My City: Bjorn Shen
The perfect day in Singapore for the chef-owner of Artichoke (161 Middle Rd., 6336-6949, S(188978)).
What’s the most exciting thing about the Singapore food scene right now? The best thing is that casual, mid-priced restaurants are really pushing it in terms of quality and variety. It used to be that great dining experiences were either at the low end of the spectrum—like coffee shops and hawker centers—or at high-end places with “serious” chefs that cost $150 per head. Now, places with great food, a casual setting and mid-level prices exist.
What’s your favorite local dish? It has to be raw fish salad—the kind you get at porridge stalls in hawker centers. It’s thinly sliced wolf herring or snakehead fish dressed in sesame oil and soy sauce and loaded with fried shallots, coriander, ginger, spring onion and sesame seeds. I always head to Hoe Kee Porridge (#01-45 Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur St., S(069184)).
What’s your favorite hangout in Singapore? Aside from my house, it would be OD Wellness (83 Upper East Coast Rd., 6445-0777, S(455221)). It’s a Japanese-themed massage place with top-notch service and other treatments like foot cupping.
My Perfect Day
12pm - Have a late breakfast after sleeping in.
I head to the nearby hawker center for an afternoon “breakfast” of min chiang kueh, or peanut pancakes, from Yi Kou Fu Pancake (#01-58 Toa Payoh Lorong 4 Hawker Centre, 93 Toa Payong Lorong 4, S(310093)) and cold soymilk.
3pm - Go bargain hunting.
Hock Siong & Co (#01-03 Junjie Industrial Building, 153 Kampong Ampat, 6281-8338, S(368326)) is a massive repo warehouse, so you can find bowls, plates, pots and lights that are barely used.
5pm - Shop for Thai produce.
Golden Mile Complex’s Yen Supermarket (#02-64 Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Rd.,S(199588)) has a food kiosk outside. I’ll grab a $2 bag of Thai-style fried bananas, which are super crispy, sweet and oily.
8pm - Tuck into a Vietnamese dinner.
Mrs Pho (349 Beach Rd., 6292-0018, S(199570),) cooks up crazy Vietnamee food. You’ve got to try their Hanoi meatballs and green mango salad.
9pm - Relax with a massage.
I end with a one-hour foot massage at OD Wellness before heading home.