I have questioned before whether Singapore is the food capital of Asia (yes, I believe it is) and there is no better way than to experience food on the island than in one of its hundreds of food courts, locally known as hawker centres. At Marina Bay Sands, there is an upmarket hawker called Rasapura Masters, and here you can find delectable food from all over the region at reasonable prices.
Marina Bay Sands is usually where I treat myself to a night or two (when I’ve saved up enough money) and every evening that I am there I like to head down to “the Shoppes” where Rasapura Masters is located and seek out some Asian food. The hawker is located right at the back of the Shoppes, adjacent to the Ice Rink (which nobody ever seems to use). When I am finished eating, I usually go and burn off the calories on one of two walks: an anti-clockwise lap of Marina Bay, or a walk down to Marina Barrage and back.
But what of the food at Rasapura Masters? Well, there are specific stands for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Singaporean, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Indian food, although I am disappointed that Thai food is not represented here. On most stands, you simply walk up and order, and you get given the food almost immediately, although with more complex foods such as Peking Duck, you take a buzzer back to your seat and wait for the duck to be cooked – when ready, the your buzzer will make a loud noise! The food at Rasapura Masters is much more expensive than what you would find in a regular hawker centre in Singapore, perhaps as much as 4 times more expensive, but then again this is part of a luxury hotel complex, so what do you expect?!
The reason I like eating at Rasapura Masters so much is that – for a hawker – it seems so professional, and you know it carries that MBS stamp of approval, whereas at regular hawkers you sometimes wonder about the hygiene of the food being prepared. I like to follow my eyes: if a hawker or restaurant is packed solid with people, then that is usually a good sign; if these food outlets are not busy then you have to ask WHY NOT?! At dinnertime (strangely, I don’t think I have tried to eat at Rasapura Masters for lunch, as I am always busy elsewhere), the place gets extremely chaotic, so despite the somewhat inflated prices, you can understand just how popular Rasapura Masters can be! As I go and sit at a table with my food that I’ve just ordered, I always forget that I hadn’t ordered a drink yet – so as I go to the designated drinks stall to get a Coke, I worry that my food will be eaten by somebody else when I get back to the table! Top tip: buy your can of Coke BEFORE you start queueing for food!
So what is the best food to eat at Rasapura Masters, you may be asking? Well, as mentioned before, there is some tantalising duck served at the Chinese stall(s), plus the beef bulgogi is delicious too from the Korean stall. Malaysian desserts like Bur Bur Cha Cha and Cendol are also extremely popular, but ultimately one cuisine I always go back for is JAPANESE! The Japanese food stall sells a takoyaki and chicken katsu set meal for about S$7, if I remember rightly. It might not be very healthy but it sure tastes nice – and of course I will burn off the calories on my walk later in the day!