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Singapore and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang)

Singapore and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang)
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  • Singapore and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang)

    Post #1 - December 20th, 2014, 7:48 pm
    Post #1 - December 20th, 2014, 7:48 pm Post #1 - December 20th, 2014, 7:48 pm
    We're at the tail end of our foodie fantasy vacation. If you like to eat Asian street food, save your pennies and get yourself to Singapore and Malaysia! We're keeping a blog, mostly for our family and friends but figured nobody would like it as much as an lther. It's a few days behind as of now, we've still got to add KL, which we'll probably do mostly on the plane ride home. So if you check today, make sure to check back at the end of the week for the complete version. Hope this helps anyone who plans to travel to this region in the future - it seemed that there wasn't much on lth about Malaysia.
    https://happystreetfood.wordpress.com/
  • Post #2 - December 24th, 2014, 8:58 pm
    Post #2 - December 24th, 2014, 8:58 pm Post #2 - December 24th, 2014, 8:58 pm
    The blog is complete - we have finished reporting on the trip! If in the future anyone wants any more info on where some of the stalls were or what they looked like, we have more photos to help with identification. Just let me know.

    Happy travels!
  • Post #3 - October 4th, 2017, 11:38 am
    Post #3 - October 4th, 2017, 11:38 am Post #3 - October 4th, 2017, 11:38 am
    Anyone here been to Singapore since this post? I'm going in February and the amount of excellent food options is daunting. Tips appreciated.
  • Post #4 - October 4th, 2017, 9:35 pm
    Post #4 - October 4th, 2017, 9:35 pm Post #4 - October 4th, 2017, 9:35 pm
    I was there for four days last October, but didn't post here (check my twitter account from October 15-19 for pics).

    A few general tips:

    1) Be prepared for intense heat and humidity. Fortunately, air conditioning works well everywhere and there are massive shopping malls everywhere. Step into the mall and you'll immediately notice a 50 degree temperature drop (or so it will feel).

    2) The subway (MRT) is fantastic and easy to use. Buy the multi-day travel pass for discounted travel.

    3) Immigration is also very quick.

    4) If you go to Raffles Long Bar for the Singapore Sling, I'd suggest just looking at the hotel. The drink is about $25, incredibly sweet and was the biggest ripoff of the trip.

    As far as eats go, I've never eaten better anywhere. For breakfast, kaya toast of course. You'll also find wonderful pastries everywhere (particularly if you love coconut and pandan as much as I do).

    I had a few more upscale dinners. The one I'd absolutely recommend is Odette, which I believe is a Michelin 2* restaurant. Michelin got this one right - a gorgeous room, wonderful service, outstanding food. I also went to an upscale restaurant, Labyrinth, which featured creative takes on Peranakan food, but mostly we felt let down by the food. I wish I had selected someplace else for Peranakan food in retrospect, perhaps something a bit more traditional. And of course, we visited Jumbo Seafood (at Clark Quay - they have multiple locations) one night for chili crab. I enjoyed it quite a bit but I think I'm probably more of a pepper crab guy (but I'll find out for sure on my next visit). We also had some excellent sushi . . . but sorry, I don't have info on where it was and I left my camera behind as it was during a storm. If I remember, I'll follow up.

    Lunch every day was at a different hawker market. Bring packs of tissues or buy them there. Use a pack to save your seat. And note, the tissues also serve as your napkins. There are a lot of online guides to the best hawker markets, and then the best stalls at those markets.

    It helps to have done some research in advance because the heat will at least somewhat limit how much you can eat and there is so much fantastic food to be had at each market. Look up the hawker market you plan to visit and search for recommended stalls. There are a lot of great blogs with pictures (e.g., thesmartlocal.com, danielfooddiary.com, ieatishootipost.sg, ladyironchef.com, to mention a few). But also walk around and see what looks good, where the lines are, etc. Don't be surprised though to find a particular hawker stall closed for a day or week or so while the owner is on vacation. We encountered that at every market.

    The hawker markets we visited:

    Tekka Centre in Little India - I've yet to visit India, but Little India in Singapore is what I expect to find when I do - the crowds, the heat, the colors, and the intoxicating aromas. My friend and I shared a few items at the Tekka Centre and all were great: excellent samosas, wonderful cheese prata with curry dipping sauce, butter chicken the likes of which I've never tried (served with fantastic naan), and practically life changing lamb byriani. If I could only have one again, the byriani, without question (but I wouldn't have just one of course). Again, pics on twitter. And while in Little India, don't miss the Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple.

    There are a couple of Hawker centers in Chinatown and I visited both. One is Maxwell Road Hawker Centre. This is the location of the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Well, damn if they didn't short me on skin. But my friend is not a big fan of the skin so I got lucky. I think this is where I also had a fantastic curry puff with sardines.

    I also visited Chinatown Food Street where I enjoyed fantastic chicken & lamb satay, bao (including a fantastic chili crab bao) and bbq stingray (sorry, no pics . . . but a must try). I think this (or Maxwell or nearby) is where I visited Terry Katong Laksa which was fantastic and ridiculously cheap.

    At Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, we visited the famous Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee. This was the longest line I experienced at any hawker stall (about 20-30 minutes). I don't think I waited more than 5 minutes anywhere else.

    I ate more at each market but I guess I didn't take photos of everything. Almost everyone recommends the Old Airport Road Food Centre but we just never made it there. We tried to figure out where we would be for tourist activities and what hawker stalls were relatively close (occasionally going a bit out of the way).

    Also, don't forget to visit Arab Street - more incredible sights and smells, and try the prata. You'll see it being made everywhere.

    As for things to do, absolutes include Gardens by the Bay (and the Cloud Forest and Supertree Grove there), Orchard Street (make sure to go into a mall or a few), Marina Bay (and the Merlion statue), the Singapore Zoo (I'd almost never recommend a zoo but this one was special). And instead of the Singapore Flyer, head up to the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, have a cocktail or two, and take in the stunning scenery.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #5 - October 5th, 2017, 6:08 am
    Post #5 - October 5th, 2017, 6:08 am Post #5 - October 5th, 2017, 6:08 am
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Anyone here been to Singapore since this post?
    two days on the front & back end of a trip coming up at end of Nov. Used to get to SIN a number of times per year, haven't been in years so looking forward
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #6 - October 5th, 2017, 11:55 pm
    Post #6 - October 5th, 2017, 11:55 pm Post #6 - October 5th, 2017, 11:55 pm
    BR wrote:I was there for four days last October, but didn't post here (check my twitter account from October 15-19 for pics).

    This is really helpful. Thanks. For those interested, referenced Twitter link is here. I've got a daunting amount of research ahead of me.
  • Post #7 - October 6th, 2017, 7:32 am
    Post #7 - October 6th, 2017, 7:32 am Post #7 - October 6th, 2017, 7:32 am
    I must have had my dates slightly off, so this search should provide some more help. My twitter feed also reminded me that the sushi place was Sushi Jin. And scrolling through other photos reminded me that I also visited the Newton Food Center hawker stalls.

    Don't allow yourself to get overwhelmed with research. My suggestion would be to pick food centers you absolutely want to try and compare to food centers near attractions you intend to visit or near an MRT station. Google maps will help. But also note that it's really impossible to not have a great meal and find great food at any of these centers, so I would suggest that with limited time in Singapore, you don't go far out of your way to try one particular stall. In other words, don't go far out of your way to some food center merely to try some amazing laksa when you're almost certain to find amazing laksa at one ore more of the other centers that may be more convenient to where you want to be.

    But once you decide on the food centers you plan to visit, you can search for the best stalls at that center. There are countless blogs with recommendations for what to eat at particular food centers. Some centers have 100 or even 200 stalls so in that sense you do want to have a bit of a plan, especially given that you will probably run into some crowds. That being said, you may notice a line or two at some of the food centers and that may give you a clue as to what's most popular. To me, the only food center you wouldn't want to miss is Tekka Center since it's the only Indian food one and right in the heart of Little India.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #8 - October 6th, 2017, 1:26 pm
    Post #8 - October 6th, 2017, 1:26 pm Post #8 - October 6th, 2017, 1:26 pm
    Indian style fish head curry. Ask around the locals for the best (it's like asking for the best pizza here) - but it's outstanding.
  • Post #9 - October 10th, 2017, 2:15 pm
    Post #9 - October 10th, 2017, 2:15 pm Post #9 - October 10th, 2017, 2:15 pm
    stoutisgoodfood wrote:Indian style fish head curry. Ask around the locals for the best (it's like asking for the best pizza here) - but it's outstanding.
    Muthu's was my go to years ago
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.

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