Singapore

Where:
Burnt Ends
20 Teck Lim Road
Singapore 088391

Phone:
+65 6224 3933

Price:
It really is gonna depend on how much steak and wine you order, I’d estimate around SGD90 per person including 200g of the cheapest steak each, before booze and tip (no service charge included). And it’s SG, so of course booze ain’t gonna be cheap.

The deal:
Burnt Ends is the one restaurant in Singapore that I get asked about all the time by my HK homies re: whether they should bother going.  Before I moved to Singapore (yes for the blog only homies, it’s true – I’ve left HK and it’s all about Majulah Singapura.  But why be a blog only homie?  Get onto my Fuck Yeah Insta or follow the rad as fuck Fuck Yeah Noms Facebook page or if you wanna get personal, friend the fuck out of me on my personal profile), I never made it there on my previous SG visits because I was too busy throwing myself head first through all the hawker centres ever.  Burnt Ends is definitely a restaurant that has all the indications of a restaurant that international visitors are going to be all over because it always appears on those lists.  You know, those stupid destination lists you read in the airplane magazines accompanied by a moody night time shot taken from outside the restaurant with the glow of the restaurant illuminating some beardy, tattooed chef in a leather apron with his arms crossed.  It’s also #14 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 list (as sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Pana) which means from a FYN perspective it’s also highly likely to be overrated AF, overpriced and a total ball ache to get into.  For reals, when did we start giving any sort of weight from a problematic list sponsored by a WATER company, which doesn’t even require its “voters” to remain anonymous or pay for their own fucking meals??  Despite all of this, I ended up at Burnt Ends cause I still fucking love to check out hype beasts even if you’re odds on to be disappointed and destitute by the end of proceedings.

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Now I get that reservations are a pain in the ass for every restaurant because customers are total dick bags who like to no show without giving any warning which kills your ability to get dem dollars, but as a diligent booking honouring customer, I just want to be able to book my shit and not have to wait hours for a table.  Burnt Ends has this booking policy of only taking dinner bookings at early o’clock (ie. 6pm or 6:30pm) otherwise it’s walk in only.  I’m definitely too much of an old, grumpy fucker who needs instant gratification to be dealing with being told it’s going to be two hours before I can get a table, even if it means that I can wait at Potato Head Folk across the road and get involved in some fuck yeah cocktails. 

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After about 90 minutes, I’m well liquored with fuck yeah cocktails and our table is ready.  It’s the outside bench which faces onto the road, which I’m cool with but I’m guessing if you’re here for a special occasion or date night, you’re going to want to be inside so you can see the Burnt Ends show.  As a restaurant that bills itself as Modern Australian barbecue, it’s all about its custom built four tonne, dual cavity ovens and three elevation grills.  I can get behind what they’re trying to do, using wood ovens and grilling techniques to bring the best out in the fresh ingredients, letting the produce dictate what the daily menu should be. With everything that may be going on from a vibe and interior perspective, nothing can distract me from the fact that prices on this menu are substantial by the time you’re looking at whole point of being at Burnt Ends (ie. the roasted meats).  Sure there’s some affordable snacks which range from SGD10 – SGD20, but by the time you’e looking at the meat section it’s SGD26 per 100g for flank, SGD50 per 100g for striploin and if you want to get into some 45 dry aged Mayura OP Rib, you’re gonna be laying down SGD490 per kg.  Or perhaps you wanna try their famous roasted leek (with hazelnut and black truffle) at a mere SGD42 (+7% GST) – FUCK ME AND PAINT ME A POOR CONSERVATIVE for not wanting to get on board with laying down SGD42 to see just how good a leek can be.

Our server is friendly and efficient, talking us through the menu factually but not giving much more colour on top of that.  When ordering our starters, it’s clear that they aren’t gonna be big and they are designed to be eaten by one to two people.  The Grissini and Taramasalata (SGD12 +7% GST) is good fuck yeah times.  Taramasalata is a Greek dip made from bread, onions, olive oil, fish roe and lemon juice.  This brings back the memories of my Aussie-Greek friends would always bust this out at parties and as a mark of respect, I’d park myself right next to that dip bowl and pay it grave reverence by bowing my head and inhaling as much of this bread dip on more bread.  But fuck, Burnt Ends’ version surely is delicious but SGD12+ for one piece of crisp flatbread with some dip on it? I’m not so fucking down with that but it does make me estimate the cost of the Taramasalata Takedowns I’ve executed at my Greek homies’ parties at around SGD180.

Next up is the Duck Hearts Peri Peri (SGD8 +7% GST) which I’m excited about cause I fucking love organs and all their chewy, interesting textures.  There’s some peri peri sauce to give some contrast to the deep, iron of the hearts, but who fucking cares when these duck hearts are bitter little fuckers which have had the life cooked out of them?  I try to move past this by having some Sobrasada (SGD14 +7% GST), but as delicious as raw cured sausage is with bread, there’s just nothing exciting at all about this dish.  The Beef, Marmalade and Pickles (SGD14 +7% GST) is absolutely fine too, some braised beef which is using the acidity of the pickles and sweet marmalade on some more bread.  I deliberate and chew on this, trying to process what is exactly so exceptional about this place which causes the hype machine to praise it as a BEST EVER or MUST VISIT in Singapore, nay, ASIA.

The Burnt Ends’ Sanger (SGD20+7% GST) is one of their famous, signature dishes which can only explain why I ordered something which sounds like the epitome of basic, boring “OMG FOOD IS SO GOOD, I’M SUCH A FOODIE, FOOD IS LIFE” fare.  For reals, pulled pork shoulder – CHECK, coleslaw – CHECK, chipotle aioli – CHECK and you know it, my eternal and undying nemesis – brioche bun – CHECK.  Wahhhhhhh, get my hair shirt out and squeeze it onto my cliche filled body cause I’m obviously a sadomasochist fucker who wants to flog myself with the cat-o-nine tails of trendy food cliches.  The hits keep coming and even though it’s SGD20 and stuffed full of trendy food tropes, it’s so fucking tiny and most def food for ants.  I get my scalpel and surgical mask out so I can dissect this to share amongst us and find it hard to focus because my eyes are starting to glaze over as I choke back another yawn.  In that one bite there’s the pulled pork which is a bit dry and soggy coleslaw, which causes the brioche to lose its structural shit because NEWSFLASH, BRIOCHE IS GOOD FOR FUCKING NOTHING.  Oh, you know where this is going, FUCK NO.  But because it’s minuscule, I guess at least its lacklustre SGD20+ fuck no sting is swift?

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For our steak, I opted for the Flank with Burnt Onion and Bone Marrow  (SGD26 per 100g +7% GST) cause fuck no, I can’t afford no SGD50 per 100g + 7% GST striploin shenanigans.  Like most things I ate at Burnt Ends it was cooked well and tasty enough, but there’s nothing exceptional that sticks in my memory. Maybe it’s cause I cheaped out and didn’t go for the ball breaking SGD50/100g option? But I don’t think it’s unreasonable that I expect that a SGD26/100g steak option should leave some sort of impression on me other than “I guess it wasn’t fucking terrible”?

In this sea of high priced malaise, it’s the Bone Marrow Bun (SGD12 +7% GST) which finally manages to shake a little bit of fuck yeah excitement into my Burnt Ends #asiastop50 life.  A sesame flecked bun which is wrapped in foil and baked til it’s crispy as fuck on the outside but still soft on the inside with its fuck yeah bone marrow stuffing, all melted and buttery.  I have so many fuck yeah feelings regarding this bun, that I double down and get another order of it.

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So, I get that Burnt Ends’ jam is meant to be food which show cases the ingredients but there’s the difference in doing the ingredients right and not overcomplicating things, while still showing me something new and then just doing shit in a fine but completely unremarkable manner.  Burnt Ends is in no way terrible and these hyped up restaurants are always battling against expectation but for me, if I have to lay down the big bucks, I want something that makes me pause and think about what’s going on.  Not just that each bite is costing me too much money for a complete lack of excitement, regardless of whatever fancy as fuck grill and oven contraptions you may be slinging in the kitchen.

Verdict:
Fuck no because shit ain’t worth the bucks nor the no booking palaver.  But if you’re visiting Singapore and really wanna get involved, I recommend ordering two Bone Marrow Buns and smashing a glass of red before applying the appropriate hashtags to your Instagram post and moving along.  But I will concede, there’s a few people where you’d still be so fucking excited about Burnt Ends, such as:

  1. You’ve been in a coma for the last 15 years and someone using a grill on meat in a restaurant and eating something delicious on a piece of toasted bread is the most amazing concept you’ve ever heard of
  2. You like going to restaurants which are on lists because getting to tag your shit with #asias 50best, thank the chef for looking after you and listing which arbitrary ranking number it came in at because this still counts for something in your dull, desolate existence.
  3. You’re an old fucker who’s now living DA ASIA LYFE and you need to take your hot new young thing to DATE NIGHT to show you’re still hip with the homies but you also don’t want to feel too Old Man River eating a SGD45++ serve of sea urchin on a grey, soulless slate while an immaculate waitress listlessly serves you extra bitch face as you try to get your ancient bones to deal with sitting on a concrete slab bench as ambient techno discretely throbs in the background.
  4. Someone else is fucking paying, so who gives a fuck if you’re dropping all the bucks ever on pedestrian but still delicious, overpriced bits of meat on bread.

For everyone else, there’s most def more interesting and fuck yeah eats to spend your Sing Buckas on.

My oh my! While I love this busy, neon lit town sometimes the hustle and bustle of the heaving metropolis of Hong Kong can get anyone a little frazzled around the edges.  Which is why I was sooo looking forward to a balmy weekend away in the nearby city of SINGAPORE for a weekend of foodie nomad adventures, girlie catch-ups, chill tunes and yes, even a spot of shopping (OMG, Charles & Keith here I come!). It seems so inconceivable that with only a four hour hop skip and a jump away and I was trading my warm winter woolies for cute shorts, tank tops and strappy bejewelled sandals.  Wowee – oh so delightful to the max!

OH BUT SHIT NO – don’t worry homies my shit ain’t that desperate yet that I’ve had to start writing travel guides for HK Lifestyle blogs or sell my fat ass for paid sponsorship travel links (big love to CX Fanfares! Thanks so much Flight Centre! GUYS, YOU TOTALLY NEED TO CHECK THIS ECO-BOUTIQUE RETREAT OUT IN CAMBODIA! XO).  Here’s the fucking drum – the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival was on in Singapore, I fucking miss going to festivals with decent line ups (lolz, Clockenflap – I had fun at your shit, but in no way can anyone say it was a solid THREE DAY lineup) and since I read the Buzzfeed on A Guide To Hong Kong Basic Bitches it was time to fulfil my Sheung Wan/Sai Ying Pun Basic Bitch destiny on with a music festival and a fuck tonne of FUCK YEAH, SINGAPOREAN HAWKER FOOD at every other goddamn opportunity.  There’s a fine dining scene in the mighty Lion City, but in FYN’s opinion the Singapore Food Game is ALL about cheap hawker eats.  You take the influences of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and some Western shit and throw that all together into a country which lives to eat its face off, how can shit not be fuckin’ righteous?? Sure, parts of SG might be manufactured and sterile but you can’t fucking deny it, SG’s food game is off the goddamn chain.

FYN’s Guide to Hawker Centres

There’s some basic hawker centre tips you gotta get on top of:

  • Shit fills up quick – go early and ‘chop’ tables. Singaporeans do this by placing a tissue at the table as some sort of territorial claim.  It’s pretty fucking unlikely that you’ll manage to secure a table all to yourself straight off the bat so be ready to share tables with strangers and then as they move, take over more territory.
  • Pass the tissues – bring your own or throw a couple of bucks at the old ladies who are going table to table selling tissues to make a living.  Bring wet towelettes too cause shit gets messy. As above, tissues can also be used to claim seating territory too.
  • Pick your homies correctly – if you go with fussy bitches or hygiene freaks, they’re gonna have a bad time.  You’re gonna have a bad time listening to these no fun assholes complaining the whole fucking time or screwing up their judgmental faces.  So essentially, you’re all gonna be fucked.  At a hawker centre, there’s not gonna be any of that prissy ‘food serving’ public chopstick thing that the Hong Kongers live and die by (wah wah wah SARS wah wah wah bird flu, ok I get it).  If you go with a tight ass like me, I won’t pay SGD0.40 for an extra empty plate – so I want my homies to be cool with eating off a banana leaf or sharing plates.  So do your due diligence and hit up hawker centres with homies who are down to eat, try new shit and if your chopsticks are in the main dish or you’re fishing noodles out of their bowl they don’t give a fuck cause it’s all about everyone getting their eat on.
  • Divide and conquer – have a plan so you can split up to line up for food for maximum efficiency.  Some stalls will cook it there and you might wait up to 30 minutes. Other stalls will deliver to your table.  Check your table number before you line-up so you’re not that asshole who has to slow down proceedings to run back and check yo shit out.
  • Long lines, fine times – this shit holds true in all of Asia.  People love a long fucking line and if you really have no idea where’s good, this is your best bet to chance on a winner.  Shit could still be a fuck no, but that’s the hawker centre roulette you gotta play.
  • Timing is everything – if you’re chasing a particular dish / stall, make sure that you check when it’s open.  Some centres are late night places.  Some will close on random days of the week.  Some open early.  Some will have mega fucking long queues and require an hour wait, so get yo ass down there early at opening to make sure you’re eating and not queuing all fucking day.  Some will shut down for the day when they run out of food. Google that shit to avoid disappointment.
  • Respect, yo – the polite thing to do when ordering your shit is to address the stall peeps as ‘Uncle’ or ‘Aunty’.  It might feel weird for you white folk cause fuck, it’s not like you’re actually related.  But it’s just how things go and they love that shit in Singapore.  Just don’t do what one of my homies did and asked an ‘Uncle’ to clear our dishes before realising that said dish clearer was actually a female ‘Aunty’.  Let’s just say we were subject to a very vicious and aggressive as fuck plate clearing experience post this gauche as fuck request.

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Old Airport Road Food Centre

My homie Mr Judgmental starting laying down the ground work for SG eats way before we touched down.  He insisted upon a methodical as fuck approach to our Singaporean Hawker times, first of all laying down the law that we had to get an early afternoon flight out to ensure we could hit a hawker centre on Friday night to optimise all eating opportunities.  Fuck no to getting in at 830pm and getting to hawker centres at 10pm when they’re closing shit down.  Fuck yeah to getting to HK Airport for lunch time and watching Mr Judgmental slam a four piece fried chicken feed at Popeye’s before you’ve even snacked down your measly two piece feed. Chicken of the Sky, what the fuck is better before you fly?

After researching and talking to our Singaporean homies, we had our choices narrowed down to Old Airport Road Food Centre and Chomp Chomp.  Once we decided on Old Airport Road Food Centre, Mr Judgmental and I didn’t leave no shit to chance, creating a spreadsheet which went through several drafts and ultimately generated a numerical score so we could prioritise what shit we were going to eat.  Yeah – this OCD shit might have happened:

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Thanks to the wonders of Changi Airport, we touched down, grabbed some Singapore Dollars from the HSBC ATM and a M1 sim card (fuck being without data, M1 sells a SGD18 sim which gives you 1GB data for one week, the SGD30 with voice option can fuck right off – THANKS M1 XO) and half an hour later from touch down we were at Old Airport Food Centre getting involved in a hawker food feast of epic fuck yeah proportions:

  • Char Kway Teow (Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow #01-12): Four different plate sizes of char kway teow (fried flat noodle) in either the black or white variety.  The largest size was SGD10 which is pretty fucking expensive by hawker standards and wasn’t particularly large.  A lot of websites cite this as being one of the best in char kway teow in SG, but it was a bit sweet and too greasy for me and while edible, I don’t think it was that fucking phenomenal.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no – no one can afford to waste stomach real estate for ‘edible’ in Singapore.
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  • Curry puff (Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff #01-126):   Wang Wang had your standard chicken and potatoes variation but they also have the less common tuna / sardine curry puff – and both were fucking RAD TO THE MAX.  Less than SGD1 each and these hot, flakey bastards were fucking amazing.  Mr Chang rolls out his pastry in multiple layers, almost like a croissant which results in this flakey, layered fuck yeahhhh pastry shell.  FYN verdict:  FUCK YEAH. I think this was the best fucking thing I ate at Old Airport.  Check out this video with a strong fuck yeah Singaporean accent to get yo’self pumped for WANG WANG YUM YUM times:
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  • Orh luak (Oyster Omelette) and Chai Tow Kueh (Carrot Cake) (Stall #01-100):  Katong Ah Soon per the spreadsheet was closed so we tried the orh luak and chai tow kueh at this stall instead.  While the oysters were big, this struggled on the execution of being an omelette and came more like chunks of eggs with oysters strewn throughout it  I like my oyster omelette to be crispier and more cohesive.  The chai tow kueh was good but not exceptional.  Shit was expensive too at SGD18 a plate.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no. Ain’t nobody got time for functionally acceptable food in SG.
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  • Satay (Chuan Kee Satay #01-85 and some other stall which I can’t remember):  Meat on sticks which cost SGD0.50 each versus the HKD58 each that you’d get slogged in Hong Kong.  Chuan Kee Satay is the famous one with the big line but we had satay from another stall and both were fucking awesome.  Overall, it’s sad regretful times that I didn’t eat more satay in Singapore.  FYN verdict:  Fuck yeah! Dat value too.
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  • Hainanese chicken rice (Weng Hua Yuan #01-119):  I’m not the biggest fan of Hainanese Chicken Rice – it’s good but end of the day it’s just fucking rice and chicken.  I’d rather eat one of the one million other more interesting Singaporean dishes on offer.  The chicken rice at Old Airport Road was nothing special and I thought the chicken was a bit dry.  But perhaps all of this comes from a biased place.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no.
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  • Otah (stall number unknown, but based on some sleuthing, I think it might have been Tan Beng Otah Delights #01-74):  Despite the numerical system, Mr Judgmental still had shit to say when I ranked otah (a grilled fish cake made of ground fish meat mixed with tapioca starch and spices) a low priority and Mr Judgmental gave it a high priority.  Sorry my judgmental homie, I just don’t get that excited about fish cakes even if they’re wrapped in a banana leaf.  Mr Judgmental got his otah on and managed to order shit tonnes of it, due to a communication breakdown.  FYN verdict:  I guess if you are super into fish paste it’s a fuck yeah.  But if you’re not – fuck no.

Overall verdict on Old Airport Road:  Shit was ok but if I made a return to SG, I’d hit up another hawker centre instead.  Fuck no.

Maxwell Road Hawker Centre

On Saturday morning I hit up a roti and masala dosa with one of my homies for a healthy heart starter of a breakfast but the star of today’s eating was Maxwell Road Hawker Centre (1 Kadayanallur Street, Chinatown) for lunch.

  • Rojak (Rojak, Popiah & Cockle #01-56):  Rojak is a mix of fruit, veg and fried tofu mixed with a black sauce consisting of belacan (shrimp paste), sugar, chili, and lime juice.  The fishy, sweet and sour sauce is what you might politely call a flavour sensation but what most other people would call it a red hot mess or even more bluntly, fucking disgusting.  If this strange beast is your thing, the one at Maxwell was spot on – the taupok (fried tofu) was fresh and not fried in some dank ass oil and there was a good balance between the sweet pineapple, crunchy cucumber and the bean sprouts.  FYN verdict:  Fuck yeah – but I fully accept that black shrimpy sweet and sour paste with pineapple may not be everyone’s fuckin’ jam.
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  • Chicken rice (Tian Tian Chicken Rice, #01-10):  As above, chicken rice doesn’t set my world on fire.  Tian Tian started at the Maxwell Food Centre and has since expanded to four outlets.  Of course this means any self respecting food douchebag should make disparaging comments that things haven’t been the same since they opened more stores.  The chicken was tender but I thought the rice was too fucking gluggy.  When a dish is as simple as chicken rice and you fuck up half of its name sake, you can guess where this is headed.  FYN verdict:  Fuck no.  My snobby Singaporean homies tell me that Tian Tian is more for tourists anyway.
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  • Mee poh goreng (Yan Kee Noodle, #01-49): Mee poh goreng is a dry noodle which is served with a chilli sauce and lard chips, fish balls, minced pork, ikan bilis and two token leaves of lettuce. You stir the sauce through just to wet everything enough and Yan Kee Noodle’s was spot on – if you want to be a mee poh snob you want to talk about shit like how springy the noodles were, how they didn’t clump together, the balance of the sauce moisture to the ingredients and the contrasting texture of the soft ingredients such as the crunch provided by MOTHERFUCKEN FRIED LARD CHIPS and fried ikan bilis (tiny anchovies).   FYN verdict:  Fuck off food snobs,  cause if you’re just a greedy fuck like me you’d just say FUCK YEAHHHH cause how can lard fried in oil to make lard chips ever be wrong?
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  • Fish Bee Hoon (Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon #01-77):  I’d planned trying Jin Hua’s fish bee hoon (white rice noodle) as a priority because one of my Singaporean homies told me that out of all the things you can get in this awesome country, this is one of the things he tracks down as soon as he goes home.  But inexplicably, I missed getting this on the Saturday and I didn’t make it on Sunday.  I’d planned to get a bowl in before my flight on Monday afternoon but ended up at Hong Lim Centre instead.  My heart aches for not trying this, which hasn’t been helped by Mr Judgmental whatsapping me photos of him pouring those boiling hot noodles down his gullet as he raced the clock to make it back to Changi Airport for his flight. I won’t make this mistake again though – because imma coming for you my milky brothed fish noodley beauty.  I will wait for the old man to cook two pots at a time, not giving a single fuck that there’s an enormous line.  Then, Jin Hua Bee Hoon, I will whole heartedly devour you as I weep salty tears of joy into your carefully selected fish slices. I will wait for you, yearn for you and dream about the day that we will be together.  FYN verdict on my failure to try this dish:  FUCK HOW COULD I BE SO FUCKING STUPID – FUCK I’M SUCH A DUMB ASS DICKSUCK SOMETIMES. 

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Overall verdict on Maxwell Centre:  FUCK YEAHHHHHHH – looked like there was so much more awesome shit to try out too.  I’ll most def be back, SG homies.

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Singapore

So after the Maxwell Hawker Centre stop off, it was time for the purpose behind the trip – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival.  Get my denim cut off shorts and my floral crown out because I’m about to embrace my bohemian, free lovin’ individualistic spirit with 5,000 other pixie bitches:

FUCK YEAH, ICE-CREAM SANDWICH: I wanted to hate the icecream & cookie co for a number of reasons – the all lower case company name, the fact they sell their shit at farmers’ markets and pop-ups, describe themselves as ‘artisanal’ and their twee as fuck description of ‘daily kitchen shenanigans’ but SGD6 later I was being told to wait two minutes to let my sandwich soften up and then I smashed that glorious cookies & cream ice-cream fucker into my face to the strains of Angus & Julia Stone.  One of these things was more memorable than the other. Hot tip, it wasn’t the folky blues Australian rock duo.

FUCK NO, BURGER ABOMINATION:  boCHINche (SG, can you forgive this bullshit capitalisation?  I certainly fucking can’t) claimed on its Facebook that they would be “serving freshly grilled juicy boCHINche burgers and steak sandwiches at this year’s St.Jerome’s Laneway Festival!” but what they really should have claimed was that they’d be serving stone cold burgers, mass assembled by the hundreds and then desultorily doled out to punters who they hoped would be too wasted to fucking notice.  Well, I fucking noticed and this was almost the worst thing I ate in Singapore in four days with its unheated bun, pathetically small ass patty and barely adequate ingredient proportions.  boCHINche’s Facebook claims that “Bochinche is a vibrant expression of enthusiasm” which might be true if by enthusiasm they meant to say “a sorry ass excuse for a burger which brings the greatest of fuck no shame onto this magnificent, fuck yeah eating country.”. FUCK NO BOCHINCHE, may you reap the bad karma that comes from pumping out shitty food at festivals and charging SGD12 for it.

FUCK YEAH, NON-IRONIC HIPSTERS:  I was talking about Bengawan Solo (famous Singaporean bakery which makes the pandan cakes / biscuits that everyone takes back as presents for coworkers) and this pretentious as fuck homie without a trace of irony said “Yuck, like maybe if it was a gluten free, locally sourced pandan cake”.  R U FUCKING SRS? DO U REALISE THE THINGS URE SAYING??

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FUCK YEAH, ONE DAY FESTIVAL:  When we were cruising about at Laneway SG, one of my HK homies thought he saw one of the Clockenflap founders there.  I bet that tedious fuck was ruminating over how with such a solid lineup at Laneway, he’d have been able to spread that shit out to an entire goddamn fortnight in HK for maximum bucks and inconvenience for all concerned.  Fuck yeahhhhhhhhh to not having to trek back to Gardens by the Bay for three days to see all the acts that you wanted.

FUCK NO, PORTALOOS:  You know, if I had sold out a festival with a capacity of 13,000 people, I’d estimate that I need maybe…oh, I don’t know…about TWENTY FUCKEN PORTALOOS FOR EVERYONE?  I never get as blitzed as I want to at music festivals because I simply cannot face the soul tearing post-drinking portaloo trauma that’s involved.  

FYN pro-tip for life:  If you’re in the queue and you see lots of this shit:

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Ditch that glacial speed toilet bullshit quick smart and find yourself the line with the biggest sausage party going on, otherwise you are going to fucking die in a line that’s going nowhere fast.

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Festival femmes, WAT R U DOING IN DEM PORTALOOS TO HELL?  Y U no whatsapp outside?!  Y U no focus every atom of your strong feminine power and fucking romantic peony floral crown into being the fastest portaloo user that you know??

FUCK YEAH, BANKS: Banks was channelling Morticia Adams and seemed to move entirely from her shoulders but dis bitch was my highlight of the entire festival.  Yeah, I’m not gonna bang on about music too much because you’re reading this FYN shit for the noms, not for the tunes.  I tried to find a decent live video but predictably, all those assholes who spent the entire concert filming shit through their phone didn’t even do a fucking good job of it.  Nice one assholes, try living in the moment next time.  You guys are gonna have to make do with this professional music video clip of my favourite fuck yeah tune of the night:


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FUCK NO, SHANTY TOWN TIMES:  Laneway Singapore was undoubtedly the filthiest fucking festival I’ve ever been to which was really fucking surprising given that Singapore is normally the Queen Bee when it comes to keeping its shit tidy.  Even their PM took to Facebook to post pictures and try and shame SG’s hipsters into being filthy bastards.  By the end of the night, the entire ground was a sea of discarded ponchos, plastic bottles and food scraps. Just needed some ibises, seagulls and homeless hobos to really set the scene off.

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(Sauce  – photo by Alphonsus Chern)

Hey Laneway Organisers, maybe next time you’ll order some clean up crews to work during the entire festival and have some more fucking rubbish bins.  Shit son, this is not fucking rocket science.

Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre

I met one of my SG homies for yoga and Sunday brunch.  She asked whether we wanted to eat at a cafe, get some eggs and I said “FUCK NO! I can get that western egg shit in HK – let’s go hawkerrrr”.  Fuck yeahhhh, less than 48 hours in SG and I was rounding the corner into my third different hawker centre.  Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre (30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898, 10-15 min walk from Tiong Bahru MRT) is in the middle of a neighbourhood which is going through a Sheung Wan-esque gentrification.  Ie. there’s public housing and old cheap shops now bumping up against shops that sell expensive cedar scented candles, playsuits from retro printed material, polka dot notebooks and overpriced coffee.  At Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre I tried two dishes that they were famous for:

  • Jian Bo Chwee Kueh (Stall #02-05):  I fucking love how Singaporean blogs are totally obsessed with value – complaining how one store will charge SGD1.50 for four of an item and another in a different hawker centre will charge SGD1 for four.  Chwee kueh (literal translation:  water cake)  is a type of steamed rice cake which comes topped with a preserved vegetable topping.  I’m not sure exactly where it’s from, I thought it was Teochew in origin but don’t fucking quote me in your chwee kueh thesis ok?  This may sound a bit feral but Jian Bo’s chwee kueh was one of the most fuck yeah chwee kuehs I’ve ever had in this mortal coil of mine.  The rice cake was bang on in consistency – neither too fucking hard or soft, firm enough to hold its shape but still enough give in it to wobble (*insert obscene Nigella Lawson jiggling shit and licking spoons*).  Allegedly Jian Bo grind their own rice to make the flour for their chwee kueh which seems fucking intense, but I can get behind that sort of attention to detail.  The topping here was off the chain too, a combination of preserved radish (chai poh), soy sauce, garlic, sugar and chilli sauce.  It probably sounds fucking weird but I can get behind the salty-sweet flavour profile as a result of the salty chai poh, sugar and then getting the soft-crunchy contrast through frying the chai poh and adding toasted sesame seeds. FYN Verdict:  Of course there’s a line and it’s SGD1.50 for four – get fucking involved homies if you ever get the chance. Shit’s special. FUCK YEAH.
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  • Lor Mee 178 (Stall #02-23):  Lor mee is a Hokkien noodle dish served in Singapore / Malaysia consisting of braised yellow egg noodles served in a thick, starchy gravy. Lor Mee 178’s costs SGD3 or pay an additional SGD0.50 to add deep fried shark nuggets (as if you wouldn’t).  I solely picked this store because it had a crazy-ass line.  Lor Mee 178’s noodle gravy was a super fuck yeah – consistency was perfect, not too gluggy and delicately flavoured with herbal tasting spices.  It came with fish cake, batter pieces and as I upgraded, crispy shark nuggets.  You then add your own mixture of sauces, garlic and chilli. FYN Verdict:  BEST LOR MEE OF MY FUCKING LIFE – FUCK YEAH.

Fuck I know I’m all ‘NO FOOD PHOTOS ON FYN’ but I’m not sure if my non-SG/MY homies would know what chwee kueh looks like – so here’s a fucking photo for your food education references.  Don’t hate, appreciate, UNFFFFFF:

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Overall verdict on Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre: FUCK YEAHHHHHHH – two from two dishes as BEST EVER in my fucking life.  Who can fucking argue with that shit?

Hong Lim Market & Food Centre

Final day in Singapore and my breakfast plans to get kaya toast and a runny egg were thwarted by not having access to coffee at my mate’s house and my epic laziness.  This means I rolled straight into lunch at the Hong Lim Market & Food Centre (531A, Upper Cross Street, Chinatown).  Hong Lim is one of the oldest hawker centres in Singapore and one of the first in the Chinatown area.  It’s sprawled across two levels (the famous shit is on the second level) and allegedly there was a renovation in May 2011, but shit definitely ain’t fancy (first things first, I’m a realist).  Given my inability to try the Fish Beehoon at Maxwell, I’d consoled myself with planning to try the famous ‘fruit juice mee siam’ at Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa (stall #02-66), a sour, spicy rice vermicelli noodle dish which gets a massive wrap on the internetz.  BUT FUCK NO, Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa was closed for two days for reasons that were unexplained. OHH MEE SIAM HOMIES, MY FLIGHT IS LEAVING IN FIVE HOURS, I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS CLOSED FOR TWO DAYS BULLSHIT – waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah:

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I tried to make the pain inside my heart go away by having some char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles) at Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee (Stall #02-17).  Gotta be real, my heart did hurt a little bit less cause this was the best fucking char kway teow I had in my Hawkergeddon SG Weekend.  There noodles are silky, just oily enough and most importantly, have got the char (wok fried) flavour that comes from the wok.  If you want to get all deep, this is known as wok hei (鑊氣) meaning “breath of the wok”.  Outram Park also is very generous on adding cockles, which is a bit of a fucking luxury especially considering a plate of char kway teow only costs a very fuck yeah SGD3.  Shit gets real here line-wise too, it opens at 11am and there’s only three people but by 12pm onwards the line is snaking around the corner.  FYN Verdict:  FUCK YEAHHH, dem cockles.  Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow at Old Airport Road Centre with its SGD8+ price tag and lack lustre char kway teow can SMD.

Just opposite Outram Park, there’s Tai Wah Pork Noodle (Stall #02-16) which makes bak chor mee (pork noodle bowl).  You can have your shit dry or wet, and I went with the dry version cause I think all the different ingredients keep their texture better when they’re not floating in soup.  This means that a bowl of peppery pork soup will come on the side and you can use that to mix it with the noodles to your preference.  The bak chor mee comes in four different sizes, SGD4 to SGD8 and even though I ordered the SGD5 version, the SGD4 would have been fine for one person.  There’s some folklore about how there’s two bak chor mee stalls in Singapore and it’s a result of a feuding family which are now running rival stalls.  Of course this means that food wank assholes will claim how one is superior.  I don’t know cause fuck, no time for bak chor mee comparisons on this trip.  What I do know is that Tai Wah’s bak chor mee is fuck yeah rad times in a bowl – al dente flat wheat noodles topped with an assortment of ingredients – minced pork meat, pork balls, pig liver (dem iron feels), chewy pork dumplings and a few paper thin pieces of dried fish.  I can’t get enough of all dem textures and the sheer unadulterated joy of having that many pig products in one bowl and then sprinkling that shizz with FRIED LARD CHIPS.  FYN Verdict:  FUCK YEAH, PORK NOODLE TIMES. But why is it only Singapore / Malaysia food which is getting so involved with FUCK YEAHHHHHH CRISPY LARD CHIPS?

Special mention to Hak Huat (Stall #02-14) right next door which made the best fuck yeahhh sugar cane drink (SGD1.20) I had on my trip.  They mash dem canes up to order (some stores pre-juice and serve when ordered) which means you’ll wait a little longer but shit don’t get fresher than this. FUCK YEAH!

Fuck No, Changi Airport Toast Times

While I have a raging hard on for HK Airport, a lot of people seem to think that Changi Airport is better.  Even though I was told to seek out the basement to get my last hawker fix, seeing as I’d literally finished up at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre less than half an hour before arriving at Changi Airport, I didn’t feel like chai tow kueh (carrot cake).  Instead, I figured the last thing I hadn’t eaten in Singapore was kaya (coconut jam) toast with a runny egg.  While this shit is normally breakfast fare,  I found myself asking the Airport Info girl, where could I get kaya toast at around 3pm.  “Wang Cafe she replied before courteously giving me accurate directions.  What Info Girl forgot to mention was that this was totally bullshit advice and I was about to walk into a shitstorm of kaya nope.

Kaya toast isn’t hard to execute – ie. it’s toasted bread and you spread kaya jam on it.  Yet, these Wang Cafe homies managed to FUCK THIS SHIT UP ROYALLY.  SGD4.30 for two pieces of kaya toast but as soon as I opened up my paper bag, I was all:

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Even though Wang Cafe made this shit to order, my kaya toast was cold as fuck, the bread was as thin as the patience of an old HK grandma riding the MTR and it was spread with a shamefully scant layer of kaya which didn’t even reach the edges of the bread.  Two slabs of butter sat between the bread, but shit doesn’t melt cause everything’s stone cold.  I even tried to Macguyver my butter to melt by rigging up my sorry ass toast to balance on my kopi o (strong black coffee with sugar) but shit was beyond hope.  SINGAPORE, Y U leave me with this as my final FUCK NO food memory in this glorious fuck yeah food city of yours??
So there you have it, less than 72 hours in the Pore, four hawker centres and many FUCK YEAH moments.  MAJULAH SINGAPURA – KEEP STRONG AND GETTIN’ DEM HAWKER EATS ON.
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