Cheryl Noronha joins us as Relationship Manager
Starting off the new year is a worthy addition to our operations team. Cheryl Noronha joins us in the capacity of Relationship Manager – looking after our Hosts, travel partners, corporate clients – bringing her background in event management to help us grow and nurture our food community. Cheryl is also the author of the book The Eurasian Table. We have a chat about travel and where to eat at home in Singapore and abroad.
What are you passionate about when it comes to food and travel?
I am a firm believer in trying anything once and that translates to my food philosophy. It’s very important to me to try foods that are native to the countries that I visit. I don’t like the familiar when I travel and will make it a point to talk to the locals and find out what they love to eat. People will enrich your travels more than sights will.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Southern Ridges and Macritchie Reservoir Park
What “off the beaten track” activities would you suggest to a visiting traveller to Singapore?
In our constantly developing urban landscape, I think visitors would love seeing a different side of Singapore and getting in touch with nature. Places like Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Southern Ridges and Macritchie Reservoir Park are fantastic locations to explore. I’d advise them to watch out for the monkeys as they can be quite mischievous on these hikes!
Macritchie Reservoir Park
20 Teck Lim Road
Hui Ming Fishball Noodles
Blk 8, Lorong 7 Toa Payoh
77 Aliwal Street
Let’s get to food. Where to eat in Singapore?
I love Burnt Ends, a modern Australian barbecue at 20 Teck Lim Road. The two must-order dishes are the Onglet, Burnt Onion & Bone Marrow and the Leek, Hazelnut & Brown Butter. You’d need to book weeks in advance (sometimes months) as they are extremely popular but well worth the effort.
The second place I’d recommend is Hui Ming Fishball Noodles in Toa Payoh Lorong 7. I’ve been going to this husband and wife team for years and love the bouncy fishballs and zingy vinegar in their springy minced pork noodles. The best part is how spicy this dish is and it’s a fantastic breakfast to wake you up in the morning. The broth served with the dish is flavourful and helps with the spice. Be prepared to line up as there is always a queue.
Thirdly, my favourite takeout shop, Makcik Chicken at 77 Aliwal Street. They sell only one dish, a take on one of our most famous dishes, Chicken Rice. The dish includes sous vide garlic infused chicken thigh, Japanese short grained rice, sweet cherry tomatoes, shredded cucumbers and the best part, a hanjuku egg. The sauces served with the dish are the familiar red chilli sauce, but there is also a green chilli sauce and a sweet dark soya sauce with sesame oil. An absolute must try!
A recent memorable meal eaten abroad?
My partner’s family lives in Yorkshire and on date night, he suggested we head to a family run pub close by for dinner, The Black Swan in Oldstead, North Yorkshire, which is on the edge of the North York Moors.
We were told that the menu changes daily based on what they have freshly harvested from their garden alongside ingredients that were preserved from previous seasons. We got the tasting menu and it was absolutely spectacular. Two courses, in particular, stood out to me: Peas with Caramelised Cream (a tartlet filled with caramelised cream, freshly picked peas and elderflowers) and the Texel Lamb (served with turnip and mint). We left the pub feeling like we just stumbled onto a special secret.
Imagine our surprise when a few months later, we read that The Black Swan was voted ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ by TripAdvisor – truly well deserved! Although it is understandably very difficult to get a reservation now.
The Black Swan, Olstead, North Yorkshire
One travel tip?
Always travel with a smile. Especially if language is a problem in certain parts, wave and offer a friendly smile. People are most likely to smile back and return your greeting.