When it comes to the local food scene, food courts have always been a mainstay in our lives. With a smorgasbord of Asian dishes, the food courts in Singapore are a melting pot of diverse cultures.
The rich tapestry of authentic Asian culinary influences found in the food courts of Food Republic is also one key reason why we keep coming back for more. One of the many Food Republic outlets we often go to satiate our fix for local cuisine is the one at Vivocity.
Now, if you’ve visited Vivocity, you would probably have visited the Food Republic food court too. You may not know this, but the food court has recently undergone a revamp, bringing the dining experience there up a notch. The refurbished outlet evokes an era reminiscent of the 1900 to 1940s period set against a backdrop of simpler times.
The food variety, however, is any but simple. Redefining the conventional concept of dining in a food court, Food Republic Vivocity shows us how good food can make a world of difference amidst a setting that reminds us of our roots. Here are eight local favourites you must try at Food Republic Vivocity:
Thu Thu Baguette and Pho Bar
Only the freshest and most authentic ingredients are used in South Vietnamese dishes served at Thu Thu Baguette and Pho Bar. Some of the ingredients used, including the vermicelli in its noodle dishes, are from Vietnam – a testament to the high standards the cooks hold themselves to, even though it is not a restaurant.
At Thu Thu, you can opt for the BBQ Pork with Noodle dish (S$7.90) if you crave a change from the usual pho. The thick spring rolls alongside a generous portion of the succulent BBQ Pork in the noodle dish will leave you wanting more. We would have gone for a second helping if not for the fact the portions are huge.
It is also a must to enjoy this noodle dish with the piquant sauce that comes along with the dish. Not only does the tangy sauce complement well with the crispy and crunchy spring rolls, it enhances the flavour of the vermicelli noodles – which is already good on its own. After having a bite of this dish, you’ll understand why it’s hands-down our favourite.
Imperial Hot Pot
Decide what goes into your hot pot as you take your pick from over 15 varieties of ingredients – meat, seafood and vegetables – alongside the type of spices and herbs you want. There is also a homemade chilli paste specially concocted by the cook to go with your hotpot. Essentially, the distinctive taste of each type of their Signature Hot Pots is encapsulated in an aromatic bowl of goodness.
While some may shy away from anything Ma La (literally translated as “tongue-numbing spicy”), the Wushan Grilled Fish (S$26) from Imperial Hot Pot is anything but that. Even non-Ma La fans would find it a dish they can enjoy.
The fresh and flavoursome taste of the star ingredient, which is the grilled fish, shines through in this dish. We now know what why it is such a hit with patrons, especially with the delectable and delicate meat of the grilled fish. Don’t get us started on how yummy it tasted.
Admit it – sometimes it can be quite boring to sit through a normal meal. At Express Teppanyaki, the chefs make sure customers are entertained through and through with their effortless demonstration of food preparation. Cooking food on a hot plate is indeed in itself a fine art.
As patrons take in a waft of the hunger-inducing aroma emanating from the sizzling meat, they won’t be able to resist having some for themselves. The black-peppered beef are nothing short of juicy and succulent. We can’t wait to have a bite of the smokey and sapid beef again.
If you want something fancy without breaking the bank, then a hot plate of premium meat at Express Teppanyaki would be ideal. Better yet, you will be spoilt for choice as the restaurant offers a wide selection of premium meat.
TeppanYaki sliced beef with Chilli & Garlic, S$10.80
Xing Lou Seafood Village
If you’re looking for a more intimate corner to enjoy your meal with your loved ones, look no further than Xing Lou Seafood Village, which has a private seating area demarcated for its patrons.
Here, dining comes in the form of simple, no-frills seafood village for customers. You can be assured of the quality of the seafood, which is ferried from Endau, one of Malaysia’s largest fishing ports. The seafood doesn’t get any fresher.
Ask any Singaporean what their favourite hawker food is and Sambal Stingray is bound to come up as one of the answers. Also, if you think that all Sambal Stingray dishes taste the same, this dish will make you think twice.
This dish hits all the right notes with its sweet and tender meat, which also has a hint of smoke to it. The tantalizing barbequed texture of the stingray explains why we polished this up in no time – and we’re sure it’ll be the same for you. Oh, and not forgetting the generous amounts of Hay Bee Hiam (Spicy Dried Shrimp Sambal) that just goes well with anything.
This BBQ Stingray served at Xing Lou is undoubtedly one very good reason you should visit Food Republic Vivocity.
BBQ Stingray, S$20.00
When two of our favourite food – egg and bee hoon – come together in a dish, we are sure it’s a match made in heaven. The egg was pan-fried to perfection with a light crisp on the surface and overflowing with the silky-smooth bee hoon beneath the omelette. In this palatable pairing of egg and bee hoon, the savoury taste of eggs and slightly sweet taste of bee hoon come together extremely well.
If you recall, there was a period of local craze for white Bee Hoon, but after we tried the Xing Lou Pan-fried Bee Hoon (S$12), it’s safe to say the baton has been passed on.
Guan’s Mee Pok
Regular patrons of Maxwell Food Centre would have definitely heard of Guan’s Mee Pok and its signature Japanese-Chinese food. Once based in the famous food centre, James Yap’s shop is a shining example of how fusion food can work even in more traditional places like hawker centres.
The creative combination of Japanese marinated soft-boiled egg and the traditional flavour of Mee Pok – cooked using his family’s third generation recipe – have struck a chord with many.
While traditional Mee Pok and Japanese egg may prove to be an unusual pairing, the smooth texture of the Mee Pok noodles complemented well with the savoury and runny yolk in the well-marinated Japanese egg. We were also glad to have ordered the chicken soup with shrimp paste, as the soup was nothing but delicious. The shrimp paste tasted fresh and most importantly, rich in its savoury flavour.
Aside from its old-time regulars, Guan’s continues to draw the younger crowd for its unconventional pairing. It’s no wonder snaking queues often formed outside his store even though Guan’s stall was previously situated in a non-air conditioned hawker setting.
Now that his outlet is in Food Republic Vivocity, we don’t have to worry about the hot weather while we enjoy his signature Mee Pok noodle (S$5). Round off your meal with their fragrant chicken soup (with shrimp paste) that you won’t regret.
Plain Noodle, S$5
Plain Noodle + Chicken soup with Shrimp Paste, S$6.50
Hok Kee Authentic HK Noodle
Hok Kee’s Braised Beef Brisket Noodles has made it to the list of top 10 best delicacies in Yuen Long, Hong Kong – and it’s not by chance. The springy noodles flown in from Hong Kong promise a taste you can’t find elsewhere and that is just one of the many compliments we have for this stall.
When we say the beef noodle is highly recommended for beef lovers, we actually mean you HAVE to try it. Aside from having a chewy bite in both their beef and noodles, they are palatable and well complemented by their homemade specialty chilli for that added zesty kick. Their slow braised beef tendons also don’t disappoint with just the right chewiness and a velvety-smooth texture to it.
It’s no coincidence this dish is one of the best in Hong Kong – you won’t know until you try it for yourself.
Assorted Beef Noodles, S$8.50
Regardless of how full you are, you can always eke out some room for desserts in your stomach. PeraMakan proves to us that their forte lies not only in main Peranakan cuisine but even the sweet little treats we find oh-so-hard to resist. Their Apom Berkuah brings delight to young and old alike, with their distinctive creaminess of their thick and luxuriant banana-in-coconut milk gravy.
At PeraMakan’s central kitchen, authentic Peranakan dishes are prepared from scratch to retain its freshness and premium quality. There’s a full-fledged restaurant owned by a true blue Peranakan, which is located at Keppel Club. It’s also where the food sold at the PeraMakan kiosk in Food Republic Vivocity comes from.
Patrons can purchase homemade condiments such as Sambal Buah Keluak and Sambal Pongtay if they like the food from PeraMakan.
PeraMakan delivers all the food it makes in the purest, most unadulterated form with fresh ingredients – no preservatives and food enhancers are used in the process. You can be sure the quality of the food is not compromised even though it is just a kiosk here.
Apom Berkuah, S$6.00
Food Republic at Vivocity
1 HarbourFront Walk,
VivoCity Level 3, VivoCity,