Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Singapore Through The Eyes (& palate) of Grace Koshida! (Part 2)

Ovidia-every other Tuesday
Thank you to Grace Koshida for sharing Part 2 of her Singapore experiences!

To recap, Grace Koshida is from Ottawa, Canada, and will be Fan Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime 2025. An eclectic reader of all crime genres (with a soft spot for P.I., police procedurals and culinary cozies), Grace is a Netgalley reviewer with over 600 reviews to her name. Over to you, Grace!
Here are the Singapore dishes I ate during my trip to Singapore:
Duck noodles, Hainanese chicken rice (twice), bak chor mee, fishball noodles, wonton mee, satay (twice), laksa, fried carrot cake, ice kachang, BBQ stingray, char kway teow, hokkien mee, oyster omelette, chilli crab, roti prata, prawn mee, nasi lemak and kaya toast (twice) - not named kaya toast graphic is under red MAKAN-MAKAN.

April 29: Spent half a day visiting the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Free admission. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the extensive gardens cover 82 ha (200 acres) and has over 10,000 species of flora and some wild fauna. I was so excited to see my first big lizard in the wild!!

The National Orchid Garden (separate admission ticket required) was a highlight. WOW, so many beautiful hybrids, over 2,000 orchid hybrids grown on site.

It's been a great morning but I am getting hot & tired, walking outside for 3 hours in the heat & humidity. It's 34C/95F feeling like 44C/110F at noon. I went to ADAM FOOD CENTRE, which is accessed by walking on an overpass pedestrian bridge from the Singapore Botanical Gardens.
This smaller hawker centre focuses on halal food and Indonesian food.

The large steamed Hainanese chicken rice plate (6 SGD) came with fragrant rice & a small bowl of soup. Both grated ginger and chili sauce were condiments. I also had a mango soursop juice 3.5 SGD.

April 29: evening. Gardens By The Bay Supertree Grove free sound & light show was amazing. Tonight's theme was retro night. ABBA, Grease, Beatles music.
I bought a cute MAKAN-MAKAN SINGAPORE EATS melamine plate in Chinatown (see above!)

April 30: I visited Kampong Glam, another ethnic enclave easily accessible by MRT. First highlight was visiting the Sultan Mosque, built in 1824.

Then I explored the shops on Arab & Bussorah Streets. There were many fabric stores and shops selling beads, buttons as well as rugs and pashminas. As for food, there were Turkish, Lebanese and Middle Eastern restaurants. I had a tasty lamb kofta lunch with homemade lemon ice tea,

There were murals and eclectic art on Haji Lane
and dinner was a steaming hot bowl of fish lor mee for 5 SGD at Hong Lim hawker centre.
Egg noodles coated in a thick gravy, topped with 7 pieces of battered fried fish, a half boiled egg and green onions.
May 1: Labour Day in Singapore.
Was not sure what was opened on this holiday, so I spent a half day at Changi Airport's JEWEL.
The rain vortex is the world's tallest indoor waterfall, 40 m/130 ft high. There are 7 levels of shops, restaurants and attractions.
On L5, the top level, I visited the canopy park, hedge maze, mirror maze and canopy bridge!
For lunch, I had my first laksa (see plate dish!) Yummy, and not too spicy!
May 1 evening: Night hawker walking food tour
First stop at Lau Pa Sat/Satay Street.
Our group of 10 ate chicken and mutton satay, fried carrot cake, hokkien mee (seafood noodles), fresh sugarcane juice, and a peanut pancake.

We then walked to the Esplanade and caught part of the MBS Spectra light show

before heading to Gluttons by the Bay hawker centre where we ate chicken murtabak with curry sauce, and banana fritters with a pandan dip.

DELISH!! Very glad that I had a 20 minute walk to the closest MRT station back to Chinatown.
May 2.
After doing a load of laundry Thursday morning, I spotted some more murals by Yip Yeo Chong.

Then I spent several hours at the Peranakan Museum. I wanted to learn more about the melding of different ancestral cultures of Chinese, Arab, Indian, European and others in SE Asia.
There were 3 floors of exhibits focusing on ceramics and food culture, batik, beading and bridal jewelry and FUKUSA, a temporary exhibit of Japanese gift covers. I liked seeing the hairpins that were described in the Aunty Lee book that I was reading.
I found a Michelin recommended Nasi Lemak stall near the museum and ordered a chicken wing plate with a side of mackerel otah for lunch.

Another MAKAN-MAKAN plate dish.
May 3:
Breakfast with a kopi o for only 0.90 SGD and a Michelin award-winning handmade curry puff for 2 SGD.

Then met Ovidia for a bak kuh teh lunch at Song Fa. The queue was long at 10:45 am for this Michelin-award winning place.

I was still looking for an ice kachang dessert. No luck at Chinatown so we travelled by MRT to Koufu at Commonwealth MRT.
That was a refreshing cool treat and another MAKAN-MAKAN Singapore dish.
We then traveled to Holland Village to visit iconic Thambi Magazine Store which was closing after 80 years in business.
We both bought some magazines and gave the family our best wishes.
May 4:
Thunderstorms with plenty of thunder, lightning and heavy rain from 7:00 am.
Flash flood warnings. I traveled by bus from Chinatown to Tiong Bahru Market which is supposed to popular on weekend mornings. One positive about this heavy rain was a temperature of 26C/78F.It was the coolest morning I experienced while in Singapore; Queue was in place for Michelin award winning prawn mee stall. My medium prawn mee plate (6 SGD) came with large prawns, squid, pork and 2 types of noodles.

I squeezed the calamansi juice but avoided the red chile paste. DELISH Still hungry, so I ordered a small oyster omelette for 5 SGD.
Both dishes were MAKAN-MAKAN Singapore dishes.
And I still needed a hot kopi o (1.20 SGD)!
Dishes to try on next trip: Yong tau foo, chendol, nasi briyani, thosai, char siew rice, rojak!
[Back to Ovidia: Thank you, Grace--and I hope you come back real soon!]


  1. Thank you so much Ovidia Yu for allowing me to share my impressions visiting your wonderful country for the first time. I am rather food-obsessed but I hope that part 2 did highlight some of my other memorable experiences, including my visits to the Singapore Botanical Gardens, JEWEL, the Chinatown murals and the Peranakan Museum. And I did not complain as much about the heat & humidity in part 2!

    1. I'm thanking you, Grace! Seeing Singapore through your eyes helped me see (& taste) so much I'd taken for granted for too long!

  2. Lisa in Long BeachMay 21, 2024 at 9:30 AM

    What a fantastic trip! I did not realize the extent of the Singaporean hawker food culture. You’ve got my stomach growling!

    1. Glad to get your tastebuds salivating and stomach growling, Lisa! I had planned to eat a dozen unique dishes but the MAKAN-MAKAN souvenir plate helped me to add more meals to my list. Ten days in Singapore was not enough time. And I only visited 7 out of 100+ hawker centres in Singapore.