A Singapore food crawl

11 Jul

During my recent trip to Singapore I was able to stay over the weekend and lucked out that one of my colleagues was arranging a food tour for the newcomers to the office.  I readily tagged along on their adventure to sample local specialties.

A word of warning, I did not take any photos – not a one!  I don’t know if it was the jet lag or the heat or I was just tired of whipping out my camera, but I have not one visual for this post.

My colleague is a local who knows his food and so he took about 10 of us to the neighborhood where he grew up on Singapore’s east side.  I had never been out of the central business district, so that in itself was an adventure.  We spent the entire afternoon from 2pm to 8pm sampling.  His word of advice was not to eat breakfast or lunch before we started!

At each restaurant we sampled a different type of food.  The first was luscious pork barbecue and pork belly – the Chinese influence coming through clearly.  It was very good, but it was also the dish I was most familiar with.

The second stop, just across the street and down a block was famous for laksa.  From my point of view there are as many types of laksa as there are cooks.  This laksa was heavy on the coconut milk and a wonderful mix of seafood.  It was meant for sharing because the noodles were precut so that you could eat it with a spoon.  We gobbled down several bowls and started to comment that we were feeling full.

Crossing the same street we then approached a famous chicken rice restaurant.  We stuffed ourselves with perfectly poached chicken and the delicately prepared rice.  In addition there was deep fried tofu cubes with a spicy sauce.  Very, very good and something I would eat again if I ever come across them.

Now, really feeling full, we pushed on to a place with a more Malaysian feel.  They had the sweets out front including pandan candy which was my favorite.  I first had pandan tea in Thailand several years ago and it is a unique flavor that I enjoy.

Inside we sampled the popiah – kind of like a vegetarian sandwich or a wrap.  They also had small fried cups filled with veggies that reminded me of mini taco bowls, just big enough for two or three bites.  All fresh and flavorful and something I had never heard of.

By this point we were all slightly green and decided we needed some liquid refreshment.  Tucking ourselves into a small bar just as it opened we drank beer and solved the world’s problems until people started drifting away.

I was the only one going back to the central city as that was where my hotel was, so my colleagues told me which bus to get on and I rode back along the waterfront, people watching until I saw my stop.

It was a perfect afternoon, a combination of friends and food, trying new things and seeing places beyond the tourist view.  Everything aligned and I feel lucky to have gone on my Singapore food crawl.

Have you tasted local flavor before like this?  Who was your guide?  Where were you?  It felt a little like the Taste of Chicago for those of you who have ever been to that, but more laid back, an everyday event instead of one time a year.

Where would you take someone on a food crawl in your hometown?

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2 Responses to “A Singapore food crawl”

  1. expatlingo July 12, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    What a great afternoon! Sounds delicious.

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