Shipping container style restaurants and food trucks are commonplace in other countries, and popup areas like Bangkok’s Artbox has hipsters and youths going in droves.
Singapore has seen its first such concept, and in a big way at Timbre+, or Timbre Plus.
Timbre+ is located at 73A Ayer Rajah Crescent, JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, and some food stalls will start operation as early as 6am to cater to the nearby office crowd.
This 24,000 square feet area is housing 35 different food places – 14 restaurant brands and 21 hawker stalls.
Most of the hawker stalls will serve a variety of local delights from repurposed graffiti-painter containers, while some of the restaurant brands dish out casual fares from (stationary) caravans – food truck style.
I have been to Timbre+ twice on my own, once during the day and at night, and here are some things to take note of.
Food Truck Concepts
Some of the names you can expect include Portico Platos (Spanish Tapas), The World Is Flat by Tanuki Raw (revamped pizzas), Dancing Crab Shack (lobster rolls and shrimp po’boy sandwiches), Chit Chaat Chai (North Indian Street food), Big Bern’s American Grill (American food by Botak Jones), Kush (mod-sin skewers and rice bowls by The Quarters), Teppei Daidokoro (Japanese rice bowls), Iskina Cebu (food from Philippines), Dusk by Slake (Peranakan-inspired food), Garçons (Modern French food), Soon Huat (Bak Kut Teh), Two Wings (fried chicken) and Food Anatomy (layered food such as lasagna).
The hawker stalls start operating as early as 6am, however, they are all closed by 6pm. If you want to have hawker food such as Wong Kee’s wanton noodles, you must go before they close stall at 6pm.
Is a nightmare. Take the train if possible.
One-North station is the nearest, about a 5 minute walk away.
Wear casual, because it can get extremely hot at night. Extremely.
The $1 tray return system
Okay, this may get confusing. When you order food and require a tray, you have to pay a dollar extra (like a deposit), which you can get back when you return the tray at the centralized collection unit. (Some servers may be blur, remind them to collect the $1 otherwise they may lugi money.)
The space can fit 700 people, but it did get kind of crowded during opening night, so be patient.
You basically can sit anywhere, like a foodcourt. Some of the benches are not too steady. Be careful when you sit down.
Timbre+ is opened Mondays to Saturdays, closed on Sundays.
Live music performances
From Wednesday to Saturday nights.
Here are some 10 of the food places you can expect at Timbre Plus
Portico with two restaurants at Alexandra and Dempsey, has quickly expanded to its 3rd with a tapas concept.
You can look forward to Portico Plato’s Signature Market Seafood Paella which is quite value-for-menu at $9 and $16 for a luncheon and full portion respectively.
Tapas include Portico Signature Truffle Fries ($12), Steamed Mussels in Chorizo Broth ($12), Charred Iberico Pork Skewers ($12) and Patatas Bravas with Black Garlic Mayo ($10). Leave some space for the Pandan Churros ($9) with home-made salted caramel and naphung honey kaya.
There is no stopping of Chef Teppei Yamashita.
This concept of Daidokoro (meaning “kitchen” in Japanese) focuses on yakitori skewers with charcoal infused yakitori sauce, with a selection of chicken meatball, chicken thigh, and chicken with Japanese leek, pork belly, pork sausages, salmon belly, and quail eggs.
Of course its popular Kaisen Don topped with generous portion of sashimi will still be dished out.
Garçons is a collaboration between Immanuel French Kitchen and Enoch’s European.
You get highlights from both kitchens such as Escargots, Pan Fried Foie Gras, French Onion Soup, Duck Rillettes, Chicken Liver Pate, Pork Belly and Pork Ragout Baked Rice Gratin.
I am already salivating thinking about their 12-Hour Belly of Pork, with that crisp outer crackling and melt-in-mouth meat. C’est délicieux.
Yup, that Wong Kee from Maxwell Food Centre. Not just the usual wanton noodles.
The noodles at Wong Kee< are specially created, imported from a factory at JB, with flavours of Spinach and Tomato. The orange-red tomato noodles have a refreshing sweet aftertaste, somewhat like Italian pasta. Wong Kee’s wanton mee seem to be a cross between the Cantonese and local Singapore style, served with plump dumplings and thick stalks of kailan – I like.
Douglas Ng is probably one of the most known local ‘hawkerpreneur’, both for his bouncy hand-made fishballs and social media postings that gotten quite viral.
His fish balls are made at 4am in the morning, using all pure fish meat and no flour. The real deal to me is the chilli sauce base and the mee pok cooked with right amount of al-dente-ness.
Two Wings has ended operations at the original coffeeshop at Alexandra, and has found a new home at Timbre+.
The chicken wings are said to be massaged early in the morning to “drain the blood off”, marinated in a secret formula, deep fried to a golden hue and presented on laminated wooden board. Though sometimes inconsistent, the wings are usually both crisp and juicy.
Friends from the Philippines can get a taste of home from Iskina Cebu, serving Bisdak favorites of Lechon Cebu, Spicy BellyChon, Liempo Ala Balamban and Inasal Nga Manok.
It has moved from its previous location at Geylang East.
That crackly skin and soft juicy fat… some fans say this is probably the best Lechon Cebu you can find in Singapore.
The Food Anatomy people who were from Deli and Daint at Maxwell Food Centre sell layered food in blocks. Pick any 3 dishes of meat, carb, salads (eg 3 salads, or 1 meat + 1 carb + 1 salad) for $16.
The World Is Flat by Tanuki Raw
The World Is Flat by the same team behind Tanuki Raw, Standing Sushi Bar and Shinkasen has gone into a ‘revamped’ pizza concept.
Try the Fat Samurai which has has duck confit, bacon, prawn, US beef, roasted cabbage, konbu mayo, confit onions, balsamic okonimyaki, and bonito flakes all on an umami charcoal crust.
73A Ayer Rajah Crescent #01-32, JTC LaunchPad @ one-north Singapore 139957
Opening: 6am – 12am (Mon – Thurs), 6am – 1am (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun
Live music performances from Wednesday to Saturday nights