Shavinraj Gopinath: restaurant manager, Decker Barbecue
The restaurant manager of this American-style barbecue joint is also an avid bartender: he recently added pre-bottled, house-crafted cocktails to the eatery’s drinks list.
333 Bak Kut Teh
I personally think 333 Bak Kut Teh (333 Balestier Rd) is the best bak kut teh (pork rib soup) in Singapore. Order the signature soup, which comes with a generous serving of tender ribs, salted vegetables and steamed peanuts. Have these with steamed white rice drizzled with dark soya sauce paired with cut chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli).
This 24-hour eatery has a little of everything – Indian, Thai, Western, etc – and is fantastic when you are in a group all craving different cuisines. I usually order the sweet and sour chicken dish to go along with sambal (chilli paste) fried rice. I like my food spicy so I always ask the chef to turn up the heat.
Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
Big on variety and with reasonable pricing, the atmosphere at this Jalan Besar mainstay is friendly and casual. The salted egg yolk custard bun (below), with its creamy sweet-savoury custard that oozes out as you tear the bun open, is the perfect ending to a meal here.
Julian Decraene: general manager, Summerlong
Hailing from Marseilles, France, the cosmopolitan globetrotter worked in New York, London and Bali before landing here in Singapore, where he adds an international flair to casual, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Summerlong.
Ramen Keisuke Lobster King
Always a great spot to eat at after hours, as they open till 5am. Try the Lobster Broth Ramen with Rich Creamy Soup – it is the perfect meal before heading home to catch up on sleep.
Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice
Like its name implies, the server behind the Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice (229 Jln Besar) counter will use a pair of scissors to cut up the fried items that you choose from a selection of meat and vegetables laid out in front of you. Ask the server to pour a mix of sticky curry gravy and sweet sauce over your rice – delicious!
No Signboard Seafood
Open until 1am, popular seafood restaurant No Signboard Seafood in Geylang is a great spot for black pepper crab and butter squid.
Ernest Poh: head bartender, Ah Sam Drink Stall
The 28-year-old started at the cocktail bar as the head chef and his foodie roots can be seen in his bespoke drink creations, one of which is his signature Bak Kut Teh cocktail.
The kebab set at King Kebabs (14 Circular Rd) is good. Instead of being served in a wrap, the meat comes paired with rice. Choose the chicken or lamb.
People Park Hakka Yong Tau Foo
The yong tau foo (tofu stuffed with ground meat or fish paste) items at People Park Hakka Yong Tau Foo (290 Jln Besar) are generously sized and I always have it served with the authentic Hakka-style dried, thin noodles. It’s something that’s not found elsewhere.
Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup
The soup at Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup (24 Foch Rd) is flavourful and they are generous with the well-cooked ingredients, including liver, kidney and intestines. The soup is refillable, so you can have as much as you want.
Aldrin Quek: director of music, 1880
DJ Aldrin, a well-known club DJ and former ambassador of Zouk, is responsible for curating the music programme at the newly launched members’ club, 1880.
Hai Di Lao
When my hotpot craving kicks in, Hai Di Lao is one of my favourite go-to places. The ingredients are fresh and the quality is good. I especially love the thin cuts of pork and beef that they serve – the fattier, the better. The service is fantastic too. Little touches like complimentary manicures and free snacks while you wait to be seated are great. I usually head to the Clarke Quay branch after I finish work as it stays open till 6am.
Yan Kee Noodle House
The bak chor mee (minced meat noodles) at Yan Kee Noodle House (21 South Bridge Rd), which is located within the popular BK Eating House, never fails to satisfy my late-night cravings. Not only do I enjoy this Singapore hawker staple, I also consider it an excellent counterpoint to any alcohol I may have been drinking.
My favourite item at The Double, 1880’s very own bar, is the crispy squid that is served sprinkled with togarashi (a powder comprised of seven types of spices) and a dip of harissa paste, which gives the snack a great spicy punch. The bar opens till 2am, but you’ll have to be a member to get in – or get a member to sign you in.
– TEXT BY THERESE TAY
PHOTOS: SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS, HAI DI LAO SINGAPORE
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.