Monday, October 15, 2012

Hawker Food Centre Dining at Makansutra Gluttons Bay, Singapore

I've always believed that one of the best ways of truly trying to understand a certain culture is by having a taste of the local dishes.  As much as it is tempting to stay true to familiar fast food favorites when traveling (you can't be having McDonald's every time, you know), going local and eating the same stuff they do is all part of the experience of being in new places, in different surroundings

And here in Singapore, one of the best places where we usually bring in out-of-town guests for a night of good food is at Makansutra Gluttons Bay.

Makansutra Gluttons Bay

Patterned after the humble hawker centres (a type of open-air food centre) that still thrive around the Lion City, Makansutra Gluttons Bay is a veritable hodge podge of various small-scale food establishments selling wonderful Southeast Asian-inspired dishes, primarily those that have influenced the Singaporean taste buds throughout the ages.

Hawker food stalls lined up

You're never strapped for choices here for there are plenty of options available.  From local favorites like satay to the famous Singaporean chili crab to ais / ice kacang (a type of shaved ice dessert almost similar to our own halo-halo), ika nga like SM department store, (they've) got it all for you.

Here are just some of our favorite hawker food stalls at Makansutra Gluttons Bay.

Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wing and Fried Carrot Cake

Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wing and Fried Carrot Cake

If the name isn't a dead giveaway already, the Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wing and Fried Carrot Cake stall is quite famous for their barbequed chicken wings and fried carrot cake.  Haven't really tried the fried carrot cake yet (somehow the name doesn't sit in too well for me), but the Husband and I are huge fans of their BBQ chicken wings.

BBQ chicken wings

These sell for S$1.30 a piece (Php43*; minimum order of at least 3 pieces.)  It's really good -- sweet and smokey and so finger-lickin' tasty, if I do say so myself. 

Sew An Seafood Cze Cha

Sew An Seafood Cze Cha is a food stall that cooks Chinese seafood dishes on the spot, sort of like our Dampa restaurants in Metro Manila.  You have your pick of the fresh seafood displayed on the counter, have it priced then prepared to whatever type of dish is available on the menu.

Sew An Seafood Cze Cha

One of their specialties is Hong Kong style streamed sea bass (S$4 / Php132* per100g) .  So tasty, flavorful and tender.

Hong Kong style streamed seabass

And don't forget their Yang Zhou seafood fried rice (S$4 to 12 / Php132 to 396* depending on the size of your order).  Can't have a proper dinner without rice, right?

Yang Zhou seafood fried rice

Another specialty of the  Sew An Seafood Cze Cha stall is their steamed stingray dish.  I haven't tasted stingray before and well, I guess it's an interesting experience.  The way they prepared it is by steaming and adding a spicy sauce.  It's good though, provides a good, hot kick to the palate.

They also prepare the famous Singaporean chili crab here.  Price varies depending on the season but usually you have to be prepared to pay around S$30 (Php990*) for a huge crustacean.

Alhambra Padang Satay

Another favorite of ours is the Alhambra Padang Satay.

Alhambra Padang satay

Run by the son of the original stall owner, they sell, as the name implies, Padang satay, a Malay dish that's almost similar to meat (usually mutton or beef) barbeque but comes with a sweet peanut sauce.  A serving usually costs around S$6 or Php198*, which includes a few sticks of satay, pressed rice cubes called lontong, and some cucumber slices and shallots.

Believe me, a few sticks is never really enough!

Mang Kiko

Established in 2008, Mang Kiko is a Filipino food stall well-known for their best-selling Lechon Manok and Liempo.  A set meal here, which includes a serving of meat and rice, is usually priced at around S$6 / Php198*).  Aside from Filipinos (of course), they also have a huge Singaporean client base, as well.  A taste of home whenever we feel a tad bit homesick.

All this in the heart of the city

The best part in dining at Makansutra Gluttons Bay is that they're located conveniently in the Marina Bay area, right beside the Esplanade.  No need to travel away from the central business district.

Makasutra Gluttons Bay, however, is a night hawker food centre.  They're open Mondays to Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.; and Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

It usually gets really crowded during the weekends so if you're with a big group and don't want a long wait for available tables, I suggest you go on a weekday and as early as is permissible.

6:00 p.m. on a Saturday.  Slowly filling up.

Another thing, if you or anyone in your group is suffering from asthma, I also suggest you sit a ways from the food stalls as it can get a little smoky and hot in and near their areas.

Ahhhh... good food + good company = the perfect evening.  J

The Little One patiently waiting for our food

*S$1 = Php33


Makansutra Gluttons Bay
8 Raffles Avenue, The Esplanade

Singapore 039802 

Open Mondays to Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.; and Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Planning to visit?  Drop by my "Getting Around Singapore" post (click here) for more details on how to get around the Lion City.


  1. this is one thing na hindi ko magawa pag out of the country. takot ako magtry ng local dishes at takot ako na sumakit tiyan, sayang ang stay ko pag nagkasakit lang. hehe! nice list! =)

    1. I read that Anthony Bourdain brings immodium or somethinf like that when traveling for his show. Mahirap nga naman magka-diarrhea. Hehehe! =)

  2. I agree with you. I always argue with my friends pag nag travel and then will just end up eating mcdo or jobee para daw safe..grh! its part of the adventure and need to be experience when travlng or visiting a place. Having a taste of thier local dishes is one big experience and this way you learn a bit of dr culture.

    1. It's really a battle sometimes. Either you try the local fare or eat at the usual haunts. I'm still trying to try something new lagi. It's really part of the experience kasi. =)

  3. Fried carrot cake? Ngayun lang ako nakarinig ng cake na pinirito. hehehe! Sarap mag food trip dyan!

  4. can't wait to return to SG next month with my family. I am sure everything is different from my last trip there. i saw bourdain trying the hawker center in tiong bahru. what's your take on that?

    1. Lucky you! I haven't been to Tiong Bahru for a while. We moved place and it's now quite a ways there from our new home. =(

  5. I was surprised about the carrot cake.. It wasn't a cake as we know it hahahaha....

    I loved the stingray dish... Super proud nga din ang friend ko when he brought us to that place. Ang daming pinoy dyan.

    1. Yup. I know. I think it's more like an oyster cake type. =)


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