✦ If you are a true-blue foodie as is Brilliant-Online's CEO Veronica Lind, you'd go anywhere to hunt for a good taste of home.
Proust had his madeleine, and I have my Singapore food to bring back memories of home. I love all things delicious and getting to enjoy authentic cuisine is one of the greatest pleasures in life.
True Blue Foodie
Whether I'm in Australia or even when I'm travelling, I have an internal antennae that picks up information about where authentic Asian food is, or I'll somehow get to meet people who are die-hard foodies like myself.
Food hunt while travelling
A few months ago, I took a long trip to Europe to visit family, and I had several hours in London before my next flight out. And what's the best thing to do while waiting? Hunt for Singapore food of course! I had been missing it during the two months I was in Luxembourg and I was really craving for it.
I took the train from London's Heathrow Airport straight to a 5-star award-winning restaurant called Bugis Street Brasserie right in the heart of Kensington. This place is said to have the best Singapore food in London. That was enough to pique my interest. I simply had to taste it for myself to see if the rumour is true.
Bugis Street Brasserie
A little background about this place - Bugis Street Brasserie is located in the Millenium Gloucester London Hotel. Years ago, Mr Kwek Leng Beng, Chairman of Singapore’s Hong Leong Group and Singapore-listed global real estate company City Developments (CDL) was studying in London. He missed Singapore food so much while he was there that he bought a hotel and set up his own restaurant! Talk about being proactive! It certainly sounds like a straightforward solution to satiate your cravings while studying and living overseas! While it's not an option many of us can implement, it's still great that someone else did it, and we can enjoy the fruits of this endeavour!
So thank you, Mr Kwek, for putting authentic Singaporean cuisine on the global food map!
If the name sounds a bit strange to you, it's named after an (in)famous street in Singapore. Bugis Street was infamous in the 1950s - 1980s for being a place where transvestites and transsexuals gathered. After that, the area was majorly revamped and became a modern area with shopping malls, restaurants, street food and nightspots, and you'd also find some back-alley roadside vendors as well (completely legal). So if you want a night out of shopping, feasting on local street food and partying, Bugis Street is a good place to go for choices.
Over the years, as the restaurant grew in fame, new hotel owners have brought over Singaporean and Southeast Asian food favourites such as the spicy Laksa, the smokily fragrant Bak Kut Teh, classic Chicken Rice and tantalising Nasi Goreng across to Europe.
Since then, Bugis Street Brasserie has become the place to go for Singaporeans craving for a taste of home in London. You'd be surprised at the authentic, old-school favourites you can find there, including Hokkien Mee, Teh Tarik and Chin Chow drink.
A taste of home
If you're curious what sort of dishes you can find there, check out their menu here. But be warned, you'll start drooling, so have a napkin nearby!
When I finally managed to decide what to have, I opted for a plate of Char Kuay Teow as my main dish. It's a classic back home and a true test of authenticity. This humble looking plate of flat rice noodles stir-fried with Chinese pork sausage, prawns, fish cake and bean sprouts requires real skill to taste good.
I had a Soya Bean Milk drink which is always such a comfort food when you're far from home. I also had Tang Yuan for dessert. These are little glutinous rice balls in a sweet liquid, some have fillings in them such as peanut or red bean paste.
I was so delighted with my gastronomical discovery I had to chat with the restaurant's manager Mr. Kevin Tran. He was born in Vietnam with Singaporean heritage. These random conversations with people on my travels add spice to my journeys. It feels rather serendipitous to make these connections between different people from far away.
So now you know, and don't say we didn't share the good news. If you ever find yourself in London and craving for a taste of Singapore food, head on down to Bugis Street Brasserie. And while you're there, say hi to Mr. Tran, he'll be delighted to have a little chat with people who love tucking into a good dish!
Try this Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe
Bugis Street Brasserie
Address: 140 Gloucester Road London, SW7 4QH United Kingdom
Phone: +44 2073 316308
Advertise with Brilliant-Online
✦ Brilliant-Online is the only publication that offers a single interactive multichannel advertising package.
✦ The purpose of Brilliant-Online is to push for a better world in the digital era.
✦ Brilliant-Online is an empowering read for progressive individuals and dynamic businesses.
✦ For all enquiries about advertising with Brilliant-Online, please contact us here.