Yup. Finally the first one-of-its-kind hop-on-hop-off Makan Bus tour has arrived in Singapore. Don’t dismiss this food tour as a tourist thingy yet. Otherwise, you are missing out on fun even locals can enjoy!
We all know Singapore is a food paradise, but the best local food are usually not near MRTs or in town.
It can be pretty hard to enjoy good food if you don’t have a car. With the launch of the Makan Bus on 26 August 2016, reaching out to these great local food is now so much more convenient for everyone.
Recently, I was fortunate to be invited for a free MakanBus tour. Getting on the tour meant I had the opportunity to taste some of the highly acclaimed local food along the 10 specially-curated stops.
What I did not know was it is more than a mere foodie bus bringing us from the central to northern heartlands in Singapore.[caption id="attachment_13279" align="alignnone" width="728"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
Our Makan Bus Journey
We received a warm welcome from the guide upon boarding the cheery yellow bus at Orchard Gateway. After an introduction, we set off!
Besides recommending good eats near each stop, he would share insights of noteworthy buildings throughout the journey too.[caption id="attachment_14389" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
Interesting history that we never knew about our sunny island
We thought we knew Singapore so well since we grew up here.
But we did not know that the Burma Chinese settled in Singapore as early as the 19th century!
In fact, I highly recommend you to alight at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial stop, where the Sun Yat Sen Memorial and Burmese Buddhist Temple are.
In the main worship hall of the Maha Sasana Ramsi (Burmese Buddhist Temple) sits the majestic 11-foot marble Buddha statue. This religious landmark is the only Burmese Buddhist temple of its kind in Singapore.
The statue was carved from a 10-tonne slab of marble found in Burma’s Saygin Hill and transported here in 1925.[caption id="attachment_14391" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: ghettosingapore.com[/caption]
Bond with your family over nostalgic hawker food settings
The 10 stops on the tour will bring you through buzzing town areas to the old shophouses in Balestier and Thomson, and finally into the HDB heartlands.
This is a specially curated route to showcase the evolution and development of Singapore over the past 51 years.
Bring your whole family, including your parents onboard, so they can reminisce about the good old days.
They will certainly be able to resonate with traditional eateries such as Boon Tong Kee and Original Herbal Shop at Balestier, and Hua Nam Restaurant at Thomson.
It’s easier to strike conversations as you enjoy the food and nostalgic ambience with your family.
Who knows if these used to be their favourite haunts during their “paktor” days!
Discover yummy novel hawker food delights
While it’s obvious Makan Bus will bring you to yummy food places, you may be surprised at hidden gems within the heartlands.
Ang Mo Kio was the place I grew up in, and I thought I knew everything there. But I did not even know that there is a hawker stall selling sedap Mee Rebus Tarik for over 2 decades![caption id="attachment_14401" align="alignnone" width="1800"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
In case you are wondering, Mee Rebus Tarik is not prepared by simply “pulling” the noodles as the Malay word “tarik” implies.
Instead, the mee rebus is laden with satay gravy and served together with either chicken or mutton satay. Such an innovative twist to the signature mee rebus!
I have tasted different versions of our favourite Indian roti prata, with egg, cheese etc for enhanced flavour.
However, it was my first time trying out some Roti Tissue along Upper Thomson Road. The prata looked like an interesting thin piece of tissue (hence its name) as seen in the image above. This is a sweet crispy prata seasoned with sugar.
Hop on and off the bus whenever you wish, wherever you fancy
There is no limit to the number of times you can hop on and off the Makan Bus.
Your $28 ticket is valid throughout the day when the bus runs from 11am to 7.30pm.
Indeed, there were times when we were engaged in such interesting conversations with the guide that we missed alighting at the designated stop.
Just continue on the looped journey and alight where you wish to tuck into the good food in the desired area.
Furthermore, you do not need to alight if you don’t find anything you fancy. Unlike other expensive food tours where you don’t get to choose the food, this is a truly flexible tour![caption id="attachment_14406" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
Makan Bus definitely changes the way we can explore the hidden food joints and other untold stories of Singapore.
Bring your foreign friends on the Makan Bus tour and introduce them to life in the heartlands.
After all, this is a uniquely Singapore experience that they will not find at the usual tourist attractions. Besides, it is definitely more economical if you are travelling together in a group of 5 or more. Check out more details of this one-of-a-kind experience at Makan Bus!
(Featured image: Makan Bus)
Everyone knows the Salted Egg Yolk frenzy is real – and there are more unusual creations sprouting out.
Whether it’s finger-licking Salted Egg Yolk crabs to oozing croissants, Salted Egg Yolk dishes are sinfully delicious and worth the extra calories.
Here are 7 new Salted Egg Yolk creations for those who just can’t get enough of this yellow goodness.
1. Big Street: Salted Egg Yolk Prata Bomb[caption id="attachment_14422" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Credit: sethliu.com[/caption]
We’re sure you’ve heard about this one – the glorious Prata Bomb with oozing Salted Egg Yolk ($6) has taken over social media. A new favourite supper destination that closes at 3am, this palm-sized prata is an extremely sinful indulgence. You just have to try it to find out for yourself!
Address: 104-106 Jalan Besar Road
Opening Hours: Tues – Sun: 11am – 3am, Closed on Mondays
2. May May: Salted Egg Yolk Donuts[caption id="attachment_12933" align="alignnone" width="960"] Image Credit: Openrice[/caption]
If you’re looking for an indulgent dessert, this hits the right spot! Little donuts coated with crunchy grains of sugar and filled with piping hot creamy sauce that oozes from within – The Salted Egg Yolk Donuts ($5++) are fried to crummy perfection. We can’t help but love these warm sugary goodness!
Address: 65 Tras Street
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
3. Group Therapy Duxton: Salted Egg Yolk Waffles[caption id="attachment_12932" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image Credit: Jasminemeiyin[/caption]
The Gold Rush Waffle ($13) is a medley of salty and sweet flavours – a dense yet light and fluffy Waffle with Chocolate and Honeycomb crumble, topped with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream and rich sauce. Just the right combination of crunch and flavour!
Address: 49 Duxton Road
Opening Hours: Tues – Sun: 10am – 6pm, Closed on Mondays
4. Operation Dagger: Salted Egg Yolk Cocktail[caption id="attachment_12930" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: LBB[/caption]
A drink, seriously?
Presented in a bell jar with burnt hay and smoked star anise, The Egg ($25) comprises of a Salted Egg Yolk cured for 24 hours, infused with home-made rum, vanilla beans and caramel. The aromas from the trapped smoke settle in nicely. We weren’t sure about savoury drinks at first too, but we highly recommend this. Cheers!
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill
Opening Hours: Tues – Sat: 6pm – 12am
5. Drury Lane: Salted Egg Yolk Eggs Benedict[caption id="attachment_12928" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Jacqsowhat[/caption]
If you’re a fan of the all-time favourite Eggs Benedict for brunch, you should try Drury Lane’s twist on it. Doused in a creamy sauce and topped off with fried bacon, grilled prawns and sauteed kale, the Salted Egg Yolk Eggs Benedict ($17) is runny and cooked to perfection.
Address: 94 Tanjong Pagar Road
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed & Thu: 9am – 8.30pm, Fri: 9am – 10pm, Sat & Sun: 10am – 6pm
6. Bao Makers: Salted Egg Shrimp Mantou[caption id="attachment_12927" align="alignnone" width="1206"] Image Credit: TheAsianParent[/caption]
As the name suggests, Bao Makers specializes in Baos and the Salted Egg Shrimp Mantou ($15) is one of their best-sellers. Featuring juicy prawns drenched in creamy sauce between a traditional white bun, the medley of textures burst with different flavours in your mouth.
Address: 78 Horne Road
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 12pm – 10pm, Sat: 11am – 10pm, Sun: 11am – 6pm
7. 7Kickstart Museum Cafe: Salted Egg Yolk French Toast[caption id="attachment_12925" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: Anonymous[/caption]
The thick and fluffy brioche drizzled with condensed milk complements the creamy and savoury flavours. With a balance of savoury and hint of sweetness, the Salted Egg Yolk French Toast ($13) is a fun dish to try.
7Kickstart Museum Cafe
Address: 71 Bras Basah Road
Opening Hours: Mon & Tue: 8am – 8pm, Wed – Fri: 8am – 10pm, Sat: 10am – 8pm, Sun: 10am – 6pm
Tempted by these strange combinations yet? Trust us when we say these dishes are ridiculously addictive. You just have to try them for yourself. Let us know what you think! Enjoy 🙂
Header image credit: 9 New Desserts So Wacky, You Need To Try Them At Least Once!
Let’s be honest, the best food in Singapore aren’t always very accessible. While you can find some local eats near MRTs or near the city,we all know the best local food are scattered all over our sunny island. Unfortunately for those of us who don’t have access to a car, it can be pretty difficult to get to these places.
(Image credit: on their website, for a flat fee of $28. Commuters can hop on and off the bus which runs from 11am to 7.30pm at 20 minute intervals. Passengers will also be given a map listing more than 20 eateries, most within walking distance from the pick up/drop off points.
While the MakanBus may only have one route right now, they plan to offer another route exploring the eastern side of Singapore (Yes! There are so many amazing eats in the East!) as well themed routes for special occasions such as Hari Raya.
MakanBus is definitely a game changer for us foodies who want to explore hidden food joints in the heartlands yet have no access to a car. What’s great about the MakanBus is the flexibility it provides, something other food tours aren’t able to. As a local Singaporean, I am definitely intrigued by the MakanBus and I’m pretty sure I can rope in a few of my friends to test it out!
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
Named as one of the top 10 Restaurant Dishes of 2015 on the New York Times, the legendary oyster omelette, or orh-luak as locally known, is one of the most loved hawker dishes in Singapore. The chewy texture of oysters mixed with crisp flour mixture and delicious eggs, is a real treat for the taste buds.
For those who are hunting for the best oyster omelette or have yet to give this dish a try, here are 6 of the best oyster omelette stalls in Singapore that serve kick-ass oyster omelette fried to perfection, that will leave you on your knees and begging for more.
1. Ah Hock Fried Oyster[caption id="attachment_9364" align="alignnone" width="578"] Image Credits: springtomorrow.com[/caption]
You can’t find a stall more dedicated to oyster omelette than Ah Hock Fried Oyster. The ingredients used are top notch and are self sourced by the owner himself.
Using fresh oysters from Korea, fresh eggs from Swee Choon Egg Farm and fresh flour from China, their oyster omelette is definitely one of the best in Singapore. Besides the oyster omelette itself, the chilli that comes with it is also to die for. A great mix of sour and spicy, it complements the main dish perfectly. Ah Hock Fried Oyster also has different styles and types of oyster omelettes, all of them oozing with oyster-licious goodness.
Ah Hock Fried Oyster
Address: Whampoa Drive Makan Place, #01-40 Whampoa Drive Blk 90 Singapore 320090
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm-11pm, closed on alternate Wednesdays
2. 85 Bedok North Fried Oyster[caption id="attachment_9366" align="alignnone" width="622"] Image Credits: Sethlui.com[/caption]
Visit the Feng Shan Food Market and you’ll most likely recognise this popular fried oyster stall in an instant. 85 Bedok North Fried Oyster is one of the busiest and most well-known oyster omelette stalls in Bedok. Previously featured in many local newspapers, 85 Bedok North Fried Oyster is so popular, it occupies two stalls in Feng Shan Food Market.
Besides oyster omelette, 85 Bedok North Fried Oyster also offers a variety of local dishes such as fried carrot cake. Be warned though, the queue or wait can get pretty long. But remember, good things come to those who wait!
85 Bedok North Fried Oyster
Address: Blk 85 Bedok North Street 4 #01-09/10 Singapore 460085
Opening Hours: daily 11am-11pm
3. Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters
Search for best places to eat in Serangoon and you’d definitely come across this one! Simon Road Oyster Omelette first opened at Simon Road coffee shop and has been around for more than 20 years!
What makes this stall stand out from the rest? If you’re an oyster omelette lover, you’d know that the oyster omelette here is fried to the perfect level of crispiness. Each bite of the omelette brings out different flavours that are so delicious, you’ll want to have this oyster omelette for every meal!
Simon Road Oyster Omelette
Address: 965 Upper Serangoon Road Sinapore 534721
Opening Hours: Daily 4pm-2am, Closed on Tuesdays
5. Lim’s Fried Oyster
Any oyster omelette lover who lives near Toa Payoh will know this stall. Located in Toa Payoh Lorong 7, Ah Chuan Fried Oyster Omelette is a stall not to be missed. The crispy omelette together with fish sauce and chilli is to die for.
Many frequent patrons state that the texture and taste of the omelette are consistent and good at every visit. At only $4 a plate, this oyster omelette is definitely one of the tastiest and most affordable ones.
Ah Chuan Fried Oyster Omelette
Address: Blk 22, Toa Payoh Lorong 7 #01-25, Singapore 310022
Opening Hours: Daily 3-9pm, Closed on Tuesdays
Now that you know where to find the best oyster omelette, you can have this goodness every other day! Know of another great oyster omelette place? Let us know in the comments below!
(Header Image Credits: 7 Best Eats You Must Try Along Tanjong Katong For That Great Meal