Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Where are we eating at again?

Friday, July 25th, 2008

One of the greatest things about Singapore is the plethora of food options that are available 24 hours a day. Getting home from the club at 5am on a Sunday morning and need something for the impending hangover.

No problem. Murtabak to the rescue.

There are basically four levels of eateries here. Let’s start with the most basic, the coffee shop.

A coffee shop is a collection of little mini eateries. They usually have fewer than 5-6 stores and a few of the shops are always open 24 hours a day. A defining characteristic of coffee shops is the fact that they are all open air establishments. Generally they are located near either groups of HDB apartments or near where big groups of people are, like office buildings or around bars and pubs.

Next on the list are food courts. Food courts are nearly the same as they are on the USA. Except, they may have some great food in them and it isn’t filled with fast food joints. Food courts are “indoor”. They are located inside of malls and office buildings. The number of eateries they have sits between a coffee shop and a hawker center. Because they are inside of buildings, they aren’t open 24 hours a day. They generally have air conditioning, an important distinction.

Next on the list is the most Singaporean, the “Hawker Center”. These are mega eating centers. Imagine an outdoor flea market in the US, now substitute the stores with little eateries, that’s a Hawker Center. Food is cheap, and quite good. You’ll have a large variety of food to choose from. Western burgers and fries to Chinese dumplings or Indian curries, it’s all availabe here. And the best part, you’ll only spend $2-8 for a meal.

The final entry of places to eat, restaurants. These are stand alone establishments. They have air conditioning. And can be either really cheap or ultra expensive. They have their own sit down tables and napkins are standard issue unlike all the other eating options, where you share tables and provide your own napkins.

El Bulli

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I’ve been wanting to go to this restaurant for a few years now. Last year my cousin and I were unable to obtain a reservation. Apparently, they were booked solid for a few months. A food writer in Singapore I met a few months back just had a chance to go there and wrote about it. Pictures are included. Dizzle, are we still going here or what?

Finally Pho

Monday, April 7th, 2008

I’ve been searching for an Authentic Vietnamese restaurant in Singapore since I arrived over 3 months ago. (Has it been that long already?) I’ve been to a number of them already and was SORELY disappointed. Not tonight though.

Singapore as a culture is a fusion of all things Asian and Indian. So, every place has a twist on their food to make it suitable for the Singaporean palate. Sometimes this works, as evidenced by all the great Singaporean style dishes like Chili Crab and the Rotis and Pratas and Chicken Rice places. But, sometimes you want the real deal. Such was my case with Vietnamese food.

All the Pho places I’ve been to so far were HORRIBLE. All the broths were sickly sweet, like orange chicken from Panda Express. Most of them had broths so cloudy they reminded me of miso soup that has settled after a few minutes. And they all had either the wrong cuts of beef or the wrong side accompaniments. I even went to chain Vietnamese restaurants like Pho Hoa.. disgusting… Needless to say, I was quite distraught.

Then last night on the way home, I saw a vietnamese restaurant that I hadn’t seen before called Le Viet. So, I went back and gave it a try today. OMG… I was floored. Here was a place that had a decent bowl of Pho. The broth was clear, the taste spot on and the side accompaniments and meats were correct!!!

Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was the best bowl of Pho I’ve had in my life. But, on a scale of 1 to 10. I’d give it a 6.5-7. About what I’d give to the neighborhood Pho places I went to in either SF or LA. Probably around what I would have given a Pho Hoa back in California.

I’m going to give it a try a few more times and make sure that they are consistent, but I have high hopes for this place.