Singapore Through A Director's Eyes

Celebrated film director tells us all about his favorite eats and things to do around Singapore.

We asked prolific film director of Mee Pok Man (1995), 12 Storeys (1997) and Tatsumi (2011) about his favorite spots around Singapore and he comes back with a hit list that will make local foodies drool and popular places to catch a movie around town. 

What makes Singapore’s culture so unique?

I love the diversity of our people: the Malays, Indians, Eurasians and the Chinese all rolled up into one delicious plate of rojak (local fruit and vegetable salad). Being such a young nation, we’re able to express ourselves without too much baggage, and to constantly have a fresh perspective on life.

What is your fondest memory of growing up in Singapore?

Buying breakfast from roadside stalls on Sunday mornings, decades ago, from bak kut teh to mouthwatering Hainanese curry rice loaded with different types of sauces. And spending afternoons at the cinema with my mother, watching the four o’clock shows—mostly horror movies—at either the Shaw or Cathay movie halls.

What’s your favorite local dish?

I love this wanton mee stall at Tanglin Halt Market (48A Tanglin Halt Rd., S(148813). MRT: Commonwealth) which only operates from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 5pm to 2am.  It’s a must for me at least once or twice a week. I always order extra chilli!

The iconic Capitol Building in Singapore. (©Rosemary Dukelow)
The iconic Capitol Building in Singapore. (©Rosemary Dukelow)

Which is your favorite landmark/place of interest in Singapore, and why?

I like the ex-Capitol cinema (11 Stamford Rd., S(178884). MRT: City Hall). It’s a beautiful building and brings back a lot of fond memories.

Live Like A Local In Singapore: Eric's Perfect Day

6am: Skate down Orchard Road. I would get on my electric skateboard and cruise down Orchard Road—without a soul on the sidewalks—and then settle down to two soft boiled eggs at Killiney Kopitiam (67 Killiney Rd., 6734-9648, S(239525). MRT: Somerset) when it opens at 6:30am.

12pm: Have lunch. I’d go to Samy’s Curry (25 Dempsey Rd., 6472-2080, S(249670). MRT: Orchard) for the masala chicken, fish head curry, crab curry and lime juice.

Shaw House along Singapore's Orchard Road. (©mailer diablo)
Shaw House along Singapore's Orchard Road. (©mailer diablo)

3pm: Catch a movie. I usually go to either Shaw Theatres Lido (5/F & 6/F Shaw House, 350 Orchard Rd., 6235-2077, S(238868). MRT: Orchard) or Golden Village at Great World City (1 Kim Seng Promenade, 6737-3855, S(237994). MRT: Somerset).

6pm: Dig into a seafood dinner. Dinner at Tien Tien Seafood Restaurant (239 Outram Rd., 6324-1082, S(169042). MRT: Outram Park)—pepper crabs, steamed fish, deep fried chicken in prawn paste sauce and hor fun.

9pm: Kick back with a drink. Going to Wala Wala Café Bar (31 Lorong Mambong, 6462-4288, S(277689), . MRT: Holland Village) with my sons, people-watching and trying to get ideas for our next creative work, be they short stories, films or music.