Sister In Singapore – An Introduction & Hawker Center Foodporn

Singapore Selfie - Daryl of Unbuttoning Pants in Singapore

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Ahhh traveling – in my opinion, there’s nothing better than exploring the sites, sounds, and tastes of a new place. That said, once I know where I’m going, I spend endless hours planning out where to eat. Life’s too short for shitty meals, and if I’m visiting somewhere I may never be again, well, the pressure is on!

The last time I was in Singapore was two years ago, at the tail end of an incredible Southeast Asia trip through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. You would think that I would be sick of Asian food, but no – we were only just beginning!  As my husband was busy at work, I booked myself a “Wok ‘n Stroll” Culinary Adventure with the incredible Karni Tomer at the Tiong Bahru Hawker Center. I left with all buttons bursting, as well as an incredible amount of knowledge about Singaporean food and culture. Karni was an inspiration to me – an Israeli expat, who came to Singapore seven years prior for a short stay, never left, and made a business out of her extensive love of food. Moreover, she earned the respect of the hawkers, who treat her like a sister and open their stalls to her visitors.

After finding out I’d be living in Singapore for 3 months, my first phone call was to Karni asking if she wanted a partner in food exploration, and to my sheer delight, she remembered me and vowed to be my SINGAPORE big sister – Ali, put the claws away!

food tours singapore
Karni Tomer, Wok ‘n Stroll culinary extraordinaire and my Singapore sister!

Singaporean food is much like Singapore itself – a blend of cultures. Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Indonesian, Thai… and well, Western. This city is a foodie’s dream – and everyone here takes their eating seriously. Get in a cab and ask him to bring you to Jumbo Seafood, and he will tell you that his favorite Chili Crab is at Long Beach. Strike up a conversation with a local at a coffee shop while they’re taking a break from the office, and they will write down the names and numbers of their favorite stalls in an unknown hawker center. There are over 100 hawker centers on this small island, and nearly 5,500 individual stalls… The options are endless!

scenes from a singapore hawker center
Lunchtime at a Singaporean Hawker Center
Image via

Singapore isn’t only about street/hawker food; the best chefs from all over the world – Daniel Boulud, Mario Batali, Kanaseka, Tetsuya Wakuda (etc etc) – have all opened restaurants of their own here. And now finally, as of 2016, Michelin published its first ever guide to the city.

Singapore's First Michelin Guide
Singapore’s First Michelin Guide
Image via

Over the next few weeks, I hope to open your eyes (and stomachs) the best Singapore has to offer – if you promise you will roll me home!
First off, here are some shots of my Hawker culinary adventures at ABC Brickworks and Tiong Bahru (currently my favorite, so keep scrolling) with Karni of Wok ‘n Stroll… Stay tuned, as my next installment will feature Tecca Center and Chinatown Center. 

Check out these mouthwatering photos, and let’s go, lah!


ABC Brickworks 

ABC Brickworks Singapore
The ABC’s of AWESOME Hawker Food!
Lining up for lunch @ ABC Brickworks
Lining up for lunch @ ABC Brickworks
White "Carrot Cake" at ABC Brickworks Singapore
White “Carrot Cake” – no carrots at all, but rice flour and radishes (white carrots) stir fried with egg, garlic and radish
ABC Brickworks Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup
This soup is called “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall,” and legend has it, that a monk was enticed to climb over a monastery wall and break his vegetarianism for it
Chinese Scallion Pancake @ ABC Brickworks
Chinese Scallion Pancake
Red Rubies from ABC Brickworks
Refreshing dessert of “Red Rubies”


Tiong Bahru – My FAVORITE Hawker Center so far! 

Tiong Bahru Hawker Center Singapore
Scenes from Tiong Bahru
Chwee Kueh Singapore Tiong Bahru
Chwee Kueh, a rice cake topped with fried radish, and often eating as breakfast
Kaya Toast Tiong Bahru SIngapore
Kaya Toast, which has a coconut jam on it, with a soft boiled egg mixed with light soy – trust me, it’s amazing!
Teochew Kueh
Teochew Kueh, traditional Singaporean cakes, such as soon kueh (rice flour cake with turnip), ku chye kueh (rice flour cake with chives), and the fancy red cakes
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Does this even need a caption? Hainanese Chicken Rice, another national treasure
Tiong Bahru Bak Chor Mee
Bak Chor Mee, or “minced meat with noodles”


Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee
And the Mic Drop… Michelin-worth Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee
Scenes from a Hawker Center
Fried Chicken Tiong Bahru
Call the Colonel…
Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow
Fried Kway Teow
Jumping for joy Tiong Bahru
I get by with a little help from my friends…

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