Eat Like Anthony Bourdain in Singapore

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The thing about food is that it is not just about food.

It is a tool that brings people together.

It is a story that tells us about culture, traditions and community.

It is a platform that allows individuals to express themselves creatively.

And to the revered chef, writer, and storyteller Anthony Bourdain, food was a lifelong love affair that inspired many all around the world. In this article, we commemorate the late street-food advocate’s favourite Singapore dishes beginning with the dish he claims (may) "just lead you to understand Singapore better" —

Chicken Rice

Bourdain’s Recommendation: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice

1 Tian Tian Chicken Rice, Singapore Famous Chicken Rice 2018

Source: Joseph Tsai

Mention "Famous Chicken Rice in Singapore" and Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice will probably be named as one of the must-visit places in SG. The rice is fragrant (from being cooked in rich chicken fat and stock for hours), the chicken meat is moist and silky and don’t even get us started on the chilli—it’s spicy, tangy and garlicky all at once—just the way a good chilli should be.

If you’re wondering, yes, Tian Tian is the same chicken rice that defeated Gordon Ramsay during the Hawker Heroes Challenge in Singapore back in 2013.

Address: Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, #01-10/11, Singapore 069184 (Flagship Stall)

Opening Hours: Tuesdays - Sundays, 10am - 8pm. Closed on Mondays.

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Bus): Board 124 at Far East Plaza and alight Opposite Hong Lim Complex ("Opp Hong Lim Cplx") after 9 stops

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Train): Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, 5 stops from Orchard MRT Station (3-minute walk from Royal Plaza on Scotts)

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Taxi/GrabCar*): 9-minute drive from the hotel

*GrabCar works similarly to a taxi service — simply book via the kiosk at the hotel and get picked up at the hotel’s entrance.


 

Halal Option: Carousel Buffet Restaurant

Address: Level 1, 25 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228220

Opening Hours: 12pm - 2pm, 3:30pm - 5:30pm and 6:30pm - 9:30pm daily

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts: (By Foot) Surprise! We’re located right at level of the hotel, in the heart of Orchard Road!


 

Claypot Rice

Bourdain’s Recommendation: Geylang Claypot Rice

3 639 geylang claypot rice lor 33, Famous Singapore Claypot Rice 2018

Source: shu55min

Now this one-pot meal is the epitome of rainy comfort food. A piping hot pot of chicken chunks, sliced lap cheong (sliced waxed Chinese sausages) and waxed meat pieces. Like any good claypot rice, there is also a layer of rice crust on the walls of the claypot which adds a nice crunch to the dish!

Pro Tip: The pot of rice is cooked from scratch at Geylang Claypot Rice so it'll require 30 minutes for the dish to be served. Save on waiting time by calling them to place an advanced order and to confirm seating availability.

Address: 639 Geylang Road Lorong 33, Singapore 389570

Opening Hours: Tuesdays - Sundays, 11:30am - 2:30pm and 5pm - 11:30pm. Closed on Mondays.

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Bus): Board 7 at the Royal Thai Embassy and alight Opposite Kong Hwa School ("Opp Kong Hwa Sch") after 18 stops

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Taxi/GrabCar*): 13-minute drive from the hotel


 

White Pepper Crab

Bourdain’s Recommendation: JB Ah Meng

2 JB Ah Meng, Singapore Famous White Pepper Crab 2018

Source: Joseph Tsai

The robust, peppery sauce added a sharp kick to the dish without overpowering the sweet crab meat. Trust us when we say we would buy their pepper sauce by the carton if it was available for sale!

If you wanna switch things up from the usual Chilli Crab, give JB Ah Meng’s White Pepper Crab a shot!

Address: 34 Geylang Road Lorong 30, Singapore 389490

Opening Hours: 5pm - 3am daily.

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Bus): Board 7 at the Royal Thai Embassy and alight Opposite Kong Hwa School ("Opp Kong Hwa Sch") after 18 stops

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Taxi/GrabCar*): 12-minute drive from the hotel


 

Halal Option: Segar Village

Address: 9 Sims Way, Singapore 388831

Opening Hours: 11:30am - 2:30pm and 5:30pm to 11:30pm daily

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Bus): Board 7 at the Royal Thai Embassy and alight Ater Lor 1 Geylang ("Aft Lor 1 Geylang") after 14 stops

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Taxi/GrabCar*): 11-minute drive from the hotel


 

Char Kway Teow

Bourdain’s Recommendation: Hill Street Fried Kway Teow

4 Hill Street Char Kway Teow, Singapore Famous Char Kway Teow 2018

Source: David Ong

Like many other Chinese hawker and zi char dishes (affordable Chinese home-cooked dishes), the essence of a good Char Kway Teow lies in the wok hei*. And Hill Street Fried Kway Teow nailed theirs.

Each plate is fried individually and each strand of kway teow (flat noodles) has an even coating of sweet black sauce. Liberal portions of lap cheong, cockles, a sprinkle of fried pork lard, and bits of egg are also scrambled within.

*Wok Hei: An unique concentration of flavour imparted to dishes. For a dish to capture the complex wok hei flavour, a number of tricky factors are involved. This includes having good control of the fire and having a technique to toss the ingredients in the wok.

Address: Bedok South Market & Food Centre, 16 Bedok South Road, #01-41, Singapore 460016

Opening Hours: Tuesdays - Sundays, 11am - 5pm. Closed on Mondays.

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Taxi/GrabCar*): 19-minute drive from the hotel


 

It's a challenge to find Muslim Char Kway Teow in Singapore and 786's version is similar to the traditional version. Complete with copious amounts of sweet black sauce and garlic, cockles, egg and chye sim vegetables, each bite was a sweet and savoury delight to the tastebuds!

Halal Option: 786 Char Kway Teow

Address: Bukit Merah View Market & Hawker Centre, 115 Bukit Merah View, #01-28, Singapore 151115

Opening Hours: Fridays - Wednesdays, 2:30pm - 10pm. Closed on Thursdays.

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Bus): Board 132 at Far East Plaza and alight After Tiong Bahru Road ("Aft Tiong Bahru Rd") after 11 stops

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Taxi/GrabCar*): 7-minute drive from the hotel


 

Bonus: Fried Oyster Omelette

Green Sky Fried Kway Teow (Halal)

Source: Selina Baby Chaztel

Technically, this isn’t one of the dishes that Bourdain said you have to try in Singapore. However, he did try this dish in his Singapore episode of “Parts Unknown” at Geylang Lor 29 Fried Hokkien Mee.

Green Sky's rendition of Oyster Omelette is loaded with eggs and most importantly, a generous serving a fresh plump oysters. The crusts of the omelette are also fried to a crisp unlike typical chewy versions of the dish that are usually made with potato or tapioca starch.

Address: Bedok Food Centre, 1 Bedok Road, #01-14, Singapore 469572

Opening Hours: Wednesdays - Mondays, 11am - 9:30pm. Closed on Tuesdays.

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Bus): Board 14 at Before Orchard Boulevard ("Bef Orchard Blvd") and alight Opposite Bedok Camp 2 ("Opp Bedok Camp 2") after 36 stops

Getting There from Royal Plaza on Scotts (By Taxi/GrabCar*): 21-minute drive from the hotel


 
Cover Image: Cambridge Live
  

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