Hidden halal food gems you can find in Whampoa

I am going halal today.

This is my makan birthright in Singapore - I can eat anything I want anytime and no one will bother me.

This food democracy, unfortunately, is not reflected in the recent Michelin Singapore guide book.

In frustration, I decided to track down a couple of halal Malay dishes.

I also stumbled upon a refreshing gem: an orange peel sour plum drink at the Whampoa Food Centre.


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Nestled in the heart of Orchard Road is a rather unpretentious, laidback and low-key alfresco bar called Bar Canary.

Kick off your shoes as you relax on bean bags on artificial turf.

Located on the fifth floor of Grand Park Orchard hotel, the bar serves a range of cocktails including fruity popsicles in glasses of booze ($6 a pop, and $18 with a glass of alcohol).

Farm to table concept in the stunning new space also known as the former airbase in Seletar

If you think Singapore is all concrete jungle and pine for open spaces and fields of green, then you need to go to the Seletar Aerospace Park.

That is where a few colonial bungalows in the former airbase have been converted into eateries. One of them is The Summerhouse, a Western restaurant with a focus on farm-to-table cooking.

It is opened by the 1-Group, which also owns Una in Rochester Park and the new Botanico at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Bakers-for-a-day at PAUL boulangerie

Me, a bread maker? I don’t bake; I merely stand dumbfounded, handing the actual bakers-at-work the tools and ingredients that they need. Whether I’m with friends baking brownies from pre-made mixes or cookies from scratch, my involvement typically includes no more than handing friends cups of water. And pouring the cookie batter onto the trays.Non-existent baking skills withstanding, I did try my hand at baking, courtesy of PAUL boulangerie. So together with other fellow journalists, we turned bakers for an afternoon. Or rather, the head baker’s very curious assistants.

My quest for chili

Super spicy chips and Sriracha chili sauce you can buy online.
 I remember when I was much younger, I used to pester my aunt (who lived in Melbourne at the time) to buy me bags and bags of Kettle Chili Potato Chips.
Now, these Kettle Chili Potato Chips aren’t your normal supermarket variety. They were the spiciest, singularly most satisfying bag of chips I had ever eaten in my life. Compared to the lacklustre chilli flavoured chips Singapore had then (and actually now too), those Kettle Chili Potato Chips were like gods of the potato chip world.

Would you pay for a 60-minute lunch?

In The Sunday Times on September 12, there was a short report entitled “Eateries impose time limit on weekend dining”. It highlighted the recent trend of Chinese restaurants setting 60 to 90-minute time limits on diners for weekend lunches or dinners.

This didn’t sit well with some diners, who said they wouldn’t want to be rushed when they were paying money to sit and dine.

“If I want to eat and go, then I will visit a coffee shop,” a 43-year-old psychometrist -- an occupation I didn’t know existed until this report -- was quoted as saying.