For our first couple of meals in Singapore we made some really bad choices. Fish restaurant on Orchard Road, a fancy looking place in the Theatres On The Bay, random Japanese when we were craving some ramen… Ugh. Where is all that food everyone was talking about? And then we changed hotel and moved from Orchard to Chinatown – oooh bliss, we should have visited one of the hawker food centres earlier!
Maxwell Food Centre was very close to our hotel and we first went there during lunch time. It was packed with people, tables and chaires “reserved” (people do this by placing something on their chair – pack of tissues was the most common one we saw) and long lines to some stalls. Hearing a voice of our friend in our heads – line up in the longest line and you won’t go wrong – we picked one, before we were even able to see what’s on the menu. And we enjoyed that experience so much we went back few hours later for afternoon snacks and then again for dinner… It was extreme pigging out, Singaporean style.
The second one we went to check out was the Singapore Flyer Food Centre. Stylised as an old street with cart-stalls, looks pretty and is some kind of a tourist attraction. Prices are still low but a bit higher than in Chinatown ($7 for noodles with meat vs $4.5 for noodles with meat). In theory you can get a feel of the old Singapore, with its street food climate. But all we had was more expensive and less tasty food. Don’t waste your time for this one.
Useful website: myhawkers.sg – with reviews of food centres and dishes