Wednesday, July 15, 2015

10-Euro Foodtrip Singapore 2015

It's amazing what 5 years could do to a growing metropolis such as Singapore. Compare to the sleepy and stagnant   town where I'm living for almost 10 years in Germany , Singapore's progress  and development  is just astonishing . Everything  looks  familiar yet new . We spent almost a week here in 2015 and although our favourite spots  still linger,  new  and upscale establishments now stand along with it .

The towering buildings in the commercial district could now rival Hong Kong,

Revamped attractions such as the Garden by the Bay offers scenic stroll by day .

 And with its jaw dropping and extravagant light shows, it  attracts tourists and locals like moth to  flame at night .

Locals and visitors alike still flock in Sentosa . The gondola ride offers a birds eye view of the island. It's like a riot of all things green and growing , silently tussling  for space and attention.The island mirrors the rest of the spruced up city .

The changes is not only visible, it's also palpable especially to our wallet. The hotel where we stayed at five years ago, now cost almost twice as much! Since my mother and aunt will be joining us this time , we settled for a more reasonably priced  lodging near Clarke Quay, still my favorite hangout at night in SG.

One thing that we did not manage to visit five years ago were the hawker centres. The only thing that seems unchanged and unfazed by the glitz of modern world. Like an old tradition that stubbornly clings to every Singaporean soul . It also warmly welcomes any outsider.

The Old Airport Hawker centre in your typical local eatery. It's open aired and sultry, thanks to SG all year round hot weather, buzzing with people  and activity. The smell and sight of all things cooked and eaten gives an impression of  orderly chaos. This is the place to be. The old Singapore.

Masters at work, most doing exactly the same stuff for years if not decades, perfecting whatever recipe they discovered or handed down by older generation. This is one tough business to venture, with thousands of stalls out there, each competing  for attention and loyal patrons, only the good one stays and the  best of the best flourish.

I took 10 euros with me, that's about 15 Singapore dollar, which could get you 1 simple dish in a restaurant  or a mere appetiser in more opulent places in the city.

So what can you actually buy with 15 SG Bucks/ 10 Euro /500 Phil. Pesos  in this hawker centre? Surprisingly, enough!

These babies are about the size of my fist, freshly baked, it almost burned my tongue! The filling is abundant , meaty and spicy. Not bad.

First stop: Curry Puff :SG$: 1,60  /1 EUR / 53 Phil. Pesos. 

 I found a treasure! Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff Stall in my favourite so far. I came back for dinner after tasting ONE curry puff and I should have stayed longer and eat my way through all those flavoured puffs! They got tradition curry , sardine, black pepper chicken and yam.

I ordered black pepper chicken puff and it was sensational! The shelled puff is buttery and flaky, it literally crumbles in my mouth. The filling is juicy and generous with huge chunks of well seasoned meat. It's highly addictive.

Second stop: Black Pepper Puff SG$1,60/ 1 EUR/  53 Phil. Pesos

FF's been craving for satay so we ordered some from an  Indonesian stall for 50 cent a piece. I tasted better ones in Bali but I'm not complaining.

3rd stop : 10 pcs. Beef and Chicken Satay with peanut sauce
 5 SG$ / 3,30 EUR /166 PhP

Bought 2  Paus, each the size of a baby's fist and cost about 50 cents a piece. There's variety of filling to choose from.
4th stop: 2 Mini Pau for 1 SG$ / 0,66 EUR/ 33 PhP

Considered as Singapore's national dish. This is Hainanese chicken rice. There's a loooong list of hawker stalls and restaurant to choose from and an equally long discussion of which is the best . There are few joints recommended and praised by big named TV hosts such as Bourdain and Zimmerman. While many locals readily approve of  their choices, others disagree  thrusting another unheard hole- in- the -wall eatery in the spotlight. I don't want to be in the middle of this debate since I'm no expert and there's a lot more to consider in this simple dish than meets the eye. Way lot more before one can actually proclaim it as good, bad or average. There's the chicken skin, the texture, the flavour,  the chili sauce , the rice, the condiments and more. Tackling these issues is as complicated as my Algebra subject in college and I hate math! It also shows how obsessed and how serious Singaporeans are when it comes to their food.

Among many stalls in the old airport, this place sells one of the cheapest  chicken rice. For 2.50 dollars, I got a serving of steamed chicken, a bowl of steamy soup, fragrant rice and the usual condiments of chili, sweet soy  and ginger sauce. FF wiped the whole thing off in minutes, came back for dinner and ordered it again. That's from somebody who do not like steamed chicken!

5th stop: Hainanese Chicken Rice for 2.50 SG $/1,66 EUR/ 83 PhP

One can not be in Singapore and not eat Durian! Many foreigners , including FF shy away from this fruit because of its pungent smell and less than appetising sticky consistency. Fortunately, Singaporeans are rather creative in masking both and in making this exotic fruit more pleasant to the eyes and palate. My family is crazy about Durian along with probably 80  percents of the Phil. population. I  convinced FF to give it a try. He did, and still did not like it. Oh well.

6th stop: Durian Monchi 2 pcs for 3.80 SG$/ 2.50 EUR/ 26 PhP

That's 6 different nibbles and gnaws for 15.5 SG dollars, 10,33  Euro or 515 Phil. Peso.  If you want to eat cheap and eat good, look for the nearest hawker centre when you are and Singapore and be prepared for a one of a kind gustatory adventure !

  1. Old Airport Road Food Centre
  2. Food Stall
  3. Address: 19 Old Airport Rd, Singapore 390019

Just a reminder: Other hawker places sells  more expensive stuff. 

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