‘But what are you going to eat in Singapore?’ asked a concerned friend before I left for Singapore.
Allergic to seafood and a selective non-vegetarian, I was left at the mercy of vegetarian options and chicken or fresh water fish preparations. Even though I have absolutely no problems with that, a lot of my friends were ‘worried’ about my meals there.
Turns out, I returned happier than ever after bravely experimenting with my taste buds. Here are some of my favourite places to eat on the island nation. And if I’m given a chance today, I’d go back without any second thoughts!
Phenomenal sushi at Sushi Tei
I LOVE Sushi. That should sum it up. Sushi Tei is amongst the best names in Singapore for sushi and my dinner there was extraordinary. At the outset, the four varieties of sushi that we ordered seemed insufficient. But they were like little pieces of heaven and we were happily satisfied by the end of the meal. Honestly, everything that was brought to the table was remarkable and I can safely say that I’ve not indulged in a better meal in Singapore
What I ate: Asahi beer, Japanese green beans, four varieties of Makimono, chocolate wafer and green tea ice cream.
What I paid: S$47 for two.
Where I went: Sushi Tei at Vivocity. They have a number of outlets across the country.
Velvet gelato at Basilico, Regent Singapore – A Four Seasons Hotel
Regent Singapore’s restaurant Basilico maintains its reputation of being one of the best Italian restaurants here. Popular for their buffet, what caught my eye was their dessert section. The gelato in particular was very scrumptious. The moment I saw it, I fell in love with the velvety texture and the soft colours of the different flavours. They have their own gelato machine and the entire preparation is done in-house. I was told that the machine had stopped working for a couple of days and there were upheavals and complaints from the guests. After tasting the six flavours of the gelato, I empathise with the agitated guests!
What I ate: The signature Basilissimo dinner buffet, which serves a fabulous variety of Italian antipasti, main course and the desserts. The flavours of gelato- mango, truffle (seasonal), strawberry, vanilla, berries and chocolate.
What I paid: My dinner was hosted by Regent Singapore.
Where I went: 1 Cuscaden Road, Level 2.
Soft dumplings at Din Tai Fung
Even before I reached Singapore, a meal at Din Tai Fung was inevitable. Though I didn’t expect the dumplings to be so good! Their popular pork dumplings are believed to be juicy and pleated with 18 folds! I had their melt-in-the-mouth chicken variety and they were nothing like I have ever had before. The mango pudding in the dessert menu, made of coconut milk and mango, was fresh and the perfect end to this delicately handcrafted meal.
What I ate: Chicken dumplings, pork dumplings, egg fried rice, stir-fried Dou Miao with garlic, green chillies with marinated stuffed minced meat and mango pudding.
What I paid: S$74 for three.
Where I went: Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road. They have branched out extensively.
Addictive kaya toast from Toast Box
This promptly made its way to my every day diet. Kaya toast is an authentic Singaporean snack, which usually goes with kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). Even though it is a local choice for breakfast, mine was always in the evening with my cup of teh. It is a sandwich of two crunchy slices of bread with coconut jam and butter. Customarily complemented with eggs, I preferred mine without them. Luckily for me, Toast Box was in every corner and a portion of kaya toast always within reach to comfort me.
What I ate: 2 slices of kaya toast and milk tea.
What I paid: Approximately S$2.80.
Where I went: 200 Victoria Street, #01-67 Parco Bugis Junction. And every other place I saw it.
Chinese haven at Sichuan Chinatown
The Old Chengdu Sichuan Restaurant in Chinatown is easy to miss. But once you have tasted the food, you would be very clear about getting there the next time. Basic Chinese food was made so well here and the proof of it is the large inflow of locals visiting this small, quaint restaurant. I had lots of food here and enjoyed every bit of the spice. It is one of those meals that could bring me back to life!
What I ate: Tsing Tao beer, stir-fried long beans, egg fried rice, Sichuan dried chilli chicken and fried rice balls.
What I paid: S$67 for two.
Where I went: #80-82 Pagoda Street, Chinatown.
Traditional steamboat meal at JPOT
Steamboat or hot pot is a style of food where a number of ingredients are steamed in a constantly simmering pot of soup base. It is a hot meal and challenges your creativity as a cook! Initially I was quite confused, however with a little bit of guidance I found my way. I loved the mix of super-spicy dip that I made. The best part about steamboats are that you are free to choose your health quotient and you are entirely responsible for your meal!
What I ate: Carlsberg beer, a hot pot with Laksa as soup base and corn, Enoki mushroom, chicken, seaweed, rice and a super chilly dip.
What I paid: Humbly hosted by a friend.
Where I went: 1 HarbourFront Walk #01-53, VivoCity (Lobby F). They also have two other outlets.Also read 6 Best restaurants in Panaji, Goa. All images © Amrita Das.