Visiting Singapore soon? Living in Singapore, but feeling a little list-less about Singapore food?
If so, now you can have mine. List of Singapore eats, that is.
It was the impending visits of 2 fellow food bloggers to my native food-mad country that prodded me to commit my list of favourite Singapore eats to paper.
Once the word got out, a bunch of friends from home put their hands up for a copy of the list as well. My ego was elated. Then it quickly deflated into a cesspool of anxiety just as I hit the "send" button.
The thing is, arguing about food is the great Singapore pastime. About 95% of all conversations between Singaporeans involve arguments about where the best place is to eat <insert any kind of food>. Another 3% involves discussing logistics to conduct a once-and-for-all taste test of competing food locations in question. Sometimes flights are involved. This is really just to set a new location to continue the argument. The last 2% is when we talk about everything else. Politics, sex, etc. (When was the last time you read a news report about us Singaporeans being prolific about politics or sex?)
Our unofficial national anthemn is "Anywhere you can eat, I can eat better".
Really. Even if the topic at hand is about that time you ate ... let's say... hákarl (Icelandic fermented shark) and how foul it tasted, the Singaporean you're having the conversation with will probably say something like, "Orh, that's because you haven't tried the hákarl at this hawker centre in Balestier. Yah, started by this Icelandic guy who married a Singaporean girl. Buries the shark at some secret spot on East Coast Park, dries it in his own HDB flat. Serves it with sambal. Daaaaamn chow (smelly) but daaaaaamn tok kong (superb) man!"
So when I sent out my list, I fully expected a long multi-directional tirade of "Eh why isn't <insert best place in the universe> for <insert any kind of food> on your list? CHEH!"
But they were gracious. Some said thank you. Some nodded. Some even sent the list on to their friends with kind words. Some at the very least said nothing. One friend bravely bore the bad news that my favourite prata place had shut down, but there was no hint of "hah, beat you to the food scoop!" malice in his email.
So, before they change their minds, I'm riding the wave of goodwill and sharing my list with you all. The easy-to-print list is downloadable at the bottom of the post. Here are a few photo teasers along the way.
Make laksa not war. Roxy Laksa at East Coast Lagoon stayed out of Singapore's bitter "laksa wars", quietly keeping its gravy oh so lemak (rich) and its cockles oh so bloody.
Feeling crabby? Red House is where I get that sort of mood sorted out. I've tried their chili crab, black pepper crab and (more recently) salted egg crab and I love them all.
Got the late night muchies? Hop over to Geylang Lorong 9 for frog porridge, beef kway teow, oyster omelette and possibly other late night snacks best discussed on some other blog.
With any luck, my star chef Damian D'Silva will continue to serve up almost-lost-to-history dishes such as Peranakan-style prawns and balembeng (from his mother's tree, apparently!) at his new digs, Soul Kitchen at Singapore's National Museum.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, but believe it or not, there is such as thing as free steak sandwiches, and half-price martinis at Mortons Bar. The cuisine may not be Singaporean, but the stubborn instinct to spread the news about a bargain certainly is!
I hope you enjoy the list. If you do download it, or decide you want to share it with others, I'd be delighted. I just ask that you drop me a note here or cc me on the outgoing email. This is just so I get some sense of where the list spreads to, and also potentially connect with a few new fellow foodies.
It'll also make it much easier for your friends to direct their "you should have included this much better eating place" tirade.