In my past visits to Singapore, I spent most of my time seeing the sites and shopping. Eating was not a planned event, so my companions and I just ate where it was convenient wherever we were at meal times.
All my previous Singapore eating experiences have been excellent albeit most were geared toward the tourist market. But even if you are on a budget, you have to plan in splurging on at least one meal and eat at local favorites on your next visit.
High Tea at the Marriott Tang Plaza
The Marriott Hotel chain is famous for serving excellent food, which is why it is not surprising that Singaporeans are willing to line up for the High Tea Buffet at the Marriott Hotel Tang Plaza on Orchard Road. At around SGD$45 per person, the sumptuous buffet served from 3:00-5:00 PM every day is a true bargain, especially if you compare it to the dinner buffet which costs more than SGD$100 per person.
Even if all you eat at the buffet are the cold prawns, it will be well worth the price. There is a very varied selection of Asian, American and European cuisine, and the dessert display is nothing to sneeze at either.
Tiong Bahru Bakery at Orchard Road
Considered by many locals as the best bakery in Singapore, the Tiong Bahru Bakery offers pastries that can compete with the best pastry shops in Europe or the USA, plus they offer exotic and interesting twists to familiar recipes. It is great that you don’t have to go all the way to Tiong Bahru just to enjoy their delicious baked goodies, because they now have a branch on Orchard Road, just next to Tangs Department Store and Lucky Plaza.
I have to say that their Pain au Chocolat is one of the best I’ve tried, and the Croissant with Green Tea and Almonds is a refreshing twist for people who like matcha.
Tunglok Seafood at Orchard Central
Hailing from the Szechuan Province of China, HaiDiLao Hot Pot is a famous restaurant in Singapore where locals are willing to wait for hours just to get in. People are willing to do this because HaiDiLao give their customers incentive to wait: you can choose to get free appetizers and drinks, have a massage or even a manicure while you wait for your table. You can already pre-order the food while you’re in queue so that everything is ready when you finally get to your table. Their small orders are designed to feed up to four people, making it a good destination for small groups.
Excellent service is standard in this restaurant. They anticipate everything—from providing covers for your bags so they don’t get spattered with the bubbling hotpot, to giving you a zip-top cover to protect your phone— because they know that you will surely take lots of pictures while eating but you will want to protect your phone from food smears and smudges; and they give you an apron to protect your clothes. And even if there are people waiting outside, the pacing inside is relaxed, so you can enjoy the food at leisure.
Szechuan cuisine is known to be spicy but whether you like it bland to super spicy, you will find one that fits your taste from their wide array of the hotpot soup base selection. After selecting your chosen soup base, you can then order the ingredients depending on what you want to eat. One thing you must not forget to order is the hand-pulled noodle to complete your HaiDiLao experience.
No matter how much you ordered, leave room for dessert. And if you have left-overs, they will pack it up for you to take home.
Words by Presy Alba
Layout by Jael Mendoza
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE December 2018-January 2019 Issue