Skip to content

open mind, empty stomach

travel, food, and fun

The worst part of getting food poisoning on my last night in Jakarta was knowing that I had to fly to Singapore the next day. I was going to Singapore for one reason: to eat. My sickness lasted violently through the morning, but I still managed to make it to the airport and arrive safely in Singapore. Like Michael Jordan dropping 50 with the flu, I put mind over matter and got my eat on.

Last year, I met two great girls from Singapore in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. One of the girls, Esther, was leaving the day after I got in town, but was able to meet me for dinner that night. I had the iconic chicken rice as well as really good sting ray, mussels, and some Tiger beer. So much for food poisoning.

Esther and I were joined by my AMAZING CouchSurfing host, Jen. Jen is one of those people that remind me how beautiful humanity can be. She has a great outlook on life and treats people so well that it’s almost too much. Jen’s mom is a great cook and a wealth of information on Singapore and Malaysia. Believe it or not, but her food was actually the best thing I had to eat in Singapore.

Jen and I also met up with my other Singaporean friend I met last year, Charlotte. We had lunch, some great conversation, and walked around the water on Singapore’s east coast.

Earlier in the year, I showed a food loving CouchSurfer around Honolulu. It just so happened that Lily arrived in Singapore the same day as me. Joined by her friend Yen, we shared a few meals and did some catching up. We started with claypot rice, curried fish, and morning glory with shrimp paste and chili at a place Bourdain hit up on Layover on Gilang Street. That was followed by the king of fruits, durian.

Jen took Lily, Yen, and I for dinner in Little India. It wasn’t the best Indian I’ve had, but the company couldn’t be beat. Next, we met up with some of Jen’s friends, who were incredibly nice, and walked around the city. We went to a venue on Arab Street and met some more of Jen’s friends, then grinded down on some great Malay food.

Jen’s cousin was having an engagement party while I was in town. It was an honor to be able to attend a traditional Malaysian Muslim engagement party, something not too many foreigners get to do. The groom doesn’t attend, but his family goes on his behalf to collect presents from his future bride’s family and to negotiate things like who will keep the ring if they split up. As you may have imagined, there was food, lots and lots of very delicious, home cooked food.

After the party, we got to join some of Jen’s friends for visiting. After Ramadan, Muslims visit one another’s homes to celebrate and eat. It was really cool to experience this piece of culture as well.

Jen and I went to the Newton Hawker Center to have chili crab for my last dinner in Singapore, but it was CLOSED. There was some stupid Chinese ghost festival going on and the entire hawker center was shut down. I was devastated. We drowned our sorrows in durian and beer.

I booked a later flight so I could have another shot at chili crab. Once again, we were joined by Lily and Yen and had quite the adventure searching, but it wasn’t meant to be. Next time!

Singapore airport has the best airport eating I’ve ever come across, but it’s a secret. The staff canteen located on level P2 of Terminal 1 is a full blown hawker center in the airport! Almost everyone eating there was an employee, but the place is open to the public and very, very cheap.

I kept this post as brief as possible and had to leave out quite a bit. My three days in Singapore were unreal. It was perfect on every level and I will definitely be going back again to eat more! Seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends was just as good as eating all of the delicious food – well, almost.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


%d bloggers like this: