A-Roy Thai Restaurant in Novena is always full of customers and for good reason, the food is delicious and this humble establishment is one of the best cheap Thai eateries in Singapore. It can be difficult to find delicious and reasonably priced Thai food here, which is surprising given its geographic proximity to Thailand. In Singapore, many Thai restaurants compromise on fresh ingredients to reduce prices otherwise the recipes are not authentic and heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine. A-Roy Thai restaurant in Novena stands out because you can taste the food is freshly prepared and only good quality meat, fish and produce are used. Whilst the recipes are not always authentic, they are close enough and the service is above average by Singapore standards.
Victor’s Kitchen on Bencoolen Street serves amazing Har Gow prawn dumplings. It is a bold statement, but in my quest to find the best dim sum in Singapore I can’t go beyond the Har Gow at Victor’s Kitchen. It is a humble establishment that first setup in 2004 inside the Sunshine Plaza. The place looks rustic with its cheap metallic tables and tightly packed plastic chairs, but we don’t come here for the ambiance… we come here to eat cheap and tasty dumplings!
Dim Sum Haus on Jalan Besar is a new addition to the vast number of eateries and hawker grub along this strip. I was excited to see this fancy looking Dim Sum joint open its doors so close to my home and whenever I walked by on a weekend I had observed queues of people waiting to eat here. So one weekend I finally made it to Dim Sum Haus ahead of the lunchtime rush but was disappointed to eat the same old dumplings but only of lesser quality.
Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant is an unassuming, little place along Jalan Besar road in Farrer Park. If it wasn’t for the street-facing take away counter displaying row after row of delicious egg tarts, I may have walked passed and completely missed this little gem. Swee Choon has been serving Shanghai and Hong Kong style dumpling and noodle dishes in Singapore for more than fifty years. It is always busy and it stays open until the wee hours of the morning (6am) to feed both dinner and supper cravings. Their signature dish is the Mee Sua Kueh, a deep-fried vermicelli cake however everything from their steamed prawn dumplings to Shanghai chilli dumplings tastes good.
Old Hen Kitchen has the best breakfast and brunch menu in Farrer Park. Their avocado on toast is award winning and the coffee is made with care and precision. You also gotta try the Singapore Chilli Crab Fries for the novelty factor.
Alcohol in Singapore is expensive. One thing I hadn’t appreciated before I moved to Singapore was how much alcohol I drank. In London, where I used to live, there is a big pub scene. In respect of the culture and to assimilate into British society, I fully immersed myself and drank a respectable amount of alcoholic beverages. A typical week living and going out in the East End would include enjoying £12 bottles of wine on Wednesday at the Good Samaritan happy hour, prosecco and pizza at The Stable on Thursday, wine with dinner on Friday followed by more drinks at at Indo, and Saturday heading over to Bethnal Green for cocktails and brunch at Bistrotheque or some other trendy joint. For the days in between, you could always rely on Tesco for £10 bottles of perfectly drinkable wine and prosecco to enjoy at home.
Bali is not my favourite place to go for a holiday. Too many tourists. Too many Australians. But I am grateful to my last trip there when, on a whim I decided to skip drinking cocktails by the pool and go for a half day Bali cooking class. My previous understanding of Indonesian cooking was limited to peanut satay and fried rice. However, attending the Anika Bali cooking class gave me a true appreciation for the complexity and richness of this cuisine as well as the variety of ingredients used. We prepared a several dishes during the class which all tasted delicious, from creamy beef curry and nasi goreng, to bean salad and boiled bananas with palm syrup.
109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo is a hawker style restaurant in Singapore specialising in fish balls and Teochew yong tau foo, which is tofu filled with fish paste and served in a fish soup. I had passed this place at lunch time many times and it always has a long queue, so I made a point of eating here for dinner when there were slightly less people around. It was my first time trying Yong Tau Foo in Singapore and I paid less than $5 for a filling meal.
From Kaohsiung it is easy to make a day trip to the famous Dong Gong fish market and from there hop on a ferry to Little Liuqiu. Both spots are popular attractions for Taiwanese locals and mainland Chinese to visit on holiday. You will see very few Western faces in these parts and so little English will be spoken. The sashimi at Dong Gong fish market is world class and swimming with turtles under Vase Rock at Little Liuqiu was an unforgettable experience!
Adventurous brunch lovers will appreciate Hoshino Coffee at Plaza Singapura. Their specialty is Japanese hand drip coffee and fluffy soufflé style matcha pancake. On my recent visit I ordered the matcha pancakes and my tastebuds were seriously in matcha heaven!
I love Italian food and it has always been a dream of mine to learn traditional Italian pasta making in Bologna. My dream came true with a unique experience learning three traditional recipes at the Culinary Institution of Bologna in Italy.
Fans of Japanese food will know about the Ramen Champion fleet of eateries on level four of the Bugis+ shopping centre in Singapore, but the most special dish is the Singapore Chilli Crab tendon at Don Meijin. Don Meijin specialises in donburi, which are rice bowls with meat, fish or vegetables. Tendon is a type of donburi that consists of tempura with rice. Don Meijin have put a Singapore spin on this classic Japanese dish with its Chilli Crab version and I had heard a lot of hype about it so just had to try it for myself. It did not disappoint!
The indulgent champagne brunch buffet at the Ritz-Carlton is a very special treat. It is served in the Colony room and has every delicacy and culinary delight you can imagine. The experience is made all the more enjoyable by the old style charm of the room, the polite servers and the constantly flowing champagne.