Newton Food Centre, also known as Newton Circus, offers extensive under cover seating and row upon row of hawker stalls, all plying their specialty fare.
|Food stalls at Newton Food Centre, Newton, Singapore|
Food centres in Singapore tend to be filled with hawker-style stalls that specialise in a particular type of cuisine, much of it Singaporean and/or Malaysian.
|Cage of crabs on display|
We had three separate groups disperse to make food orders and on return, it appeared double orders and eyes bigger than stomachs had completely filled our table with plastic plates of food - I'm not sure I've ever seen so much food outside of a buffet, and certainly not all on plastic plates.
This is definitely hands-on food, with a trick to opening the quite pretty, small, textured shells: give the hinge-end of the shells a squeeze, pinched between two fingers. The shells seem to magically spring open, and the sea-sweet, just chewy cockle meat can be picked out easily with a toothpick.
|Deep fried baby squid|
|Char kway kak - radish cake|
|Grilled chicken wings|
Apple, cucumber, pineapple and fried tofu all came slathered thick in dark, sweet sauce pungent with belacan shrimp paste and a hint of chilli, garnished with thin, dried squid or cuttlefish ribbons.
But while Singapore does have the exotic, it's the simple stuff that's most pleasing and the source of most cravings. Fine dining would struggle to challenge a good Hainan chicken rice in satisfaction and comfort, but Singapore certainly makes the best of both worlds.
So long, Singapore, I look forward to returning for the cheap-as-chips chicken rice, balmy nights on rooftop bars, more chilli crab and a Singapore Sling.