I think you will agree that I unearthed a lot of gems while traipsing in and out of the many fast food outlets scattered across the Little Red Dot!
During my many visits to Singapore, I have always been on the look out for delicious fast food, most of which needs to be easily transportable and eaten on the move, but occasionally, I like to enjoy something at a sit down restaurant or a hawker. Over the last few years, I have compiled a list of some of the strangest and wackiest edible treasures that I’ve come across, and they are listed below in no particular order. How many have you tried? And how many would you LIKE to try?
Monkey Bread, Paris Baguette. I found this at Changi Airport one afternoon before a flight to Bangkok, and I am happy that I took time to search for it. It’s a sticky and crusty snack with what seems to be chocolate rice crispies decorated on top, although I don’t know the exact terminology. It tastes as sticky as it looks! And I have no idea why Paris Baguette call it “Monkey Bread”, either!
Coffin Toast, Eat at Taipei. This is like a thick, bulky slice of toast but rather than have things on top, the roof of the toast is sliced off and the fillings put inside, then the roof is laid back on top. I guess it’s quite similar to a bunny chow from South Africa, but apparently the Coffin Toast concept is very popular in Taiwan (there it is called Guancai Ban).
Crispy Dango, RamenPlay. These circular flour dumplings remind me of takoyaki and are always a nice snack to enjoy when eating in RamenPlay. Coated in crispy breadcrumbs, they are perfect bite-size accompaniments to your ramen!
Flosss Bun, Breadtalk. Ever thought of eating a hairy bread roll? The Flosss Bun (extra S) at Breadtalk is an interesting concept that I haven’t seen anywhere else around the island.
Elvisu Burger, DOJO. Known for their tantalising pork burgers, Dojo’s most unique creation is unquestionably the Elvisu, which is full of bacon and red jam. Apparently, that is the way Elvis himself liked his burgers, hence the name!
Candy Floss Soft Serve, Milkcow. There are so many Korean soft serve ice cream joints around Singapore now, but I think Milkcow is the best (even though it originated in South Korea). They serve popcorn soft serve, which is easy on the eye as well as delicious, but for me the ultimate is the candy floss soft serve, which just looks so amazing as it grows out of the serving cup!
Fried Mars Bar Balls, Chippy. Although it’s primarily a British-themed fish and chip shop, Chippy also sells a weird delicacy called Fried Mars Bar Balls, which really don’t need any explanation. Apparently, Mars have advised people not to eat fried versions of their chocolate based on health reasons, although that didn’t stop me trying some with some ice cream! They are delicious – but I had to burn off the calories the next morning!
Hainanese Chicken Rice, Tian Tian. The first time I tried Hainanese Chicken Rice was in Maxwell Food Court, where I paid for some from Tian Tian. The chicken is so soft, it almost melts in the mouth!
Garlic Snowing Pizza, Mad for Garlic. This gothic-themed tavern franchise known as Mad For Garlic serves up lots of western food, but is particularly known for its pizzas. The Garlic Snowing Pizza is the best I have tried here, and it’s always good to see pizzas with original names and designs.
Curry O, Old Chang Kee. Arguably the most famous finger food in Singapore, Old Chang Kee’s Curry O is basically a curry puff that can be filled with many other fillings, such as fish or vegetable. I had a chicken Curry O which was piping hot throughout and I was tempted to go back for seconds!
Bear Paw Burger, Bear Bites. I love the concept of the Gua Bao from Taiwan, so I was delighted to see this fast food outlet called Bear Bites. Not only do they serve brilliant burger patties in the shape of a Formosan Bear’s paw, but also they often get served in cute little bamboo baskets (unless you’re taking out). The karaage chicken filling tastes delicious in these little fluffy buns!
Soft Bone Chicken, Malioboro. If you want some Indonesian chicken, and want to get value for money, then Malioboro serve up some delicious grub where you can actually eat the bone! In Indonesia, this kind of soft bone chicken is known as Ayam Tulang Lunak. I was wary at first, but eventually I decided to try it out for myself, and it was amazing! It would be good to try this stuff in Indonesia too!
Ramen Burger, Little Hiro. Taking an influence from MOS Burger, perhaps, who are famous for their rice burgers, Little Hiro, which currently has only one outlet (at Bukit Timah), introduced the ramen burger, where the actual patty of the bun is made from hardened noodles!
Ais Kacang, Mei Heong Yuen. I have tried shaved ice desserts all over Asia, but the ones served at Mei Heong Yuen are among the best I have tried. Perfect for a steamy Singaporean afternoon.
Thai Curry Pie, Pie Face. While being an Australian brand by origin, Singaporeans have taken to Pie Face very well, and you can find many different flavours of pies, including the tasty Thai Curry Pie, which caters to the Asian market. That one was my favourite.
Bak Kut Teh, Song Fa. Just beside the Singapore River is a branch of Song Fa where I tried my Bak Kut Teh for the first time ever. It was a good experience, and I would recommend this pork bone broth to everybody when they come to the Little Red Dot.
Kung Fu Pandog, Zen Dog. Arguably the finest type of hotdog in Singapore at the moment, is the Chinese-themed Kung Fu Pandog. The sausage and roll are coated with Chinese vegetables to add some extra pizzazz to the taste! It is a shame that the branch of Zen Dog in Singapore has now closed.
Black Pepper Crab, Dancing Crab. You can find Black Pepper Crab all over Singapore, but the first time I tried it was at Dancing Crab at Bukit Timah. I don’t know why but the pepper actually enhances the taste of the crab more than chili (that would you find in chili crab). Delicious!
Paper Prata, Prata Wala. They have so many items on their menu, but what Paper Prata do better than most other Indian outlets in Singapore is the Paper Prata. It’s a great design (some paper pratas are just folded like a Murtabak) and I was almost embarrassed to break it to eat it!
Salmon Karaage, Sakae Sushi. If you come to Sakae Sushi and don’t fancy any sushi then why not the salmon karaage like I did? I am a HUGE fan of karaage chicken and the deep fried version of the salmon is equally delicious! I haven’t seen this anywhere else apart from Sakae Sushi.
Fruit Taiyaki, Tai-Parfait. The taiyaki is a Japanese pastry that is usually filled with custard or azuki bean in Japan, but here at Tai-Parfait the uniqueness is represented by the addition of ice cream and fresh fruit to really make your fish pastry look sexy! This is one of those snacks that you keep coming back to in order to try more and more flavours.
I hope I have whetted your appetite for some edible treasures from Singapore’s famous fast food scene! Have you seen anything amazing from your travels in Singapore?