13 August 2011

Great Food Book Finds - The End of Char Kway Teow and Makansutra

One of our readers, Eve, brought us these amazing foodie books all the way back from Singapore, out of her own pocket and the graciousness of her own good heart. How wonderful is that? Eve, you've made our day month year!

And we have to say, these are two fine books. Both cover a topic dear to our hearts: Singaporean street food \ hawker food.

The End of Char Kway Teow is written by one of Singapore's favourite bloggers, Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost (yes, he's a real medical doctor). The book provides an overview the Singapore hawker scene plus a rundown on thirty or so of the Dr Tay's favourite dishes, some of the history behind them and where to find the best versions, plus a list of the best hawker stalls by location.

We're enamoured with Dr Tay's efforts in documenting the history of Singapore's food heritage, and the history of the hawkers themselves, something we have been shamefully too lazy to do here. Hats off to you Dr Tay (and Eve!).

The other book Eve gave us, Makansutra is an incredible index of the best food in Singapore, organised not by restaurant, but by dish! Fancy a mee rebus? Makansutra will tell you the eight best places to find it in Singapore.  The book is put together by a group of thirty anonymous food nerds, it's a labour of love. Dang we could do with something like that in Sydney...

Both books drive home how little we outsiders really know about Singapore cuisine. Shawn has eaten three meals day for around five weeks all up in Singapore yet has barely scratched the surface, half the dishes in these books he has never heard of.

For your reading pleasure we've taken photos of the cover blurbs, contents and sample pages of each book, I'm sure the authors won't mind.

For more info and ordering online:


  1. So you going to flog it on Army of Nerds and make a profit?

  2. Aw, you are most welcome. No need for such thanks. I just wanted to thank you guys for your great blog and helping me feel less homesick when I am here. Also to promote Singaporean food. We need more here in Sydney, true blue Singaporean stuff.

  3. Shawn, you only ate 3 meals a day in Singapore?! No wonder you haven't tried much. We eat 5 to 6 meals a day!!! Hahaha

  4. I'd never sell these books - these are going straight to the pool room :-)

    3 meals a day - I feel like a wimp now.

    That's one of my favourite things about eating in Southeast Asia - the smaller portions are just the right size, enough to satiate without stuffing the tum. I wish it would catch on in Australia.

  5. Love the title of Makansutra! Great idea putting up a few pages - looks like these could be an invaluable resource.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).