Roam with R

We often visited Singapore before moving here, sometimes for a few days and other times for weeks. Many people didn’t understand, they’d say “but it’s such a small country, you can do everything in two days!”.

If only they knew!

Putting aside the tourist attractions, some of which I’ve included, there is so much more to explore. We’ve hosted many of our friends since moving to Singapore, showing them around and making recommendations for things they would enjoy, as well as taking them to our favourite places to go, food to eat and things to do. This is the guide I wish I had the very first time I came to Singapore.

Food

Chicken Rice

What is it?

This is the national dish of Singapore, a bowl of yellow rice served on a plate, where the rice is cooked in leftover chicken fat and broth. On another plate are the chicken slices, you can choose between roasted chicken or steamed chicken, mine is always the former. The chicken comes with a slice of tomato, a few slices of cucumber and a sprig of coriander, surrounded by a beautiful concoction of light soy sauce and oil.

To accompany this is a bowl of delectable chicken broth garnished with coriander (you can ask to leave the coriander out if you have such aversions), add chilli sauce and crushed garlic to taste.

Chicken Rice

Location

Spicy
🌶 - 🌶🌶🌶🌶
Price
💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Add chilli sauce as per preference Chicken portion (S): $2.50
Chicken portion (L): $3.50
Whole Chicken: $18
Half Chicken: $9
9:30am - 7pm
(or until they run out)
Closed Thursdays*

*Usually closed on public holidays

Kim Keat Palm Food Centre

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Kaya Toast Set

What is it?

This is an all-day breakfast item common in Singapore and Malaysia. Kaya is a coconut jam made with coconut milk, eggs and pandan. Between two slices of toasted bread (either white or multigrain) is a layer of this delicious jam and a slice — yep, a slice — of butter.

The set also comes with teh or kopi, which you order according to how you take your tea or coffee, and two soft boiled eggs.

Kaya Toast Set

Crack your egg onto a saucer sooner for a runnier yolk, or leave it longer for a harder consistency. Add some salt, pepper, and soy, dip your kaya toast in your yolk. Prepare to be surprised at how much you like this strange mixture of flavours.

Location

Sweetness
🍯🍯
Price
💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Kaya is sweet but you can request sweetness in drink according to preference Kaya Toast (White): $1.80
Kaya Toast (Multigrain): $2
Set (+ drink + eggs): $5.70
7:30am-9:30pm
Open Everyday*

*May be closed on public holidays

Toast Box

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Roti Prata

What is it?

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, roti prata hits the spot every time. This flat-bread is made by frying stretched dough, that has been folded over several times in ghee until golden brown, and smooshed together by smooshing it from both sides. This technique gives it a flakey texture. You can add almost any filling to your prata: onion, egg & onion, meat filling, banana, condensed milk… the list is almost endless!

I prefer mine to be plain, which usually comes in sets of 2, along with curry or dahl or both! Eat it with your fingers, as those from the Indian-subcontinent do. Trust me, it tastes better that way!

Location

Spicy
🌶 - 🌶🌶🌶
Price
💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Dahl for milder option
Curry for more heat
$2 for a set of 2 6:30am - 9pm
Closed Tuesdays*

*Usually closed on public holidays

Senthil Murugan Cafe

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Teochew Noodles

What is it?

These hawker stalls offer a selection of delicious noodle dishes and mine is always the ‘Mushroom Minced Meat’. You also select the type of noodles you prefer, for me this is mee pok, a flat, egg noodle, equivalent to fettuccine. It also comes with a small bowl of broth.

This delicious bowl consists of slices of delicious stewed mushrooms, minced meat cooked in broth, thinly sliced pork, bak chor mee (crispy fried lard pieces) and garnished with lettuce and chopped shallots.

If you are sensitive to spicy foods you can ask them for no chilli but I would recommend having at least a little as it’s a sambal chilli paste they make themselves and has all sorts goodies like ikan bilis (small fish) and other spices that make the dish extra special.

Teochew Noodles

Location

Spicy
🌶 - 🌶🌶🌶
Price
💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Request more or less chilli sambal as per preference Mushroom Minced Meat: $3.50
Fishball Noodle Soup: $3.20
Fishball Noodle Dry: $3.20
Signature Noodle: $4.50
Laksa: $3.50
Soft Rib Noodle: $5.00
Mini Pot Noodle: $4.50
24/7

Teochew Noodles

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Tiong Bahru Bakery

What is it?

Tiong Bahru Bakery offers a European-style cafe where you can find both sweet and savoury baked goods, coffee and fresh pressed juices. It’s a significant change from the Asian-style bakeries you’ll undoubtedly come cross and find yourself leaving with bags of goodies you didn’t intend to buy… but they just look so good!

My order is always the Brie & Roasted Mushroom Croissant with freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s just so simple, yet perfectly done. I don’t have much of a sweet-tooth so can’t offer any advice there. You can select to sit in and enjoy your cafe meal or take away if you’re in a hurry.

Tiong Bahru Bakery in Eng Hoon

Location

Spicy & Sweet
🌶 & 🍯-🍯🍯🍯
Price
💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
There are a range of sweet and savoury items Scones: $2.50-$3
Croissants: $3.20-$4.50
Danishs: $3.80-$4.50
Croissant Sandwiches: $7.50-$9.10
Buns: $9
Baguette Sandwiches: $8-$9
Quiches: $8-$11
Tea (hot/ice): $5.50-$6.50
Coffee: $4.80-$8
Fresh Juice: $6.50
San Pellegrino: $5.50
Orchard: Mon-Sat 8am-10pm
Sun 8am-9pm
Eng Hoon: 8am-8pm Daily
Raffles City: 8am-10pm Daily*

*May be closed on public holidays

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AMK Curry Puff

What is it?

aka Ang Mo Kio Curry Puff.

These curry puffs are magical. The aunties make each curry puff by hand from scratch, starting from rolling out the buttery curry puff shell, to making pots of diced curried potato, to hardboiled eggs and chicken, all waiting to be put together into small pockets of wonder.

The curry filling is a mixture of the chicken, potato, spices and egg and the shell is neither too thin, holding in the contents well, nor too thick, allowing it to be crispy and moist, striking the perfect balance. Everytime, it’s a treat!

AMK Curry Puff

AMK Curry Puff

Location

Spicy
🌶
Price
💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Not too spicy! $1.50 per curry puff 10am-8:30pm Daily
Or till sold out

AMK Curry Puff

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Lobster Laksa

What is it?

This luxurious dish is found at Chatterbox in the Mandarin Orchard Hotel. It comes in a beautiful coconut broth garnished with laksa leaves, with thick vermicelli, Boston lobster, quail eggs, fish cakes and dried bean curd.

The serving amount is far too large for one person, so I take my husband and ask them to split the laksa into two bowls. It’s the perfect amount for two people. You could try to split the bowl into two yourself… just be prepared to spray your top with laksa broth!

The messier it is, the yummier it usually is… am I right?!

Lobster Laksa at Chatterbox Mandarin Orchard

Lobster Laksa at Chatterbox Mandarin Orchard

Spicy
🌶🌶
Price
💰💰 - 💰💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
It is noted as a spicy dish on the menu but for me it felt moderate. Price is $38
+ 10% Service Tax
+ 7% GST
Total $44.75 (rounded)
Sun-Thu: 7am-10am, 11am-11pm
Fri-Sat: 7am-10am, 11am-2am

Location

Lobster Laksa at Chatterbox Mandarin Orchard

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Drinks

Mr Stork Rooftop Bar

Dress Code
👗
Price
💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Casual Cocktails at $16 Sun-Thu: 5am-12am
Fri-Sat: 5pm- 1am

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Bar Stories

Dress Code
👗
Price
💰💰💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Smart Casual ~$20-25 per drink Sun-Thu: 5pm-1am
Fri-Sat: 5pm-2am

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Atlas Bar

Dress Code
👗
Price
💰💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Casual Chic
No shorts or slippers after 5pm
Drinking menus
Dining menus
Mon-Thu: 10am-1am
Fri: 10am-2am
Sat: 3pm-2am
Closed Sundays

Image credit: EK Yap & ATLAS

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Activities

Merlion

Recommendations
💬
Price
💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Go at sunset to get that beautiful glow and the city lighting up Free! 24/7

Merlion

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Cloud Forest

Recommendations
💬
Price
💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
MRT to Bayfront (take exit B) and walk to Gardens by the Bay Adult/Senior: $28
Child (3-12 years old): $15*
9am-9pm Daily
Last ticket sale: 8pm
Last admission: 8.30pm

*Prices listed are tourist rates. This price includes entry to both domes but I think the Cloud Forest is better! Residents rates here.

Cloud Forest

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Gardens by the Bay

Recommendations
💬
Price
💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Don’t bother going during the day Free!* 24/7**

*Pay $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under to go on the Skyway bridge.

**Skyway bridge open 9am-9pm daily and light show after sunset.

Gardens by the Bay

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ArtScience Museum

Recommendations
💬
Price
💰-💰💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Check out their Future World exhibit Standard Tickets: $17-$38
Full price list here
10am-7pm Daily
Last admission 6pm

ArtScience Museum

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Cable Car Pass

Recommendations
💬
Price
💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Book tickets in advance as lines can get very long Adult: $33
Child: $22
Look out for deals
8:45am-9:30pm Daily

Singapore Cable Car

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East Coast Park

Recommendations
💬
Price
💰
Opening Hours
🕒
Research activities as there’s so much to do Free* 24/7

*Make sure to look up prices for activities in the park.

East Coast Park

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Getting Around

Public Transport

Trains

Public transportation in Singapore is amazing. Covering virtually the entire country, you can get anywhere by the bus or train affordably. To do this make sure you get yourself an EZ-Link card, more info here. The trains come so often, every 3-6 minutes, there are no timetables.

Busses

Busses come a little less often and the times depend on the bus route you want to take, the most I’ve waited for a bus was 12 minutes, which in Sydney terms is a short wait!

Nevertheless, should you wish to know when your next bus arrives you can download the SG Buses app where you select your stop by nearby locations (the stop names are always written on the bus stop signs) which then shows you all the busses that come to that stop and their arrival times. By tapping on the bus number you can see the bus route and where the bus is in it’s route at that moment.

Private Transport

The two main apps I’d recommend are Uber and Grab. They both provide the same service by picking you up at your location and taking you to the destination you’ve entered. I find it is good to have two options so I can use one when the other has a surge pricing or no drivers nearby, but generally both are decently priced.

You can also hail or book a taxi and you’ll find them to be fairly priced and very friendly… not a common trait for taxi drivers in many countries! Some taxis only take cash so make sure to check with them if you’re strapped for cash before getting in.

For me Uber, Grab and taxis are the most useful when going to and from the airport with heavy luggage where you just don’t want to drag yourself and your bags through public transport.

Data Roaming

Before you leave, get yourself a data package or get a SIM card in Singapore. This will help you have access to Google Maps and save lots of heartache when you’re not sure where you are. Look up the public transport connections to get to your destination.

If you’re in a pinch, you will also be able to use Uber or Grab and get you back to your hotel in a jiffy. If you do get lost and your phone isn’t helping you, just ask someone, Singaporeans are very friendly!

Google Maps on your phone

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