What I Eat In My Hood: Lifelong Siglap Resident
Siglap may be a small area, but it is packed with good food. The only drawback to eating out in this diminutive, laidback enclave is that the best places get really crowded, especially on weekends. Take advertising executive and foodie Rebecca Silva’s word for it because she’s lived most of her life here.
“Small though it may be, there is food from just about every culture to be had — mamak coffeshops and stalls (shout-out to Springleaf Prata at Jalan Tua Kong), Chinese zichar (hey, Lai Huat Famous Fried Sambal Fish), Malay sarabat stalls (we mourn the closure of Mas Ayu), and all the Italian restaurants, ang moh grills, hipster coffee shops and bijou little bakeries. These are just a couple of places that I visit most frequently,” says the vivacious lass.
Jin Wee Restaurant
Location: 928 East Coast Road
Most people come here for the zichar in the evenings, and call ahead to book their serving of the delicious clay pot chicken soup which is cooked in a massive earthen urn over coals. But in the mornings, the sweet-natured uncle that mans the place makes the best kaya toast in the area — far better than the kaya toast franchise across the street. They open at about 9am, which is kind of late for a place that serves breakfast, but that’s because the staff work from morning till the last customer leaves at night.
Location: LTN Food Village, 936 East Coast Road
You’d think that after coming here for years, the proprietors of this popiah and rojak stall would at least crack you a smile, right? No chance. Run by an elderly couple and their daughter-in-law, you get good rojak and excellent popiah made at a meticulously slow pace. If you’re in a hurry, you might want to think twice about getting in line. The wait, compounded by the sulky attitude, might suck the good-natured-ness out of you. That said, the popiah is irresistible — succulent, full of flavour and with plenty of contrasting textures. So I take a deep breath, gird my patience and get in line.
Location: 404 East Coast Road
This restaurant has been around for decades. It used to be called Margarita’s, which now exists in Dempsey. In 2017, one of its directors took it over and changed its name to Comida Mexicana, which literally means “Mexican food”. The food is homey and fantastic; everything is made from scratch and imported from Mexico and the USA. I always try to bring a crowd because the portions are generous and the food super hearty. That way, I can order the carnitas (pulled pork) served with warm corn tortillas, the cornflake-crusted snapper fillets with fried corn and roasted tomatillos, and the crab avocado quesadillas.
Plank Sourdough Pizza
Location: 1 Swan Lake Avenue
I love the location, hidden away in the valley of Opera Estate. It’s nice and quiet on weekdays, but on weekends, we get the pizzas delivered because the restaurant gets so crowded. I like that the pizzas are numbered rather than named. We always go for the number four, topped with barbecue pulled chicken, cranberry compote and dabs of camembert. It tastes like Christmas! Number three is pretty good too, with prawns, capers, smoked salmon, sour cream and dill. The crisp, puffy and tasty sourdough crust is so lovely. When there are leftovers, the crust actually tastes better after a night in the fridge.
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