When I was putting together my book More Memories of Singapore and Malaya several years ago, my father recalled eating out in Singapore in the 1960s:
'One of the pleasant benefits of the upheaval of moving to Singapore was being able to eat out more. There was a huge variety of foods from all corners of the world - Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, Indian, Chinese, French and even English if you were hard up. Nowadays, all of these different dishes are fairly commonplace but I doubt that any of them have the original flavours and spices that you found in Singapore and Johore Bahru. Our favourite eating place had to be George's Steak House in
Food stalls cropped up everywhere in the city. The tables and chairs were very basic and placed on the sidewalk or anywhere convenient. After making your choice, the food would be cooked adjacent to your table with flames and smells erupting from the fires and pans. I don't remember having anything I didn't like.
In town for the night, the ladies usually had a Singapore Sling - a mixture of gin, cherry brandy, cointreau and soda. A lethal mix! The main bar was run by Lingha. He was a friendly bloke, Chinese and very well made. He usually wore shorts that were very large and flapped around his legs. I'm sure that he must have been the inspiration for that Eric Morecambe sketch. He always rode a scooter. Not only did he ride his scooter to and from work, he also made 10am deliveries to all of the Malaysian Naval base. He would chug-chug in, wearing his voluminous shorts and flip flops, with many boxes perched precariously on the back. His curry puffs were
The prawns were huge, the Nasi Goreng delicious and the Tiger Beer wasn't bad either!'