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Trip Report – Singapore 2014 Part 2

This is Part 2 of the time we spent in Singapore. We went to Taiwan and Singapore as part of our Asia trip earlier this year. Read my previous posts on Taiwan here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Singapore Part 1.

When we previously left off, we had stayed for a night at the famed Marina Bay Sands resort, eaten some of my favorite foods, and spent some time with my relatives. But we weren’t done yet! I still had a lot of local favorites I wanted to eat in a short amount of time. My auntie took us to a few hawker centers where some of the cheapest and best food in Singapore can be found. Hawker centers are pretty much just giant food courts serving everything from local cuisine (Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, and even Indian flavors all rolled together make up a lot of Singaporean cooking) to western food like fried chicken and french fries. You’ll always find several vendors selling fresh fruit and juices, as well as stalls for beverages and coffee/tea.  FYI, very few of these classic hawker centers have air-conditioning, and you need to bring your own napkins/tissues. My auntie took us to Maxwell Road Food Center and to Siglap market for tastes of yummy local food. We shared everything and it was a good way for Steve to get to try multiple things!

The inside of a hawker center in Singapore.

Roti prata (also called Roti canai) – fried flaky pieces of buttery dough that you dip in spicy curry. A good breakfast or appetizer item! Top left is the kopi (coffee) with condensed milk.

Murtabak – the same flaky pancake as roti prata but stuffed with good things like eggs, onions, and ground meat. Think we got mutton here. It’s like a Singaporean quesadilla!

Curry Yong Tau Foo – different fish cake, tofu, and vegetables in a curry soup broth topped with spicy chili sauce.

Indian-style Rojak – a salad made of vegetables, fish cake, fried dough, and potatoes, with a spicy, tangy chili dipping sauce.

Mee Pok – dry (meaning soup on the side). A Noodle dish of flat wide egg noodles with a savory chilli sauce with fish ball soup on the side.

My most favorite thing to eat, Chicken Rice! Probably the national dish of Singapore. Poached or roasted chicken with broth-cooked rice and lots of condiments on the side.

On the left is Malay style rojak, which is the same salad of fried dough, turnips, fruit and vegetables, this time tossed in a fermented shrimp/sweet soy sauce with peanuts. In the middle are cockles, kinda like clams, simply steamed. You open and dip the flesh into a chili lime sauce. Yum!

Freshly squeezed iced sugar cane juice, my favorite! Cost mere pennies compared to the version I got last year on Maui.

We spent time with my Auntie and her large family at home – my 3 cousins, 4 nieces, and 1 nephew. My cousin Wee Siong brought us over my favorite meal, Chicken Rice! It’s kinda cool how when you get take out, the package the food in eco-friendly paper wraps. You can use the paper as a plate, easy clean up!

Chicken rice take-out, where portions of rice is served on oiled paper so you can use it as a plate! The meats are usually served family style when buying for a group.

Chicken rice dinner

Steve playing with my nephew, Tyler

Building a fortress!

If Chicken Rice is Singapore’s national dish, Pineapple Tarts are the national baked treat. They are very popular and I’ve only seen these kind in Singapore, where they have a buttery flaky crust. (The Taiwan ones are more like cakes than flaky pastries). These ones my cousin Su-Ann brought us to try, were outstanding!!

These Pineapple tarts are stuffed with a cooked filling of crushed pineapple jam with a buttery, flaky crust. So delicious! You can also find those that are shaped more like cookies.

Coincidentally, it was also my other Auntie’s birthday celebration. We were lucky to be there to celebrate with her and to meet up with some of my extended family, some of whom I’ve not seen for a long time. It was great seeing everyone and everyone’s kids! We went to Roland’s Seafood, which is in Marine Parade. It’s apparently THE place to have the famed, Singapore Chili Crab. It was delicious!

Singapore Chili Crab. Delicious sweet and spicy sauce slathered over freshly cooked crab. The sauce is soaked up with fried man tou (rice buns) pictured in the back.

Lots of my extended family!

Happy Birthday to my Auntie and it was great seeing everyone again!

Later in the week before our departure, my niece, Nikolette, cooked us a Korean dinner. Korean culture is immensely popular in Singapore, as is the rest of the world. It was good! Thanks Nikolette!

Kimchi Jigae, dukbokki, naeng meung – all Korean dishes cooked by Nikolette.

On our last day in Singapore :(, my Auntie drove us to Changi Airport for our long flight back to New York (via Taiwan on EVA Air). Did you know Changi airport has a hawker center in it’s basement? I guess this is where a lot of the workers in the airport would eat, and it would be my first choice too! We got a couple more local treats before we left Singapore:

Hawker center/food court in the basement of Changi Airport

Top L, mee pok – dry. Right, Singapore laksa – noodles in an aromatic coconut milk broth with spicy sambal paste, served with either chicken or shrimp, fried tofu and veggies.

My sister, Su-Queen’s, favorite dish, chwee kuey, steamed rice cakes with salty fermented radish on top. It’s really yummy and hard to find outside of Singapore.

This isn’t something I see often outside of Singapore, a type of yong tou foo dish of boiled squid and noodles with a spicy, sweet n sour type sauce.

An finally, dessert, ice kachang (shave ice, Singapore style!) with mango pudding and lychees.

Thank you to all my family and friends in Singapore who have shown us great hospitality during our visit! I would especially like to thank the Teo, Khor, and Lim families. Can’t wait until our next visit!

Thank You Hua Kor/Auntie Ellen, for taking us around and showing Steve he’s first taste of Singapore! He loved it!

After a quick flight to Taiwan, a two-hour layover, and then another 14-hour flight to JFK, we were back home! Exhausted, but ready for our next adventure!

This concludes our early 2014 Asia Trip! Read my previous posts on Taiwan here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Singapore Part 1. In one more month we head to Bali, Indonesia! I’m super excited!

 

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