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The Singapore Food Scene

The grimy seafood tanks at Sin Huat

The grimy seafood tanks at Sin Huat

This past Sunday's Washington Post Travel section featured a great story for foodies about Eating Well on Singapore's Seedy Side

It brought back memories of visiting the various food stalls around the city and sampling everything on offer. 

The author, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan described the scene at Sin Huat quite adeptly:

The place also has an especially bare-bones setting, even by coffee-shop standards:

On the night we went in June, the restaurant's lights would periodically flicker and go dark for several long seconds before coming back on.

Our table by the grimy, greenish fish tanks also offered us front-row seats to the sweaty cooks reaching into the tanks up to their armpits to scoop out shellfish whenever a customer placed an order.

My first impressions and fondest memories of Singapore will always be tied to the food scene. 

I discovered I could enjoy soup for breakfast and savor the stinkiest fruit known to man (durian). 

I also learned an original Singapore Sling at the Long Bar will set you back close to $20 and just because a restaurant looks like a dump, doesn't mean it won't be prepared to charge you $35 and up for fresh crab and noodles. 

Ironically, I thought to myself at the time, I'm not even a fan of crab!

While both experiences cost more than I expected, it gave me a chance to enjoy a few spots featured on Anthony Bourdain's “No Reservations.” 

The unassuming Sin Huat Eating House was the scene of the crab feast. 

It sits across the street from one of Singapore's red-light districts, a fact that Ian, my Couchsurfing host, mentioned to me when I first gave him the address.

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:


Monday 5th of October 2009

As much as I focused on food, I have to admit it might've been partly for lack of other things to focus on! My CS host did show me around the downtown area, and take me all over the city (including the main university where he worked), however I'm not sure I could live there.

It lacked an edginess I'd require to feel excited about living abroad. Hong Kong, if it weren't for the pollution, would be cool, for example. And of course, Medellin (though it is at the opposite end of the foodie spectrum).


Monday 5th of October 2009

The sheer selection of food in Singapore made it one of the highlights to me, and it would be a great place to live, ties in with the big social scene there.


Thursday 1st of October 2009

Hi Angel, thanks for stopping by. I wasn't familiar with Sabah so I searched for it and found it's in Malaysia:

"is a Malaysian state located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo" current plans to make it to that part of Asia, though I've heard and read good things about traveling in Malaysia and Borneo.


Thursday 1st of October 2009

My Ms Hobo! I'm a big restaurant guy myself, however there's an exotic draw to eating in the hawker areas when traveling. I like to mix it up.

Her Royal Hoboness

Thursday 1st of October 2009

Been living here for close to 5 years and I love the variety of food readily available at any time of the day. Most offerings are quite bland though and I'm not a big fan of grimy hawker areas regardless of their reputations. I still prefer eating at proper restaurants, and thank god they have a lot of really good ones here, too. So yeah, there's something for everyone no matter what your budget is! :)

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