A foodie tour of Singapore

A foodie tour of Singapore

Personally, trying out the local food is one of my travel highlights. Sure, I do enjoy having my afternoon teas all around the world, but I also love visiting local hawker centres and restaurants, finding out about local delicacies and giving them a try.

Sometimes they’re not to my palate and other times I get completely hooked – take Penang, for example, where I became obsessed with the calorific but oh so delicious murtakbak.

When Justin and I visited Singapore two lovely bloggers we befriended online, the Expat Kiwis, offered to take us on a foodie tour of Singapore, showing us their favourite places to eat as well as showing us the best dishes Singapore has to offer.

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

Old Airport Road Food Centre

Our evening started at the Old Airport Road Food Centre, a big favourite for locals. One of the oldest and largest food courts in Singapore, it is home to a lot of the city’s most revered food stalls. After we visited I checked it out on TripAdvisor and wasn’t surprised to discover it was rated as 12th out of over 9,000 restaurants in Singapore!

In truth I think we spent as much time walking around and deciding what and where to order from as we actually did eating! Rows upon rows of colourful stalls greet you, the smell an amalgamation of all the spices and dishes cooking, with a deliciously inviting undertone of frying onions. Overwhelmed by choice we decided to let the ‘Kiwis order on our behalf, as they’d told us there were certain things here that we absolutely had to try.

Finding a free table outside in the shade, we tucked into their recommendations. We started off with Asian style ‘carrot cake’, which is nothing like it sounds. The ‘cake’ itself is savoury, and comes in the form of white cubes made from flour and white radish; which is sometimes called white carrot in Chinese. It’s very popular to fry it with eggs, and our serving came covered with egg and prawns. Personally I found it very more-ish.

Chinese carrot cake | Ladies What Travel

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

We couldn’t miss out on the satay, so had beef and chicken with a tasty peanut sauce, and our final ‘starter’ was an oyster omelette. This was simply oysters cooked with fried egg and starch to bind it all together. I gave it a go, but as I’m not into particularly ‘fishy’ dishes this wasn’t really one for my palette.

Oyster Omelette | Ladies What Travel

As is the case across all the hawker centres across Singapore, the food here is hearty, delicious and cheap. If you can’t decide where to order from my tip is to join the longest queue, as that means it’s a popular choice for the locals. Just keep in mind though, that queues can mean a wait of maybe even 30 minutes as the food is cooked fresh…

Hua Yu Wee

After our ‘appetisers’ we took a taxi over to Hua Yu Wee, a highly recommended old school Chinese restaurant that offers delicious food in a relaxed environment.

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

Another popular haunt, this place is always packed with locals and it’s recommended that you book ahead wherever possible. Set in an old colonial building on Upper East Coast Road, it’s very much what you see is what you get, and as you walk into the building you’ll go past the cooking area and can hear the shouting and banging from the chefs at work.

As well as the air-conditioned main restaurant, out the back is a terrace packed with tables for the majority of guests to eat al fresco. The ‘Kiwis told us that back when the house was built this terrace would be looking out onto the sea, but it’s now inland thanks to Singapore’s epic land reclamation work.

You can expect all the traditional Chinese classics here, and we tried stir-fried greens and pork ribs, but a speciality the ‘Kiwi’s recommended was drunken prawns. These are so called because while still alive they’re put straight into Chinese wine to ‘swim’ around a bit. They’re then cooked immediately and served in a lovely warming wine-infused broth.

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel

Drunken Prawns | Ladies What Travel

These were really tasty, but for me the highlight of the evening was the dish the restaurant is best known for: Singapore chilli crab.

The best place in Singapore for chilli crab

The ‘Kiwis said that Hua Yu Wee is known as one of the best places in the city for Singapore chilli crab and so we were very excited when our order arrived at our table as a gooey mess of broken crab in hot tomato sauce.

I found the idea of a spicy ketchup sauce with crab a bit of a weird one, but it didn’t take long to discover how oddly delicious it is. I can see why you’ll want a side of deep fried buns, as they’re used to dip in and soak up the sauce. I mean seriously, it’s so tasty you won’t want to leave a drop!

Singapore Chilli Crab | Ladies What Travel

Where to eat in Singapore

I’m so glad we made the trip out to both these places as they’re both a little out of the centre of Singapore, but well worth the journey. For those interested in visiting, the Old Airport Road Food Centre is accessible via MRT: it’s a three-minute walk from Dakota CC8 MRT (just make sure head in the right direction, unlike us!) but you’ll need to call a taxi to visit Hua Yu Wee. Please do check them out during a visit, as they’re really wonderful!

We can’t thank those lovely Expat Kiwis enough for taking an evening out to show us the foodie highlights of Singapore. We hope one day to repay the favour if they ever make it over to the southwest UK!

Food Tour Singapore | Ladies What Travel


Wanderful Wednesday | Ladies What Travel
Untold Morsels

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

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  1. July 10, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    I think the food scene in Singapore was one of the most fab I have had anywhere Keri! How lovely that your blog friends introduced you to all their favourites! I’m not usually much of a crab eater but you are spot on about the chill crab – isn’t it just delish?!

    • July 11, 2017 / 4:29 pm

      Totally agree Shikha! I tied this trip into a visit to Penang, so I was in total food heaven!
      I totally get you re the crab, it’s not usually my cup of tea at all, but this stuff was so more-ish!

    • July 12, 2017 / 11:18 am

      It really was tasty Catherine! Hope you get to experience it all for yourself on a future trip… x

    • July 12, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Love ’em! 😉

  2. July 12, 2017 / 3:19 am

    Since I love food, Singapore is a dream destination for me. I would not mind spending my days eating and doing a bit of sightseeing in between. This is an ideal place to explore with a local. They can point you to the best food (with so many options, I am sure it is not easy to decide what to eat). #citytripping

    • July 12, 2017 / 11:19 am

      It really lives up to everything you hear Ruth, you could eat, eat, eat and never get bored of the food! Yes I agree having a local show you round is the best possible way !

  3. July 12, 2017 / 8:53 am

    I had to give this a read because you wrote about my home country. I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed our food! We do have a HUGE variety here in Singapore and guess what! I haven’t even tried all the above that you mentioned! hahahahaha #citytripping

    • July 12, 2017 / 11:19 am

      Oh em gee, really May?! What haven’t you had out of these dishes? You need to go try them now and tell me what you think! 😉

  4. July 12, 2017 / 9:28 am

    I shouldn’t have clicked on this post with an empty stomach! I’ve always love the food in Singapore especially in Little India!

    • July 12, 2017 / 11:20 am

      ha ha, sorry Therie! Agree – the best ever murtabak I tasted was in Little India. Ah man, now I want to go back!

  5. July 12, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Singapore offers some really tasty treats. The chilli crab looks so good – wonder if I’ll be able to handle it. You mentioned murtabak at the beginning of the post – it’s delicious, especially the ones in Penang. Pssst… I’m going to have murtabak for dinner. 😉 🙂 Cheers!! #citytripping

    • July 12, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      It’s actually not that spicey – my other half, Just, is a wuss when he comes to spice and he didn’t find it too much.

      Btw you’re mean, I can’t get murtabak anywhere in the UK! ;P (If anyone knows of somewhere please LET ME KNOW?!?!?)

  6. July 12, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    Hmmmm I am drooling. I remember having the best good in Singapore and having someone to show you the best places is even better. Looking forward to being back in Asia before long too – and have spotted your Siem Reap post as well. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • July 16, 2017 / 1:41 pm

      Hope you have a great time, it’s my favourite favourite party of the world! x

  7. July 14, 2017 / 3:07 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Singapore for the sole purpose of eating – I’ve heard so many great things. This post makes me hungry!

    • July 16, 2017 / 1:42 pm

      You totally have to go Bryna it really is the best place for food! 😀

  8. July 14, 2017 / 11:13 am

    Hua Yu Wee seems like a fantastic place! I love when you can watch the chefs at work and it’s always the best sign for a restaurant when it’s packed with locals!

    • July 16, 2017 / 1:43 pm

      Yeah if it’s popular with locals it’s always a good sign, right?! 😉

  9. July 14, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    I am drooling! Love that crab. My husband goes to Singapore a bit for work and actually threatens to go and have chilli crab without me. So mean. Singapore is amazing for food. Great post Keri – thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • July 16, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      What a meanie Katy – sort him out lol!

  10. July 15, 2017 / 9:24 am

    I adore Singapore chilli crab so much – it’s been years since I’ve been to Singapore, am hoping to get back there next year! The oyster omelette is also something I have fond memories of from my many visits to Malaysia and Singapore but agree, it’s quite strong in flavour and not for everyone!

    • July 16, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      Oh how lovely Connie, I bet you’ll have an amazing time when you get to go back! x

  11. July 17, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    I would love to eat that chilli crab! I really enjoyed the massive food markets in Singapore. It would have been even better if I’d done it with a local or on a food tour. I’m definitely saving your recommendations for my next visit. Thanks for sharing on #Farawayfiles

    • July 17, 2017 / 2:40 pm

      A pleasure Clare, as always! 🙂

  12. Warning : Do not read when hungry! Everything looks delicious and how awesome to have personal tour guide through the food culture in Singapore. I want to try it all – especially the chili crab! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • July 21, 2017 / 5:23 pm

      Ha ha, good advice! Yeah it was all amazing – doubly so thanks to the Expat Kiwis! x

  13. July 22, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Heading to Singapore in a few weeks time, so will definitely be using this post as a guide! Pinned for reference #Wanderfulwednesday

    • July 25, 2017 / 1:55 pm

      Oh how lucky – I’m very jealous! Enjoy David, hope you love Singapore as much as I do!

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