Maxwell Market in Chinatown had some of the most memorable food in Singapore. We arrived around brunch time, just before the lunch crowd started streaming in. We looked out for stalls with the longest cue and took suggestions from friends about what to try. We had chicken rice, fish porridge, oyster cake and sugarcane juice with lemon. I loved the porridge there. It was served pipping hot with fish slices, loads of ginger, coriander and a raw egg dropped into it. It was my first time having oyster cake too. It was a deep-fried patty of flour, eggs, oysters, minced pork, prawns and coriander. So good that I can see what the fuss is all about.
After that, we headed to Ann Siang Hill again, but this time all the shops were open for business. We had quite a few shops on our list namely, Books in the Woods, Asylum, ReStore, Kki and The Little Dröm Store (which became a favorite). I was too enamored by the little interesting knick-knacks in the store that I photographed nothing! Got a few interesting items too.
ReStore had loads of pre-loved, refurbished and reupholstered furnitures that made my heart skipped a bit (Danish-inspired stools and a ’60s dressing table!). The affogato and earl grey cookies were good. Maybe I should make those cookies one day! After, we continued perusing Chinatown and had soy sauce chicken and cendol ice shaving.
We also headed to Tiong Baru where there were loads of pretty apartments with Books Actually, Forty Hands and Strangelets on Yong Siak St. The pretty decals above were from Strangelets. The ambiance at Forty Hands weren’t promising given the locality. Maybe in my head I imagined it being more interesting.
Dinner with Ant in Bon Gout at Robertson Quay was lovely. Japanese home-cooked meals without the frills. Like a semi library, this restaurant had loads of charm with Japanese men coming in after work, picking up a book or comic from the shelves, make their orders and eat. The toilet even had a seat warmer and bidet. Food was a whole lot of yum too. We shared most of our meals here in Singapore so we can have more space to try more varieties. Between us, we had edamame, deep-fried chicken with wasabi mayo, tuna sashimi, Japanese steak with mustard and rice. For dessert, we had coffee jelly with green tea ice cream. We walked out of the restaurant feeling like we found a hidden gem and the people eating elsewhere along the quay were missing out.
Another night we had supper at Chomp Chomp. Rulin at all these disgusting snails called gong gong (conch) all by herself. Of course we had the sugarcane juice with lemon. And the barbecued chicken wings with lime. And grilled stingray with sambal and ochein (Hokkien oyster omelette).
The next day, there was more eating and drinking. Ant also surprised me with tickets to The Lion King at the Marina Bay Sands theatre one day. Have to say that it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen. The set and costume designs were amazing and it played with on optical illusions too. Beautifully choreographed.
Above: Brunch at Loysel’s Toy. They served really good coffee too (roasted by Papa Palheta). Small space but loads of nice natural light. Definitely a better place in terms of the coffee experience and ambiance. Ant wore the same shirt too. Soon after we met up with another friend for a meal at Wild Honey. They served us a really good Mediterranean sandwich (feta and mozzarella on wilted spinach with lemon and olive oil on toasted ciabatta).
It’s true what they say that time really pass you by when you’re having fun. Looking through all these photographs, it feels like the whole week in Singapore swooshed by. And for the first time ever, I actually had really good food in Singapore. Writing this last paragraph is making me miss it even more. Our friends actually made the meals.
But there’s more to look forward to—like another trip to actually visit all these places (and more):