Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Where to Eat on Orchard Road (Singapore)

Top 6 Dining on Orchard Road
by Zi Yim and Victoria Cheng for notatourist.sg

As the forum Singaporensis, Orchard Road is more glitzy mass of retail shops than food mecca. Good food, so goes the prevailing opinion, can be found at better prices elsewhere. Nevertheless, after making a rather rude gesture in the face of conventional wisdom, we put our rebellious brown brogues to the Orchard sidewalks to bring you our pick of top five food places worth paying a visit to.

If you’re tired of hawker center chicken rice, fret no longer!

An open secret frequented by schooling teens, corporate types, and anyone in between, Hainanese Delicacy is the place on Orchard Road to visit if you’re craving the ubiquitous chicken rice. The no-fuss interior is patrolled by vigilant uncle-types who are quick to ask for your order. There is no thinking in this place — if you’re not here for the über delicious chicken rice, you’re obviously lost. Get a bowl of salted vegetable soup with your choice of either roasted or white chicken and you’re done. The service is swift since there is usually a crowd waiting to get in. Be prepared to share a table with strangers during peak hours. Hainanese Delicacy, Far East Plaza, #05-116, 14 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228213. Tel: +65 6734-0639

A dish of fried chicken to be mixed with savory sambal chili.

Nestled into a quiet corner of Lucky Plaza, Ayam Penyet Ria has a twin establishment on level one that is full during eating hours with a queue just to get in. Time is better saved by visiting the quiet sibling on level four. The signature dish, ayam penyet, is tender fried chicken served up with rice on the side, a cube of mashed soybeans, and a spoonful of sambal belacan (be warned, the sambal packs a spicy punch). A liberal scattering of fried battered bits complete the dish. Don’t forget to include a hearty bowl of bovine soup, sop rawon. Decent service and an inexpensive price tag come as accompaniment.  Ayam Penyet Ria, Lucky Plaza, #04-25/26, Singapore 238863. Tel: +65 6235-7385

Check out &Made if not only for the chic dining experience.

Hankering after something more upscale? Then &Made is your place. The louche cousin of Michelin-starred Bruno Ménard’s La Cantine, &Made fuses francophone chic with American diner cool. Imagine the Fonz dressed in a Charvet shirt topped off with a neckerchief from Hermès. Begin with a quirky blended salad drink and work your way through les burgers incroyables (we recommend the Three Little Pigs) or the Toastoos. The burgers come with a side of fries and &Made BBQ sauce flavoured with a little je ne sais quoi. Were we not in polite company, we would have drunk the sauce. Leave space for dessert! The berry sundae, along with the white chocolate sundae are customer favourites. &MADE, Pacific Plaza, #01-04/06, 9 Scotts Road, Singapore 228210. Tel: +65 6732-9808

A couple (thousand) steps up from instant ramen.

From the Land of the Rising Sun comes Ippudo Ramen. Avoid the Saturday lunch and the weekday dinner crowd if you can, unless jostling with teenagers and tai tais is your cup of tea. Ippudo’s modern interior styling is juxtaposed with its selection of traditional ramen. Shiromaru ramen has springy noodles lying hand in hand with succulent chashu in a delectable bath of pork broth; be sure to ask for an extra egg and an extra serving of noodles. If you want something with a little fire on the tongue, get the spicy tonkatsu for the extra dash of spicy miso paste.  Ippudo Ramen, Mandarin Galleria, 333A Orchard Road, Singapore 238897. Tel: +65 6235 2797

At Sushi Kanazawa, the process of making sushi is considered an art.

Sushi Kanazawa, discretely located under the sign of the fugu fish in a somewhat unassuming building, is where you should be if crowds aren’t your thing. There is simply no room in this tiny establishment for hoi polloi so calling ahead is the best way to secure a place. The counter seating provides you the best view in the house, watching chef-san perform his craft as he brings vinegared rice and fish together in zen-like harmony. Starve yourself sufficiently the day before and you’ll be ready to indulge in the daily lunch buffet. A selection of over forty kinds of sushi comes with a complimentary portion of sashimi. Try everything!  Sushi Kanazawa, International Building, #02-13, 360 Orchard Road, Singapore 238869. Tel: +65 6738-3833

For your quick fix of piping hot pho and Banh mi.

Finding reasonably tasty Vietnamese food at reasonable prices in the Orchard area was a mystery until Nam Nam Noodle Bar opened its second outlet in the basement of Wheelock Place.  At $5.60 the banh mi, a Vietnamese street snack is a crusty baguette filled with goodies like caramelized five-spice pork belly, pork pate, pickled carrots, radish, cucumber, green chili, coriander leaves and mayonnaise.  There's also a three-course set lunch at $9.90 offering a choice of chicken or beef pho, a drink, and rice paper rolls.  On the pho side, try the wagyu pho or flower crab noodle soup if you're feeling indulgent.   Nam Nam Noodle Bar, Wheelock Place #B2-02, Singapore.

As with all restaurant listings, we expect a flurry of letters expressing great consternation that such- and-such a place should have made the list. Alas, if only there was room (here and in our stomachs) for more. Write away, folks!


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