Day 1: Little India AND CHILI CRAB
Welcome to Singapore, perhaps the most modern and multicultural city in the world! After you arrive and check in at the five-star Fullerton Hotel, we will start the afternoon by learning about the city and experience the sights and flavors of Little India. We will visit the oldest Hindu temple in the area, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, and build up an appetite to have a sampling of delicious authentic Indian snacks. A special treat awaits us as we take a river cruise with an amazing night view of the island city to a sumptuous meal of Singapore’s world-famous specialty, chili crab at Jumbo Seafood.
Meals included: Dinner
Day 2: China Town AND an Epic Street Food Tour
Top hotels in Singapore take their breakfast service very seriously and have a well-earned reputation for providing an indulgent dining experience with delicacies from Malaysia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Europe, America, China and Japan. After breakfast, we will head to the City Gallery to learn the history of Singapore, then visit China Town, one of Singapore’s ethnic neighborhoods that is a center for tourists and gift buying but is so much more. Our local guide will share with us the history and significance of this vital cultural neighborhood.
Lunch will be at a hawker center, which is one of the highlights of the Singaporean food scene. Street vendors in Singapore were moved off the streets and into compact food courts in the late 1990s. These food courts contain every type of food available in Singapore at an incredibly low price. You will be free to roam and are encouraged to try anything and everything that appeals to you. When in doubt of which hawker stand to choose, a good rule of thumb is to find the longest line and stand in it. Experiment on your own or ask us for advice, which we are happy to provide.
In the afternoon, it will be time for some rest and relaxation, which you will find much needed, as it gets very hot in the tropics and you’ll want to reserve your energy for an epic six-hour street food tour in the Joo Chiat / Katong neighborhood beginning at 6pm. This neighborhood is Singapore’s largest architecture conservation district associated with the Malay, Peranakan Straits Chinese and Eurasian communities. This rich cultural diversity is the reason why Joo Chiat / Katong is regarded as the best district to sample traditional and celebratory Singapore foods! At any point in the tour you can safely and easily catch a cab back to the hotel without any problem at all.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: HAWKER CENTERS, TRADITIONAL CRAFTS TOUR, AND Restaurant Andre
Singapore is known as a ‘food mad city,’ and we will learn exactly why it has such a reputation! We will start the day off with breakfast at one of Singapore’s famous hawker centers, where you can choose your own breakfast and try as many Singaporean specialties as you wish! We will then have a chance to see some of the last remaining traditional handmade crafts on the island: Lion heads for traditional Chinese lion dances, incense and lanterns will be the highlights of this tour.
For lunch, we will taste some different versions of Singaporean fish head curry, which became a very popular dish in Malaysia and Singapore around the second half of the 20th century. With its South Indian origins, the various ethnic groups of the Malay Peninsula have added their own accents to the dish, and recipes vary from place to place, group to group, family to family and shop to shop. No two recipes are ever the same!
Later that evening, we will head to a truly special dinner at Restaurant Andre, a 2 star Michelin restaurant that is rated #14 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list and #2 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list. This is modernist and emotional cuisine at its finest, created by Chef Andre Chiang, an artist with roots in France, Taiwan and Singapore. We will experience Chef Chiang’s octaphilosophy of food as he takes us through dishes based on each of eight elements he has identified in his cooking: Unique, Pure, Texture, Memory, Salt, South, Artisan, and Terroir.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (including wine)
Travel from Singapore to
Georgetown, Penang, MalaysiA
Day 4: HISTORIC GEORGETOWN FOOD TRAIL
You will have one last chance to experience an incredible Singaporean hotel breakfast before we head to the airport for a one-hour flight to Penang, Malaysia.
In Penang, we will check in to the incredible five-star Eastern and Oriental Hotel. After a few hours to rest and freshen up, we will take the Penang Harmony Food Trail, where you will get to taste the best Indian Muslim and Chinese food that Penang has to offer. We will explore Penang's wonderful history and its stunning pre-war buildings while learning about the heritage and history of the area. You will get the opportunity to experience the Street of Harmony, which draws together the town’s four main religions and provides a quick, easy tour of its different communities.
Throughout the tour, we will be tasting street food on our way to visit some of the key sights, such as the Goddess of Mercy Temple, which is one of Penang’s oldest surviving buildings and features an extraordinary number of dragons on its carved stone pillars and roof ridges. The inner chamber, with its hanging red lanterns and 18-armed statue of the goddess herself, is particularly atmospheric at dusk, when devotees come to pray. We will also get a chance to see the world-famous Clan Jetties and their Floating Village. This is a complete village on stilts above the water where Chinese clans live. We will end the food trail at Mish Mash, which boasts a full bar in addition to its coffee and seasonal drinks, where the focus is on fresh juices, homemade sugar syrups and oils! We will get to sample a special cocktail made with native Malaysian ingredients.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner (including one cocktail)
Day 5: FARM TOUR, COOKING CLASS, AND TRADITIONAL PERANAKAN DINNER
We will start the day by touring a local farm, where we will collect the ingredients for a Malaysian cooking class. At the end of our class, we will eat the lunch we prepared together.
One of the key ingredients in Malaysian food is belacan, an incredibly savory fermented shrimp paste made from tiny shrimp. On our tour, we will get the chance to visit a family-owned shrimp paste making factory and experience this artisanal process, where the pungent shrimp paste is still being prepared using traditional methods.
We will head back to our beautiful, Colonial era hotel for the afternoon to freshen up for dinner at one of the best restaurants in Penang, called Kebaya. Kebaya offers diners a true taste of traditional Peranakan cuisine with dishes that are constantly reinvented, much to the delight of its regular foodies and newcomer diners.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: WHISPERING FISH AUCTION AND FRESH FISH COOKED BY A LOCAL CHEF
After a wonderful multi-cultural breakfast at the hotel, we’ll start our day off by driving out of Penang Island to the river mouth that separates the states of Kedah and Penang to the Whispering Fish Market. We will learn about the long-kept and unique tradition of the whispering fish auction. We’ll actually bid on the fish ourselves--and eat it later in the evening. But first we’ll have lunch in the Island Glades area, one of Malaysia’s hawker centers.
If you’re not too tired in the afternoon, we’ll go on a shopping tour to pick up local trinkets and souvenirs, then head to dinner at a El Faro, a well-respected local restaurant specializing in the tapas tradition but with a refined Malaysian twist. El Faro’s signature dish is pork belly with sautéed cabbage, raisins and maple lime jus, which we will make sure to try. The chef will also prepare the fish that we purchased at the action that morning.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: PENANG CITY TOUR AND ADVENTURES
After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a special Penang City tour. We’ll visit Kek Lok Si Temple or the “Temple of Supreme Bliss,” which faces the sea and affords a commanding and impressive view of its surrounding. It is said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia and contains the seven-story Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas. We’ll finish the tour at Penang Hill, where panoramic views of Georgetown and mainland Malaysia await you at the peak!
We will have a special Chinese banquet-style lunch at CRC Restaurant, which is one of the oldest and most popular standalone Chinese restaurants in Penang.
Having completed a thorough exploration of Georgetown and Penang, you will have the afternoon and evening to yourselves to further explore the city and choose your own culinary adventure. We’re happy to provide advice if you need it.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8: DEPARTURE DAY
Enjoy your last hotel breakfast in Penang before heading back home! If you have some time before your flight leaves, continue to explore the amazing culture and flavors of Penang. We are happy to help with suggestions for your last few hours in Malaysia.
Meals included: Breakfast