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Dine out at Singapore’s revamped ‘Food Street’

5th March 2013 Print

This South East Asian city-state has long been renowned for its diverse cultural identity and of course that inevitably extends to eating and drinking experiences. Chinatown boasts one of the finest historic streets for informal dining at hawker stalls – Food Street/Smith Street – which dates back to the late 19th century and acts as a commemoration to Sir Cecil Clementi Smith. In 2001 the first ever improvements were made to this Singaporean street and in 2013 it will be refurbished once again by the Select Group, who also developed the Singapore Food Trail.

Food Street was traditionally a theatre street when Lai Chun Yuen Theatre was a centre for lively performances of Cantonese opera here in the late 19th century. Today, it forms a hub for al fresco dining, in attempts to reconstruct an authentic experience and the atmosphere of days gone by.

Major developments to the street this year will include a shelter with a cooling system, to ensure that bad weather doesn’t restrict business when storms roll in, plus an increased number of stalls. From Chinese to Malay, Eurasian and Indian, there will be plenty of choice for visitors and locals alike, reflecting the melting pot of neighbourhoods that have existed in Singapore for a long time.

Opening hours will also be extended on Food Street so that diners can relax and enjoy a meal at lunchtime, while special events will take place throughout the year showcasing the heritage of Chinatown, as well as live performances and even film screenings! Singaporeans hope that the street will remain a place where locals can go to eat alongside the tourists.

Singapore’s Food Street is likely to be completed towards the end of 2013, but in the meantime there are many more foodie experiences for you to enjoy. In July, the city-state plays host to a food festival where regional and local chefs serve up delights; the festival has taken place annually for 20 years and usually has a theme such as seafood (2012), relevant to the delicacies on offer. Tastings, cookery demonstrations and events occur in venues throughout Singapore – make sure you sample chilli crab, bak kwa, kaya toast, or roti prata: a flatbread generally served with curry plus your choice of filling, during your stay.

Head to one of Singapore’s many markets to purchase all sorts of different types of produce, or indulge with an evening of fine dining at one of the many wonderful restaurants. Raffles Hotel is of course a landmark in the city, where the Raffles Grill offers elegant French cuisine in a beautiful setting. Once you’ve finished, why not venture into the Long Bar to try a Singapore Sling, or try the Martini Bar where over 50 types of martini are available?

No matter whether you choose to visit the refurbished version of Food Street, or you prefer formal indoor dining – Singapore serves up all of this and more. Eating out is a real journey through different parts of the world here, and flights to Singapore are easy to find online.