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SingapoRediscovers Food Trail: 12 Hidden Gems To Try

As Singapore reopens gradually, what better way for us foodies to contribute back to the economy than exploring some unique places in Singapore to eat?

In collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for their latest campaign, SingapoRediscovers, we've picked out some of our favourite hidden and lesser-known food gems around Chinatown, Little India, Joo Chiat, and the Civic District for you to check out!


Want to win exclusive food vouchers and experiences? Or perhaps a Burpple Beyond membership? Read till the end to find out how you can participate in the Burpple x SingapoRediscovers contest!


Chinatown

Chinatown isn't only for CNY goodies and decorations! It's also a glorious food haven now filled with hawker centres, coffee shops, and cafes teeming with hungry foodies. After all, Chinatown has a rich history when it comes to food.

The Social Space
Photo by Burppler whatisdigesting

The Social Space is a socially-conscious cafe with its own fair trade retail section and nail salon, and hires socially-disadvantaged individuals to run its space. The menu comprises of tasty smoothie bowls and open-faced toasts - Burppler Carmen Chan says the Hulk Smoothie Bowl ($12) is quite yummy with its coconut flakes, matcha, coconut milk, and honey, while Burppler Alicia Ng thinks the Roasted Eggplant toast is "a really good one."

 

Tong Ah Eating House
Photo by Burppler Julius Lim

Old is gold at Tong Ah, which has sat along the Keong Saik stretch for over 80 years now. You won’t go wrong with their Kaya French Toast ($3.70) that many Burpplers have raved about for its eggier and clumpier texture. Don’t miss their zi char favourites like the Coffee Pork Ribs ($12) and Yue Guang Hor Fun ($7).

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert
Photo by Burppler Jennifer Yeo

Right smack in the middle of Chinatown, Mei Heong Yuen is best known for their snow ice desserts (from $6), which come in flavours like Chocolate Banana and Watermelon Lychee. Burppler Jennifer Yeo tried the Chendol Snow Ice and likes how "you are given a bottle of gula melaka syrup to douse your dessert with as much as you want!”. Try their hot Chinese desserts too.

Little India

It's easy to get lost in Little India with its many side roads and curved streets, but once you get the hang of it, you'll find a ridiculous number of delicious eats around the neighbourhood, from traditional stalls to the more trendy.

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant
Photo by Burppler V C

Everything at Gokul - which has been in operation for around 20 years - might be meatless, but trust us when we say you won’t even notice it. Burppler V C recommends the Malai Kofta and Masala Thosai, while Burppler Katherine likes the Roti Jala, a starchy bread dish accompanied by “mutton”, “chicken” and dhal curries. Gokul also has an assortment of decent Chinese dishes, but really, there are other places for that.

MTR 1924
Photo by Burppler Kugel Kaffee

Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, known more popularly as MTR, is a community-favourite for its excellent South Indian cuisine. As expected of one of Bangalore's oldest restaurants, first established in 1924. Queue for the Plain Dosa ($5) that Burppler Blueskies Cottonclouds raves to be "really refined...like the Indian version of the French galette!" Don't miss out on the Uddina Vada, a doughnut-shaped delicacy that Burppler Kugel Kaffee describes as "crunchy outside and soft inside, just how we like it".

Meatsmith Little India
Photo by Burppler Wuu Yyiizzhhoouu

You've heard of the popular Meatsmith in Telok Ayer, but did you know they also have an outlet in Little India with an entirely different menu? Think American barbecue from the south with an accent of Indian flavours. Burppler Regina Xie likes the tender Beef Brisket Chappati ($14) with mustard sauce and pickled beet root on chapati, while Burppler Wuu Yyiizzhhoouu can’t get enough of the “masterfully roasted” Butter Chicken ($42). “Breast was juicy, and the aroma from the marinade was incredible."

Joo Chiat

Joo Chiat is one of our favourite neighbourhoods for its colourful history and beautiful Peranakan shophouses. But that’s not the only thing Joo Chiat is known for – walk down Joo Chiat Road and you'll find a dizzying array of fantastic local food.

Old Bibik's Peranakan Kitchen
Photo by Burppler Jaster Ngui

Did you know Old Bibik’s is one of the few Halal-certified Nonya restaurants in Singapore? This is where you’ll find traditional Peranakan dishes at great value, with set meals starting from a low $6.90. Burppler MichelleLIN T likes the Chicken Rendang, “which was rich with spices and lighter on the coconut milk”, while Burppler Vivienne Chua enjoyed the Ju Hu Cha, an old recipe of shredded turnip slow cooked with vegetables and dried cuttlefish. Beware their fiery sambal!

Da Dong Prawn Noodles
Photo by Burppler Veronica Phua

The East is filled with popular prawn noodle shops, but we think Da Dong sits among the top. As Burppler Cafehoppingkids puts it, "The star was definitely the rich and flavourful prawn broth that had a creaminess probably from the long-simmering of pork bones.” Burppler Veronica Phua says if you are a lover of liver, you need to add it to your noodles (from $5) too. "Every piece tastes really clean and practically melts in the mouth".

Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah
Photo by Burppler Lotus foodie

Look at those juicy turnips! Kway Guan Huat is one of the oldest popiah stalls in Singapore with 80 years of heritage behind them, and Burppler Wan Ling Yeo has plenty of good things to say. "It has a more savoury, crustacean taste than others, which often has just one-dimensional flavour." It also has "soft and chewy skin made on the spot and distinct umami taste from the turnips". You can even buy DIY sets ($65 each) with 20 popiah skins and one box of seafood filling.

Civic District

Singapore's Civic District encompasses the area around City Hall, Bras Basah, Clarke Quay, and part of the CBD. Come savour Singapore's vibrant culinary heritage with panoramic views of the city skyline to boot.

Artichoke
Photo by Burppler Jason Wong

Artichoke is the baby of Singapore's self-proclaimed rebel chef Bjorn Shen. Here, you'll find exciting Middle Eastern grub with plenty of personality, from Crab Toast with chicken crackling and trout roe ($16) to the fiery Green Harissa Prawns ($38). Burppler Cecil Dulam also likes the Thicc Hashbrown ($14), as "the texture of crispy hash brown mixed with chilled sour cream combines together in the mouth".

Supreme Pork Chop Rice
Photo by Burppler Yan Fang Lim

This nondescript old school eatery is situated along the junction of Beach Road and Middle Road, serving up crispy pork chops and comforting Taiwanese fare for $5 and under. Burppler Jonathan Lim says the Pork Chop Fried Rice is "consistently delicious; so crispy, well-marinated and not too greasy!"

Gather
Photo by Burppler Nobelle Liew

Hidden inside Raffles Hotel Arcade, this minimalist spot is great for afternoon tea or desserts! Burppler Terence Ong recommends the Burnt Caramel Crepe ($14), with "generous sprinkles of confectioner’s sugar and burnt caramel sauce drizzled all around”. As the cafe is run by the people behind HongKong Street's Ronin cafe, you'll find their popular Dirty Ronin sandwich here.


Discover more food gems around Singapore by neighbourhood!

Want to win attractive prizes, including a food voucher for Burnt Ends or perhaps complimentary Singapore Street Food tours? Make your way to any of the locations above and share at least one photo from your meal on your Instagram feed with the hashtags #SingapoRediscovers, #BurppleRediscovers and #Burpple by 16 November 2020. Head to our Instagram page to find out more!