Three meals with Singapore food critic KF Seetoh

Three meals with Singapore food critic KF Seetoh

Tips from the expert.

More on Downtown Singapore

Recently we had the chance to pose some questions to Singapore’s most famous critic of hawker food – KF Seetoh of the Makansutra guide. Instead of asking where to get the spiciest chili crab or the most savoury char kway teow, we kept it simple and asked just one question:

Travelfish says:

If you had just one day to experience the best of Singapore’s hawker food, where would you go and what would you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Between the yearly guidebook, official website, TV appearances and Makansutra Gluttons Bay hawker centre KF Seetoh is a pretty busy guy, but he took the time to answer my question. The picks are all his but the descriptions that follow are mine.

Breakfast: kway chap at Serangoon Garden Food Centre

Pig intestines may not spring to mind as breakfast food, but this soup of Teowchew Chinese origins is a local favourite. The dish actually contains a lot more than just offal and you’ll find rice noodles, tofu, hard-boiled egg, and salted veggies mixed into the soya sauce-based broth. If you can work up the guts (pun intended) to try it you may be pleasantly surprised at the silky smooth texture. The “Garden Street Kway Chap” stall at Serangoon Garden Food Centre is considered one of the best and worth the trip out to northeast Singapore.

Lunch: Hainanese beef kway teow at Maude Road Ye Coffeeshop, Toa Payoh

Humble noodles are elevated to a “die die must try!” dish with the addition of robust beef, thick gravy, and a dash of homemade shrimp-chili sauce from the “Hwa Heng Beef Noodle” stall. KF Seetoh recommends the dry version, but the beef noodles are also available as soup and you can pay a more to add more meat in the form of beef balls or tendons. This hawker dish must be enjoyed for lunch because they usually sell out by 15:00.

Dinner: cze cha at Siang Hee Restaurant, Zion Road

Cze cha (also spelled zhi char) isn’t one dish but a style of cooking that literally means “cook and fry”. Cze char restaurants have a casual, open-air ambiance and serve big portions of home-style Chinese food meant to be shared. Highlights from KF Seetoh's favourite cze cha joint are battered prawns in pumpkin cream, homemade tofu, and sinfully fatty deep-fried pork knuckle with chili sauce. The restaurant is open 11:00–22:30 and dishes cost around S$10 with some exceptions for the seafood.

For more food reviews and recommendations check out the new Makansutra iPhone app – completely free and with maps to lead you right to Singapore’s best hawker food.

Contact details for Three meals with Singapore food critic KF Seetoh

Reviewed by

Tanya Procyshyn is a freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea.

Browse hotels on Agoda


Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda. Prefer Booking? Click here.


Our top 10 places to eat and drink around Downtown Singapore

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
1-Altitude

Now that is a view

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
328 Famous Katong Laksa

Don't wear white

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
7 days of drinking in Singapore

A spot for every night.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Ayam Penyet Ria Restaurant

Best smashed chicken in town

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Botak Jones Burger Stalls

Taste like they were grilled in your own backyard

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Cafe le Caire

Authentic Middle Eastern fare

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Chinatown Food Street

Revamped deliciousness

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Chye Seng Huat Hardware

Go for the cold brew

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Comedy Masala at Home Club

Singapore does have a sense of humour.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Dessert Hut

Singapore is not only savoury

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Diandin Leluk

The real Thai deal

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Eating around Balestier Road

A great spot to sample Singaporean dishes

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Eating in Singapore on S$10 a day

Need not be expensive.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Etiquette at Singapore hawker centres

What you need to know before sitting down.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Forty Hands Cafe

Melbourne-inspired cafe

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Great meals in malls: Orchard Road foodcourts

Upmarket hawker centres...

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Happy hour drinking at Clarke Quay

Fun without spending the earth.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Hock Lee Fishball Noodles

A staple of hawker centres.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Inle Myanmar Restaurant

Authentic Burmese food.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Irish pubs in Singapore

Time for Guinness.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Komala's Restaurant

Good value.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Kway Guan Huat Popiah

Family recipes never change

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Ladies' nights in Singapore

Just for the gals.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Lau Pa Sat hawker centre

Iconic and delicious

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Long Bar at Raffles Hotel

The classic

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Maxwell Road Food Centre

Chinese cuisine reigns supreme

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Mexican food in Singapore

Start at Casa Latina.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Moonstone Bar

Come for the views, stay for the sake

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Must-try seafood dishes in Singapore

So much to sample.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Nanyang Old Coffee & Museum

Come for a coffee and more.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Newton Food Centre

Ignore the touts

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Orgo Bar

More than just spectacular views.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Our top 10 Hawker Centres

Some of our favourites

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Pasir Panjang Food Centre

Great seafood.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Prince of Wales

Reliable live music joint

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Samy's Curry

A Singapore institution.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Sawasdee Thai Food

Thai food in Chinatown

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: Char kway teow

Some of the best fried noodles out there.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: Chicken rice

Singapore's national dish?

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: kaya toast

A quick, cheap breakfast.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: Laksa soup

Many flavours in one delicious bowl.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: Lor mee

Simmered for hours.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: Roti prata

Sometimes simple is best.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: Satay

A love of barbecue.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore hawker dishes: wonton mee

A steaming bowl of goodness.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant

Since 1908 - need we say more?

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore's best heartland hawker centres

Some of our favourites.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore's best microbreweries

Anything but Tiger!

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore's best Turkish kebab?

Our best so far.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore's best vegetarian restaurants

A selection of the best

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Singapore's old-style cafes

Breakfast of champions.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

Perpetually busy

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Strain your brain at a Singapore pub quiz

Don’t let your brain turn to mush.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Suriya Restaurant

A tasty bargain

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Sushi for every budget in Singapore

You're never far from sushi in Singapore.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Tea Chapter

Antiques, tradition and tea

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Tekka Centre

Follow your nose

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
The backpacker bars of Little India

Traveller hangouts.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
The Banana Leaf Apolo

Go on, dig in

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
The bars of Emerald Hill

Skip the bland hotel bars and head here.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Traditional breakfasts in Singapore

Multiple traditional breakfast options.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
What to drink in Singapore

Plenty of ways to stay hydrated.

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Yummy Viet

Affordable and authentic

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Zi char: The hearty food of Singapore's kopitiams

A good zi char keeps everything going.