Eating My Way Through Singapore

I was really excited for the Singapore leg of my trip for two reasons. First, my friend Erin is obsessed with Singapore having been there several times to visit her parents who lived there for a few years. From all of her pictures and talk of warm weather, food, and exotic fruits, it just seemed like a place I’d like to go. The second reason I was really excited for Singapore was that my friend Kate, who I studied abroad with in Italy ten years ago and haven’t seen since (!), lives there with her husband Rob. So not only were we going to get to catch up, but they offered to host me in their swanky condo.

kat and rob at lau pa sat

Kate and Rob at Lau Pa Sat

Singapore pool-1 The swanky condo pool (which I managed to swim in every day that I was in Singapore).

Some people weren’t as excited for me that I was going to Singapore. It’s just a big, modern city. Maybe this is what they had in mind  . . .

typical singapore

Well, yes, that’s Singapore, but there’s so much more than just tall, shiny buildings and clean, organized streets. I think this picture starts to give you and idea of the different parts that make up Singapore . . .

singapore contrasts There are skyscrapers, yes, but there’s lots of character too.

I turned to Erin (and her parents) for ideas on what to do and eat in Singapore. They responded with quite the list of things to EAT but nothing to SEE. When I asked, Well, what should I do? they responded with, Just go eat in all those places and that will pretty much cover all of Singapore! Okaayy then!

With Erin’s oh-my-god list of things to eat in hand, I set out each morning (after coffee on the balcony and a swim in the pool, of course) to see and eat my way through Singapore in her footsteps.

mosque street

One of Erin’s recs was on Mosque Street in Chinatown (Bei Fang) but I passed that by for Lan Zhou La Mian a street away. I knew I was in the right place when I recognized the guy prepping food just like in Erin’s picture on Flickr. Sadly he was making dumplings and not noodles, but it still tasted great.

I also made it to Alaturka in the Arab section of town where Erin recommended the Beyti Kebab. Completely different from anything you would find in Beirut but that was totally fine by me.

singapore arab street“Arab Street” in Singapore

Kate helped me get to my next foodie destination which was the East Coast Seafood Centre. It was not too far from her house and we got to ride on her Vespa, aptly named “Donatella.” On Kate’s recommendation we both had Laksa and then shared some satay.

singapore--laksa @ east coast seafoodLaksa–a coconut curry soup with noodles (in this case with lots of seafood).

Kate and Rob also helped me get to Lau Pa Sat one night. Rob did all the ordering and we all did the eating.

Lau Pa Sat-1

Erin wasn’t the only one helping me eat my way through Singapore. I had the chance to meet up with Nikki (aka @BeirutiBrit) who used to live in Beirut but currently lives in Singapore. We decided to meet in Chinatown and eat at the hawker center there. Again, I let her do the ordering and she came up with a nice sampling of things for me to try. (My only request was fried dumplings since I hadn’t had them yet!) After lunch she took me on a mini walking tour through Chinatown, the Quays, and the Esplanade.

tweet upNikki and me talking a walk through the Quays.

singapore china town

The Esplanade

marina bay sands hotel
View from the Esplanade of the fairly recently opened Marina Bay Sands Hotel. (The bit on top of the three buildings is a bar and infinity pool.)

Nikki recommended that I check out the rooftop bar and swimming pool at the top of the hotel. Luckily I had Kate and Rob to take me. It was pretty swanky and the view was fantastic.

singapore skyline

And with that I leave you with a few more photos from around the city that don’t involve eating. (Scroll down to the bottom of the post if you’re interested in specific locations of any of the places mentioned.)

singapore window

singapore street art

singapore street

mica building singapore

Erin’s favorite building in Singapore. I’ve seen many a picture of it on Flickr so I was pretty excited when I spotted it. (It’s the MICA building, that’s Ministry of Information, Culture, and the Arts.)

singapore's birthday

I was in Singapore just a few days before National Day (which is something equivalent to 4th of July) so there were many flags and posters boasting Singapore national pride on display.

botanic gardens

botanic gardens orchid

The botanic gardens were free (yay!) but the orchid garden was a separate $5 charge. I probably would have skipped it if it were not for the recommendation of Shirley (Erin’s mom) and I’m so glad I didn’t.

singapore china town

All in all I really loved Singapore. There are so many areas to discover, so much good, cheap food to eat, and great transportation connecting it all! I certainly didn’t make it all the way through “the list” but I guess that only means I’ll have to come back. Add it to the list of places I could teach after Beirut!

16 Bussorah Street
Lan Zhou La Mian
19 Smith Street
East Coast Seafood Centre
East Coast Park Service Road
Lau Pa Sat
18 Raffles Quay

7 Comments on “Eating My Way Through Singapore

  1. Great pictures and posting. Having lived there for 2 years, this made me homesick. Mick

  2. Great pictures, like Mick, it made me homesick for the food and ethnic neighborhoods. I’m glad you were able to visit and had a good time.

  3. I love the small colonial style houses complete with palm tree in front. What a juxtaposition from the gleaming glass skyscrapers in the background. How much is the Lanzhou LaMian? Living in China , the Lanzhou places are one of the cheapest options , and we always equate it with waiting for the next paycheck haha.

  4. Yeah dad always calls it “Asia Lite,” and I suppose if you’re going for a truly authentic cultural experience it’s not really the place for that–however, the city itself and all the food cannot be beat. The reason we didn’t have much for you to see is that there isn’t much, just loads to enjoy 🙂 (how could you have not posted a pic of the Merlion though?!) I miss it so so much and that la mian. I found some in Chinatown here in NYC that was decent but never the same.

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