“Where you want to eat?”
It’s the quintessential Singaporean question asked by all — answering is the difficult bit.
In Singapore, there’re various independent apps you can utilise to search for restaurants, cafés, patisseries and rotisseries, but forget all the fancy red velvet cake, and angus burgers with a side of truffle fries — what if all I want is a good bowl of hokkien mee, and for cheap? Well, look no further: the Ministry of Trade and Industry has just created a searchable online directory of budget hawker food around the island. And when we say budget, we really mean it.
Scrolling through the directory, I found almost nothing above $5 and a comprehensive list of cheap eats from the heartlands to the CBD. Pretty useful if you’re looking to save some money on your meal. As someone well-versed in the philosophy of le budget and considers Ananas Cafe a respectable fine dining establishment, I decided to put it to the test.
1. Nasi Lemak in Toa Payoh
From the cheapest to the most expensive, you’ll see the rare sight of a $1.50 meal. Quite a thorough list, although there might be more out there that we don’t know of.
2. Nasi Briyani in Bedok
For $4.50 a plate, that’s not too bad for the rich and magical dish that is Briyani.
3. “I don’t know what to eat but I’m in the area.”
Enter up to three food types in the search, or click on ‘All of the above’ to broaden your palatial horizons.
4. “I just want Laksa, anywhere I don’t care.”
Go on a food quest for the best neighbourhood laksa.
5. Cai Png in Orchard?
If you’re in Orchard, you’re in Orchard man. Things are gonna get a bit pricey.
While the UI is pretty clunky and basic, and the directory not fully populated (I actually know where to get cheap cai png in Orchard), it’s a great starting point for the frugal Singaporean. If atas food just doesn’t cut it for you, at least you know which corner stall to head to for an economical lunch.