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

So day 3 comes by and I realized that this chase is futile and if I actually attempted to hit 30 of these in 3 1/2 days, a couple things would happen.

  • I’d get a little sick
  • My cholesterol count would go through the roof
  • My pee might come out green

So over the past 24 hours, I’ve managed to raise the count to 10 of 40 and I’ve also come to the following conclusion. Singapore is a great food town/country … but as always, opinions and tastes differ across the world.

For instance, you can head to Maxwell Food Center and get the entire platter of food below for about 21$ SNG, and that includes the three glasses of drink.

The assortment below includes the following for 21$ SNG

  1. Two plates of Tien Tien Chicken Rice with extra sauce
  2. Bowl of chicken stock
  3. Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce and Fish Flakes
  4. Carrot Cake
  5. Banana Leaf Char Kway Teow
  6. Glasses of Lime drink, Pineapple drink, Grass Jelly drink

This would knock off a couple off that CNN list. Now as a Trini, I have a couple things to say about this entire platter and eating at Maxwell Food Center.

  • Hawker stalls are cheap
  • You have to save your stall
  • You have to push your hygiene and squeam factor aside … especially the hygiene factor.

  • Tien Tien Hainanese Chicken Rice

As voted the best Chicken Rice by CNN and many cab drivers we spoke to, I was excited to get to Tien Tien but there was a huge facebook poster with Anthony Bourdain on the front … this my friends is not a good sign at the best of times. I like the man and his show is awesome, but from my experience … once your food goes mainstream, then you lose the essence of it all … you do become pretty wealthy though!!

They also don’t serve much at this place … you get Chicken and Rice with different parts of the Chicken on order … even the claws … I shit you not!

As for the serving of Chicken Rice … I have no idea what these god damn people are raving about … seriously. If you went to Trinidad and served the following

  • Plain second grade basmati rice
  • Sauce of a questionable nature from a huge container
  • Boiled Chicken with the skin on it
  • Two slices of cucumber – again the washing and slicing of it would make me confirm my Hep A shots

People would run you out of town in Trinidad for serving such mess. To be fair .. you can see that it came with Pepper Sauce … the orange stuff … that was the only redeeming thing about this dish.

The only thing that was awesome, was the price. It is cheap … but again, do you really want to go that cheap with any meat … EVER??!?? Who knows where the hell this Chicken came from … then again, I don’t think I ever want to know.

Decision : OVERRATED – Great value at 3$ SNG ($4.20 is you want the drumstick). As for the taste … I would go try it, just to taste what boiled crap tastes like. The rice is just regular rice – this whole fragrant notion is rubbish but it doesn’t smell like shit, which is always a plus. The meat is boiled for god sakes! Try it to say you had it, but never try it again.

  • Next on the menu was the Banana Leaf Char Kway Teow.

Personally, I liked this dish. However, I did have to divorce myself from attempting to understand what was in this plate. If you really started asking what was in the plate of noodles, Chinese Sausage, Pork Fat (which look like noodles … ultra concealed), canned oysters and other assorted meat parts … then it makes it difficult to stomach the whole thing.

Decision : Worth Trying : It’s a Great value at 3$ SNG for a plate of the stuff and watching the chef make this stuff is just as interesting.  I liked the dish, but my travel partner didn’t really care for the highly “eggy” taste of it. I think if you like anything “Carbonara”, then this dish will hit your taste buds pretty well … just don’t think about what is in the dish.

  • Carrot Cake at Stall 21

This would be a staple for me, if I ever lived here.

Decision : Always have it : This is an old reliable favorite. You’ve always had some version of it at Dim Sum. If you’re looking for the best, then Newton Circus – Heng’s at Stall 28 … go there and enjoy.

In addition to the Maxwell Food Center experience, we did manage to slip in some Chili Crab at Long Beach @ East Coast Seafood Center.

Their claim to fame is that they supposedly created the “Black Pepper Crab” that Singaporeans love.

First of all, no one really tells you how to order crab in Singapore … well they don’t stress the procedure enough … here are some tips

  1. Have a price range … seriously!
  2. Ask the price per kilo of crab (it can range from 30$ to 100$ a kilo … depending on where you go and how dumb you look.)
  3. Specify the type of crab … this goes hand in hand with point #2
  4. Never ever order without doing the first three … or you’re going to get a serious pain in your wallet.

How much .. can you imagine paying $600 for a seafood meal? If you don’t do the first three, they will assume that the sky is the limit and they will bring out the biggest and best for you. It will be fantastic and you will have royal service (that’s your clue right there!), then the bill will come out and you might want to throw up all that great food you had.

There are some big crabs in those tanks … think about how much all that shell weighs too 😀

As for the Chili Crab dish itself …

Decision : Definite must try: I can’t really describe the sauce, except to say that it is fatty and greasy and damn tasty. Get a couple fried sweet buns to sop up all the sauce. It is also very messy … don’t wear white to eat this stuff, and expect to get your hands completely covered in sauce – like a 3 year old eating Spaghetti-O’s.

Also look out for the bill …

I think it’s time for some Murtabak!!!

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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