Singapore is a food mecha, plain and simple. Honestly, if you go there- which you damn well should- I can’t recommend hawker centers enough. These “gastrotopias” are the genius solution to the many food stalls and street carts that covered Singapore’s past streets. Now centralized in large cafeteria like arenas, they represent delicious, entrepreneurial, intriguing and most of all cheap pit stops for practically every person in the city! There really isn’t much “need” to go anywhere else; however, I think you should. Specifically, there are four sit down locales that I fell in love with and I want to share them with you.
Disclaimer: At this point in my travels I had been living in Japan for 1 year completely deprived of virtually every single type of food that I love…so take my infatuation with a grain of salt.
4. Yet Con Chicken Rice Restaurant – Bugis
Honestly, when my wife and friends told me about chicken rice being the, “thing to eat,” in Singapore I did not believe them. Its just chicken rice, right? Wrong. Apparently, “true” chicken rice is prepared in a specific way. First fried with garlic, sesame and chicken fat, then boiled in chicken stock, and finally mixed with chilli-garlic sauce until it tastes like edible heaven. Are you drooling yet?
Yet Con, the perverbial standard for the Singaporean dish has apparently gone a bit down hill, nowadays. However, I will defend its lunch as cheap and delicious, nevertheless. My group of 5 ordered chicken rice, a whole chicken, and various assortments of vegetables all for the grand total of $USD 15 per person. Though it may, apparently, now be outclassed by other places, I didn’t go to those places. So all I can say, is do not miss out on Yet Con for a great lunch!
Opening Times: 11:00 am – 9:30 pm
Address: 25 Purvis St. Singapore 188602
Website: N/A – TripAdvisor
3. Din Tai Fung – “A Taiwan Legacy In Singapore”
Founded in the 1970’s in Taiwan by Bingyi Yang, this steamed dumpling restaurant evolved from a failing oil shop to an internationally renowned brand. Lucky enough for you, you don’t have to go all the way to Taiwan to get a taste of those steamy treats. Instead, you can find a few locations in Singapore and choose from a host of different meals.
This happened to be one of my friend’s main goals in Singapore, so we stayed here for a while trying multiple dumpling plates from pork to truffle, crab to chicken, and even chili crab soup dumplings. I never wanted it to end and neither will you, especially when you realize you can feast all for about $USD 20. I repeat, FEAST; if you don’t want to eat a lot it can be quite cheaper. Regardless, put your stretch pants on and hit up one of their many locations in the city.
Opening Times: 11 am – 22 am Weekends – 10 am – 22 pm (times vary by location)
Website: Find all the locations here!
2. Dessert First – Snow Ice, Snow Waffles and … durian ice cream?!
This venue is a sensory overload and always crowded by dates, groups, singles and pretty much anybody trying to escape the eternal Singaporean heat. Try not to get distracted by the abstract paint splashes covering literally everything in the shop and instead focus on their large array of snow ice; imagine a combination of snow cones and ice cream. With a price range from $USD 6 – 10, 8 different flavors, and multiple ice cream-topped waffle options makes Dessert First an absolute must for anybody with a sweet tooth.The main flavors consist of traditional staples like strawberry, mango, green tea, vanilla and chocolate. However, if you are feeling a little adventurous don’t miss out on trying the durian flavors. For those that don’t know what durian is, look at the picture below. It is basically a large spiky fruit that smells like garbage and when cut open smells like burning vomit. Just what you want to eat right? Well one of my friends took a shot at it and…well…it tastes a bit like onions…
But people still love it, so try it out yourself!
Opening Times: 1:00pm – 1:00am
Address: 8 Liang Seah Street #01-04 Singapore 189029
Website: This is a Singapore foodie site with great pictures.
1. The Hangar – Coffee, Salad, Sandwiches and Shit Like ThatMy favorite place out of all Singapore’s culinary hot spots has to be this cafe. To some it may seem like any other cafe and honestly, it probably is. However, to me, it was absolute nirvana. The main reason: I LOVE sandwiches, but sadly I was living in Japan where all “sandwiches” are basically gross gas station mayonnaise messes surrounded by sugar bread. Luckily, at Hangar I was able to feast down on their signature lemongrass steak sandwich.
Overall, these were my favorite sit down eateries in the whole city. That being said, they are also the ONLY sit down eateries I actually went to, so take all of this advice with a few grains of salt. Regardless, I highly recommend them, especially Din Tai Fung and Yet Con Chicken and Rice. If you sit down anywhere besides the eating halls, check these two out and I promise you won’t regret it.