For our last big meal in Singapore, how best to end the trip than with another visit to a hawker centre? We made our way to Makansutra Gluttons Bay, a small hawker centre near the Esplanade shopping mall (the “durian”). It opens only for dinner and closes quite late at night – about 2am most days (full opening hours at the link below). We were there to eat great food! This handful of vendors were invited by those who run the Makansutra guide to set up a stall here for they serve some excellent versions of classic hawker food. If you’re very pressed for time in Singapore (say you’re only there for a night and most hawker centres are already closed), then come here!
We went there at about 8:30 in the evening and it was already packed! After securing a table and some drinks, we took it in turn to hit up three of the 8 or 9 stalls there. First up, one colleague ordered a whole lot of chicken and beef satay at Alhambra Padang Satay. The meats were well marinated and didn’t require the equally excellent satay sauce.
From the Huat Huat stall, another colleague procured some barbecued chicken wings and white chai tow kway (aka fried carrot cake). Those chicken wings were really something – ridiculously juicy and absolutely gorgeous. We could have made a meal of these.
The chai tow kway was pretty good too, if I recall correctly. The plate was wiped clean by the end of the meal. I quite like it when it’s fried up like an omelette – it reminds me of home.
I queued patiently at the grilled seafood stall and ordered quite the bounty. I had been thinking about sambal stingray (like skate) all day and now finally I’d have some! But first, there was a request for carbs and so a large seafood fried rice was ordered. It was a passable fried rice, good for filling one up but not a fried rice for which you’d travel.
For some greens, some sambal kangkong (or ong choy, or water convolvulus). These are your very basic greens in this region – the long leafy green cooked with chilli and belacan (fermented shrimp paste). They fulfilled our need for vegetables.
Finally, some seafood! I saw the fried baby squid on display and got tempted to buy a plateful… so I did. They were indeed crispy, crunchy almost, and in a sweet and tangy sauce. Unfortunately, they didn’t stay crunchy for the duration of the meal; perhaps it was the humidity that affected it. The poor things ended up a little hard.
The pièce de résistance: the sambal stingray! This was a whole stingray wing (like skate… so, I’m not really sure what the difference is. A Google search tells me that the former can sting you and the latter cannot?), sliced horizontally to make it thinner (ours was quite thick) and then barbecued. It was also covered in a delicious chilli sambal – oh, it’s so moreish and I’m once again drooling as I type this. I’m also trying not to look at the photo.
Overall, this is a great place for a solid meal. Fabulous examples of hawker food all in one convenient location. The prices may be a teeny bit steeper than at other hawker centres but not overwhelmingly so. At the very least, let the number of locals there be an indicator of its quality!
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
8 Raffles Avenue #01-15
(outside the Esplanade (‘Durian’) mall)
I think that ends my Singapore posts – thanks for sticking around for them! All my photos from the trip can be found in this Flickr photoset.