Singapore Celebrity Concierge shares the real Singapore with noodlies
Imagine chatting to celebrities like Tetsuya Wakuda, Tom Williams, Antonia Kidman and Audra Morrice and picking their brains on all the hot, insider tips on Singapore. That’s Singapore Celebrity Concierge, a new initiative from the Singapore Tourism Board.
- Audra Morrice’s top 10 places to visit in Singapore
- Sticky peppered tamarind prawns recipe
- Unique tips exclusively for noodlies readers including best kept Singapore food secret
Noodlies caught up with Audra Morrice, one of the Ambassadors of Singapore Celebrity Concierge. And we walked away with unique tips exclusively for noodlies readers.
“Singapore will always be a place of comfort and belonging to me. This is the place I was born, this is where I grew up, this is where my love of food began and this is where I learnt to cook
My real Singapore is in its many multicultural traditions that are reflected hugely in the food we cook. It’s the home-grown recipes handed down from generation to generation, the pride taken to create these, and the traditional cooking utensils and methods that make each dish so unique.” says Audra, born to a Chinese mother and Indian father. Audra spent her formative years in the culturally rich heritage of Singapore. Now, a mother of two, she regularly travels to Singapore to visit Family and Friends.
Singapore will always be a place of comfort and belonging to me. This is the place I was born, this is where I grew up, this is where my love of food began and this is where I learnt to cook.
Audra is passionate about encouraging Australians to discover the real Singapore. And she thinks food could spark understanding of other cultures, Audra tells noodlies “I have met many Aussies who have related their food experiences to me [after travelling to Asia] and it’s wonderful that many now know exactly what to expect when they order different dishes and to be able to discuss a dish at length is just fantastic! The more exposed they are to food of other cultures, the more educated they become about these countries…”.
Want to cook the Sticky Peppered Tamarind Prawns dish above? Click the link for Audra’s recipe.
When asked what’s her favourite dish to eat in Singapore and where to get them, she’s emphatic “it’s too hard to pick one, so here are just a few”
- black pepper crab – Jumbo Seafood along East Coast
- nonya kuehs – onde onde, kueh bengka, kueh lapis, pulot inti (Joo Chiat and a few other local markets)….
- laksa – Joo Chiat
- chwee kueh – Tiong Bahru Markets
- sambal stingray – Adam Rd
- yong tao fu – Ghim Moh markets (we buy this from a lovely lady and cook it up at home)
- roti prata & fish curry – Maxwell Road Hawker Centre
When pressed on a best kept food secret in Singapore, she whispers “fried chicken wings in Changi Village, it’s been around for decades. Imagine hot succulent crispy chicken wings served straight out of the deep fryer, what could be better?”.
While you’re saving for a Singapore adventure, Audra says the lemak laksa at Malay-Chinese in Hunter Street is a favourite. “They’re only open during business hours and honestly draw in a pretty big crowd on a daily basis. It’s the one place I don’t mind hungry diners hovering over you waiting for you to finish your meal so they can have their turn” she laughs.
If you’re thinking of heading to Singapore, here are Audra’s top tips..
TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN SINGAPORE
1. Joo Chiat Joo Chiat Road, Singapore, 420001
I love walking the streets of Joo Chiat with its colourful and rich Peranakan heritage. They have some of the best Peranakan restaurants and shops selling everything from Nonya crockery through to the famous Kim Choo “bak-jang”.
2. The Daily Scoop, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, Singapore, 278115
Without a doubt, this has got to be the best locally made ice cream in Singapore. They have a huge range of flavours including plenty of local favourites such as durian, lychee martini, chendol, avocado and my all- time favourite… coconut!
3. Little India, Serangoon Road, Singapore, 218099
Little India is a cultural experience not to be missed. I love walking along the character- filled streets that stem off Serangoon Road. There you will pass shops selling anything from Indian pots and pans, colourful saris, delicious ‘muruku’ (a traditional savoury snack made from rice and flour), to flower wreaths for prayers.
4. Chin Mee Chin Confectionary, 204 East Coast Road, Joo Chiat, Singapore, 420001
Growing up in multicultural Singapore has taught me that there are no rules when it comes to breakfast. Anything goes! The Nonya Kaya, a coconut/egg jam with pandan essence, continues to be one of my favourites, particularly at Chin Mee Chin Confectionery. The marbled table tops, wooden chairs and the very old school Hainanese ladies, make breakfast that much more nostalgic and enjoyable!
5. Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore, 018953
Gardens by the Bay is a must see. My kids absolutely love it, particularly the suspended Supertree Grove walk. It’s quite an extraordinary set up and just a stone’s throw from the city!
6. Lolla. 22 Ann Siang Road, Singapore, 069702
Lolla is a little gem tucked away in a converted shop house on the funky streets of Ann Siang Road. Lolla has a team of brilliant chefs. I would recommend trying to get a bar seat so you can watch them hard at work. The food is amazing with some of my favourites including smoked scarmoza with preserved peaches, Mozambique prawns pan-fried, leek gratin, the sea urchin and braised tripe both of which are Lolla signatures. So delicious!
7. Symmetry Café, 9 Jalan Kubor, Singapore, 199206
If you just need a bit of a rest from all the Asian fare, Symmetry Café serves up a delicious breakfast of hash browns, scrambled eggs cooked to perfection, gourmet sausages, roasted tomatoes and assorted pan-fried mushrooms, and not to mention their brilliant coffee. Just yummy and in a ‘cool’ setting.
8. Bugis, Bugis Street, Singapore, 188867
Bugis is the largest street shopping location in Singapore. I often to head to the 3rd floor of the old wet markets at Bugis to buy dried goods. Anything from dried mango to dried shrimp! They will even let you know what you can and can’t bring into Australia!
9. Tiong Bahru Bakery, 56 Eng Hoon Street, Singapore, 160056,
These guys serve up UNBELIEVABLE pastries. Be prepared to queue for a table as they get incredibly busy. It’s certainly worth the wait!
10. Studio Tangs, VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore, 098585
My favourite shop is most definitely Studio Tangs! They have an outlet at VivoCity, as well as one on the corner of Orchard Road and Scotts Road. It’s a good mix of local and international fashion labels. The city branch has also recently refurbished a food alley in the basement featuring authentic local delights.
About Singapore Celebrity Concierge
This “VIP travel service” invites you to have your next holiday to Singapore planned by one of Australia’s most-loved personalities. With their help, get off the beaten track and discover some of our island city’s hidden secrets.
Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, author and mum Antonia Kidman, Channel 7 presenter and lifelong explorer Tom Williams, along with MasterChef finalist Audra Morrice will be slipping on their headsets, ready to reveal what they love about Singapore.
Register for your chance for a one-on-one Skype call with one of the Singapore Celebrity Concierges this April.
Can’t wait that long? Then check out their Top 10 tips now.
All entries will go into the draw to win an exclusive 4-night stay in Singapore for you and a friend, where you can have fun discovering the real Singapore for yourself!
Credits: photos courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board.