1) HAWKER MARKETS
Hawker markets are your first stop if you’re hungry. You can smell them well before you see them, with a thick scent of fried goodness leading to a sizzling array of food stalls.
There are more than 100 of the markets throughout the city featuring more than 6000 stalls, with delights from all over the world. The best part is each dish sells for just a few dollars.
2) MY DRINK’S ON FIRE
If you love Happy Potter, you may never leave the Platform 1904 cafe.
Aside from wizard-themed food, the cafe comes complete with robes, owls in a cage, wands and of course Harry Potter glasses.
The star of the show is a secret-recipe (alcoholic) concoction that leaps fire every time you sprinkle it with cinnamon.
3) CRAB BURGERS
Chili crab is a local delicacy in Singapore, and a modern twist is Yummo Chow’s ‘crab in a burger’.
This is no crab patty – it’s more like a hermit crab has crawled into a slice of brioche, decided to call it home, then accidentally fell in the deep fryer. And it’s all smothered in chilli mayonnaise.
It’s the kind of food that will induce a nervous gulp when it’s served; but throw those doubts aside and get munching – it’s the nicest crustacean we’ve ever eaten.
4) NOW THAT’S A COFFEE
Coffee purists – stop reading now. Your beloved brew is about to be butchered.
But for the rest of us, you’ll never think of coffee the same again.
With thousands of coffee shops in a city the size of Lake Taupo, a lot of effort goes into standing out.
How about a candy floss cloud hanging over a hot cup of Americano? The eye-catching brew at Mellower Coffee attracts people from all over Singapore. Once served, the cotton candy sits on a stand above the coffee and quickly melts to infuse its flavour.
But our hands-down favourite was a latte served in a chocolate waffle cone at the Builders at Sims cafe. The best bit was a chocolate and marshmallow plug at the bottom of the cone to stop it leaking – which melted and mixed with the coffee.
5) FARM TO FORK, DIM SUM STYLE
With such a big Chinese influence in Singapore, you can’t miss yum cha: a traditional Chinese lunch with hot baskets filled with small fried or steamed dishes.
The latest yum cha trend is animal dim sums, started by East Ocean Restaurant. There, your fried treat comes in the form of almost any animal – from turtles, hedgehogs, birds and pigs. Some even have chocolate inside that squirts out of the animal’s mouth when squeezed.
6) FLYING NOODLES
You know you’re in for something special when your soba noodles arrive suspended in air, flavoured with truffle and salted egg yolk.
But the most spectacular moment of our visit to Hana Japanese restaurant was when the sushi arrived. How can sushi be spectacular? Well, the waiter had a huge wheel of cheese, and blowtorched an artery blocking slab on top of the sushi. Finally, the entire dish was set alight (from coals sitting under the sushi) which kept the cheese soft while we ate.
It seems freakshakes are a bit 2015, but a little cafe called The Benjamins has propelled them firmly into 2017.
Some have gothic looking volcanoes smoking from the top, others look like unicorns – need I say more?
8) BEETROOT FOR DESSERT
You’ll probably find the best fine dining dessert in all of Singapore at STRAY by Fatcat. The star of the menu is the A.B.C, inspired by the head chef’s childhood love of the local health drink that is available in all hawker markets (Apple, Beetroot and Carrot juice). Her creation is a work of art.
The dish looks like a beetroot pulled straight from the soil, but is in fact a chocolate shell with a delicate beetroot and raspberry mousse in the centre.
Then at the table, dish is coated with an apple ‘snow’ – when the chef pours a dry ice mixture over the creation. The stone pebble the beetroot rests on, is actually a chocolate rock that bursts open with a sweet carrot filling.
It’s a visual feast and a taste experience so unexpected, you’ll be left wanting to try everything else on their menu.
9) WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
There’s no shortage of food in the weird and wonderful category, from crocodile tail to cod sperm tofu. For something a lot more palatable, you can try ‘lava toast’.
At Bojio cafe, the lava toast arrives with Oreo cookies, marshmallows and a generous scoop of home-made salted caramel ice-cream. The entire thing is blowtorched to warm it up. So far, so good.
Inside, however, is a savory Japanese fish egg mayonnaise, called Mentakio. It takes a little getting used to, but if you like roe – this has to be your first stop. It’ll be the first time you’ve mixed it with Oreo cookies and marshmallow!
Last year Brook Sabin and his partner Radha Engling quit their jobs and sold everything to travel. They started a blog onflightmode.com and are now full-time travellers, making a living selling travel photos and video all around the world. Each week Kiwis in flight will take you on their adventures.