For foodies, travelling is all about finding great food destinations for a delicious experience
From local cuisine and street food to Michelin Star delights, you can find them all in Singapore, Macau, Taipei (Taiwan) and Beijing (China). These destinations are just a short flight away from Thailand, only 2-4 hours, and they offer a wide array of mouthwatering treats. You can travel to these destinations solely just to eat.
SINGAPORE: A TRUE FOODIE’S PARADISE
Singapore is a true foodie’s paradise. The mix of Chinese, Indian, Malayu, Western and Arabic influences has resulted in an international food scene. You can virtually eat anywhere in Singapore, and there are endless choices to choose from, from street hawkers to 5-star hotels. Wherever you go, you’re bound to see a place that tempts you to go inside and grab a bite to eat.
Singapore’s signature is street food, but it is not push carts or sidewalk stalls. Rather, it is a cluster of food joints in hawker centres and food centres. Must-try dishes include chicken rice, bak kut teh, Malay food, Muslim food, satay, noodles, and laksa. You can also try steamboat and ice kachang while you’re there. The beauty of it is that you can order food from different joints and eat it all together at your table.
But if you’re in the mood for authentic Chinese food, Chinatown in Singapore is famous for its food. It is home to the cheapest Michelin star restaurant Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles, as well as many other noodle and dim sum places, including royal palace cuisine and seafood restaurants.
Singapore is a true
Singapore’s signature is street food, but it is not push carts or sidewalk stalls
Speaking of seafood, while you’re in Singapore, don’t miss its famous chilli crab and black pepper crab, which is available in Chinatown and most food centres. For an authentic experience, go to a restaurant on the East Coast where many well-established seafood restaurants are located.
Singapore is also home to great Indian food, available at Little India. You can also try Arabic and Malay food in Bugis and Kampong Glam, or go to cool cafés in Clarke Quay.
Wrap up your experience in Singapore with luxurious restaurants with breathtaking views from Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay, which have become the signature views of Singapore. These famous restaurants with celebrity chefs and world-renowned Singaporean chefs must be reserved months in advance.
EAST MEETS WEST IN MACAU
Macau was administered by Portugal for over a hundred years, and Portuguese influences are still evident in its language, culture, way of life, and food. However, since most of its people are Chinese, there’s a nice mix of East and West, namely Chinese and Portuguese, resulting in what is known as Macanese. With many large hotels and casinos, Macau is home to celebrity chefs and top restaurants.
Street food in Macau can be found in small alleys near the Senado Square and around Saint Paul’s Ruins, which are the centre of tourist destinations in Macau. It is also available on Taipa Food Street on Taipa Island, which is famous for crispy pork and pork floss. Street food here includes simple noodles and buns, as well as extravagant crab porridge with large crabs and yellow crab roe, or egg noodles generously dressed with shrimp roe. They may be a little pricey but the taste is worth it.
If you want to try something a little Portuguese, you can try a seafood dish called a ‘Plateau Fruit de Mer’, Bacalao salted cod, and Minchee/Minchi beef and potato hash. You might also want to consider Portuguese-style pork burger.
For Chinese food, there are typical Chinese dishes like stir-fried noodles and crispy noodles with gravy, but there are also must-try signatures like braised abalone with pork belly served in clay pot.
Complete your trip to Macau with desserts. Try Portuguese egg tarts — there are a few famous shops to choose from. Don’t miss the ice cream at Lai Kei Ice Cream and milk pudding at Leitaria I Son, which is delicious on its own and even more so with red beans.
ENJOY EATING IN TAIWAN
Xiao long bao, hotpot, bubble tea, braised beef noodles, pineapple tarts, oyster noodles, stinky tofu, sticky rice dumplings, pork belly burgers, sausage with sticky rice, and pork dumplings, the list of must-try dishes in Taiwan goes on and on.
You can find something to satisfy your food cravings any time of day. In the morning, you can enjoy porridge, noodles, toast and poached eggs, and fresh seafood at the fish market. For lunch, there are endless choices, especially modern Chinese dim sum, which is very popular now. In the afternoon, there are cafés and bakeries where you can relax and enjoy sweet treats. At night, visit any restaurant or enjoy street food at Ningxia Night Market or Ximending.
As a world-famous tea origin, make it a point to visit a tea shop while you are in Taiwan. You can find both classic and modern Taiwanese tea shops here, offering delicious tea with Chinese treats and Japanese treats.
Last but not least, visit Michelin star restaurants in Taiwan. There are a few to choose from, each with its own unique selling point and creativity. (You must be quite something to make it big in a city surrounded by food like Taipei!)
As a world-famous tea origin, make it a point to visit a tea shop while you are in Taiwan
PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING
While you’re in Beijing, Peking duck is a must-try, and not just because of the name.
Beijing is a large city, but if you’re a street food fan, head straight to Wangfujing Street, or if you’re after royal Chinese cuisine, there are many restaurants to choose from.
But first, Peking duck.
Peking duck is served on a plate with both skin and flesh, with steamed wraps and sticks of vegetables like cucumber or spring onion. It is served with sauce and mustard dip, and you can wrap your own bite however you want it. In some restaurants, the duck will be sliced fresh by the table. The duck is juicy and meaty, and sometimes it can be quite fatty. However, some restaurants serve it just how Thai people like it — crispy, dry and not too fatty.
Restaurants that offer Peking duck usually have other Chinese dishes as well. If you are travelling solo or just want to eat Peking duck, you can also order the half-size portion.
WHERE TO EAT
Xiao Long Bao–Din Tai Fung has branches all over Taipei (dintaifung.com.tw)
Tea–Wistaria Tea House, 1號, Lane 16, Section 3, Xinsheng South Road, Da’an District, Taipei, a legendary tea house (wistariateahouse.com)
Modern international cuisine–RAW, 301, Lequn 3rd Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei, a 2 Stars Michelin restaurant (raw.com.tw)
Quanjude Roast Duck–9 Shuaifuyuan Hutong, Wangfujing, Dongcheng
Dadong Roast Duck–88 Jinbao St, Dongcheng
Made in China–Grand Hyatt Beijing, 1 E Chang’an Ave, Dong Dan, Dongcheng