    Truffle: Goodwood

4. Satay
    Gula Melaka: hawker center next to Esplanade

5. Popiah

6. Kueh Pie Tee (Mrs Food Committee, thanks for organizing this for the RJ reunion! I'm looking forward to it!)
    Harabu House: Chilli Padi

7. Malay lunch spread

8. Oyster Omelete
    Truffle: East Coast Lagoon Center
    Gula Melaka: Newton Circus

9. Shui Kueh (SCGS had some seriously good Shui Kueh back in the day!)
     PR: New Tiong Bahru Market
     Going with My Gut: also Tiong Bahru Market!
     Harabu House: Ghim Moh Hawker Center

10. Roti Prata
      Truffle: Casuarina

That's it. 7 days and 10 dishes. Can we do it? Yes we can! Kohlrabi, please be prepared for this trip to revolve around food. Sorry, I am Singaporean lah!



I'm So Fancy said...

Oh I'm jealous! But alas, I can't help you here. Never been there. At least, not yet. :-)

Cinnamon and Truffle said...

Omg, what have I created? This is precisely why a journalist, Calvin Trillin, said Singaporeans are the most culinarily homesick people in the world. The 'where is the best' question often stirs up controversy, so I'm being brave by putting down my suggestions first. Here goes...

Ok, first of all, stay away from Newton Hawker Centre. I didn't find a single good thing the last time I was there. It's become a tourist attraction imho, where they show off 'king prawns' and 'sting ray' and charge people exorbitant prices. There was a story in the paper some years ago about some tourists having their bill (aka check) tweaked, and when they protested, some heavies came around.

Good chicken rice - Dian Dian at Maxwell Food Centre. Don't go to Mandarin - chef has changed.

Laksa - Marriott chef and concept have changed. We had good laksa at the High Tea at Goodwood. G introduced us.

Oyster Omelette - I like the one in the East Coast Lagoon centre. They have a photo of the guy with some famous Canto actor/singer. Might have been Andy Lau...

Roti Prata - I read on ieat that some place called Casuarina has been voted the best recently.

Good luck!


Cinnamon and Truffle said...

Also, I'd say Night Safari over the Zoo. More interesting, and less baking in the midday sun!


Going With My Gut said...

A few of my faves:

Laksa at Roxy Laksa stall, East Coast Lagoon (Satay here osso!)

Char Kway Teow at Zion Road

Shui Kueh at Tiong Bahru market

I've been told they've assembled quite a few old time all star hawkers under the Singapore Eye / Wheel. They even have really old school treats like ice ball! Haven't tried tho, but really want to go.

BTW I wrote a post sometime back about my fave places in SG to eat. It has a download+print pdf if you find it handy.

Enjoy your trip! And come eat with us in London sometime :-)


Gula Melaka...or Brown Sugar (as I have a vague recollection that the first might belong to one of the characters in your lovely blog) said...

I agree with Truffle and would definitely say Night Safari over day zoo anytime....not so hot and humid and actually quite beautiful and amazing.

I'm not sure how you are going to fit in all the food options into 7 days. I am usually home for 2 to 3 weeks and I don't ussually manage to fit it all in. The trick, I think, is to do breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and supper and to ignore the fact that you are full all the time!

Here are my food picks:

- kaya toast, soft boiled eggs (with soya sauce/ kicap, of course) and teh si - YaKun Kaya
- teh tarik at Arab Street
- mee pok from the hawker centre at Lavender Street
- Samy's Curry at Dempsey for lunch with a large lime juice to accompany the meal
- Chinese rojak
- samsui ginger chicken at the Soup Restaurant - this is essentially chicken rice with ginger wrapped in lettuce leaves - see
- la mian (i.e. handmade noodles, I like the spicy minced meat and mushrooms the best) at either Crystal Jade, a really good new-ish Chinese restaurant whose name escapes me, on the fourth floor of Ion Orchard or the basement of Centrepoint
- oyster omelette / or luak at the Newton Circus hawker centre (but Truffle I still think this is good there, together with the satay)
- seafood at East Coast - not to be missed, and the children can go for a bike ride along the sea
- satay is also good at the hawker centre next to the Esplanade
- Chomp Chomp (hawker centre) at Serangoon Gardens does a gerat hokkien mee and sugar cane juice with sour plum in it.
- Old Chang Kee curry puff
- the children must also be introduced to the likes of sago gula melaka, atap chee and bandung.

Isn't it amazing how the Singaporeans come to life when you start talking about food!

And of course don't forget to squeeze in time for the friends who haven't seen you in too long...

Harabu House said...

Is Shui Kueh the same as Chwee Kueh? If so, I had my weekly dose at Ghim Moh Hawker Center, near your old stomping grounds by the old RJ. Oh and Ghim Moh also has a great carrot cake shop. I only get the white carrot cake, which is ridiculously good, so i can't vouch for their black carrot cake, if you prefer that.

Cinnamon and Truffle said...

Wah, people really wake up when you talk about food huh. :)

I think the Chinese restaurant Gula Melaka is talking about in Ion Orchard is Taste Paradise? That's really good. They're going for the individually plated concept, with some nice combos (e.g., wasabi and mayo prawns).

You need to meet my bridge-playing friend J's flatmate. He really knows a lot about food. A lot.


sutapa said...

Oh... I absolutely loved today's lunch!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you for inputting your personal touch into every meal.

I'm So Fancy said...

By the way, come by for a visit. You've been awarded...xx

Cinnamon and Truffle said...

Thank you, all!

Fancy, thank you for the award!

Wen, that's a really good idea! Truffle and I are figuring out a plan....


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