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Singapore remains one of Australia’s favourite destinations. At Australian Business Traveller we’re always happy to clock up a few nights in this vibrant city, revisiting our favourite haunts and adding a few new places on our must-go-back list.
But if you really want to do the Lion City like a local – well, you ask a local! Subhas Menon, Singapore Airlines’ Regional Vice-President South West Pacific, shares this insight into his own private Singapore.
Some people go to Singapore for shopping, while others might enjoy a Singapore Sling at Raffles; for me, Singapore is first and foremost a foodies' paradise.
Growing up in Singapore, your DNA is coloured by food experiences – important events are marked with friends, family and food. Singapore has a real culinary culture.
After a day of sightseeing in my favourite bustling city, being faced with the melting pot of flavours, colours, smells and multi-racial harmony of a Singaporean food spot can be overwhelming.
As a Sydney-based Singaporean and regular in the Changi arrivals hall, I’ve developed a long list of favourite foodie spots around Singapore, where I like to catch up with friends for some traditional fare.
I’m thrilled to share with you some delicious secrets to help guide you on your next visit to Singapore.
Singapore is synonymous with satays, so first time visitors must tick that box.
For some of the best satay in Singapore head over to Clark Quay, a favourite of mine where I catch up with my old uni chums, or to East Coast open air food court.
With your appetite now rousing, make a beeline for neighbourhood hawker centres.
Hives of activity, hawker centres are a great place to enjoy several rounds of Tiger Beer while sampling an array of Singaporean treats. Here, you can meet the locals and become intoxicated in local conversation, which inevitably turns to soccer – a favourite Singaporean pastime.
If you wake up the next day and find yourself with a little time and a little hunger, take a trip to Little India for a 'dosa' (Indian pancake) & masala tea breakfast.
Continue on to enjoy a Chinatown lunch and then dinner at River Valley Road.
Of course, you’ll find this eating is thirsty work - if you fancy a cold one, drop into Charlie's Beer and Food Corner or Colours By the Bay, which is very nice for a night cap.
You’ll find the best Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore at Nam Kee Chicken Rice on Upper Thompson Road or, if coconut rice (nasi lemak) is more your thing, head to the Adam Road food court.
My American friends, who have a penchant for Bak Kut The, will join me at Balestier Road where we make a mess while slurping down giant steaming bowls of pork rib soup.
Once you have had your fill I find a brisk walk, some sightseeing and a spot of shopping will help to beat jetlag – and an expanding waistline!
Singapore has a rich cultural and architectural history and a must see for me is the Sri Krishnan Hindu Temple in Waterloo Street, which sits alongside the Kuan Yin Buddhist Temple – a gorgeous example of Singapore’s fascinating cultural harmony.
Of course, a trip to Singapore is not complete without a quick visit to Arab Street – a unique shopping strip where you’ll find an eclectic mix of ethnic and modern accoutrements and textiles.
Singapore is a fascinating place with endless attractions; with Sentosa only 15 minutes from Singapore city and hundreds of opportunities for relaxation, adventure and fun nearby, you will have to make many trips to fit it all in.
I am fiercely proud of Singaporean culture, but for me, it really is all about food!
Your Singapore Airlines boarding pass opens up a range of delights in the Garden City including special offers on dining, accommodation, shopping, tourist attractions and transport – click here for more details.