Two Singapore meals: casual and fancy

Here are two of the last meals I had in Singapore. The first was at a local roti joint near the Chin’s house. While Melissa’s parents were visiting relatives, she and I repaired to the joint for a casual meal of breadlike substances, which were excellent.

This is roti prata, a grilled bread (with cheese) served with a spicy chili sauce:


 Along with that we had a more substantial bread, murtabak, filled with egg and meat. It’s the Singaporean version of a Chicago deep-dish pizza, and it, like the roti, was excellent.

We also had mee goreng, a spicy dish of fried noodles and vegetables topped with an egg:


I washed it all down with a glass of bandung, an iced mixture of evaporated milk and rose syrup, which gives the drink a lovely pink color and unique (and appealing) taste.


For dessert we had tissue prata, a sweetened flatbread drizzled with condensed milk and sugar, and served standing upright. I didn’t take a photo, but this is what it looked like:


For my Last Supper in Singapore, Michael Chin treated us all to a wonderful seafood dinner at a very famous local chain: Long Beach, where the seafood is kept live in tanks and prepared on the spot:


There are tanks overcrowded with lobster from the U.S. (sad), and less crowded tanks with crabs and molluscs:



Three Pacific geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck”), Panopea generosa—the largest burrowing mollusc in the world. The siphon, which can be up to a meter long, is used in various Asian dishes. Though we didn’t have it at Long Beach, I did eat it once in Vancouver at a gala Chinese dinner, served with black bean sauce. It was splendid, with a firm, clean taste like an abalone, only clammier.


Our table was set with various chili sauces. These often look similar but taste different, and each restaurant makes its own:


We started with meat: a delicious roast duck with shrimp chips and stir-fried greens.


Then fried rice with crab:


Crunchy fried baby squid:


And on to the evening’s highlight: crab. We had two. This is steamed crab. I’m not sure of the species, but it was great, with huge, meaty claws and substantial meat at the base of the legs:


And the highlight of highlights: the classic Singapore dish chili crab, a huge crustacean cooked in a fantastic sauce of tomato, garlic, chili, and eggs. Fried buns were served on the side to sop up the sauce, which is a treat in itself, but even more so when slopped atop a big hunk of crab or the soft innards of a bun. This was truly one of the best dishes I’ve eaten in my life. It is not cheap, but life is short!

Four sated diners: Michael, Annie, Melissa, and I.


And so endeth my culinary adventures in Singapore. They were fantastic, and I don’t think I missed a single one of the country’s signature dishes.

But a new adventure has begun: Hong Kong. I’ve already spent two days here, and this morning went to one of the city’s renowned dim sum parlors, to be described (with photos) in a later post.

Many thanks again to Michael, Annie, and Melissa for their ultra-warm hospitality and kindness.


  1. Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink


    Tissue prata and crunchy squid intrigue. As does the geoduck.

    Stuffed flatbreads are fairly easy to do and soooooo good. Socca/farinata (made with chickpea/gram flour) work well also as stuffed flatbreads.

  2. nwalsh
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    You might not be able to afford such luxurious trips in the future, after you pay off your election bets 🙂

    • Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      If you’re so sure Trump will win, bet me!

      • nwalsh
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, no bet I’m on your side that man is a disaster.

  3. dabertini
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely phenomenal!! Thanks for the pix!!

  4. Lars
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    …with a firm, clean taste like an abalone, only clammier…

    Clammy food does not sound particularly inviting.

  5. Steven Hill
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Well, there’s cultural misappropriation for you: Murtabak is a Singaporean version of a Chicago deep-dish pizza!

    But pleased to see that PCC(E) got to taste the “iconic” disk of chilli crab. I was concerned he was going to miss out on that. Personally, I prefer pepper crab – same type of large crab, normally from Sri Lanka, but cooked with copious quantities of freshly ground black pepper. Better still is Teochew-style cold crab which uses a different species of crab with a much creamier texture and is served, as you may imagine, cold after being left for several hours for the flavour to intensify (but that’s not a dish that originated in Singapore).

  6. Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Very pleased you got to try the chilli crab – I was planning to recommend it, but never got there.

  7. eric
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m loving all the crab pics, but I must confess to some regional preference. The best crab is served on newspaper, with a hammer, and if your fingers don’t sting from all the old bay, it’s not spiced enough.

  8. Mobius
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I live in a small Oklahoma town, but we have an amazingly good Mexican restaurant, and I just had a mondo big burrito for lunch. And these pictures have made me hungry again. This stuff looks wonderful.

  9. Posted November 7, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Chili sauces and chili sauces … expected, but …

    Is the chili crab shelled? I suspect not, which sounds really messy. (Like the lobster chow mein I had once.)

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