From left to right, top to bottom:
1. Chicken ramen, Keisuke Tori King
If you’re a ramen fan like V and I are, you’re most probably used to a pork-based ramen broth, and it’s hard to imagine how a chicken-based broth can taste equally good, but Keisuke Tori King delivers a nice surprise! The broth is tasty, and the chicken served with the ramen is very tender. The free flow of eggs is appreciated too.
2. Nasi Ayam Balado, Indonesia Penyet
Singapore has its fair share of Indonesian stalls/restaurants offering ayam penyet in their menu, but Indonesia Penyet is the best we’ve had so far because their chicken are tasty to the bone, their chilli sauces are authentically Indonesian (read: really spicy!), and they have a good variety of dishes in their menu. I always find it hard to decide between their ayam penyet, empal penyet, and ayam balado. I’ve tried all of them and always walked away full and happy.
3. Chicken Floss Snack Roll, QQ Rice
QQ Rice prides itself on selling healthy rice rolls. They boast the widest selection of rice I’ve seen in any 1 store in Singapore: mixed grain rice, red rice, purple rice, brown rice, wheat germ rice, and more than 20 varieties of delicious stuffings to go with them. You can choose to buy what’s on the menu, or create your own rice rolls. Back in Singapore, I’d have QQ rice rolls for dinner when I finished work late. They’re quick, easy, and light on your stomach.
4. Assorted Indonesian mangoes
Take my word for it, or prove it yourself: Indonesian mangoes are the best mangoes in the world. I included them here because my dad kindly brought these mangoes with him when he visited us in Singapore. My favourite kind are called manalagi, but they didn’t do well this season, so what you see here are slices of harum manis and gedong mangoes. They’re my sisters’ favourites.
5. Chicken Claypot, Qi Wei
This is a good place to visit for group dining with family and friends because their signature Qi Wei chicken claypot comes in various sizes, has plenty of meat in a thick, tasty sauce, and the add-on plates are priced at a few bucks each (we’re talking about assorted seafood, meat balls, vegetables, and tofu). I know this style of eating where everyone cook and eat from the same big pot is characteristically Asian, but hey, it’s not that much different from a BBQ party.
6. Minestrone Spaghetti, Yomenya Goemon
It’s funny, but this Japanese chain is actually my favourite pasta restaurant in Singapore. Their pasta are always cooked just right, the sauces rich in taste but light on the palate, and they have a staggering selection on the menu. Pictured here is their minestrone spaghetti, but having eaten there so many times and yet only managed to sample about a third of their menu items, in my opinion their best dishes so far are the carbonara pasta. You’re expected to eat the pasta with chopsticks here, though you can always ask politely for forks.
7. Bak Kut Teh (Pork Rib Soup), Ng Ah Sio
Before I tried Ng Ah Sio’s bak kut teh, I didn’t like bak kut teh in Singapore at all. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed pork rib soup the way it was cooked at home when I was growing up, with pickled vegetables and a sauce made of freshly cut chilli and sweet soya sauce, but in most places in Singapore, bak kut teh is cooked with a lot of herbs, the soup ends up smelling and tasting… well, people would say herbal, though in my opinion it’s just weird. The soup of Ng Ah Sio’s bak kut teh, however, is the perfect balance of pork and the oldies but goodies garlic and pepper! Order you Tao to enjoy with the soup and you’ll be hooked!
8. Rib-Eye Steak, Astons Steak & Salad
I’m not a huge fan of steaks, to be honest, as apparent by my insistence on ordering them well done despite advice to the contrary, but I’m including this here because Astons Steak & Salad deserves a mention for their fantastic salad and soup bar. Any main course you order in this restaurant comes with free helpings from their salad and soup bar, and they have a really good selection. You can also order the free flow of salad and soup on their own for about 20 dollars. If that’s all you go there for, you still won’t be disappointed.
9. Pho Beef Balls, Nam Nam Noodle Bar
There’s a reason why pho bo (beef noodle soup) is the most popular Vietnamese food and probably the closest the country has to a national dish. The beef soup with rice noodles in a clear broth, topped with finely sliced beef and spring onions may seem simple, but it’s delicious, comforting, and healthy. I’m not qualified to say that Nam Nam makes the most authentic pho, but their pho beef balls is the best pho I’ve had in the whole island of Singapore.
10. Bibimbap, Bibigo
When you fancy a healthy dish that’s not bland, give bibimbap a try. In Singapore, bibigo probably makes the freshest and healthiest assemble-to-order bibimbap. You get to choose the type of rice you want, the toppings, and the sauce.
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