“Who’s hungry?” questioned our Chinatown Food Adventures tour guide Renée. His smile was one you expect to find on a friend hosting a dinner party, not someone you just met in a metro station. “I am!” shouted my stomach in a loud gurgle. Thankfully the foot traffic muted the sound of my gut. Renée went on to explain the Chinatown Food Adventures Tour ahead of us. It was a mix of Singapore’s secret eats and historical treats.
Let’s tuck in.
When asked by our friendly Naumi Liora Hotel host what we were up to today I probably told him that we were going on Chinatown Food Adventures tour. His reply was less than encouraging. He explained that the nearby Chinatown has become a bit of a tourist trap with higher prices and lower quality food.
Our Naumi Liora Hotel host followed up with saying the Chinatown Complex is where it’s at for the best Singapore has to offer. Thankfully Renée knows this too as it was our first stop on our Chinatown Food Adventures Tour.
Before getting into the meat and potatoes (literally) of the Chinatown Complex, Renée took us on a tour of the building. Along the way he explained the different types of markets in Singapore. A Hawker Center like the Chinatown Complex includes 3 things, food stalls, a wet market (fresh market), and parking. We toured two out of the three.
In the wet market Renée pointed out Chinatown Food Adventures items for the truly adventurous…or Chinese as they’re called. This included live frogs, 100-year old eggs, and black chickens – and no, they’re not marinated in soy sauce. I asked.
With growing appetites we made our way to the third floor where the real attraction of the Chinatown complex is – the food stalls. We wandered the seemingly endless rows until Renée plunked our Chinatown Food Adventures tour group down and left us to get food. Placing a tissue packet to save his spot, a common way to claim a seat in Singapore, Renée returned with a feast. This included Singapore specialties like Popiah, Hainanese Chicken Rice, and my favourite – Chwee Kway (水粿 lit. Water Rice Cake)
The flavours. My god the flavours. So fresh and so vibrant. And the best part? It’s dirt cheap. In a city as expensive as Singapore it’s great to find these gems. It’s even better to experience them with a local which makes tours like Renée’s Chinatown Food Adventures that much more special.
More than Singapore eats
Bellies full and beyond satisfied, we rolled our way out of the Chinatown complex. Renée took us for a now much-needed walk through Chinatown, pointing out interesting tidbits along the way. He also echoed the same comments I got for my Naumi Liora Hotel host as we passed throngs of tourists paying way too much for way too little. Should’ve signed up for the Chinatown Food Adventures tour people.
Along the way Renée’s passion and love of his hometown started to show. He was more than happy to share the amazing accomplishments his tiny country has achieved. This included a guided tour through the Singapore City Gallery – a Chinatown Food Adventures tour bonus, and an unexpected welcomed highlight of the day.
After an amazing history lesson of Singapore’s rise from broke to a world economic leader, our now informative Chinatown Food Adventures tour shifted back to eating – this time with a stop at the famous Maxwell Food Centre. World-renowned foodies such as Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey have raved about this Singapore gem. Now, thanks to Chinatown Food Adventures tour, This life in Trips can be added to that list 🙂
This go around Renée treated us to fried carrot cake and roti prata – both amazing. He was even good enough to go out of his way for one of the guests (Erin) and get her another fresh cane juice, something she really enjoyed at the first stop.
A Singapore must do/ eat
With no hesitation, I can say that Renée’s Chinatown Food Adventures tour was a highlight of my time in Singapore. His knowledge and love for his city rubbed off on me and totally changed my Singapore experience. Had I not taking this Chinatown food Adventures tour I would’ve been lined up at the tourist stalls, overpaying for subpar food in an already expensive city.
Don’t be a food chump. Give Renée a shout!
Chinatown Food Adventures Good to Know
Tour Cost: $52 USD
Includes: Great guide and enough food to make you burst.
Don’t Miss: Water Rice Cake and the City Gallery!
Meeting Point: Chinatown MRT station
What say you?
Thoughts on this Chinatown Food Adventures in Singapore?
Let’s hear it!
Although I was provided a complimentary Chinatown Food Adventures tour,
the experience, opinions, and food coma where my own.