Many of us are familiar with Getai, but the
art form that truly captures the charm of ancient Chinese performing arts is
It’s ostentatious costumes, over-the-top make-up, and the dramatic falsetto singing are symbolic of a fascinating art form that can be traced way back to the Tang Dynasty. And although Chinese Opera isn’t as popular today, there’s still so much value and beauty to this traditional performing arts, which you can experience at the upcoming Chinatown Opera Festival!
Traditional Chinese Opera at Chinatown Opera Festival 2019
This 20th to 24th November, Singaporeans
will get to travel back in time and experience the performing arts on the 50s
and 60s at the Chinatown Opera Festival 2019!
The first ever opera festival showcasing
Singapore’s rich local heritage and culture will feature a range of exquisite
performances as well as activities and food that encapsulates the nostalgic
days of the past.
You can expect an array of performances by local troupes like the Qiong Ju Society of Singapore and
For the younger audience, fret not as there are also
‘introductory programmes’ that will guide you in navigating the eclectic world
of Chinese Opera. There’s even a live demonstration of Chinese Opera weapons,
which is sure to excite even the most unenthused!
Other highlights of the shows include puppet shows, face-changing performances, the beautiful water sleeve dance, and also a special Pop Music & Opera segment featuring local artistes Sylvester Sim, Nick Shen, and Gavin Xie.
A traditional Singaporean breakfast would undoubtedly be the humble kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and kopi.
While it is a common staple in many coffeeshops across the island, there is a brand that’s synonymous with GOOD kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and kopi.
Enter Ya Kun Kaya Toast.
This humble brand started way back in 1944, before Singapore’s independence.
The first concrete stall was located in Lau Pa Sat, where it was simply known as Ya Kun Coffeestall. It remained there for 15 years before relocating in 1984 to Telok Ayer Transit Food Market, and then again in 1998 to its present location at Far East Square along China Street.[caption id="attachment_35602" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
As someone who loves eating Ya Kun’s kaya toast, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never been to this OG Ya Kun outlet.
So this morning, I decided that I had to see for myself, to see if the quality of Ya Kun toasts changed with its expansion. And off I went with my kopi-connoisseur colleague.
A Simple Traditional Breakfast
At first glance, the shophouse outlet looks huge and rustic, with the little tiled roof extensions on the side entrance.[caption id="attachment_35604" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
However, the indoor seating space is actually quite limited, with more spacious seats available outside. Stepping in, the interior of the outlet is actually quite old-school, with simple tiled walls and raw concrete floors.
The old-school vibe is further accentuated by the marble top tables, wooden stools, and the kopitiam posters with almost-tacky lines.[caption id="attachment_35611" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
While the outlet itself isn’t big, the kitchen and food preparation area sure are.[caption id="attachment_35603" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
You can choose to order at the counter inside, or from any of the roving aunties – one of the few things that’s not available at other outlets across the island.[caption id="attachment_35605" align="aligncenter" width="1208"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
This Ya Kun outlet also has portable menus, in contrast to the menu boards typically found at other outlets.[caption id="attachment_35606" align="aligncenter" width="1259"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
I decided to order my usual Kaya Peanut Toast Set ($4.80) for optimal taste comparison. That’s when I noticed, there was only 1 drink size available.
I always upsize my drink at Ya Kun, so this was a bit of a downer.
Service was incredibly quick and efficient, with the aunties, serving drinks, eggs, and cleaning tables in one swift dance-like movement.
Even the cups used here are different, with a more classic kopitiam look, compared to the usual white Ya Kun cups.[caption id="attachment_35609" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
Call me biased, but even the toast here is sliced slightly thinner than the other outlets.[caption id="attachment_35608" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
Overall, the meal was splendid. I expected nothing less from Ya Kun. The toasts were thin and crisp and the eggs perfectly soft-boiled (great for dipping).[caption id="attachment_35612" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]
I loved my cup of Teh while my colleague’s freshly-made kopi was aromatic and sufficiently “gao” without being too sweet.
While Ya Kun has always maintained a high standard for their food and service, what we got at this original outlet was beyond good.
It wasn’t a Ya Kun meal, it was a Ya Kun experience.
Just to clarify, this isn’t sponsored. I just have very strong feelings for Ya Kun Kaya Toast. Though if Ya Kun would like to sponsor, hello, I am available.
Sponsored or not, I will still continue recommending people to Ya Kun Kaya Toast for a good traditional Singaporean breakfast. With over 40 outlets across Singapore, you can find a Ya Kun outlet easily.
However, if you’re looking for the perfect Ya Kun meal, then you should head to this original outlet.
And if you haven’t had Ya Kun Kaya Toast, have you truly lived?
Ya Kun Kaya Toast (First Outlet)
Address: 18 China Street, #01-01, Singapore 049560
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 7pm, Sat: 7.30am – 4.30pm, Sun: 8.30am – 3pm
Contact no.: 6438 3638
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(Header Image Source: DiscoverSG)
Chicken rice is a dish that’s close to many Singaporeans’ hearts.
A dish that inspires fierce, unwavering loyalty among Singaporeans, many of us chicken rice fans have a favourite stall we rarely stray from.[caption id="attachment_31026" align="alignnone" width="2936"] Image Credit: Chee Kuen[/caption]
If you love chicken rice, here’s a contender you should definitely check out – Hai Kee.
With two locations – one at Changi and one at Bedok – ‘Hai Kee’, which roughly translates to ‘remember the sea’, is a chicken rice stall that has been around since 1959.[caption id="attachment_31020" align="alignnone" width="1280"] L-R: Joseph Wang, James Wang (Image Credit: Chee Kuen)[/caption]
Originally located at Upper Cross Street, this hawker stall is easy to spot with its bright red signboard. Specialising in soy sauce chicken rice, Hai Kee is run by a pair of young hawkers – Joseph Wang and his younger brother, James Wang.
Chicken That’s Soy Delicious
It probably goes without saying that the best-seller at Hai Kee is its signature soy sauce chicken.
A Cantonese style of cooking chicken that involves braising the chicken in soy sauce, Hai Kee’s version is tender and packed with delicious savoury flavour.
The chicken is poached to perfection and is left to rest for a few minutes before serving, which is what gives the meat its tender quality.[caption id="attachment_31023" align="alignnone" width="3024"] Image Credit: Chee Kuen[/caption]
Choose to have your meat with either rice — cooked in a garlic- and ginger-infused broth and chicken fat — or egg noodles.
As with many other hawker stalls, you can order ‘xiao de‘ (small), ‘zhong de‘ (medium) or ‘da de‘ (large).
The Superior Soy Sauce Chicken Rice is $3.50 for a small serving, $4.50 for a medium serving, and $5.50 for a large serving, while the Superior Soy Sauce Noodle is $3.80, $4.80, and $5.80 for a small, medium, and large serving respectively.[caption id="attachment_31033" align="alignnone" width="3024"] Image Credit: Chee Kuen[/caption]
Even though the soy sauce chicken is the crowd favourite, Hai Kee’s char siew is an absolute must try.
Roasted in-house, Hai Kee uses pork belly meat to make its char siew. The meat is marinated overnight and is freshly roasted daily with Hai Kee’s secret caramelised sauce. Succulent and bursting with flavour, the meat is the perfect mix of sweet and savoury, and will leave you hankering for more.
The Char Siew Rice is $3.50, $4.50, and $5.50 for a small, medium, and large serving respectively, while the Char Siew Noodle is $3.80, $4.80, and $5.80 for a small, medium, and large serving respectively.[caption id="attachment_31025" align="alignnone" width="3018"] Image Credit: Chee Kuen[/caption]
Any chicken rice lover worth his salt will know that the sauces are just as important as the flavours on the plate – and Hai Kee’s definitely pack a punch.
If you can’t live without your chilli, dip your meats into Hai Kee’s chilli sauce! Prepared with two varieties of chilli – bird eyed chilli and big red chilli – the sauce is finished off with a dash of lime juice, giving it a bright, zingy twist.
Hai Kee has also created two ginger dipping sauces for its customers. Its ‘sha jiang’ ginger is a chunkier dip that is more reminiscent of the ginger sauce we’re familiar with. Aside from that, Hai Kee has also created a sweet-sour version that goes superbly with its chilli sauce.
Hai Kee also serves roasted pork and vegetables such as Oyster Sauce Vegetables ($3/small, $5/large) and Beansprouts with Cuttlefish ($3/small, $5/large) if you want more variety on your plate.
A New School Brand With Old School Flavour
While Hai Kee has undergone a huge rebranding, ditching its original, more traditional signboard for a modern aesthetic, the food and flavours have not changed; the chicken and roast here taste every bit like the Hai Kee Singaporeans have come to know and love, but with an updated presentation.[caption id="attachment_31024" align="alignnone" width="2881"] Image Credit: Chee Kuen[/caption]
One thing you’ll notice when you eat at Hai Kee is that, unlike many chicken rice stalls these days, it serves its rice in a bowl. The old way of eating rice, the duo wanted to do this because they felt that the rice is more fragrant when eaten like this, instead of on a plate.
At Hai Kee, the food is served in traditional-style crockery, making you feel as if you’re having a comforting home-cooked meal, while also evoking a sense of nostalgia.
If you’re keen to have a taste of Hai Kee’s chicken rice, be warned — both its Changi and Bedok branches see long queues on weekends, so be prepared to wait! Otherwise, your best bet is to drop in on a weekday.
While Hai Kee may be a little out of the way for some of us, you can rest assured that the trip will be well worth your while. And if you can’t travel out for a taste, hey, they’re on all the food delivery apps – Deliveroo, FoodPanda, honestbee, and UberEATS.
With mouth-watering soy sauce chicken and tasty roasts, you’ll be wanting seconds while you’re at Hai Kee![caption id="attachment_31214" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Hai Kee[/caption]
Address: Kim San Leng Coffeeshop, 324T Changi Road S419799
Opening Hours: 9am – 6.30pm, while stock lasts; Kitchen is closed every Friday
Contact no.: 9459 2494
Address: Food Loft Coffeeshop, Blk 217 Bedok North St 01 S460217
Opening Hours: 9am – 8pm, while stock lasts; Kitchen is closed on alternate Tuesdays
Contact no.: 9835 0099
As Mid-Autumn Festival rolls around, it’s once again time to binge on mooncakes!
While we love a good traditional lotus paste mooncake, we have to admit, it’s the novel, intriguingly flavoured mooncakes that tend to grab our attention – and this year, there are plenty of these out there.
Alcoholic mooncakes, ice cream mooncakes, ‘liu sha‘ mooncakes… The list goes on.
Here are some of the most outrageously untraditional mooncakes we could find, and we think you’ll be hard pressed to pick just one to try.
1. Mandarin Orchard – Red Wine Cranberry Paste With Japanese Yuzu and Lemongrass
Alcoholics, now you can even get your buzz from mooncakes![caption id="attachment_29486" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Mini snow skin mooncakes from Mandarin Orchard[/caption]
Mandarin Orchard‘s range of Mini Snow Skin Mooncakes includes two boozy flavours – Lychee Martini And Chocolate, and Red Wine Cranberry Paste With Japanese Yuzu and Lemongrass.
The Lychee Martini And Chocolate Mooncake releases a burst of crisp, citrusy chocolate into your mouth with every bite, while the Red Wine Cranberry Paste With Japanese Yuzu and Lemongrass Mooncake leaves a lasting impression as each mouthful reveals yet another layer of subtle flavour.
Mandarin Orchard Singapore Ain’t nobody got time for old school mooncakes when there are alcoholic snow skin mooncakes to be eaten. Grand Hyatt is adding a new creation to their growing list of alcohol infused mooncakes: Violette & Gin, which comes infused with Tanquert No. Ten Gin and a crème de violette liquor for a delicate, floral twist. Another must-try is the Strawberry-Lime-Tequila Truffle, a fruity yet intense mooncake with a kick. Their snow skin mooncakes are available at $69 for a box of eight. Grand Hyatt Singapore Can a person get drunk on mooncakes? Probably not. But that’s not going to stop us from trying all the alcoholic mooncakes out there. Bakerzin‘s Prestige Collection ($56) will make your inner alcoholic rejoice, with four different spirits to try. Each box comes with two pieces each of Apple Vodka Snow Skin, Butterscotch Baileys Snow Skin, Coconut Liqueur Snow Skin, and Latte Kahlua Snow Skin mooncakes. You won’t even know where to start! Bakerzin Old Seng Choong may be well-known for its old school bakes and cakes, but head pastry chef, Daniel Tay, definitely knows how to take things up a notch.
Address: 333 Orchard Road, 238867
Contact.: 6831 6320/6831 6262
2. Grand Hyatt – Violette & Gin
Address: 10 Scotts Road, Singapore 228211
Contact.: 6738 1234
3. Bakerzin – Butterscotch Baileys Snow Skin
Contact.: 6455 8885
4. Old Seng Choong – Cranberries With Choya
Ain’t nobody got time for old school mooncakes when there are alcoholic snow skin mooncakes to be eaten.[caption id="attachment_29501" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Pretty mooncakes in a pretty box (Image Credit: Grand Hyatt Singapore)[/caption]
Grand Hyatt is adding a new creation to their growing list of alcohol infused mooncakes: Violette & Gin, which comes infused with Tanquert No. Ten Gin and a crème de violette liquor for a delicate, floral twist.
Another must-try is the Strawberry-Lime-Tequila Truffle, a fruity yet intense mooncake with a kick. Their snow skin mooncakes are available at $69 for a box of eight.
Grand Hyatt Singapore Can a person get drunk on mooncakes? Probably not.
Can a person get drunk on mooncakes? Probably not.[caption id="attachment_29502" align="aligncenter" width="460"] (Image Credit: Bakerzin)[/caption]
But that’s not going to stop us from trying all the alcoholic mooncakes out there.
Bakerzin‘s Prestige Collection ($56) will make your inner alcoholic rejoice, with four different spirits to try. Each box comes with two pieces each of Apple Vodka Snow Skin, Butterscotch Baileys Snow Skin, Coconut Liqueur Snow Skin, and Latte Kahlua Snow Skin mooncakes. You won’t even know where to start!
Old Seng Choong may be well-known for its old school bakes and cakes, but head pastry chef, Daniel Tay, definitely knows how to take things up a notch.[caption id="attachment_29503" align="aligncenter" width="780"] Alcohol heaven with the Four Heavenly Beauties (Image Credit: Besides the usual mooncakes, Old Seng Choong wants you to meet the Four Heavenly Beauties ($60.80), a quartet of snow skin mooncakes that will stimulate your senses. The flavours are Cranberries with Choya, Passionfruit with Martini Mint, Coffee with Whisky, and Chocolate Rum, all of which are as aromatic as they are flavourful.
Old Seng Choong While it seems like everyone is trying to one up each other in terms of who can come up with the most outrageous, most unexpected mooncake filling, we think Shangri-La‘s ones take the cake.
Address:#05-04, 171 Kampong Ampat, KA Foodlink, Singapore 368330
Contact.: 6282 0220
5. Shangri-La – Yuzu Bird’s Nest
While it seems like everyone is trying to one up each other in terms of who can come up with the most outrageous, most unexpected mooncake filling, we think Shangri-La‘s ones take the cake.[caption id="attachment_29504" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] (Image Credit: Shangri-La’s latest Mini Snow Skin Eight Treasures ($88) features two new flavours.
The first is the more typical Chocolate Salted Toffee, which comes encased in a layer of crisp milk chocolate – perfect for sweet tooths. The other is a more luxurious and interesting blend of Yuzu Bird’s Nest that is both tangy and sweet. Who knew bird’s nest would go well with a mooncake?
Shangri-La Singapore If you love bubble tea and have $17.20 to spare, try The Pine Garden‘s Pearl Milk Tea Snow Skin, which is infused with tea, and comes with bits of chewy boba. Yum!
Address: Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
Contact.: 6737 3644
6. The Pine Garden – Pearl Milk Tea Snow Skin
If you love bubble tea and have $17.20 to spare, try The Pine Garden‘s Pearl Milk Tea Snow Skin, which is infused with tea, and comes with bits of chewy boba. Yum![caption id="attachment_29506" align="aligncenter" width="380"] (Image Credit: Pine Garden)[/caption]
The more health-conscious can opt for the Purple Sweet Potato With Ginger Mooncake, which you can choose to have either with a baked or snow skin. No more calorie counting this Mid-Autumn season!
The Pine Garden
Address: #01-2369/ #01-232, 529 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, S560529
7. Thye Moh Chan – Chef’s Private XO Recipe
Go old school, but with a twist with Thye Moh Chan‘s traditional Teochew-style mooncakes.
Teochew mooncakes typically see a sweet filling encased in a flaky crust pastry, unlike the baked skin mooncakes we typically see during mooncake festival.[caption id="attachment_29507" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Thye Moh Chan’s secret recipe with XO sauce[/caption]
They come with various fillings, including an all-new Chef’s Private XO Recipe ($40.80 for four pieces), a Salty Tau Sar With Egg Yolk ($29.80 for four pieces) and the Teochew Mooncake ($18.80 for one piece), which uses a traditional recipe of maltose, citrus strips and five-spice powder.
Although we were at first unsure about how XO sauce would fare in a mooncake, the Chef’s Private XO Recipe completely won our hearts and was a favourite in the office! Unlike most of the mooncakes listed here, these ones lean towards the savoury side, with delicate hints of har cheong (shrimp paste) that is simply addicting.
Thye Moh Chan also has a Mao Shan Wang Durian mooncake ($40.80 for four pieces), which infuses durian and mung bean paste.
Thye Moh Chan It only makes sense for a bakery famous for its cheesecakes to create cheesecake-filled snow skin mooncakes – and they’re actually quite legit.
Address: #01-45, Chinatown Point; #B1-12, Paragon
Contact.: 6604 8858/ 67328858
8. Cat & The Fiddle – Cream Cheese Mooncakes
It only makes sense for a bakery famous for its cheesecakes to create cheesecake-filled snow skin mooncakes – and they’re actually quite legit.[caption id="attachment_29510" align="aligncenter" width="497"] Each mooncake comes with an adorable cat embossing (Image Credit: Cat & The Fiddle)[/caption]
The Cow Jumped Over The Moon-cake selection from Cat & The Fiddle features 4 different flavours filled with cream cheese and lotus paste.
The mooncakes come in a Blueberry Cream Cheese and Lotus Paste with White Chocolate and Dried Cranberry Truffle, an Oreo Cream Cheese and Lotus Paste with Dark Chocolate Truffle, a Strawberry Cream Cheese and Lotus Paste with Mint and White Chocolate Martini Truffle, and a Chocolate Cream Cheese and Lotus Paste with Orange Vodka and Dark Chocolate Truffle.
Each flavour has a personality of its own, with some of them even containing hints of alcohol! You can order the mooncakes online, or by phone at 6287 0077.
Cat & The Fiddle
Address:#05-04, 171 Kampong Ampat, KA Foodlink, Singapore 368330
Contact.: 6287 0077
9. Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant – Mini Salted Egg Custard Mooncakes
Here’s one that you can Boomerang.[caption id="attachment_29520" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Sweet and salty? (Image Credit: Sheraton Towers Singapore)[/caption]
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant will bring your Instagram game up a notch with their Mini Salted Egg Custard Mooncakes.
As you break open your mooncake, watch the gooey molten lava center come flowing out. Each box contains eight pieces and goes for $72. You can order them Mini Snowskin Green Tea White Lotus Seed Paste with Passionfruit Truffle, and a Snowskin Mini White Lotus Seed Paste with Strawberry Sea Salt Truffle that is sure to intrigue your tastebuds with a mix of fruity and salty flavours.
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Address: Sheraton Towers Singapore, 39 Scotts Road
Contact.: 6839 5636/ 6839 5623
10. Summer Palace – Pineapple & Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Snow Skin
The people at Summer Palace are always shaking things up with their mooncake offerings year after year.[caption id="attachment_29522" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Spicy mooncakes anyone? (Image Credit: Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715
Contact.: 6725 3239
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(Header Image Source: Bakerzin)
There’s something to be said about Singaporeans’ devotion to a good, hearty steamboat or BBQ.
Clearly, this is something Hao Lai Wu recognises because they offer both steamboat and BBQ simultaneously, along with one of the widest arrays of ingredients we’ve seen in a single space.[caption id="attachment_27630" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The mother lode[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27640" align="aligncenter" width="582"] Sauce galore![/caption] [caption id="attachment_27628" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Choose your own side, from kimchi to french fries[/caption]
Located at 8 Sago St, this shopfront is conveniently located next to the famous landmark, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. A spot that’s hard to miss, you and your friends won’t have any trouble finding each other at this place.
To cater to all of us Singaporeans whenever hunger strikes, the owners of Hao Lai Wu insist on keeping their store open from 11am – 3am daily! Up and hungry at ungodly hours? Hao Lai Wu’s got you covered![caption id="attachment_27635" align="alignnone" width="1024"] This place looks like something out of a Hong Kong film in the 70s[/caption]
We loved the charming, lived-in atmosphere permeating the entire shop.
From the moment the DiscoverSG team stepped in, we were taken with the lively, boisterous crowd, the communal cooking over steamboat bowls and BBQ grills, and the cheerful eating of family and friends.[caption id="attachment_27631" align="alignnone" width="1024"] So much food to choose from![/caption]
Here, you can choose from 6 different soup bases: Mala, Tom Yum, Tomato, Chicken, Salted Veggie and Pork Bone.
We went with the house special, Mala soup, as well as Chicken soup. The main reason why we ordered the chicken soup was so we had a simple soup base that would allow us to properly appreciate the freshness of the ingredients served here.
Hao Lai Wu provides its customers with a wide range of fresh ingredients, sides, and sauces. It prides itself in its authentic Chinese cuisine, from the spices they put into their Mala soups to the drinks they import directly from China.[caption id="attachment_27627" align="aligncenter" width="497"] The Honey Pomelo juice was surprisingly refreshing[/caption]
We settled down on the re-purposed oil drums and found that they came with detachable seat covers you could lift, to reveal a storage space for your bags or any knick-knacks you were carrying! With your belongings safely stowed away, the only thing you need to focus on is the mouthwatering food before you!
We were given an incredibly warm welcome with a crazy influx of dishes.
We had cute fishcakes…[caption id="attachment_27636" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Adorable mouse-like fishcakes[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27623" align="alignnone" width="1024"] That’s mock shrimp! Fooled you, didn’t it?[/caption]
marinated meats…[caption id="attachment_27633" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Meat, anyone?[/caption]
an understated but heavenly dish of fried mantous…[caption id="attachment_27624" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Warm, crispy mantous[/caption]
and a TON of seafood.[caption id="attachment_27626" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Seafood[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27638" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Just look at this crab![/caption]
And I mean a TON, because when all the food was brought out, this was what our table looked like:[caption id="attachment_27625" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Half of these are seafood[/caption]
Someone even cooked an omelette for us on the spot as the food was on its way out! Filled with delicious, juicy sprigs of green onion, red chillis, and tiny morsels of mock crab meat, we loved every last bite of it.[caption id="attachment_27637" align="alignnone" width="1024"] We had omelette made for us on the spot![/caption]
Being able to eat with a whole group of people, cooking and serving one another for 2-3 hours straight, and being given 3 different ways to cook your food (Mala steamboat, Chicken steamboat and BBQ), this is definitely a great place to gather with family, loved ones and friends.
As we said our goodbyes with expanded tummies and hearts, we left with 3 takeaways:
1. Come to Hao Lai Wu HUNGRY. You won’t survive if you’re simply peckish.
2. The Mala is truly delicious, and will leave you sweating as you reach for more.
3. The Mala soup should only be attempted by spicy food lovers. If you’re afraid of McDonald’s chilli sauce, you may want to pass on the Mala.[caption id="attachment_27639" align="aligncenter" width="285"] Seriously, $1.95/100g is a steal[/caption]
If you’re looking for a new supper, dinner or lunch spot to have your next family or friend gathering, why not try Hao Lai Wu? We guarantee it’ll be worth your while, leaving you happy and satisfied both in the tummy and the heart.
Hao Lai Wu
Address: 8 Sago St, Singapore 059012
Operating Hours: 11am – 3am daily
Contact no.: 6221 0065
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Remember the television show ‘Fear Factor’? The show where contestants would face their fears, which often required them to do gross things like bob their heads in tubs of blood or eat live earthworms. Despite it being a blood-curdling, stomach-churning 60 minutes, it was hard to look away.
What if you could experience Fear Factor for yourself, right here in Singapore?
We went out and found the craziest things you wouldn’t believe Singaporeans (or anyone for that matter) would eat! The only difference is that true to Singapore’s Foodie Nation title, these foods are actually pretty yummy.
Let’s kick things off with Imperial Restaurant. Formerly known as Imperial Herbal, this branch, located at Riverview Hotel, was first opened in 1988, specialising in traditional Chinese health concepts incorporated into unique, gourmet dishes.[caption id="attachment_22076" align="aligncenter" width="980"] Photo Credit: As per most Chinese restaurants, you can find items like Buddha Jumps Over The Wall and Eight Treasure Rice in Lotus Leaf on the menu. Besides its use of Chinese herbs as ingredients, what makes Imperial Restaurant particularly unique is its use of ingredients such as crocodile, scorpion, deer penis, and goose web.
1. Crocodile: Braised Crocodile Tail
A tough, gamey meat that would usually have you on its plate, it comes as no surprise to anyone that crocodile is an uncommon dish. The chefs at Imperial Restaurant have mastered this protein by adding fragrant herbs to it and by braising it for hours.[caption id="attachment_22068" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Photo Credit: A collagen-heavy portion of the crocodile, the Braised Crocodile Tail is soft and gelatinous in texture. Fragrant herbs and spices are infused into every inch of this jelly-like dish, which is also great for smooth skin and strong hair!
2. Penis: Deer Penis Soup[caption id="attachment_22070" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Photo Credits: A natural aphrodisiac that’s right up there with ginseng and saffron, Deer Penis soup is often thought to be beneficial for men in the bedroom. Besides helping create a new generation of little you’s, this dish is savoury and delicious too! Much better than swallowing a tiny blue pill, wouldn’t you say?
3. Web Of Feet: Braised Goose Web
Who knew you could eat the web of a goose’s feet?
[caption id="attachment_22069" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Photo Credit: Braised to succulent perfection, the web is delicate but flavourful, having absorbed the herby fragrance of the soup it was braised in. Having been braised for hours, each morsel of meat falls easily from the bone, making it a great dish for toddlers and elderly alike.
4. Insects: Fried Scorpions & Black Ants
This special dish is an off-menu specialty at Imperial Restaurant, one of the only dining establishments in Singapore allowed to serve cooked insects due to its reputation as a traditional Chinese herbs restaurant.[caption id="attachment_22071" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Fried golden brown and satisfyingly crunchy, scorpions are sometimes recommended by practitioners for treating headaches and joint aches. Black ants, on the other hand, can help regulate the immune system, relax fatigue and have anti-aging properties. Or you could just order this to show off your daredevil side!
Address: Riverview Hotel Level 2, 382 Havelock Road, Singapore 169629
Tel: 6337 0491
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 1130 – 1430; 1800 – 2230; Sat & Sun: 1130 – 2300
5. Fallopian Tubes: Fried Fallopian Tubes
Fried eggs are a breakfast staple, but what about fried fallopian tubes?
[caption id="attachment_22072" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo Credits: A delicacy that is essentially flavourless, the fallopian tubes of a female pig are actually quite juicy. Stir-fry them with a little garlic, ginger and soya sauce, and you’ve got a delicious meal!
Old Mother Traditional Herbal Soup
Address: Blk 59 New Upper Changi Road, Singapore 461059
Tel: 6841 8789
Opening Hours: Daily: 1100 – 1400; Daily: 1700 – 0130
6. Sperm: Cod Fish Sperm (Shirako)
Bend (your stomach) like Beckham, who had a taste of this dish in 2015 when he visited Singapore.
Shirako can be eaten either raw or cooked, and it melts in your mouth like butter! If you can swallow the knowledge that you’re eating fish sperm, give it a try at Teppei Japanese Restaurant!
Teppei Japanese Restaurant
Address: #01-18, Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, Singapore 078867
Tel: 6222 7363
Opening Hours: Daily 1200 – 1430; Daily 1800 – 2230
7. Squid Innards: Shiokara
Cream cheese goes well with so many things: salmon, chives, and even shiokara! To those of you not in the know, that’s fermented squid innards to you.[caption id="attachment_22074" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: @Izakayamita[/caption]
Briny and creamy, similar in texture and taste to that of uni (sea urchin), the cream cheese helps mellow the intense flavour of the shiokara.
Address: 8 Stanley St, 068727
Tel: 6327 9240
Opening Hours: 1:30AM–2PM, 5:30–11PM
While the thought of eating deer penis and cod fish sperm might make your stomach turn, these restaurant have mastered these unusual ingredients and made incredibly tasteful delicacies out of them.
If reading this article has piqued your interest, maybe you should head down to one of these places to try some of these out. It’s one thing to read about them, but it’s another altogether to experience them for yourself!
Confirm poor. No future. Difficult to succeed. These are thoughts that probably cross your mind when you think about local artistes and the music industry. Well, think again! Despite it being a tough industry to break into, here are 5 of our local artistes who have MADE IT internationally.
That’s right: record deals, multiple albums, tours and the big bucks. These over-achieving local artistes inspire us to dream big and work hard, without sacrificing the truly important things in life.
Let’s take a closer look at the stories of our nation’s 5 shining music stars.
1) JJ Lin
With 12 studio albums (yes, 12!) and 4 world tours tucked under his belt, JJ Lin is one of the most successful local artistes to this date.[caption id="attachment_20695" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image Credits: Her World Plus[/caption]
Besides playing DOTA, JJ Lin has snagged numerous music awards for singing and song writing from the Golden Melody Awards, Global Pop Awards and the Apple Entertainment music awards.[caption id="attachment_20694" align="alignnone" width="765"] Image Credits: AsianTVAwards[/caption]
Though JJ Lin, whose English name is Wayne, is influential (friends with Harlem Yu and A-Mei), he remains humble and very much a family man. He actually invited his mother, father, and brother to perform on stage with him for his Genesis World Tour concert in Singapore.
JJ Lin’s artiste summary
Which record label? Warner Music Taiwan
How rich? According to Forbes, JJ Lin’s net worth was reported to be $50,940,000 in 2016! This makes him the 31st most bankable Chinese Star in the world.
Famous in? Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, America
No. of awards? Over 100
No. of albums released to date? 12
No. of world tours? 4
2) Stefanie Sun
When a singer has her own Madame Tussaud’s wax twin standing in Sentosa, you know she’s made it. Singapore’s Queen of Mandopop has 12 studio albums and sold over 30 million copies of them to date.[caption id="attachment_20688" align="alignnone" width="458"] Image Credits: Pinterest[/caption]
Together with notable singers Wang Leehom, Wang Feng and Jane Zhang, she recorded the theme song for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games titled “Light the Passion, Share the Dream”.[caption id="attachment_20689" align="alignnone" width="991"] Image Credits: AsianPopNews[/caption]
The myriad of awards under her name are but the echo of Sun’s spectacular success.
Despite her success, Stephanie Sun remains as tongue-in-cheek and down-to-earth as possible.
When a picture of her looking like an aunty queueing at McDonald’s surfaced, she took the opportunity to show that beauty is more than skin-deep.
Stephanie Sun’s artiste summary
Which record label? Universal Music
How rich? Taiwanese tabloid has reported her as earning up to SGD 1,348,630,404. That makes her a billionaire. But, most of that sum came from her property investments (3 in Singapore), and other property and stock market investments.
Famous in? China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia
No. of awards? 69
No. of albums released to date? 12
No. of World tours? 3
3) Kit Chan
“This is home, truly, where I know I must be..”
Yes, Kit Chan is the songstress of our nation’s favourite NDP song, Home!
She also happens to be an extremely successful singer with 14 albums (she released her latest album just this year) and has set up her very own record label, Banshee Empire.[caption id="attachment_20692" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Image Credits: Newsasiaone[/caption]
Chan’s ability to sing in Mandarin, Cantonese and English has propelled her to perform in many parts of Asia, the United States, Hong Kong, and even New Zealand.
[caption id="attachment_20693" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Image Credits: Youtube[/caption]
Further, she was given the title of Singapore’s “national treasure” for good reasons. Ever since she debuted in 1993, she has displayed the multiplicity of her many talents – in singing, theatre, television drama, poetry, song writing, and entrepreneurship (she runs two floral boutiques in Singapore: Flowers in the Attic and Roses in the Loft).
As if that wasn’t enough, Kit Chan was continually involved in community involvement projects – as ambassadors for National Youth Council, National Heritage Board, and relief organization “World Vision”.
Kit Chan’s artiste summary
Which record label? Banshee Empire (Her own company)
How rich? Definite Millionaire
Famous in? China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore
No. of awards? 9
No. of albums released to date? 25
No. of World tours? –
You wouldn’t believe it, but A-Do (Do Cheng Yi) started out as a humble construction worker right here in Singapore. He was scouted by local producer Billy Koh in a talent search audition. Everything in his life changed after that. A-Do was propelled to astounding fame across Asia when he released his first album in 2002.[caption id="attachment_20687" align="alignnone" width="600"] Image Credits: Lollipopsg[/caption]
While his life story sounds like it came right out of the movies, there is no mistaking how talented and successful this local singer is. A-Do is famed for his unique husky vocals which won him over 20 awards to date.[caption id="attachment_20686" align="alignnone" width="600"] Image Credits: Lollipopsg[/caption]
He is adored for his bashful personality and modest demeanour, especially among his Chinese fans. In spite of his wealth and success, he drives a small Honda, is still best buddies with his former construction colleagues, and is afraid to get on an airplane, as reported by Image Credits: MMIA[/caption]
Chua is also effectively bilingual, which has enabled her to release 10 Chinese and 4 English albums thus far. In fact, bilingualism is but one of her many musical talents.[caption id="attachment_20691" align="alignnone" width="763"] Image Credits: The Straits Times[/caption]
She has written and produced a number of songs for prominent singers like Fish Leong, Stefanie Sun, and S.H.E.
Tanya Chua has been praised as a “musician”, not just a mere “performer” by the widely-revered Taiwanese producer and songwriter Jonathan Lee because of her profound musical abilities.
Unwilling to settle for karaoke-friendly ballads, she continues to learn and explore music and song-writing. Rather than write songs for the market, she aims to keep her music fresh, creative, and real. Her passion and courage to go against the grain, take risks and seek growth makes her not just admirable, but also inspirational.
Tanya Chua’s artiste summary
Which record label? Asia Muse
How rich? Possible millionaire
Famous in? China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore
No. of awards? 8
No. of albums released to date? 18
No. of World tours? 1
Singapore may be a small country but it has nevertheless produced some BIG talents in the music industry. Even the biggest and brightest of names had to start from humble beginnings, like A-Do, before working their way up. All while maintaining close bonds with their loved ones like JJ Lin, or declaring their love for our home country in an NDP song like Tanya Chua and Stefanie Sun!
Indeed, these 5 individuals are role models for us all, and remind us that success is not all about the glitz and glamour, but remembering the things closest to our hearts.
Familiar to most Singaporeans is Toa Payoh, one of the most mature heartlands you can find in Singapore. Some may equate maturity to being old and forgotten, but hidden in this estate are some delicious dishes you can’t find anywhere else.
Listed below are our top 10 food picks from Toa Payoh. We don’t know about you, but we think this mature estate has yet to lose its charms.
1.Fu Zhou Ban Mian
Credit: www.pinkypiggu.com[caption id="attachment_8833" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Ban Mian Fish Soup Credit: Pinkypiggu[/caption]
Not only are the stall owners generous with their ingredients, the fresh fish slices served with noodles are often accompanied by with a hearty serving of crispy anchovies and poached egg. For non-veggie fans, you will be pleased to know that you can opt to switch the veggies for extra noodles at absolutely no charge.
Do, however, expect to wait up to 20mins for a bowl of soupy goodness during lunch hours!
Fu Zhou Ban Mian
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 9pm
Address: #01-406 J99 Eating House, Blk 186 Toa Payoh Central Singapore 310186
2. Melben Seafood
Credit: Melben Seafood
For those craving zi-char or crab dishes, you’d want to check A stall definitely familiar to crab lovers, Melben offers a variety of crab dishes that range from Chilli Crab to its signature Crab Bee Hoon in Claypot ($60). The sweet and savoury milky buttery soup of the Crab Bee Hoon totally had us at the first sip. However, be sure to ration the soup as extra soup comes at an extra charge.
The queue can get expectedly long during dinner time so it’s best to either head down a little earlier or to book a table beforehand.
Melben Seafood (Toa Payoh)
Address: TPY Melben Seafood, Blk 211 Toa Payoh Lorong 8 #01-11/15, S310211
Contact: 6353 3120
3. Oppa! Choo Choo
Credit: Alex Chua’s Burpple
For the K-Pop fanatics, you may have already heard of this Korean fried chicken café.
With six flavours (crispy, spicy, sweet, garlic, soy and honey soy) to choose from, the fried chicken ($16 for 8 pieces) here is juicy and flavourful. The crispy version tastes like the average fried chicken but the honey soy (our personal favourite) is a good mix of sweet and savoury; totally worth every sinful calorie!
Credit: Benvado’s Facebook
Besides fried chicken, Oppa! Choo Choo serves a variety of other Korean food such as rice burgers and bingsus. We highly recommend the rice burger with spicy pork ($6.90).
Oppa! Choo Choo
Address: 600 Toa Payoh Lorong 4 #01-05 S319515
Opening hours: Daily, 11.30am to 11pm (Last order at 10.30pm)
Contact: 6255 2023
4. RedRing Treasures
Credit: RedRing Treasures Facebook
Since we’re on the topic of fried chicken, there is another eatery in Toa Payoh that specialises in the dish.
Opened last year is , which happens to be one of our childhood chicken rice haunts.
Credit: RedRing Treasures Facebook
Their crunchy, tender and juicy cutlets are marinated for whopping 24 hours. Each bite is a step closer to food heaven.
A must-try is the RedRing Signature Chicken Cutlet Noodles ($4.90). Like the cutlet, the noodles are made in-house. Paired with two kinds of sauces, the QQ (chewy) noodles are sweet and savoury at the same time.
RedRing Treasures (Gourmet Paradise Outlet)
Opening hours: Daily, 10am to 10pm
Contact: 9489 6057
Address: 502 Lor 6 Toa Payoh, S319397
5. Hougang 6 Mile Mua Chee
Originally located at Hougang Ave 8, this childhood snack is our favourite of the lot.
Though $3.50 for a box of mixed Mua Chee (sesame and peanuts) may admittedly be a little steep, it is arguably the best Mua Chee in Singapore.
Hougang 6 Mile Mua Chee
Opening hours: Daily, 12pm to 10pm
Contact: 9862 1501
Address: 480 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 #B1-01 HDB Hub Gourmet Paradise Food Court Stall 21 Singapore 310480
6. Thunder Tea Rice (HDB Hub)
For the health nuts, you’ll be glad to learn of the existence of It may look unappetizing, but the greenish soup that comes with our meal was pretty tasty. Never judge a soup by its appearance, we say.
Thunder Tea Rice (HDB Hub)
Address: Blk 480 Toa Payoh Lor 6, HDB Hub S(310480) Gourmet Paradise, Stall 4
Opening hours: Daily, 10am to 10pm
Contact: 6397 2880
7. JQ Chef Café
Credit: JQ Chef Cafe
They do offer set lunches ($15.90) that consist of a salad, main course and ice cream. For this, we highly recommend getting the Mushroom Aglio Olio as the main course! Do note that set lunches are only available from 11.30am to 3pm.
Address: 186 Toa Payoh Central #01-428
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12 pm to 10pm, closed on Mondays
Contact: 6354 4541
If you are afraid that things may get a little too saccharine for your liking, we recommend getting the Sea Salt Gula Melaka ice cream for that savoury contrast.
Like some of the other eateries mentioned, Creamier is insanely popular, especially during the weekends. You might have to wait up to 40mins. So if you wish to get your waffle fix, be sure to head down early!
Address: Blk 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 #01-835, S310128
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, 12pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturdays, 12pm to 11pm
Contact: 6250 1476
9. Toa Payoh Fried Kway Teow
An old school comfort food, we’re sure many are familiar with Char Kway Teow. At Toa Payoh Fried Kway Teow, get ready to expect a slightly darker and sweeter version of the dish. The version served at this stall may be closer to Malaysia’s rendition, but we assure you that it is just as delicious.
Toa Payoh Fried Kway Teow
Address: Blk 22, Toa Payoh Lor 7 Food Centre #01-51 S 310022
Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm, closed on Tuesdays
Contact: 9743 1206
10. Swatow Teochew Restaurant
It may not be a bakery, but Swatow’s egg tarts are hands down, one of the best we’ve had so far. Speaking of Dim Sum, Swatow offers Dim Sum buffets from 3pm to 5pm daily ($19.80++ on weekdays and $22.80++ on weekends). A little tip from us: be sure to get your hands on the egg tarts first as they tend to run out fast!
Swatow Teochew Restaurant
Address: Blk 181 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #02-602 S310181
Opening hours: Daily, 8am to 10.30pm
Contact: 6363 1717
11. Kim Keat Hokkien Mee
Credit: Kim Keat Hokkien Mee Facebook
Unlike the usual Hokkien mee, Kim Keat Hokkien Mee serves theirs in bubbling hot claypots. Claypot has been known to enhance the flavours of dishes, but we’re not too sure if the claypots or some other secret ingredient is responsible for the delicious stock of this dish.
Besides the usual prawn, sotong, and sio bak (fried pork belly), you’ll find clams in this dish, making the broth slightly sweeter than its counterparts.
They do offer the Opeh leaf version ($8) where the Hokkien mee is served on the leaf itself, giving the dish a smoky taste. The broth is not as rich, though. So for those who prefer the slurpy type of Hokkien mee, you may want to stick to the claypot version.
Portions here run a little small so big eaters may wish to consider upsizing their meals (from $10 for 2 pax onwards). The chilli may be a little disappointing for chilli lovers but rest assured that the dish itself is tasty enough.
Kim Keat Hokkien Mee
Address: Toa Payoh Lorong 4, Blk 92 #01-264, Toa Payoh, S310092
Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday to Sunday, 11.30am to 9.30pm, closed on Tuesdays
Contact: 9456 0413
12. Ocean Curry Fish Head
Whilst you are here for Kim Keat Hokkien Mee, be sure to also check out The dish may be relatively pricier, but that’s because stall owner Mr Tay uses only the best quality Ang Goli (Gold Band Snapper). We can definitely testify for the freshness of the fish as some of us have had it many times!
The curry here is a mix of Indian and Nyonya curry. The sweetness of the Nyonya curry marries perfectly with the spiciness of the Indian’s. As you dig in, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find chunks of fresh pineapple and ladies’ fingers.
Besides fish head curry, this stall also serves other zi char dishes like Har Lok ($3 per prawn). You choose such dishes ala economical rice stall style – dishes are displayed in circular tin plates behind a glass panel. Again, prices are relatively higher than your usual economic rice stall but we say it’s worth every cent.
Ocean Curry Fish Head (Toa Payoh)
Address: Blk 92, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #01-264, S310092
Opening hours: Daily, 11am to 9pm, closed every alternative Tuesdays and the day after all public holidays
Contact: 6252 2168
Did we miss out any good eateries in Toa Payoh? Leave a comment and let us know your favourite eats!
Headline credit: words by writer and picture by www.cheekiemonkey.net
- 新加坡公民、永久居民和持长期探访证者可使用自动通关係统（Enhanced Immigration Automated Clearance System，简称eIACS），节省通关时间。
1. 美禄恐龙（Milo Dinosaur）
尽管它有着侏罗纪时代的名字，但它不是史前饮料。美禄恐龙（$3.90）打破一般美禄饮料的沉闷喝法，为其增添另一独特滋味。美禄恐龙是在美禄冰品顶部添加几匙的美禄粉与麦芽粉，伴随搅拌之际，呈现更浓烈的巧克力味。而另一种美禄饮料 — 美禄哥斯拉（$4.90），则会在美禄恐龙饮料的顶部加上一球的香草冰淇淋，瞬间变成一道甜品！
其实，这道有着 Bandung 名字的饮料并不是源自印尼万隆。相反的，这种由玫瑰露与淡奶调配而成的 Bandung （$1.50），在一般马来同胞聚集的饮食场所，都可以看到这种粉红色的饮品。即使你身在马来西亚，都可以寻找得到它的身影哦！
3. 拉茶（Teh Tarik）
咖啡在国人心中占据很重要的地位，它既是我们从早餐到晚餐的最佳饮料，也是工作间提神饮料的不二选择。传统咖啡也好，“红毛” 咖啡也罢，这两种截然不同的咖啡在本地“交锋”，势必把咖啡文化提升到另一个层次。单单是咖啡，就分成好几种：Kopi, Kopi O（$1.60）, Kopi Siew Dai（$1.80）, Kopi Gao（$1.80）, Kopi C （$2） 等等，单是叫法就足以让人眼花缭乱的传统咖啡已成为一种独特文化。
5. Teh Cino
西方管它叫拉铁，南洋一带管它叫 Kopi Cino（源自英文的 Cappucino）。尽管名字大不相同，里头的成分却是大同小异：炼奶、热水、咖啡或茶。 经由咖啡师的熟练冲泡手艺，小心翼翼地调出两色咖啡：底层是牛奶，而顶层则是咖啡或茶。柔顺绵密的口感不管是冷着喝或是热着喝，都不影响搅拌后的美好滋味。
6. 鳄梨奶昔（Avocado Milkshake）
继 Alenxandra Village 熟食中心的 Mr Avocado 带来这道鳄梨奶昔（$2.50）饮料后，在东南亚一带也渐渐爆红热销起来。号称新加坡第一的鳄梨奶昔，店前长长的人龙早已司空见惯，想必大家都爱它那特浓郁顺滑的口感。光是颜色，就非常吸引人的鳄梨奶昔也非常大杯，新鲜的鳄梨果再配上独家调制的秘方，喝下去的第一口就让人念念不忘了！
7. 甘蔗水（Sugarcane Juice）
8. 迈克杰逊（Michael Jackson）
因为迈克杰逊的一首 “Black or White” 之神曲，让富有创意的小贩们争相斗艳，故采用此名为其饮料变得“非一般”。 迈克杰逊饮料（$1.20）是由新鲜仙草与豆奶调制而成，别小看这黑与白的奇特组合，两者搭配起来可是惊讶的好喝哦！
source: hungrygowhere sg