Last Updated on 2023-07-14 , 5:34 pm
If you like spiced up fish paste mixed with chilli, garlic, shallots and lemongrass with flour, egg and coconut milk, then you should be very well acquainted with otah in Singapore.
Wrapped in coconut or banana leaf and usually served with nasi lemak and Katong Laksa, this grilled tasty morsel can also be eaten on its own and proves to be a local delicacy that many tourists insist on trying when they are here.
The next time you have an otah craving, or are hosting friends from abroad, these are 10 places you can bring them to for an otah feast like Jalan Kayu Otah and Hougang Otah.
Best Otah In Singapore
1. Lee Wee & Brothers
The otah here is slightly spicier than usual but we say, go for it! The good thing about having otah here is the variety. One can pick from fish (coconut leaf), non-spicy (we say, don’t bother), fish head, fish roe, squid, prawn, crab, banana leaf fish, banana leaf squid and banana leaf prawn. The banana leaf flavours are a tad moister and bigger, although pricier too, as compared to the coconut leaf wrapped ones.
Address: Raffles City Shopping Centre #B1-57 (179103), ION Orchard #B4-72 (238801), NEX #03-K11 (556083), Tampines Mall #B1-K6 (529510), JEM #B1-K08 (608549), The Woodleigh Mall #B1-K7 (367803)
2. Nam San Mackerel Otah
This is possibly the most popular otah shop around. Easily found by following your nose, this little shop offers seven delicious otah flavours: mackerel, fish roe, fish head, white fish (non-spicy), squid, prawn and Thai, all wrapped in banana leaves. Try their original mackerel flavour which is thick yet moist and tender, and also the slightly spicier and lemongrass-ier Thai otah.
Address: 3017 Bedok North Street 5 #02-29, Singapore 486350
3. Ponggol Nasi Lemak
The principal dish here may be the nasi lemak but you cannot miss their otah. Although there is only one choice here, you can expect a flavour burst of moist, tasty spiced fish paste. Have it together with their delish nasi lemak and you have got yourself a meal for champions. Long queues are always expected so either go really early (at their opening time) or really late (just before they close).
Address: 965 Upper Serangoon Rd (534721), 238 Tanjong Katong Rd (437026), Capitol Piazza (178905), 371 Jalan Besar #01-01 (208998)
4. Hiang Soon Otar Food Catering
Besides catering their fare to external food establishments, they also sell their irresistible otah individually. At a dollar a pop, it’s possibly one of the cheaper otah options in Singapore and yet, it has left such a pleasant taste in so many mouths, one can’t help but try it. The otah here is tasty, soft, flavourful and not too spicy, which is probably good for those who aren’t into spicy food. But the spices do get through when you consume too many pieces so beware!
Address: 261 Jalan Kayu (799490)
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 8am to 6pm. Closed on Mondays.
5. 328 Katong Laksa
Most will come here for the “no chopsticks, only spoon” fragrant laksa but where there is good laksa, there’s also good otah. At least in the case of 328 Katong Laksa. The otah here is bigger than most other places and chockful of fresh prawns and squid. Super flavourful and delicious, with a tinge of spiciness, it makes an awesome companion to their creamy and slightly spicy laksa. Due to its popularity, many 328 Katong Laksa shops have sprung up around the rest of the island for everyone to satisfy their craving.
Address: 51 East Coast Road (428770), United Square Shopping Centre #01-K1 (307591), Queensway Shopping Centre #01-60 (149053), Westgate #B2-06 (608532)
6. Otah Boy Famous Muar Otah
Who doesn’t love Muar otah, seriously? Otah Boys’ otah lives up to the hype by offering juicy, succulent and sweet tasting chunks of fresh mackerel paste that are moist and light with a delectable spicy and savoury spice paste. Rather pricey but I wouldn’t mind paying good money for a slab of good otah anytime!
Address: 64 Spottiswoode Park Rd (088652)
7. Otak Otak Kampong
Old-school Malay otah at its best! While the texture of this otah may be a little different from the usual (fish paste is a bit gritty because of the fresh grated coconut mixed inside), the coconut adds sweetness and juiciness to the fish paste. Really aromatic due to the heavy use of lemongrass, this otah is slightly burned over the grill, which gives it a super intense smoky flavour. For the uninitiated, look out for the little fishy surprise in the centre of each otah.
Address: 1 Geylang Serai, #02-165 Geylang serai Food Centre
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8.30am – 5pm. Closed on Mondays.
8. Hougang Otah
Perhaps not as fragrant as the more famous otahs around the island, Hougang Otah’s savoury but not overly spicy offerings make for a good enough fix should you get a case of the cravings.
Address: (Factory) 1550 Bedok North Ave 4 #03-12 (489950)
9. Kaffe & Toast
For something less conventional, there is the otah bun at Kaffe & Toast. The otah bun is nice and soft with a tinge of spice that kicks in after a while. The heat doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the fish in the otah too which probably makes it a good mid-day snack.
Address: found at multiple locations including Singapore Post Centre #B1-157 (408600), CityLink Mall #B1-40 (039393), Esplanade MRT #B1-25 (189562), Wisma Geylang Serai (408528)
10. Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant (LKY’s Favourite Otah in Singapore?)
This Peranakan restaurant was the take-out to go place for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and one of the dishes he ordered was their otah. Really delicious and fragrant, it has many fish bits in it and the spiciness just lends that little kick to your taste buds. Sedap!
Address: 200 Joo Chiat Road #01-01 (427471)
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 11am – 3pm (Lunch), 5.30pm – 9pm (Dinner). Saturday to Sunday, 11am – 3pm (Lunch), 5pm – 9pm (Dinner).
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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