Have you ever noticed that what we consider “Western” food in Singapore is slightly different from meals served in a typical European household? Think chicken chops or a fried fish fillet with a side of coleslaw and fries, and probably some baked beans and a bun or a piece of toast.
The Singaporean “Western” cuisine today actually originates from the arrival of the Hainanese immigrants in the 19th century. As most jobs had already been taken up by earlier immigrant groups such as the Teochews and Cantonese, the Hainanese took to working for British colonial households and British-owned restaurants as chefs. While this stint opened up their eyes to Western food, the Hainanese incorporated a local twist into these recipes by including local ingredients.
When the Great Depression in the 1930s struck Singapore shores, many shophouses in the city fell vacant as their owners lost their fortunes. The enterprising Hainanese threw in their life savings to open kopitiam (coffeeshops), where they successfully introduced fusion food like fried pork chop, mutton soup and meat pies into Singapore’s cuisine. Thus, the Western food that Singaporeans know today was born.
Has this tidbit of history made you hungry? Here are five Western food outlets to satisfy your food cravings. Perhaps knowing the history of Singapore’s Western cuisine will make these already brilliant classics taste even better!
1. The Chef’s Place – Food Paradise @ SAFRA Mount Faber
Tucked away in a corner of Food Paradise at SAFRA Mount Faber, this hidden gem offers a range of affordable and quality Western food options. From grilled-to-order steaks and burgers, to pastas and local favourites like Chicken Chop with Fried Rice and Har Cheong Kai Chicken Chop, The Chef’s Place gives you a wide variety of different Western dishes that will satisfy your rumbling tummy.
SAFRA members receive 5% off all food and drinks; more info at www.safra.sg/amenities-offerings/food-paradise
2 Telok Blangah Way, #01-08 SAFRA Mount Faber; more info at www.safra.sg/amenities-offerings/food-paradise
2. Eatzi Gourmet Steakhouse & Bistro – SAFRA Yishun
Craving for sizzling steaks? Eatzi Gourmet Steakhouse & Bistro is the halal-certified restaurant of the popular Jack’s Place, bringing you quality Western cuisine in a cosy environment. Their signature dishes include Chef’s Special Steak, a classic tenderloin steak for beef lovers, and Eatzi’s Sizzling Chicken Steak, which is accompanied by a generous portion of sides, including their Signature Baked Potato.
While you’re here, why not sample one of Eatzi’s new a la carte Sizzling Chicken Steak options? There’s Crispy Chicken with Cheesy Tomato Sauce, Satay Pineapple Chicken Steak, Creamy Mushroom Chicken Steak, or if you want to add some spice to your meal, try the Sambal Chicken Steak.
60, Yishun Ave 4, #01-01 SAFRA Yishun; more info at www.safra.sg/amenities-offerings/eatzi-steakhouse-bistro
3. Old Habits – SAFRA Mount Faber
Old Habits is a unique restaurant that is part family restaurant, part vintage boutique. Carrying a retro vintage theme, not only is this place aesthetically pleasing, it also sells good fusion food with a mix of local influence.
Old Habits has an extensive menu but they recommend their Simply Salmon and Sea Salt Caramel Roast Chicken to satisfy your hunger pangs. If you are craving both Western food and local delights, try their Old Habits Coconut Kueh for dessert. Your sweet tooth won’t be disappointed.
SAFRA members receive 10% off all food and drinks; more info at www.safra.sg/amenities-offerings/old-habits
2 Telok Blangah Way, #01-04 (next to the swimming pool), SAFRA Mt Faber
4. Andes by Astons – SAFRA Toa Payoh
Rooted in a rustic, traditional cowboy vibe, Andes by Astons offers a wide selection of steak cuts. However, if beef doesn’t float your boat, Andes offers other meat mains as well, including chicken and seafood. Mains are served with two side dishes of your choice ranging from baked or mashed potatoes, to mac ‘n cheese and pasta salad. With so many choices, you will definitely find something that suits your tastes.
There’s also their Farmers Beef Stew (while stocks last), so head down to Andes as quickly as possible to sample this dish!
SAFRA members enjoy 10% off the total bill; more info at www.safra.sg/amenities-offerings/andes-by-astons
293 Lor 6 Toa Payoh, #01-05 SAFRA Toa Payoh
5. Renew Deli – SAFRA Tampines
If you’re looking for a healthier take on Western cuisine, Renew Deli offers customisable wholesome snacks at SAFRA Tampines. Grab an avocado sandwich, made fresh with premium gourmet cheese (vegans can opt for vegan cheese), an acai bowl or even quinoa kaya butter toast. If you are pressed for time and need some quick nourishment, Renew Deli is the place for you.
SAFRA members enjoy 10% discount; more info at www.safra.sg/amenities-offerings/renew-snacks-garage
1A Tampines St 92 #01-15 SAFRA Tampines
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