Restaurants & Bars

Singapore: When you've had enough of soy sauce and curry- where to eat?

veronana70 | Sep 12, 200907:30 PM

I've spent two weeks in Singapore (and counting) with my husband who is working at a local university. This affords me the opportunity to be a lady of leisure while he's teaching students. Everything was going well the first week, but then things started to get a little desperate. The McDonalds and the delivery service from KFC was starting to be quite the tempting option. However, thanks to the Chowhound board, I was able to identify a few places that made me rekindle my love with Asian food- and also satisfied my cravings for what I consider a taste more like home. Here are my picks:

1. The Marmalade Pantry at ION- I know a few of you were hating on Marmalade because of its simple menu. But , for someone who's not used to 24/7 Asian food, Marmalade had the simplicity that I was looking for. There was no fish head, no curry, no bean curd.... just simple, fresh, well seasoned food. The steak sandwich with horseradish scraped my palate of the layers of soy that had been building up the past couple of weeks. It was cleansing. The cripness of the bread and the grilled char bits on the steak frolicked gayfully with the blanket of horseradish that covered my rib eye. I also had the delicous chicken ceasar salad and one of their sweet, moist cupcakes. Very excelente.

2. Cugili (an Italian restaurant on 87 Club Road in Chinatown)- what a nice area for dinner and a stroll. The shophouses and the small winding streets were a romantic backdrop for Cugili. Walking in, it was a small tratoria style restaurant- very informal and laid back. We ordered the spaghetti a la carbonara (minus the egg yolk bc of an egg allergy) and a pizza with a salad. It was so delicious and delicate that I felt as if i was somewhere in Northern Italy as the sun was setting. It was a moderate priced restaurant and they accepted American Express.

3. Zam Zam- okay, so even though i complain about having enough of soy and curry, I can't help but steer back to my love of Asian food. Zam Zam is located in the Arab Quarter on the corner of North Bridge and Arab Street. Its a little restaurant with a green and yellow sign. Order the bread thingy- looks like a Paratha but they call it something that starts with an "M," which i can't remember. Get the mutton or the chicken flavor- tis what they are known for. But, whatever you do, do not look at how they make it because the amount of oil used may scare you. And get the small one, because they tend to be quite large. You break off little pieces of this stuffed bread and dip it in a curry sauce and top it with some cucumbers. Couple that with a chilled Coke Zero and you've got yourself a winning meal for $6.20 SD.

4. Back to my non-Asian recommendations: Le Bouchon in Ann Siegne (sp?) Road, over by Chinatown. They have a location by one of the Quays but i like the Chinatown locale better- so intimate and romantic. My husband and i ordered the entrecot avec pomme frittes- or in English, the ribeye with french fries. It was served with a refreshing field green salad. The steak was accompanied by a variety of mustards and all you can eat fries! The dish cost $32 SD. Again, the steak was very well seasoned, cooked exactly as i ordered, and the flavors were very clean and simple. Not complex or overly done- just simple.

5. Tratorria La...?- Okay, so I can't remember the name of the place i went to but i can give you good directions. Its located on Bras Brasah, right on the same ground as the Singapore Museum (it was big red letters up front)., close to SMU. There's a restaurant called Dome as well, but that sucks. The Tratorria was delicious- great pasta and pizza and bruschetta. The adjacent museum is free Mon to Fri from Noon to 2pm, so you can take a stroll through the museum and then have a late lunch at Tratorria. Lunch for two was $65 SD.

6. Shokudo in Raffles City Mall- although its Japanese and heavily soy'ed, this restaurant or market place is good because of its awesome yakitori stand. It has freshlly grilled protein options such as pork, chicken, beef. Couple that with some other cool goodies and you've got yourself a nice meal that is simple and tasty.

7. Canele Patisserie in Raffles City Mall- their desserts are jammin'. Enough said. Go for the Macaron or any of their sweet treats.

And since i've run out of my soy and curry light options, let me give you a few choices that i would frequent over and over again:

1. There's this Dim Sum place in the basement of Raffles City Mall that is awesome. its tucked away in a back corner, next to the Japanese restaurant where you can see the guy make the soba noodles. i cant remember the name but its the only one with a digital number counter in the front that tells you who will be seated next. Get the pork dumplings with the little soup inside!!! Yummo.

2. Jaggi's Indian or Banana Leaf on Race Course Road.

Tis all for now....i'll be here another week and then going home. :)

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