In my recent post on the beautiful restaurant Tippling Club, I mentioned that I was taken on an incredible foodies dream trip over to Singapore by Chowzter. There’s so much to say about the trip and all it involved – so much so I barely know how to begin blogging all about the ongoings. But before I do, a big thank you to the incredible team at Chowzter for not just organising an absolute stellar holiday. the Tastiest Feasts of Asia Awards and for bringing me in to their family as the Perth Chief Chowzter. It’s all been a really exciting time for me!
Chowzter is the brainchild of marketer Jeffrey Merrihue and is a site that attracts foodies from all over the world as they look at both the fast feasts and destination dining information updated by the wide array of Chief Chowzters. It’s definitely a privilege to have joined the team! And of course to have been treated to a trip to Singapore which blew my mind (even though I’ve been to Singapore so many times before).
Now the awards we were there for I’ll leave for a post on their own because they were a pretty epic affair in themselves. But the rest of the trip… well it was a series of epic eating adventures as we were shown about town by Singapore Chief Chowzter Catherine Ling. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much in so consecutive days, but every single bite was worth it (and of course I regret nothing)!
I touched down in Singapore around lunchtime on Friday and was greeted by my own personal driver (AMAZING) who took me over to our hotel, Carlton City. I love having a bit of down time before plans so this gave me a chance to shower, unpack and explore my local surroundings. But the hours soon passed and I found myself in the hotel lobby meeting all of the other Chowzter Asia bloggers – all of whom were so lovely, friendly and fun companions on the trip.
Once we were all accounted for we set out to a nearby Japanese restaurant known as Izy. It’s a place that describes itself as redefining the traditional izakaya through a thoughtful new take on Japanese cuisine and design with intricate, fun small plates and an eclectic drink menu. Needless to say, I was pretty excited since it was our first meal as a group.
Course 1: Silken tofu, cold broth, uni and wasabi
On the Saturday the Chowzter bloggers and staff all boarded a coach bus which set about showing us the best market eats available. Our first stop, the famed Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stall at Maxwell Hawker Centre.
This place is legendary with foodies, synonymous with tourists and locals alike. Anthony Bourdain has even dubbed it THE place for chicken rice, and I have to say I can see why. This was my second visit here and it seems to get better each time.
Our Singapore Chief Chowzter definitely made things easier for us, having come earlier to reserve some tables and pre-order dishes for us to eat. It was nice to skip the ever-long queue and get straight into the business of eating!
Our final stop for lunch that day (yes, three lunches – why not hey) was at The Fishball Story in Golden Mile Food Centre. Owned and run by 23 year old Douglas Ng, this place is really something special.
Every morning he wakes up at 4am to beat, blend and press yellowtail fish meat into fishballs and chilli-scallion fishcakes. His recipe is his grandmother’s, made with no flour – only meat to make the most amazing soft and bouncy fishballs.
We watch as Douglas creates bowls of noodle goodness with freshly cooked pasta topped with sambal, crunchy pieces of pork lard, veggies and the fishballs and fishcakes. One bowl only costs S$3.50 and is worth so much more – the fragrant flavours, the umami rich fish and the al dente noodles. It’s no wonder this dish was the overall Tastiest Feast of Asia (more on that to come in a future post).
After a good rest (otherwise known as some of us going shopping at Marina Bay Sands), dinner on day 2 was a two part affair. To be honest I was still pretty full from lunch, but I was ready to commit to the next stage of Singapore feasting.
Back on our comfy coach and we made our way to a sold out pop up event at Iskina Cebu. Somehow the Chowzter team worked their magic and got us in to sample this Filipino fare of suckling pig stuffed with rice and truffles. We didn’t get to try the stuffing since they’d technically sold out prior to us signing on but we definitely did get some of that beautiful pork!
During our time there we actually got to meet the legendary street food expert, KF Seetoh. You may recognise him from Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations which is a show I’ve watched every episode of, so I had a bit of a fan girl moment when I met him!
It was really interesting to listen to his street food projects, including some work he’s currently doing with Mr Bourdain at the moment. NYC is definitely set for something exciting in the coming years if they get it off the ground!
On the Sunday of our Singapore trip I made my way out to Chinatown for some exploring, ingredient sourcing to bring back to Perth and of course, to get my hands on the wafer icecreams sold by little street vendors. These are the perfect thing for a hot day (and cost only around $1.00 from memory) and you can choose from a variety of icecream flavours, plus you can have either bread (yes actual bread) or wafer to encase the cold filling.
I’m more of a wafer girl so I quickly made my choice, opting for the raspberry ripple icecream. Mmmm-mmmm! It definitely hit the spot, offering some respite as I trawled the market lanes. Definitely keep your eye open for these carts when in Singapore, they’re a great treat!
For lunch that day we all made our way to Kway Guan Huat, which is actually a family business that’s specialised in popiah since 1938. Knowing we had just the one stop for this meal meant we could all properly indulge and participate as we watched them create the wraps (not as easy as it looks!), and then we all filled and rolled our own.
I loved the array of fillings including fresh prawns, crispy wanton skins, lettuce, custom made vegetable filling, chilli sauce and sweet sauce. We stacked, rolled, munched and lazed. What a great way to spend our second last meal together!
On my final day in Singapore it was completely unscheduled so I started my day with a juice at Maxwell Hawker Centre (lime with salty plum all the way!), then ventured over to Tippling Club for an epic degustation lunch.
Once I’d finished lunch I explored the streets for a bit, then headed over to Ion Orchard for some final retail therapy… and because I knew Janice Wong (of 2am Desserts) had a pop up on the fourth floor. Since I hadn’t had the time to go to 2am Desserts, I knew this pop up would be the next best thing.
The staff there were really friendly and helpful, and before I knew it I was walking out with three rather expensive eclairs in tow! At $12 a pop they had better taste amazing. There was a chocolate truffle, popcorn salted caramel and raspberry & passionfruit. I love how inventive and whimsical Janice Wong is, it really is no wonder she’s one of the most revered pastry chefs in Asia.
And if you’re wondering which one was my favourite… definitely the popcorn salted caramel. I would happily venture to Singapore for this again and again and again. The perfect little box of happiness to bring back to Perth and share with my boy – and the best way to finish my wonderful Chowzter trip.