Serving up a National Obsession: Ubin First Stop Restaurant

What better way to show off Singapore to visitors than with food? Instead of just sticking to Newton Circus, try these eateries too, where great cuisine and sights are served.
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The kitchen where staff in bright orange uniforms whip up the dishes.
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Pictures of famous guests such as former Foreign Minister George Yeo adorn the walls of the restaurant
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Sambal chilli crab with deep fried mantou
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Signature garlic bamboo clams

Tucked away at the eastern tip of Singapore, in rustic Changi Village, is Ubin First Stop Restaurant. Despite being a little far from town – perhaps a draw in itself – this popular seafood restaurant sees many loyal diners, from fishermen to well-known personalities including former Foreign Minister George Yeo, as documented in photos adorning its walls. Owner Allaan Tan started the restaurant in 1990 on Pulau Ubin, in a simple building that used to be a prison, near the Ubin jetty. It was a “first stop” for hungry visitors, hence its name. In 2008, he relocated his business to Changi Village, next to the renovated Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Most of the seafood, however, still comes fresh off Ubin’s waters. The restaurant, whose signature dishes include home-made sambal chilli crab ($45/kg), deep-fried crispy baby squid ($12), garlic bamboo clams ($8/ piece) and my favourite, ultra-fragrant salted egg-batter prawns ($20), can now seat up to 350 people. It somehow retains its laid-back charm, and diners can still see bumboats coming and going while enjoying their chilli crabs, just like in the old days.

  • POSTED ON
    May 13, 2012
  • TEXT BY
    Ryandall Lim
  • PHOTOS BY
    Norman Ng
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