You know what you’re about to read is totally legit when everything on the list is recommended by our favourite food PR folks from Sixth Sense Communications. So sit back, (belt) buckle off, and break out those bottoms with elastic waistbands, dear readers; it’s makan time!
Tong Ah Eating House
35 Keong Saik Road
This local institution is our go-to spot for a strong cup of kopi or teh-C coupled with slices of well-made kaya and butter toast (a fluffy-soft steamed version is also available here). It is a serene, almost tranquil place to have a spot of breakfast in the early morning … before it gets filled up with hipsters by evening time!
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison
#02-35/36 Mandarin Gallery
There is almost always a queue here even though the restaurant is tucked in a corner of Mandarin Gallery. When the deep-fried food craving hits, we head here to indulge in the expertly fried and delightfully crisp kurobuta pork loin and prawns. The tasty trinity of juicy meat, rice and refreshing julienne of cabbage with a sesame dressing is unbeatable!
Prince Coffee House
249 Beach Road
Although this stalwart serves up an extensive menu of old-school coffee house favourites such as oxtail stew, black pepper steak and chicken pie, our top pick is the beef hor fun redolent of wok hei and bathed in luscious gravy. We always feel like we have stepped back in time when we eat here; check out the retro tableware!
36 Purvis Street
We love the true blue flavours of the Thai food here. Our absolute favourite is the Peek Kai Sord Sai – delish deboned stuffed chicken wings plump with ingredients like minced chicken and mushrooms. The Thai olive rice here pairs impeccably with the wide range of salads, soups, curries and dishes, such as deep fried garoupa with punchy mango salsa, and stir-fried prawns with Thai string beans and chilli paste.
Habib’s Power Indian Rojak
Hoe Bee Coffeeshop, Blk 87 Bedok North Street 4
What makes a good Indian rojak? The gravy, of course! The stall here does brisk business and so the gravy is always fresh. A good version has to contain a fair amount of sweet potatoes to guarantee the natural sweetness and a thick consistency that coats every piece dunked to the bottom of the bowl. To top things off, this stall has a good variety of rojak choices – the sotong fritter is a must-have! Bonus: The prices of each item are clearly labeled, so you don’t have to worry about getting a shock when you pay up!
Blk 84 Bedok North Street 4, #01-47
Most neighbourhood bakeries offer a selection of breads and bakes of mediocre quality. At Creative, the standard of baking is exceptional. The highlight here is the humble cream puff with its lovely light choux pastry perfectly executed for a crunchy bite. It is filled with REAL custard! Their chocolate cakes are also very rich; it is obvious the baker uses premium chocolate for his bakes, so you can expect to pay for what you eat. There is a great selection of mini cakes and tarts for any occasion too.
1300 East Coast Park
We absolutely love this laidback beachside bistro where you get nothing but fresh air, good food and oh-so-satisfying iced cold beer. Run by a Eurasian family, this hotspot serves up a menu that includes several Eurasian dishes – including curry debal (or Devil’s curry) and spicy oxtail stew – and everything else from pastas and pizzas to hearty bar bites. There is even a kids’ menu. A personal favourite here is the Chilli Crab Pasta. The serving portion is huge! It comes with generous chunks of crabmeat cooked in deliciously spicy sauce, with at least four decent-sized shelled prawns thrown in for good measure. Request for this with linguini – trust me, it makes a difference!
Ali Baba Eating House, 125/127 East Coast Road
Most definitely one of the best char kway teow stalls in the east! The husband-and-wife team never scrimps on ingredients on every plate. They are also not apologetic for the generous amount of fresh pork lard used in their cooking, and they even throw in a spoonful on the side before delivering your order. Try the bee hoon kway teow – it is DIVINE! For those of you who don’t care much for this artery-clogging dish, try their Hokkien prawn mee or their soupy prawn mee – these two dishes are equally yummy. Yong Huat is closed every alternate Wednesday and the food is usually sold out by 7pm every evening, so get there early!
458 Joo Chiat Road
Never gave this place a second look when it first opened but since the revamp of the place and their menu, we’ve made it one of our regular haunts. We are big fans of their reinventions of all-time favourites, such as the Rojak Slaw – crunchy strips of vegetables and crispy you tiao drenched in a very tasty rojak sauce. Once you start, you can’t stop! Their Beef Hor Fun is amazing too – fragrant fried noodles topped with fork-tender braised beef, bathed in flavourful beef broth. LOVE! Oh, and did we mention $5 bottled beers every evening till closing?!
Ever since we tried Arnold’s Chicken, we have never looked back when it comes to satisfying a fried chicken craving. We feel the whole spring chicken is more succulent and moist compared to the different chicken parts, so go for the big winner! The skin is thin and crispy with just the right amount of herbs and spices to keep you coming back for more. The coleslaw is perfectly matched with the fried buns and crispy chicken. Eating at the outlet is better but who cares if it isn’t as crisp when you have chicken this good … take some home and spread the joy!