“Eat out” VS “Cooking” in Singapore

After graduating last summer, I moved to Singapore for a new adventure. And like any expats, I was constantly looking for nice restaurants around. Hands down Singapore has the widest variety of cuisine I’ve seen in a single area/ city / country! You have your Indian curry, Malay Bak kut teh, Indonesian Nasi Padang, along with pretty much anything you can think of. But after 1–2 months of eating out in restaurants and hawker centres, I was starting get sick of it. I wish I could cook more but it’s not as easy as you think to deal with some of the struggles I’ve had. And here’s why….

  1. Eating out is just too simple`
    You know how you could find a pub pretty much anywhere in Central London, or Subway in NYC; Hawker centress are like that, except there’s more than you think. Food is decent and you have a lot of choices, from Asian to Western, they have it. Nothing is over SG$10 (£5 / US$7). When you feel like splashing the cash, they just make it took easy for you to find them. See http://www.ladyironchef.com/restaurants-index/
  2. Grocery Shopping is a pain
    First things first, Trolleys. In case you don’t already know, they only accept one type of $1/50¢ coin (yes they have different sizes..) So you expect everyone to have the “correct one” every time we go shopping? Hopefully they’ll make things electronic soon. Then comes the food; if you’re not used to cooking Asian food and you want to get imported goods, get more cash out because you’ll need it.
  3. Stay Healthy or save $$$ ?
    Eating out is often unhealthy, they put so much more condiments than you would at home. And yet, people eat out all the time. Why? It’s cheaper, it’s quicker and they’re everywhere. If you want to eat healthier, then you’ll need to pay for it, literally. I’d suggest you go running/ cycling as Singapore has some nice parks, but that’s for another day to discuss. So the answer is, there’s no right answer. Choose your own priorities.
  4. Queuing (or Q-ing as they say it here)
    This is not so much of a comparison as you need to queue wherever you go. It seems to me that Singaporeans (or permanent residents, as only 61% of the population are actual Singapore citizens) enjoy queuing a bit too much. Doesn’t matter where you are; supermarket, hawker centres, restaurant; if you don’t get there before 6pm, be ready to queue. I’ve gotta say they have damn good manners though.
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