172015Mar

Hawker Center Eats

I spent a week in Singapore. This time around, I focused on work. I mean focus focused. I barely had time to visit friends let alone venture out. The heat didn’t help encouraging me to explore. So this report is primarily around highlights of the local eats I had. And boy did I go local. That was all I ate which was pretty scary. For all those thinking these portions at hawker centers won’t affect your weight, well you’d be wrong. They cook with the real deal. Fat, lard, deep fried pork skins, everything your doctor warned you about, was probably in there. And you won’t care because you’d love it!

Enter the places to eat. I don’t think some of these places count for actual hawker centers. Not the big ones you read about. Nope, these were what I found around my hotel building nearby Lavender. Enjoy!

212013Nov

Meals Before Heading Home

It was our last full day in Singapore. Also, last day of the work week. So what to do? Finish our work, eat, say our goodbyes, and get prepared for that long flight home. So onto eating. For lunch we kept it close. A small restaurant in our building. An Indonesian one to be exact. Our co-worker wanted to make sure we didn’t leave without a trying it. Not a bad place. Caters to the people working in the office and around the area. I don’t think they’re open on the weekends or even late at night.

Warung Lele Restaurant
8 Shenton Way
Singapore 068811
+65 6423 1552

Verdict: Not opposed to eating here again. If I’m in the office again and it’s raining, sure, I’m game.

For dinner we decided for some local hot pot. The Japanese attempt on Tuesday left me unsatisfied. So it was off to a new local chain, Jpot. Okay, not quite a chain since there’s only two of them. But they’re part of the Jumbo Seafood conglomerate that’s going to make these sprout up everywhere. The place was pretty big. It wraps around the outside of the mall leading you to a nice view of the water. Not complete waterfront. Enough for you to relax once you ignore all the cars on the over pass. Servings were individual so don’t expect family style hot pot. And the ordering system was pretty neat. Local touch pads sends your orders to the back. No need to flag down any waiters/waitresses. The bad part was that you get only two hours. Yeah, a little too short.

Jpot
1 Harbourfront Walk
Singapore 098585
+65 6273 3536

Verdict: Not bad. Quality could be better, but love the broth variety.

On a side note, the Singapore Lounge at the Changi airport is phenomenal. They have self-serve laksa there. Zomg!

202013Nov

Tour Group Sentosa

Early morning meetings are the worse. As necessary as they may be, they still suck, especially when you’re overseas. Jet lag wasn’t the issue here. The issue was that we’re in Singapore, freaking Singapore. A city thriving with business and we’re right in the middle of it dealing with issues back home. I have to say I always wanted to experience the expat life, but if it means waking up early to deal with your Western counterparts. I’ll have to pass. Singapore’s night life is just too rich. There was a silver lining to all this though and it started with an early lunch.

Qiji
109 North Bridge Rd #01-17
Funan Digitalife Mall
Singapore 17909
9:00am – 8:30pm

Verdict: Yes, try it for the laksa and popiah.

We headed to this place around 10:30am. After hearing how the locals see this as the place for laksa, I soon knew why. It’s not like it’s the best laksa you’ll ever have. There are so many things you can do to improve it. Still you won’t. This was the kind of place you grew up with. The place you’d meet up with friends, have some food, and catch up on things. Perfectly balanced stuff that didn’t need anything to change. Surprisingly enough, my boss, who’s not a foodie and didn’t know about the place, thought it was the best stuff he’s had so far. This was the first time he’s been to Singapore. Kinda amazing from a place that looks like a fast food shop.

Soon after we finished. We were re-energized. We had a different view point on things. Our early morning meeting meant we got more than half our day done. There was still more to do, but within a few hours, finished, mid-afternoon. So what to do. Time to check out Sentosa.

Unfortunately, I did something pretty uncharacteristic. I went to book a tour to Sentosa that takes you all the way to the evening. I don’t recommend doing this, I never do. You’re always gonna get herded around and there’s no room for deviation. Oh well, I guess it’s good not to research things yourself and have some guide guess at what you’ll be interested in. Do note that all of these places you can get to yourself. So here’s where they took us (the times are the hours of operation, not our tour schedule):

Cable Car
9:00am – 10:00pm

Underwater World
80 Siloso Road, Sentosa
Singapore 098969
+65 6275 0030
10:00am – 7:00pm

Extreme Log Ride
4D AdventureLand
10:00am – 9:00pm

Images of Singapore
40 Imbiah Rd
Singapore 099700
+65 6736 8672
9:00am – 7:00pm

Verdict: No to the tour. Only thing worthwhile may be Underwater World.

There’s some laser concert at the end of the tour which we didn’t go. It was by the beach so we gave away our tickets and got some drinks instead. Yeah, I only recommend these things if you have family to take around. Otherwise, explore and get lost! Singapore is one safe place.

192013Nov

Ten

The following night it felt as though we tried to make up for last night’s dinner. So off we go with co-workers to another place. I actually thought it was more of a shabu shabu joint. Not quite.

Ten 天, The Oyster and Crab Restauran
100 Tras Street #01-08
6543-6507 / 6543-6508

Verdict: Nope, won’t try again. So many better offerings around.

Another fancy place, but at least they delivered what we were expecting. The place was among a series of Japanese restaurants and right next to an Izakaya place. Something I should have also added to the options. But we chose Ten. Not too shaby in what we had to eat, but the service wasn’t on par. First, I wanted to try some uncommon fish which the waiter pointed out. I ordered the sashimi platter with some substitutions, but what we got was the standard. He played it off as though I didn’t make it ask to substitute. Wonderful huh? Next was the AC which was above two tables. It had condensation which they had to wipe down periodically. Problem was, it was above two tables, including ours. Fix it people! Or at least, don’t seat anyone there. So much for high end. Final straw was our nabe which took forever to cook. Guess why? The AC was blowing straight down on the fire. I asked if they can just take it to the kitchen to cook. They acknowledged something, but walked away. Basically 30 minutes later I decided to block the fire with my napkin. Yeah, not safe. But the wait staff didn’t say anything and wouldn’t you know, the thing finally came to a boil. Man, this was 0 and 2 for dining experiences with the co-workers. With that being said though, all complaining aside, the food wasn’t bad. Pretty good actually.

182013Nov

Indochine

I’ll admit, this post was difficult to write. Being a Monday was one thing, figuring out what I’ve done all day was another. We had breakfast and lunch at the office so no news on food there. There was dinner, but I really don’t want to give the place any coverage. It was a company dinner that I’d highly advise against if you were on vacation.

Indochine
#01-03, Asian Civilisations Museum (Acm I)
1 IndoChine Empress Place
+65 6339 1720

Verdict: Never coming here again.

On most review sites, you’ll see this place as a four dollar sign $$$$ restaurant. And they would be correct, the place was expensive. And hearing that it was a fusion of Southeast Asian cuisine made it even harder to imagine the place was going to be good. And after our meal, it was confirmed. Don’t get me wrong, I know you pay for the atmosphere and stuff, but ouch on eating foods you know can be better at a fraction of a cost. For each of the dish you’ll catch yourself thinking, “I can get a nice Filet Mignon at that price.” And at the end of your meal, you probably have enough room in your stomach for a steak. In any case, the view was nice and service was okay. Would I come back here on my own dime, no. Sorry everyone, not a good post today.

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