Save: ArtBites Café
Everyone likes to get some bang for his or her buck and at ArtBites Café at The Republic Cultural Centre, you can definitely get pretty good dishes for surprisingly low prices. However, the place is often flooded with students thanks to the nearby polytechnic, so you need to be prepared for long queues.
If you’re here for light bites, head on over to the snacks corner where you will find offerings such as Fried Spring Rolls, Fried Samosas, Seaweed Chicken, Grill Pizza Wing, and even Tortilla Wraps.
Fancy a proper meal? The dishes on their dine-in set menu are as low as S$4 per plate! Take your pick from the choices available, like their Dory Fish Pasta, Ramen Teriyaki, Katsu Chicken Rice with Singapore Chilli Crab Sauce, and Salmon Pasta.
They even serve dessert here, from various cheesecakes to assorted macarons and even potato salad and éclairs. It’s entirely possible to have a 3-course meal here for under S$10. That’s certainly a great deal!
Spend: Penang Culture
Why go to Singapore to have Penang food? It can be challenging, trying to find eateries that offer you Halal versions of classic Penang favourites, but Penang Culture has solved that problem. Launching plenty of traditionally pork-based products, this restaurant chain has replicated the taste of the original dishes as closely as possible with a mixture of crab, prawn heads, and chicken bones. In addition to that, they also offer a fresh perspective on these favourites, with value-for-money street food dishes in a comfortable setting.
So, what should you try when visiting one of their branches? Start with the Premium Crab Meat & Salted Eggs Fried Kuay Teow! Putting a Singaporean twist on this dish, the chef separates the salted egg into two portions. Scattering the chunks of the white for more flavour and deep-frying the yolk for extra crisp, the salted egg bits complement the springy rice noodles. And the deliciously fresh prawns are very much a bonus!
Another dish that you can’t miss is the Premium Lobster & Scallop Noodles. What you’ll get is a generous amount of noodles served in a large of bowl of rich and flavourful broth. As you dine on this, you’ll find that the soup’s flavour even permeates into the tender, juicy flesh of the lobster and scallop, further enhancing the taste of the dish as a whole.
While you’re here, don’t skimp on the drinks. Order their specialty milkshakes! The creamy Cempedak Milkshake is rich and creamy, without being too heavy, while the Durian Milkshake is essentially durian in creamy milkshake form, which would please all durian lovers. If you’re looking for something a little more refreshing, ask for the Ampla Ice and enjoy the cold, tangy taste on your tongue.
Splurge: Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant
Situated on a jetty overlooking the Straits of Malacca, Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant not only cooks up delectable seafood dishes for you to feast on, they also have an amazing view to boot!
When eating seafood, it’s always a good idea to have at least one crab dish, especially if you’re visiting in a big group. After all, it’s not everyday that one gets to indulge in a crab dish! Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant’s Black Pepper Crab is a truly enjoyable affair. The sweet, juicy flesh of the crab is intensified by the strong taste of the black pepper sauce that seeps deep into the crab. You’ll get thirsty pretty quickly when eating this, but it’s so good that you might not be able to stop.
The variety of choices that leap out at you whenever you’re at a seafood place can sometimes be daunting. Instead of forcing yourself to settle on one dish only, here, you should sample a little bit of everything and order the BBQ Seafood Combo. Featuring stingray, cuttlefish, and lala, this combo is strongly recommended for all those who do not wish to eat too much but still want to try as much food on the menu as possible. The stingray especially stands out, as the mixture of the spicy sauce and the salty flesh of the stingray result in a heavenly explosion of flavours for your taste buds.
As for side dishes, well, why not order some satay? With skewers of mutton, chicken, beef, and beef tripe to choose from, this side dish might accidentally turn into a main dish, thanks to how enjoyable it is to keep munching on them.