Netflix: Season 4
Phil Rosenthal visits Singapore, also known as the Lion City, to explore the multi-cultural influences that come together in this vibrant urban city. He tries out traditional Peranakan dishes, and of course visits the many hawker centres which are at the heart of Singapore's culinary culture. See the list of locations, restaurants, and attractions he visited on the show for the best of what to do in Singapore.
1. Tiong Bahru Hawker Stalls
No trip to Singapore is complete without visiting the legendary hawker centres of the city-state. These cheap, local, and amazingly delicious food courts are the true epitome of the multi-culture of Singapore with its mix of influences of Indonesian, Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and other cuisines. Phil starts his trip at the Tiong Bahru Hawker Stalls to try a variety of local treats.
Tasted: (Tiong Bahru Duck stall) - Duck rice cooked in stock and soy sauce
(Jian Bo Shui Kueh stall) - Shui kueh or steamed rice cakes with preserved radish
Soy sauce tofu puff - reflecting Chinese cuisine
Curry - Malay and Indian influences
Tomato pork chops - British touches
Peranakan means "born here", and it is the indigenous cuisine of Singapore. Peranakan food has a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian influences and is served as small dishes, placed all on the table at the same time. The traditional name for this type of serving is "tok panjang" which means "long table." Phil stops by Candlenut, which is the 1st Peranakan restaurant to garner a Michelin star.
Tasted: Indonesian Salad marinated in torch ginger flower, lime, and chili
Buah Keluak - black nut from a tree, which is boiled and buried for 40 days to remove the poison
3. Long Bar in Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road, Singapore
Situated in the Raffles Hotel, which is one of the oldest and most glamourous British colonial era hotels, the Long Bar is the home of the original Singapore Sling cocktail. Patrons drink along the colonial-influenced bar and the tradition is to eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor.
Singapore Sling - pineapple and lime juice, cherry liqueur, curacao, grenadine, gin
4. Burnt Ends
An Australian barbeque restaurant in the middle of Singapore? It sounds weird, but it works as what started as a pop-up in London has now emerged as an internationally renowned restaurant with 1 Michelin star. At the center of the restaurant are the huge wood fired ovens which drive the cooking of the barbequed meats. The food here is wonderfully delicious and surprisingly elegant, which Phil calls a "barbeque omakase."
Smoked quail egg and caviar
Burnt flour crostini and taramosalata
Beef marmalade and house pickles
Beef, uni, and caviar
Unagi and bone marrow
Mushroom with fried egg
King crab with garlic brown butter and truffle
Tomahawk steak aged for 78 days
Pulled pork sandwich - with slaw and cheese on a black sesame bun for dessert
5. Maxwell Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore
One of the most popular hawker centers, Maxwell is home to the famous Ah Tai stall which serves Hainanese Chicken, perhaps the signature dish of Singapore. Brought from the southern province of Hainan, China, it became popularized in Singapore in the 1950s. The dish is simple with only 3 ingredients - chicken, rice, and chili. The key is in the stock to create the fragrant rice to pair with the juicy flavorful chicken.
Young thai coconut juice
(Ah Tai stall) - Hainanese chicken rice
6. Changi Village Market Hawker Center
One more hawker center - this one used to be an old British army barrack. The dish to get at Changi Village is the nasi lemak, which is a Malay breakfast dish that translates to "rich rice." The rice is the star of the show here and is cooked with coconut, salt, and pandan leaves. It comes with a chili paste of shallots, garlic, and chilies, and sometimes with dried shrimp and lemongrass. It is then topped with either fried chicken or fried fish. There are 5 or 6 stalls here and Phil tries them all to find the best one.
5 or 6 varieties of Nasi Lemak
To end the trip, Phil visits the restaurant one of his hosts, Bjorn Shen, who gives classic Middle Eastern food a Singaporean twist.
Roasted eggplant, samphire, hummus and mushroom, beetroot, and dukkah
Crab suzuki with caviar and chicken skin
Cuttlefish shawarma with schmaltz
Green harissa prawns
1. The Jewel at Changi Airport
78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore
Known as the Jewel, this multi-plex has made a shopping and dining destination out of the Changi Airport with over 250 different stores. The center piece of the Jewel is a large indoor waterfall that is the perfect Instagram spot.
Phil takes a nighttime cruise along the Singapore river in a "bumboat." These open air boats were once used for transporting goods, but are now used mostly for taxis and sightseeing. The cruise offers a chance to relax and to observe the amazing skyline of the city.
3. Marina Bay Sands Hotel
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
Prominent amongst the Singapore skyline is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel that was designed by Israeli Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It is 3 separate buildings that are connected at the top with a ship that houses a convention center, casino, and the world's longest infinity pool. Safdie aims for designs that are spectacular and unique, but also fun.
4. Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive Bayfront Plaza, Singapore
Phil visits the indoor gardens with Tan Kheng Hua, the Singaporean actress who played the mom in Crazy Rich Asians. The gardens are a green paradise for nature lovers as they create a beautiful center of trees and flowers set in the heart of the city.