My chase for 30 of 40 in 4 days … do it yourself Singapore Food Tour

After getting into the hotel at Orchard Gardens, I was out of the hotel in 2 hours later, sweltering in the raging humidity, trying to figure out how to defrost my cameras. I was on the hunt to start my food list early. Trying to do the 30 of 40 in 4 days, will require work, dedication and patience as I know that D* will not want to try everything on the list … then again … “Will I really eat the Frog Porridge?”

First place was going right down the street to the Newton Food Center. I had no expectation of what it was or how to order or even how to cross the street at night, since there were no divisions across the road.

I was a little leery of it’s infamous reputation online.

The food sellers at Newton Food Centre are often criticised by locals, mainly for overpricing and mediocre food quality. The food centre is particularly infamous for incessant touting and harassment of customers by over-zealous stall owners.

Controversies will tend to happen in this place as there are too many stalls which sell the same kind of food and drinks. Some of these problems could have being avoided if proper planning of the location of the stalls and seating arrangement was conducted … Wikipedia

I will agree with the touting aspect of it, since I had rested my bags no longer than 20 seconds, when 3 touts approached me with menus.

Nothing aggressive, but of course my defenses were already up, however a quick shake of head was it took. I was on a mission for 4. Carrot cake (chai tow kuay) on my list.

After about 5 mins of surveying the lay of the land, I quickly realized the rules of this place.

  • Self service works best – walk up to the stall you want.
  • You need to remember the number of the table you’re going to sit at
  • You leave the plates on the table – they will clean up
  • You pay upon delivery of your meal to your table.
  • When you say “Spicy”, you don’t need to say it twice – finally somewhere that makes your food hot without begging for heat.

Next it was on the “Carrot Cake” itself. Nothing special but at $5, you can’t really go wrong. Think of it like a big turnip cake that you get at Dim Sum places.

This was an easy, simple plate. No lard anywhere either on it. It was tasty as hell though, with the hot sauce on the side as well as chilis in the dish itself, since I said “Spicy!!”

Decision : Simple, Cheap and damn tasty.

Next on the list was Oyster Omelettes, which is #13 on the list.

For this, I headed across town for the view of Esplanade Place and there was a hawker stall over there. This was one was much smaller – maybe about 8 stalls with people milling around at 12:30am.

After the harbour shooting, then it was back to the food programme.

Ordering here was a little different, no touts – in fact no one even bothered with me at all. Awesome! So I found the stall that was recommended by the Sheraton Concierge and two mins later I had my plate of Oyster and Prawn Omellete.

This again was easy and simple – although I thought a bit expensive at $8SG. Nothing to rave home about though … it felt like I could make this one at home.

I do love the fact that when I say spicy .. I get the chilies in the food and double hot sauce to start!

Decision : A little overpriced, although you get fresh oysters and prawns. Felt like something I could easily make at home but it was tasty.

Then at about 1:20am, it was back to the hotel – only to find out that we stumbled into the Singapore Food Festival going this weekend … yeah really … serendipity I tell you.

2 down .. only 28 more to go!!

20-Jan- 2012 More Reading : Part 2 | Then they’re moving indoors

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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