Tiong Bahru

Hainanese cuisine. Yum!

This morning I ventured to Tiong Bahru. It’s a hip little neighbourhood, just north west from down town. I was promised art deco buildings, good coffee, some cool little shops and this pocket has duly delivered.

What I didn’t expect was the magnificent scene and food at Tiong Bahru market.

I love the fact that inside this market building, bleached in Hellenic white, more than fifty little food stands weave their magic with spices and sauces to create mouth-watering dishes. All for for no more than $5 a plate.

All the activity takes place on level two. Long ques tack themselves to the favourite stands as locals from all different ages fuel-up on South Chinese dishes.

After sticking to safety with Tamil food on my first day, I devoured one of the best fish dishes going around at ‘Tion Bahru Hainanese Curry Rice’. A soft skin, sweet and spicy fish with chilli and soy beans, with two serves of cabbage and chili sambal to add. Delicious.

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  • Tiong Bahru market – Hainanese Curry Rice

I like any city that ticks along with roaring humidity, where food is celebrated and streets are filled at night.

They’re all traits I would pin to Singapore. No more so than last night. Walking along last night from the leafy Tanlgin through Orchard Boulevard, I saw a city that was buzzing with music, al fresco bars and piles of entertainment.

My route was taking me to Singapore’s Friday swing dance hot spot. The Centre Point mall. Shopping centres and Lindy Hop are an unlikely combination but it worked. A wooden floor, space, good tunes and some lovely dancers and dances. That’s about all you need for some shuffling and gliding.

Mind you, I’m not too sure about this city’s obsession with shopping centres. There’s a junction at the corner of Patterson Road and Orchard St where it’s impossible to get from one side of the road to another without going through an underground mall. Talk about a captive market!

I’m happy to be passing through this part of the world. Transient port cities have been catering for the short-term travellers for centuries. It’s definitely worth a visit, and if you do, don’t forget the fish curry.

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(Tiong Bahru 2.09.17)


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