Contrary to what's said in the movie, the best satay in Singapore is not in Newton. You're better off saving your money by heading to East Coast Lagoon Food Village for some Haron Satay. The marinated meat on sticks are unbeatable here, that's the reason why they have been in the business for a long, long time. Choose from chicken, beef and lamb satay, pair it with rice cakes and tasty peanut sauce, take in the sea breeze and you're in your own tropical heaven.
Why buy laksa at a hawker centre when you can go straight to the source? For good Katong laksa, head to – you guessed it – Katong. While touristy, 328 Laksa ($5.00-$7.50) is still legit. Scoop all the good stuff into one spoonful – even the fishcake is thinly sliced so you get a bite of it along with prawns, bean sprouts and cockles. To complete the experience, add a slice of otah ($1.40) and a generous scoop of sambal of course.
Got guests from overseas? Best to bring them out for some chilli crab. No stay in Singapore is complete without it, as Nick Young knows. What's not to love about crustaceans in a thick savoury chilli gravy? It's good enough for those hotheads who enjoy a punchy meal and mild enough for newbies who can't handle spicy food. Don't forget the mantous!
One of the most memorable scenes from the movie is the dumpling making scene. Don't mind us but we're down for dim sum any time and anywhere – if we're lucky enough to get a seat at Swee Choon Tim Sum in Jalan Besar that is. The 50-year-old establishment is a hit with the late-night crowd and occupies five ground-floor shophouses to keep up with the demand for its wide range of dumplings, signature mee suan kueh ($1/two), and custard-rich liu sha bao ($3.60/three).
It's nice to see the humble popiah beef up its presence onscreen. We saw a glimpse of the spring roll being made in ah ma's kitchen during the tan hua blooming party. A good popiah should be packed tightly with all the trimmings like peanuts, lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, carrots, turnip, garlic, eggs and prawns but should never be soggy or break apart. You'll find a good roll at Qin Carrot Cake and Popiah at the old-school Old Airpot Road Food Centre.
Herbal soup was brought up twice in the film by the two matriachs and if you must know, it's the only way some mothers show that they care. Swap out the hot double-boiled chicken soup for ice-cold cheng tng instead. The sweet dessert of dried longan, white fungus, the occasional strip of candied melon and even sweet potato revitalises the body without causing you to break a sweat.
That old guy cooking over a huge wok during the Newton hawker scene was whipping up a plate of carrot cake. Unlike the Western dessert, the Singaporean version is a savoury dish made by tossing egg, radish cake and preserved radish in a hot wok. Head to Chomp Chomp in Serangoon Gardens for a taste – the stall does both white and black versions – and even adds prawns to beef it up a little.
Ice kachang was made for the big screen. Its bright colours on a mountain of ice had the Instagram generation in mind even before #foodporn became a thing. For the uninitiated, ice kachang is really sweet. Shaved ice with lots of lashings of gula Melaka, condensed milk and coloured sweet syrup hide bits of jelly, red bean and corn in the bowl below. Jin Jin Hot/Cold Dessert at the ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre serves up a mean bowl. You've been warned.