Whaddup, everyone? It’s your very normal Insider writing (again). This week, we’re shaking things up a little. We’ll still be featuring seemingly random snippets of Singapore life, but we’re turning our focus to locally vouched-for food and entertainment options so you know you’re only getting the best. Of course, we can’t guarantee that you’ll like our recommendations, but we don’t want you to fall into the tourist trap. Scroll down for our first feature of the week: Laksa!
The Food Place
Ah, the rain. Singapore gets its fair share of thunderstorms every year, which provides immeasurable relief to its citizens. However, if you hail from cold, cloudy and muggy lands, the rain might remind you too much of your gloomy home (*cough cough* London *cough cough*). If the clouds roll in during your stay in Singapore, please don’t board the next flight to Tonga. Arm yourself with a brolly, waterproof flip flops, and an empty stomach, and splatter your way to the nearest food centre for some hot, spicy, creamy goodness, aka laksa.
Terry Katong Laksa offers creamy, flavourful broth with a generous sprinkling of laksa leaves and a delectable lump of sambal chilli. Despite numerous exhortations from her mother to never consume broth (because anything tasty=MSG), this writer always guiltily slurps up every drop when eating at Terry’s. Well, with no sugar or MSG, this is probably one of the least damaging laksas in Singapore. The stallholder is also really friendly, speaks great English, and will check on your comfort level with cockles and spicyness before adding them to your bowl. Do us a favour and find out if his name is really Terry.
Terry Katong Laksa
Bukit Timah Food Centre
51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 588172
Opening hours: 7am to 10pm daily (Generally runs out by 8pm, so be there early)
Nearest MRT: Beauty World
The Coffee Place
We figured coffee-ism and hipster-ism shouldn’t be conflated even though they pretty much go hand-in-hand. Because coffee now seems to be an essential component of modern living, hipster or not. For times when you feel the urge to treat yourself, we’ll show you coffeehouses that give Starbucks a run for its money. Most of them are homegrown and independent, and are very attentive to the quality of coffee they put out.
If you’re groggy and ravenous on a weekend morning, why not drop by Kith Café, a Singaporean chain known for their delicious and tummy-stuffing brunch menu. Ordering a cup of their coffee is also a fantastic way to kickstart the day. A unique blend, it’s rich, flavourful, and packs a good but not overpowering punch.
Various Locations: Ascott Orchard, Winsland House, Spottiswoode Park, Bras Basah, etc. Please check http://kith.com.sg/ for exact location.
Opening hours: Varies according to branch. Most open by 7.30am.
The Hipster Place
There sure are as many hipsters than there are the hipster-avoidant these days. We think this is a good place to feature indie business in Singapore, because. (It’s hip to not finish sentences, okay?)
One of the most insufferable types of hipsters is the literary hipster aka book nerd. Spot them with their bug-eyed glasses, canvas totes with Shakespeare quotes, and slightly ungainly way of walking. If in pairs, you might catch snippets of Russian words such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Bulgakov, and Kalashnikov in their conversation. What? Kalashnikov isn’t a Russian writer? Damn.
If you’ve got a literary bent, check out BooksActually, a bookstore carrying titles specially curated by the owners. It also houses the largest collection of Singaporean literature, which makes it a great place to bring home some unique souvenirs for your hipster friend who is definitely not you.
9 Yong Siak Street
Opening hours: Sun and Mon 10am to 6pm, Tue to Sat 10am to 8pm
Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru
The Market Place
Put on your lousiest outfit, comfy but inexpensive shoes, grab a trolley or eco-friendly shopping bag, and go shopping for fresh produce and foodstuff! Tekka Market is well-known for a reason. Even if your accommodation doesn’t come with an attached kitchen, a morning spent squeezing with anxious locals and watching market stallholders going about their busy day is an experience in almost too sanitised Singapore.
Check out this fantastic post by Sassy Mama for the 10 best stalls to visit if you’re looking to whip up a good meal or two!
665 Buffalo Road, Singapore 210665
Opening hours: 6.30am to 9pm (market stalls likely close by 1pm, but there are shops and cooked food stalls upstairs)
Nearest MRT: Little India