Newton Food Centre
The hawker food centres of Singapore offer an impressive array both in terms of diversity of options and quality of the fare.
One that is towards the top end of quality is the Newton food centre. Add in the fact that it features in the recent film Crazy Rich Asians and its popularity and star appeal is at something of a peak.
I headed there on a drizzly Friday evening with guest quester Vikki. Vikki previously joined at Musa and the DCA, and has subsequently come to work in Singapore so it was lovely to catch up with her.
After a lengthy wander around the huge range of traders, we eventually settled upon Takara Grilled Seafood.
We were conspicuously wide-eyed innocents – although it was a misjudgement from the stallholder to think Vikki an out-of-towner – so we were clearly subject to a tourist premium on their price calculations. The total bill was S$85 which for what we ate was completely fine, but it still felt like a dick manoeuvre to arbitrarily hike the prices.
For clarity, most of the stalls selling more humble offerings – noodle dishes etc – price by the dish, but the ritzier seafood places price by the 100g or such, allowing them a fair amount of discretion on what they charge unless you happen to carry a set of scales with you.
Anyhoo, what we ate was a couple of massive garlic prawns, a whole black pepper crab, rice with prawns and some greenery called kang kong. Things arrived as they were ready, cooked freshly to order.
First up was the kang kong, a local variety of spinach. It was served warm and spicy and was very good.
The prawns were huge and covered in a mountain of garlic, with little lime for us to squeeze over. These were very good; lightly cooked, sweet, and juicy.
The rice was in the realms of an accompanying starch but the little prawns dotted through it were again very good.
The centrepiece was the crab. We were actually sitting with a box of the live beasties just beneath our table so their freshness was clear.
It made for gloriously messy eating. I didn’t stand on ceremony in getting elbow-deep in claws and legs, crunching out the deliciously fresh meat. It was really good stuff.
So overall, aside from the slight tourist-trappiness of the pricing we very much enjoyed the food from Takara Grilled Seafood. Newton food centre is a buzzing and lively spot. Make sure to add it to your list for a visit.