Staying At Amoy Hotel and Exploring Chinatown

Singapore Chinatown

Chinatown

I enjoyed my stay at Amoy Hotel primarily because of its awesome location – Chinatown is a foodie’s paradise. Read my Amoy Hotel review here and a little piece on the Fuk Tak Chi Museum right here. I’d checked in on a Sunday, when most of the restaurants and shops around the hotel were closed. It was no cause for worry because just 5 to 10 minutes away is the rest of Chinatown where I can shop and mainly, eat to my heart’s content. So here’s a quick (and hopefully useful) guide to what to do / see / eat after you have dropped off your luggage at Amoy Hotel!

For the foodie:

In the immediate vicinity of the hotel are restaurants like Hock Lam Beef, Honzen Express and Sushi Tei (among others) – all of which I would recommend. For breakfast, you can also skip the hotel breakfast if it does not impress you and pop by Ya Kun Kaya Toast to taste what locals would eat – kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and a cup of coffee.

If you don’t have much time to explore other parts of Singapore for good food, then you are in luck! The newly-opened Chinatown Food Street brings together the best of hawker food around the island. Head over to the Food Street to try satay from Newton Circus, BBQ Chicken Wings from Chomp Chomp, Cheng Kee Hokkien Mee, Fried Oysters from Katong, and much much more!

Chinatown Food Street

Chinatown Food Street Oyster Omelette

Chinatown Food Street Hokkien Mee

Chinatown Food Street Fried Horfun

The Chinatown Food Street, at night:

Chinatown Food Street

At tea time, you can also head to Tong Heng for some very yummy egg tarts. I sure did. Just S$1.60 each:

Sri Mariamman Temple

To get to Tong Heng, just look out for the yellow signboard after you have passed the Sri Mariamman Temple:

Tong Heng Egg Tarts

* If you can afford the extra calories *

Try the very famous Lim Chee Guan bak kwa (barbecued pork slices) that locals eat mainly during Lunar New Year, but is available year-round. You can order just 100g of that barbecued goodness for a sampling or even consider getting 1kg to bring home to friends and family! [A kg usually costs about S$50]

Lim Chee Guan

For Dessert:

Head to Chinatown Point, where you will find, at the basement, Mei Heong Yuen Dessert, which is popular for its range of ‘snow ice desserts’.

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert

One other dessert place at Chinatown Point is Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert, which I would not recommend for their desserts, but their mains instead:

Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert Chinatown Point

I like their Braised Beef Hor Fun (S$7.90)

For the health-conscious foodie:

Pop by China Square Central (less than a 5 minute walk away) and head to the basement. At #B1-02 is LINS Smoodees where you can order green smoothies which are oh-so-yummy and so good for your body. Do try their herbal porridge as well, which I highly recommend. If you’re experiencing jet lag or just feeling under the weather, what you get at LINS will surely perk you up.

For the gym rat:

Amoy Hotel does not come with a gym, but just downstairs is the Evolve Mixed Martial Arts studio. Pop by for a workout if you will. A little further is True Fitness at China Square Central’s basement.

For the photography enthusiast:

If you like snapping pictures of temples and/or visiting them, there is the famous Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the equally famous Sri Mariamman Temple (the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore).

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Sri Mariamman Temple

The Sri Mariamman Temple was constructed in 1827 and today, it is best known for the fire-walking ceremony, or Theemithi, that is held every October or November. Devotees would walk on hot coals as a test of their faith and devotion.

Other places of interest: 

The Singapore Coins and Notes Museum and The TinTin Shop:

Singapore Coins And Notes Museum

The TinTin Shop

For the shopaholic:

At Chinatown Point are some shops which may interest you. Fans of branded goods will love Luxury City where branded items (supposedly authentic, but of past seasons) are sold at a discount. Also visit the Adidas pop-up store if you would like to get some cheap sporting gear – for instance, you can get a pair of Adidas running shoes at just over S$60.

Luxury City Chinatown Point

Adidas Chinatown Point

*This list is by no means exhaustive of course. Just what I did after checking in at Amoy Hotel. 🙂 If you need more recommendations, feel free to approach the staff.

Chinatown

[*Reader Privilege* Amoy Hotel Promotion Rates: Get 20% off your room rates and a Free City Tour for 2 (worth $39.80)! CLICK HERE!]

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What Female Bloggers Do On Their Day Out! :)

Hint: We eat a lot. 😀 Because Amanda’s vegan, we went to Lins Smoodees, Honzen Cafe and Brownice on Monday. *Entirely non-sponsored and us bloggers paid for our own food. 🙂

Breakfast at Lins Smoodees:

2 glasses of ‘Beets Me’ at $3.90 each (It contains beetroot, celery and carrot. Slow-juiced.)

I felt the drink would have tasted better if it was strained to get pure juice before it was served.

The real stunner was the Herbal Porridge ($5.50) which contained “wai sun” (Wild Yam), red dates, shitake and brown rice.

It may not look or sound very appealing (herbal porridge, right?) but it tastes amazingly good! My first words after slurping it all up was “Happy Food!!!” 😀

Some smoothie-making tips I quickly snapped on our way out:

Since it was a late breakfast, we quickly found it was time for lunch too. 😀

We were served a Welcome Drink (imagine that!) which you can see (what’s left of it, anyway) in the picture above. It’s a Plum Enzyme Vinegar drink which I found really sour but reportedly has multiple health benefits. So, drink up!

I liked that Honzen Cafe is air-conditioned and waives the service charge!

Amanda had one dish she just had to try after hearing friends rave about it. Here it is… the Dragonfruit Fried Rice ($7.90)

I must say it tastes really good. Go try it! 🙂

I ordered the Potato Salad ($4.90) as I have a love for potato dishes. I must say this disappointed me though.

The dressing was just too overpowering and too sour for my liking. I still prefer my potato salad with egg in it.

What I loved, though, was the Honzen Special Ramen ($7.90)

It comes with sliced vegetarian abalone and ham, shitake mushrooms, beech mushrooms, sliced broccoli and carrot. The soup base is fantastic! I would have finished every last drop of soup if the waitress did not take the bowl away from me. LOL

What surprised me was the petite glass my Kumquat Lemon Enzyme Vinegar was served in. It costs $5 and I HAD expected a bigger glass.

And here’s Amanda with her Red Date Siwu Vinegar, which she said is not sour at all:

(I caught her laughing so I quickly snapped a photo)

(And she says I must not do that. She must look serious for a blog photo. So the PhD candidate gives me her best Prof. Amanda look…)

[My humble opinion is that the photo of her laughing is wayyyy better than the serious one. What do you think? Comment below!]

Amanda also ordered the Mango Seaweed Roll ($6) and made me wonder how one petite-looking girl can eat so much. I was already struggling with trying to finish up the Potato Salad (I failed).

And since we were quite full after this meal, and because vanity is in every girl’s blood, we headed for a pedicure on my insistence. Hahaha!

Here’s what I got:

I wanted a dark purple and asked for a recommendation. The lady serving me said she’ll pick one of the newest OPI colors for me so I said ok. It looks pretty good, no? I got a shock when I picked up the bottle and found the name of the OPI color:

Er… ok. It’ll be easy to remember that name.

After our pedicure, we did some quick shopping and I bought 2 tees (wearing tees make me feel young!) 😀

Then Amanda brought me to Brownice (pronounced like “brownies”). The ice-creams are made from organic brown rice milk, fruits and nuts! So healthy, low-fat and irresistible!

Flavours include Mao Shan Wang, D24 Durian, Strawberry, Pumpkin Coconut, Banana Oats, Chendol, Madagascan Vanilla, Mulberry, French Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Peppermint Chocolate, etc. There are different flavors every time so you never know what you’re gonna get!

The best part is that you get to sample all flavors first before deciding which to order!

Our waffle with Madagascan Vanilla, Strawberry and French Chocolate ice-cream:

[Waffle $3.50, 3 scoops of ice-cream $7, Toppings $1 each)

A Mudpie ordered by a customer, which I couldn’t resist taking a picture of:

I think my photography skills are improving bit by tiny bit so bear with me, ok? 😀

If you’d like to head to any of the places we went to, here’s something to help you out:

1) Lins Smoodees – 18 Cross Street, #B1-02, China Square Central

2) Honzen Cafe – 470 North Bridge Road, #01-01 North Bridge Commercial Complex

3) Brownice – 8 Sin Ming Road, #01-03 Sin Ming Centre

I’ll be uploading another post right after this about another great place to visit, so come back again soon! 🙂