How do you choose where to eat when you are in a strange city in an unfamiliar country. Usually I research blogs and enlist the help of Urbanspoon. Unfortunately Singapore has missed being mapped by Urbanspoon so we had to chose our restaurant the old fashioned way. We looked for a conveniently located restaurant with the longest queue, the most locals, and given that we were in a foreign country I wanted to see minimal writing in English and no “western meals”.
So this is how we came to be eating at the “Oriental Chinese Restaurant.
As we took a seat the waitress brought us ice cold wet washers to refresh ourselves. It’s such a nice touch, we have experienced this before when travelling through Japan and it’s always a godsend. Nothing clears away the hot, dirty feeling of heat and humidity like a cold face washer.
Feeling instantly rejuvenated we were ready to look at the menu. We chose our foods by pointing at the menu and holding up 1 or 2 fingers depending on how many serves we wanted.
The drinks were chosen by the waitress, I pointed at the drinks fridge and then at Lachlan & Anais held up 2 finger and shrugged my shoulders. The waitress brought over two cans of drink that were completely foreign to us. Anais ended up with a sweet Aloe drink which included sweet aloe pulp, Anais thought she was drinking a gummy bear lolly drink and she loved it. So that was a big win for us. The waitress selected a white grape soft drink for Lachlan which tasted like hubba bubba grape bubble gum, it was gone in seconds!
We were off to a great start here in Chinatown. Hubby ordered three Harbin long neck beers imported from China, for the grand total of $4.00 each. We also received three beer mug filled with ice. Hmm, beer and ice… not the usual way of drinking beer, we tried to find a discreet way of disposing of the ice. I tipped mine in Tylor’s mug but the we had two mugs FULL of ice. After about five minutes of drinking we decided “when in Rome” I claimed back my ice… My beer was getting hot, way too quickly!
The first dish to arrive was a beef fried rice, it was full of flavour with loads of delicious meat and vegetables. Lachlan was quick to claim the balance of this dish, we all had to scoop from his plate if we wanted any at all!
The noodles were quite a bit spicier than the rice, I was in heaven. I love noodles and these were absolutely perfect!!! The pricing of the dishes is fantastic as well, the rice was massive and came in at 4.00 as did the noodles. What a cheap way to feed a hungry teenager.
We had noticed a picture of an interesting round bread on the wall. I was curious, so when I saw a waitress I pointed at the bread and asked for two. What arrived at the table was “melt in the mouth” deliciousness. The dough had been combined with an onion mixture and then wound up in a coil and fried to a crisp perfection. The onion was soft and sweet inside the bread, Yum! So good! Another bargain dish at only $3.60 for the two!
The teenager has been travelling with us all his life so he is used to our hit and miss style of eating. Everything we had pointed to at the Chinese Oriental Restaurant resulted in rather normal fare. There have been times in the past that he has been served flying fox casserole (Vanuta) or a foul ammonia tasting orange sea creatures (Japan). The little children viewed everything set before them in a more suspicious manner, but after trying each dish they were satisfied that there wass nothing to fear.
I have had massive cravings for dumplings ever since I knew we would be traveling to Asia. I ordered a serve and received ten dumplings, two each!! Yeh! They were only .25c, could life and food get any better!! I not really sure what filling was inside the dumplings but it tasted like a pork and ginger combination. It was a lovely fresh filling with a gorgeously soft noodle wrapper.
At this stage I was feeling that there was a very real chance I may never return home to Australia. If only the wine was cheaper 🙁 The cheapest wine I have found anywhere was a Jacobs Creek for $39!
With the family satisfied, Mr GG and I decided to walk the kids back to the Porcelain Hotel, which was just around the corner, and leave them with iPad in the care of the teenager. We had noticed the night market and hawker centre setting up and thought it would be easier to tackle the crowds without the kids.
I always lament that I do not have sufficient belly space for the food I would like to eat. Mr GG does not have this problem. Before we had even entered the hawker centre he had spotted some huge steamed buns. We watched them being made by a very skilful street vendor. I really wanted to try their fluffy goodness but I just couldn’t manage another bite! Mr GG on the other hand was able to dive right in to the sweet BBQ pork innards, he devoured the soft bun in no time.
Further into the hawker centre we found a virtual cornucopia of cheap, tasty food, but both Mr GG and I could manage anything more. The only sensible thing to do was to leave the temptation of the Hawker centre and continue on to the Night Markets.
The Night Markets in Singapore’s Chinatown are well signposted, it would be really difficult to miss the milling of people and the gorgeous lit lanterns which line the streets.
The street scene is chaotic but beautiful!
We turned our attention to the cute things on display at the outside market. I bought the children some of these cute little angry bird chopsticks. We already have so many learner chopsticks with cute cartoon figures on the top but I couldn’t go past these.
I wanted to buy Anais on of these gorgeous Japanese doll umbrellas but Mr GG reminded me that with only 3 small backpacks as luggage between the five of us (plus my camera bag) we would be lucky to fit in the chopsticks, let alone anything bigger!
We enjoyed walking around the streets and taking in the eclectic atmosphere of the markets. It was still hot, but the humidity of the day had gone leaving it a really pleasant evening to be strolling around, hand in hand with my hubby.
Oriental Chinese Restaurant
195 New Bridge Rd
Ph: 62 277 769