This is a food blog, so I figured, I might as well share some of the food I’ve had while traveling and give my honest reviews! I spent a few days in Singapore and enjoyed a wide variety of food but truthfully had only touched the tip of the iceberg. Nearly all of these photos are taken on my phone!
A few things to note first: we did not opt to try the fine dining and went for cheaper foods in general. I think that there’s a lot of great food in Singapore, a homily of all the cultures surrounding this island country and does everything quite well, though everything also seems to be a fusion of the cultures that have come together. Most of the food we had was fairly budget. Between hawker stalls and other food courts within malls, there was still pretty quality food that felt local and as authentic as you could get with fast food haha.
And the companion blog to this is what to do in Singapore on my adventure blog! Check it out here.
Our first meal was in the food court of the Jewel mall by Changi Airport. We landed quite late so we high tailed it to dinner. I got a $10 classic braised beef noodle that hit the spot from the Five Spice stall.
The next morning, we went to Pinhole Coffee Bar on Purvis Street. There’s a lot of great fine dining here from what we could tell, from Italian to Thai! We wandered through the Singapore Botanical Garden and exited the park super hungry. So we went into the first mall we found and booked it to the lower levels where all food courts are located in every Singapore mall. I spent $7 on a minced meat noodle with a side of soup and milk tea at the SG Hawker in Tanglin Mall. While everything was hot and we were hot from walking outside, there was something soothing about eating hot foods that calms your body heat long term, whereas a cold smoothie would immediately cool your body, but you’d be hot a few minutes later. My friend had spicy laksa.
We continued wandering around and found ourselves back indoors again, intrigued by cold desserts. My friend got the traditional chendol shaved ice with pandan, red bean, and coconut ($3). I played it safe with the mango, but it was still really good and I’m glad I went with it. Looking for a SIM card, I wandered in and out of stores and started craving milk tea. Happily, I found a KOI Thé close to phone store and walked out with a new drink in hand for just $3.5. I believe this franchise is worldwide.
Continuing on our walking tour of Singapore’s city center, I was determined to find one of those aesthetic Instagram cafes. One of them was the Le Jardin cafe in Fort Canning Park. Since it was midday, we opted for fun drinks. They also offer a high tea set and elevated cafe food. I got the Mermaid Tears drink because the butterfly pea tea sounded so enticing! Little did I know it was a drink where you pour everything in yourself and watch the blue pea tea swirl around and turn into purple as the lemon juice is added in. I think my friend got the La Vie en Rose, a drink with rose and lychee syrup in jasmine tea. The total for both drinks was $22.
Later that night, we went to find Hainanese chicken that was close to where we were staying. Our feet were tired from walking many miles all day long! We found the British Hainan and Chin Chin across from each other but ended up going to Chin Chin for the fun family-style vibes. We got the Mee Goreng (Indonesian fried noodles), dou miao (pea shoots), and the classic Hainanese chicken with rice. I think everything was a bit saltier than we’d prefer and it was a solid dinner for two people that only cost $22 total!
As I walked back to my place, I got drawn in by the bustling Liang Seah Street. While I was quite full, I decided that there’s always room for dessert so I stood in the long line for Ah Chew Desserts. They had good reviews and the line must mean something right? It’s quite confusing how it works though – you stand in line and wait till someone clears a table for you. Then you can sit at your table, but really, you want to stand in the next line again to order your food. Yep, 2 different lines. Once your food is ordered, you’re given a buzzer and now, you can properly seat your whole party at the table. When buzzed, pick up your order! Again, falling into my love of mango, I got the mango sago dessert ($4.6). I avoided durian at all costs, it’s a love or hate sort of fruit and after trying it once, never again for me.
The next day, we walked around Gardens by the Bay next to the Marina Bay Sands. Even in the morning it was quite hot so we each got a drink. A mystery perhaps dragonfruit drink and cane sugar drink at the food stalls called Satay by the Bay. Unfortunately too early for satay to open.
Not knowing that satay was an evening food, we thought we’d find it at the famous Lau Pa Sat on the outskirts of Chinatown. Instead, we just found normal lunch food. I don’t remember how much it cost, but must have been only about $10 or less for my noodle dish plus milk tea. It was very quiet in the food stall for lunch, but it surely gets crowded for the dinner rush. We did end up going back to this food court another evening to properly enjoy satay skewers. It happens every day but only starting at 7pm. And you’re required to get skewers in sets of 5. So you can’t just pick and choose one of this and one of that. Any of their satay stalls (outside the main building) seem equally delicious! And the sauces are just incredible. For the two of us, it cost $15 for 5 skewers with the sauces. And this time I got soy milk on the side to break up the milk tea for a cheap $1.5.
Another food hawker we went to was the Newton Food Centre. This is arguably the most famous one in Singapore, and it was wild how many food stalls fit in one area. Finding a table was the hardest part! We all split up to get various foods and came back once our buzzer rang. It’s super confusing which stall you went to, but at least buzzers are also numbered with the stall numbers. We got a variety of food ranging in spicy levels that I could barely manage. We had pineapple shirmp fried rice, hokkien mee noodles, chili crab, barbecue stingray, chai tow kway (carrot cake), and thai tong choy (water spinach). It was all so incredible to try and we definitely had some sticky fingers after. Everything sounds like it is, except the “carrot cake” which really is simply a radish dish but in Chinese, it’s a confusing translation of the term for carrots which is literally red radish. Probably less than $30 to feed 3 people here.
For dessert, I found the Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique, which just looked like a fun spot. I tried their white chrysanthemum gelato with cocoa nibs ($5.5 single scoop). It was tiny but delicious for the walk back to retire for the night.
Other food I enjoyed on this trip besides copious amounts of milk tea was the Hunan noodles ($12.3) at Xiang’s back on Liang Seah Street. To say the least I was beyond full. But obviously, I had to try a different dessert shop on this street. I went to Dessert Gallery and got their Bo Bo Cha Cha, which probably translates to a little of everything, which was a taro soup with tapioca and sweet potato. Hit the spot just the same! I also stumbled on An Açai Affair for a cleansing nutty berry snack ($9.9). I also got more noodle soup at the mall franchise LeNu. I had their wonton noodle for $12.95. Mall food is seriously great in Singapore (and I think true of many East Asian cities too), compared to our Sbarro and Annie’s pretzels in the US.
On my own, I decided to check out another Instagram cafe. At the Wildseed Cafe within the Alkaff Mansion, I got the Wildflower Latte ($7.7) mostly for its namesake, but it was a gorgeous latte that I felt like I downed too quickly. This cafe is in the Southern Ridges park.
At the airport, I got my fill of milo and kaya toast as I waited to board the plane. Both are typical modern breakfast foods for people in southeast asia. Milo is a chocolate malt drink like Ovaltine. Kaya is a coconut egg-based jam, often made with pandan. At the airport, this combo was $5. On another trip through the airport, I opted for a more traditional chinese breakfast with cheung fun ($5.1). This is what you’ll likely find at a dim sum restaurant, flat noodles rolled with toppings and dipped in soy sauce.
*All currency discussed are in Singapore Dollars. Rate is approximately 10 SGD = 7.5 USD
All the places I did go to
- Five Spice at the Jewel mall by Changi Airport (beef brisket noodles)
- SG Hawker in Tanglin Mall (Singaporean food)
- Malaysia Boleh (chendol shaved ice)
- KOI Thé (milk tea)
- LeNu (soup noodles)
- Le Jardin in Fort Canning (brunch and specialty drinks)
- Wildseed Cafe at the Alkaff Mansion in Southern Ridges
- Satay by the Bay in Gardens by the Bay outdoor food stalls
- Newton Food Centre
- Lau Pa Sat (satay and other food hawkers)
- Chin Chin Eating House (Hainanese chicken)
- Liang Seah Street: Ah Chew Desserts, Xiang’s Hunan
- Pinhole Coffee Bar on Purvis Street
- An Açai Affair
Bonus: Other cute cafes I researched and would have loved to check out but didn’t get to
- Cafe Monochrome
- The Great Mischief
- Under the Linden
- Cafe de Nicole’s Flower
- Merci Marcel