LATEST REVISION 25 MAR 2019
Below you will find a selection of my (Hayden Quinn) favourite spots, hidden gems and best eats in Singapore.
This page, map and information will be constantly updated as new trips take place and more hot tips come in from our friends, plus you guys (if you have anything you think MUST be on the list, send me a DM on Instagram!) so be sure to check back frequently and share with your friends…
hawker & food centre
ChinaTown Complex - this was a little breakfast mission with Sam Evans, we wanted something cheap and something local and this food centre was just around the corner from our hotel. We did a couple of laps of the centre and sussed out what looked best, then we saw a massive line for "Economic Noodles" which were selling for $1 per plate and looked amazing (plus the line was a give away that it was good) . We grabbed some of the economic noodles, plus a gentleman in the queue gave us the tip on some amazing fresh spring rolls two stalls down from the economic noodles and they were amazing also! And super cheap cheap!!!
Newton Food Centre - this is the classic (and recently seen in the feature film Crazy Rich Asians) - I visited here when we were in town with Qantas and Singapore Tourism filming some stuff for inflight advertisements - we did the rounds, had a lot of food, the Singapore crab was amazing (not sure which hawker stand we got it from) plus there was a craft beer stand (which was good, but I prefer just regular Tiger when in Singas - which you drink with ice on a hot night!) Walk around, soak it up. As they say, you could eat here every day for a year and not get bored with the food.
Lau Pa Sat Food Court - Hawker Centre classics.
Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre (Lorong 1) - this hawker centre has some of the best Laksa that i have had in Singapore. I cant remember the name of the vendor as we were there filming for work but it was amazing. Plus there is a Michelin Starred Hawker stand in this centre (we didn’t get to visit it as it was closed on the day we were there (rare) as the owners were doing something for Michelin). Def worth checking out. Very legit.
Changi Village Hawker Centre - we had lunch here prior to catching the ferry over to Pulau Ubin - this was one of the more "local" Hawker Centre's we visited as it is well away from any hotels or tourist infrastructure, and in an area with local workers and also a lot of military folk. The Nasi Lemak we had here was unreal!!!!!
Tiong Shian Porridge - this is where Sam Evans and I had Frog Porridge - we stumbled upon this place when we were out looking for breakfast, there was a crowd of locals so we thought it must have been ok! Turns out it was pretty awesome! Tricky ordering but we just pointed at what we wanted and it turned up!
Banana Leaf Apolo - Indian food that will blow your mind. Big long tables, loud people, exciting dining experience, my mouth is watering thinking about this spot and how good it was! I can't wait to go back. The fish head curry is the speciality and the go to here...Rip in!
Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Chicken Rice - you can't come to Singapore without having chicken rice! Granted, you can find this dish at about every hawker centre, but my favourite is from the Tong Fong Fatt crew, they are at a number of different spots so if you see their sign get amongst it!
Yu Kee House of Braised Duck - another lunch spot, cheap, cheerful BBQ duck and pork (no beers, I really wanted a beer with this lunch and they didnt serve haha also there are not little mini marts I could see in the area) food was good, simple, cheap and cheerful! I think it is a bit of a institution with locals from the area. MIchelin guide write up here…
Labyrinth - one star Michelin restaurant on the bay (a little hard to find, it is inside the complex up the escalators) but Chef Han shows off local Singaporean cuisine and old school dishes done in a very finessed manner.
Burnt Ends - run by Aussies, this joint is off the hook! So good. It's not cheap but its worth it! Make someone else pay and get the big dog steak!!!
BARS & NIGHTLIFE
Kilo Lounge - go for a party.
Native - Cocktail Bar - beautiful venue with out there cocktails! These guys do some seriously cool twists on a classic cocktail utilising local, “native” ingredients in their drinks, including a big line up of boutique spirits from around Asia.
Lantern - great view over the bay, semi fancy and not cheap (but nowhere is in this part of Singapore) good spot to see light show from Marina Bay Sands.
CÉ LA VI - go for the epic view and pretty cool scene (and people) leave for the $$$$ beers and cocktails. I am pretty sure there is a door charge to get up here.
SITES & ATTRACTIONS
Little India - I love this area, so many markets, so much food, so many sites, smells, vibes, feels, take a walk around and soak it up! You will find everything here.
Katong - this is old world Singapore, with colourful shop houses and old teak architecture, it is an epic spot to check out. (Especially for those that love a good Insty photo!!! haha)
Pulau Ubin - if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Singapore main island then a quick trip over to Pulau Ubin is spot on, the ferry you take is a quaint old wooden boat that drops you off at the island which is popular for hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, butterfly's, it's pretty sweet!! You can hire bikes on the island. Take some food with you, we didn’t really see too many options?
Gardens by the Bay - this is an obvious tourist stop, but one that is quite enjoyable, the park is spread out and doesn’t feel crowded, plus it is a nice respite from the concrete and steel of the city, surrounded by amazing greenery and sculpture. I have only been during the day time, however seeing it at a distance at night, it is quite a spectacle.
Flower Dome - Gardens by the Bay - if you like colour and love orchids as much as I do, this is the stop for you. Epic. It is amazing what they achieve here.
Cloud Forest - Gardens by the Bay - I could have stayed in here all day! Such an amazing experience, the waterfall as you walk in is spectacular and the whole set up will just blow your mind. Plus it is about 20 degrees cooler inside haha so a nice reprieve from the heat.
Run a loop (or two) around the bay - there is a walking / running path all the way around the bay, you will see all the other joggers doing laps. It will be crowded, so pick your time wisely but people are generally pretty good about being conscious of runners. I think it is just under a 5km loop... This is my run on Strava here…
Ketam Mountain Bike Park (Pulau Ubin) - not only is Pulau Ubin a beautiful natural reserve it also has some great mountain bike trails which are popular with locals and expats!
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore - worth a look! Classic old world style and class. I would love to stay here one day. I would imagine it is quite expensive.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 3 - I have never stayed here, however I have been lucky enough to visit the crazy infinity pool (this is normally reserved for guests only)
Dorsett Singapore - this is where we stayed when I was working with Qantas in Singapore (simple, not a bad location, nothing fancy)
TIPS & INFO
hawker & food centres
Claiming your seat - to do this all you need to do it place a packet of tissues on your seat and the table is yours.
Beers - beer in your ice is normal. Give it a try, especially when it’s hot out! Return your empty beer bottles to the vendor you bought them off so they can be recycled.
Where to eat - do not feel like you have to eat form the stall your sit in front of, seating is open to all and you should not be “solicited” food. Some stall holders can be a little sneaky, ALWAYS agree on a price before confirming your order (especially for seafood that is marked as “market price” or “M/P”
Self service or table delivery - once you order your food check to see if the stall you have ordered from is self service (i.e. you wait around for your food to be cooked) or will the food be delivered to your table.
Hahlal (tray / crockery) - make sure you put your tray and crockery on the right stand, they are generally colour coded.
GENERAL TIPS & TRICKS
No smoking - in all air conditioned areas (smoking areas will be signposted)
DO NOT - spit (this was a tough one for me especially when out on a run!!) or litter.
Tipping - this is not customary in Singapore. You do not need to tip unless you believe you have received exceptional service. Some service charges will be included in your bill.
LANGUAGE CHEAT SHEET
Most Singaporeans you will come across will speak fluent english, however there are many languages spoken in Singapore, including Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.