Eating my way through Singapore (Part 1 of 3)

When coconuts and eggs marry

For one of our afternoon snack breaks, we decided to try out the fabled Kaya Toast. A coconut and egg sweet spread served on toast, kaya could be compared to our local coco jam. We went off to Yakun Kaya Toast, a kopitiam (coffee shop) chain that boasts of a heritage going back to 1944.

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I ordered one of the set meals—this one had some softboiled eggs and a cup of Kopi C alongside the kaya toast. At Yakun, they slice the bread really thin, then grill it. Both slices are spread with kaya on one side, then layered with a slice of butter before being put together as a sandwich. I was told that the best way to eat it was to dip it in the softboiled egg. Sure enough, it was absolutely delicious that way. The egg, drizzled with soy sauce as the Singaporeans do it, offered a savory, salty counterpoint to the sweet, crunchy sandwich. The egg yolk in particular, was perfect with the sweet kaya. I fell so much in love with it, we purchased bottles of kaya to bring home to the Philippines. Of course, little did I know that Yakun has a branch at the international airport here. *facepalm*

A treasure throve of Chinese delights

Right next door to Yakun was Bee Cheng Hiang, a Chinese delicacies chain. Going into the stall was a fascinating experience. Rows upon rows of jerky, jars upon jars of floss and stacks of cute, animal-shaped bread dominated the display.

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Being the meat lover that I am, we were quick to snag packs of bakkwa, a sweet pork jerky sold in large sheets. We also grabbed a pack of the chili-flavored bakkwa. Both are delicious and are fantastic for nibbling, and for me, is a must-buy. We also grabbed a couple of packets of floss; both the regular kind and a special one mixed with seaweed strips and sesame seeds.

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Noodles you’ll never forget

Despite the deluge of new tastes and flavors, there are some dishes that absolutely stand out, leaving you craving months after you’ve tried it. One of these is Char Kway Teoy, a stir-fried flat noodled dish. We tried it at Hokkien Mee, an awarded stall at the Ang Mo Kio food court.

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Smoky, sweet and savory, Char Kway Teoy has a thick, bold flavor that stamps itself in your mind. The delicate flat noodles take in the sauce’s flavor well, and the bean sprouts offer a nice crunch contrast to the soft noodles. You’ll also stumble upon pieces of chorizo and cockles, adding more intense flavor and interesting texture to the dish.

Char Kway Teoy

To go with the noodles, we also ordered the Fried Carrot Cake. This is something that really confuses me because I don’t see the carrots! We have this theory that what they mean is carrot is actually radish because the texture, not to mention color, is very similar to the vegetable that’s also in the Poppiah. It was soft, bready and white! Regardless, it was pretty good, served like an omelet and topped with spring onions and a spicy dip on the side. The texture takes some getting used to but it’s something that’s easy to learn to enjoy.

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Rabbit was hankering for soup so she ordered a hotpot stew from another stall. It was thick, very flavorful and yummy. The veggies were crisp and refreshing and the thick broth heartwarming. It definitely fits the comfort food category. Unfortunately, being the useless food blogger I am, I neglected to get the dish’s name and the food stall. But at the very least, it’s at Ang Mo Kio, I think somewhere across the room from the Hokkien Mee food stall.

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To be continued…

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26 Responses to Eating my way through Singapore (Part 1 of 3)

  1. nina says:

    Mmmmm, bakkwa. That’s a staple pasalubong whenever my brother comes home from SG. Ironically, there’s a Bee Cheng Hiang stall in Robinson’s, but we never bought any from there, even if we’re craving for it.

    Char kway teoh…hokkien mee… must go back to SG!

  2. Krissy says:

    I was surprised to see that servings in Singapore were big. We ordered a lot of food from hawker stalls and we couldn’t finish them ^^;

  3. Luney says:

    *sigh* I really must travel to get the food you have described so fantastically and so lovingly. America is… well, they don’t seem to be as anal-retentive about ingredients as Asia and France. Quantity, sadly, seems to be slightly more important than quality, at least where I eat (why do you think that there are so many more McDonalds’ than Sonics or Whataburgers?).

    And most of what you describe is so alien to me! I’m shocked at myself, coming from an Asian background. I am inspired to try new foods and to really pay more attention to the intricate play of flavors and textures, something I am already experimenting with at home (my parents are very pleased with this. XD).

  4. raydance says:

    Being from Singapore, I’m always glad to see people coming and enjoying our food tremendously!

    Can’t wait to see what else you enjoyed here, and I hope you managed to make your ways into the nooks and crannies of places like Chinatown, Old Airport Road and even Changi to find our local delicacies!

  5. emily says:

    Oh damn! I was in Malaysia the other month and my friends in Singapore were telling me to take the bus and come over. If only I knew about the food, maybe I would have really pushed through with it! Hay… *fingers crossed* hoping I get the chance (and budget?) to go to Sing soon!

  6. kaoko says:

    Hahaha! When we got home, I was flabbergasted to find out that Bee Cheng Hiang, as well as Yakun, had Manila branches. Pero it’s still not a bad pasalubong 😛 And I agree, I want to go back there. Crossing my fingers, maybe next year. After that Singapore trip, I guess the travel bug finally bit me.

    Oh man, we could hardly finish the helpings too! Especially since we like ordering different dishes so we can have a taste of everything. You should see the servings at No Signboard, you’ll swim in crab!

    Good for you with experimenting. It’s always a great place to start. You know, it was a new experience for me too because I’ve never been out of the Philippines. Travel never really figured in my list of priorities. Only with this vacation did I realize how much I’ve been missing.

    I love your country’s food! I love it so much, I want to come back. The two things that I found particularly unforgettable was Tian-tian’s Hainanese Chicken and Char Kway Teoy. I want to go back—just so I could discover more of those hawker stall gems. <3

    We’re the same pala! We were also thinking about the feasibility of skipping off to Malaysia since Yishun was just 15 minutes away but the fact that we didn’t even have enough time to explore SG made us think twice. Still, I’m sure Malaysia also offers a wide, extensive cuisine—I know a lot of the stuff I ate in SG was actually Malaysian in origin.

  7. aoitenshi says:

    This made me so hungry, and I just ate. I need to try some of that bakkwa! It looks so good. And yay for kaya toast!

  8. Dea says:

    Hello there! I’ll be going to Singapore for the first time this December, and I plan on making it a 9-day food trip. This post was very informative, I look forward to trying some of the food you featured. I can’t wait for the next installments of your Singapore food adventure.

    I love your blog, by the way. Your photographs are just wonderful. 😀

  9. Tony Lou says:

    wow! i don’t have to read the text to know that you had a wonderful time eating there. katakam-takam ang ang mga pics. yumm!

  10. Kaya! Char kway! Yummmm. I never really pay much attention to what I eat, but these I remember most. 😛

  11. Garando says:

    Chili Crab! I can never get enough of it whenever I’m in Singapore. Even if I’m allergic to crab.

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  13. kaoko says:

    May branch yang bakkwa store na yan locally, I just forgot where but I’m sure google will point you in the right direction 😀

    Oh wow! You’ll get to eat a lot then if it’s a 9-day trip. Hope you get to try the Hainanese chicken. So much love there! <3

    @Tony Lou
    Plus it helps that the company was awesome <3

    Gusto ko bumalik!

    Hahaha, I'm sort of allergic to crab too but of course I tried some. Gawd I swear those chili crabs were gigantic.

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  16. surrealistic says:

    That looks delicious *_*

    And eggs with soy sauce is always good :3 They taste best when they are either scrambled or fried sunny side up :3 :3

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  18. Mica says:

    Had fun reading what you ate in Singapore! I don’t get to eat Asian food much here in Europe, so instead, I look at pictures and read about what other people eat!

    What attracted me was the seaweed dish. Sarap!

    • kaoko says:

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I do the same thing since I don’t think I’ll get to visit Europe anytime soon. Vicarious travel / eating through other people always rocks 😀

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  20. Joyceee says:

    i loved singapore food kahit na sa food court lang kami kumain nun…

    oh and dun sa makhan sutra.

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