My favourite dining spots: Sue-Shan Quek

My favourite dining spots: Sue-Shan Quek

Because F&B insiders know best

Text: Denise Kok

‎Founder and managing partner at The Supermarket Company talks childhood memories, guilty pleasures, and her most memorable meal thus far

These days, I'm busy with managing our brands under The Supermarket Company.

A hawker stall I would queue for is...
I have no patience for queues! However, if I had to pick a recent hawker stall I've been to that is popular and worth the wait, it would be Tong Fong Fatt, at Ghim Moh. They serve chicken breast meat I will eat.

A heritage restaurant or eatery I hope will never disappear is...
this is a tough one. There are quite a few out there which I hope will never disappear for several reasons. However, one which resonates because of a strong childhood memory is Gordon Grill, a hidden gem at Goodwood Park Hotel for over 50 years. My parents took the family there for dinner when we were really little and there were two Japanese female tourists dining next to us. They couldn't stop exclaiming in Japanese and taking photos of each course (they were definitely ahead of their time!). However, when the bill was presented to them, one of them burst out in tears and the other literally ran out of the restaurant. When they both finally left the restaurant, we asked the server what had just happened and he said that they were shocked by the bill. One of them couldn't afford to pay for dinner and her friend, who was also struggling to pay for her own dinner, had to help. It was a memory that's not related to food (though they still do a classic Crêpe Suzette very well and my mom and sister would call out for the Cherry Trifle) but I hope the restaurant will never disappear as it will always act as a reminder of how fortunate I've been to never have to worry about paying the bills - especially for food I enjoy. 

Gordon Grill

When I need to eat clean, I head to my parents' or in-laws' home. 

My guilty pleasure is
a glass of Champagne. Any day. 

I'm a regular at

My go-to supper spot is
... supper is bad for you! But roti prata and curry sauce after a night out could also create special memories. There was once some friends and I were on the way to supper and one of the guys we were out with asked for my number. I refused to give it to him thinking it was just a tacky move. This guy eventually became my husband.

The best place to get a meal with seafood is
 The Naked Finn. Even if I'm not a big fan of seafood, I find that they serve a good, contemporary mix of seafood options. 

Indian baby squid | Instagram @nakedfinn
My all-time favourite restaurant is...
I don't really have one as taste, dining cultures, and establishments change. 

I had my most memorable meal at
Eleven Madison Park on my birthday in 2014. It was a four-hour long meal which had me dining with delight and my dining companions falling asleep at the table. 

For coffee, I head to
SPRMRKT. Otherwise, 6oz Espresso Bar because it's my closest alternative when I'm in the vicinity before 8am. They do serve good and consistent coffee. When I need something stronger, I'll go for local kopi and there are two decent spots around my office; one just below my office building and the other at a stall in Amoy Food Centre, owned by an uncle who makes the kopi, and a glamourous Hokkien auntie who collects payments and when in the mood, will give a discount. 

When it comes to wines, the restaurant with my favourite winelist is
Corner House at Botanic Gardens. They have a beautiful and well-curated list. 

A restaurant to watch is
Kite, helmed by chef Dannel Krishnan.

Mentaiko somen at Kite
The food scene in Singapore is
too expensive. Dining in all other major cities in the world like New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong are so much more affordable now. But I'm excited to see more of these 'one-specialty' concept places, and trendy local food in unexpected locations. 

The country that has the best food scene is...
A tough one! Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, The US, UK, Australia and even Cuba have a pretty awesome local food culture and a respectable dining scene. So instead of naming the best, I would probably say the country that has the most classic food scene —which I could go back to again and again— is still France.

To view more recommendations from other F&B insiders, click here