Satay By The Bay

Friday, 3 May 2013

GrandpaMoo mentioned that he would like to visit the 'new' Satay Club at Gardens by the Bay last week, and so, during the Labour Day holiday, we made our way there.

We read that there is a car park direct at its door steps, but even before we could locate the entrance, we saw the car queue waiting to enter, snaking from just after the East Coast Parkway exit! We decided to join the queue, since we were there anyhow - but after 15 minutes of staying stuck at the same spot, we decided to drive around to see if there are other alternatives.

On a whim, DaddyMoo decided to try our luck parking at Marina Barrage itself. The carpark was also full, but after about 5 minutes of waiting, by a stroke of luck, we managed to get a parking lot!

BabyMoo was all excited to see the kites, and was truly in his element - running about the vast open space, and enjoying the vibe.

"Go Fly Kite!" takes a literal meaning here.

A #failed attempt at 'Sunflare Photography'. Get the actual tips from the pro here.

Birds' Eye View of the Marina Barrage. Lovely view!
Satay by the Bay is accessible via the Marina Barrage, and it is a nice walk along the reservoir to get there. Oh... and parking is free, as opposed to if you were to park at the main carpark leading to it.

It's a short 500m walk from the Marina Barrage to Satay by the Bay, and with such a gorgeous view along the reservoir, I'm not complaining!
We expected a huge crowd, given that it was a Public Holiday after all, but we were not prepared for the chaos and 'disorganised' feel of the entire place. Since the circular layout is such that the main stalls are situated at the 'core' and seating is all around, we were greeted with snaking queues weaving in and out of the seated diners. Add those who were (im)patiently waiting for tables, and you literally have a typical 'marketplace' feel. Perhaps to the tourist, this adds on to the vibe of the place, but I didn't like the jostling and chaos all that much. Add on the satay fumes, stale oil and sweat smells from the numerous people after a day out in the sun, and you have a very frazzled me.

Four of us spread out to try to get a table, and since I gave my mobile to the boy to occupy him while we waited - I couldn't take any photos to document the madness. So I'm going to 'borrow' this photo from their main site, which is no doubt taken in um... more conducive conditions. You've been warned!

Image source: Satay by the Bay
We finally managed to get a quaint little table, reminiscent of the old Satay Club when they were at the Esplanade. BabyMoo loved it, because he felt like he was hosting dinner while we sat at *his* level!

Off we went to scout for food. I ordered BBQ Sting Ray and fried rice for the boy, and while waiting for those, decided to queue for drinks. About 15 minutes later, I held 4 cups of sugarcane juice triumphantly in my tray, and made my way back to our table. Upon checking with the 'Marina Bay Live Seafood Stall', I was informed that the items will take a further 10 minutes.

I decided to let it go, viewing the fact that they seemed overwhelmed with orders, and there was no system in place. Furthermore, for new places, teething problems are bound to happen.

Fortunately, BabyMoo was quite happy with racing cars on my mobile, and didn't fuss much despite the heat. We settled down to our Satay, which the hubs ordered from one of the Malay stalls. Point to note is that there are two satay sections - one of which served by the Chinese, and the other has traditional Malay ones. DaddyMoo ordered from the stall which seems to have the shortest queue, which I suppose would not be what many people would have done.

As for the rice, half an hour later... it.was.still.not.ready. Poor kiddo was hungry, but thankfully, he loved the Satay! After the first tentative bite, he immediately pulled the entire plate toward him and declared loudly: "MINE!"

First time, first bite... oh what tasty morsels are these?

I'm not sure if it's the novelty of eating things off a stick, the hunger, or that he genuinely likes it!
These are quite yummy, like my Mummy!
ONE HOUR later, the fried rice was finally sent to our table. BabyMoo wolved it down, because it was quite palatable, which was fortunate, given the time we had to wait for them to harvest the rice, clean it, steam it and fry it!

Given that BabyMoo loves satay and the entire vibe of the place, I suppose if we ever do visit Satay-by-the-Bay again, we would do so on a non-Public Holiday weekday. Weekends will no doubt see the same crowd, and I'm not brave enough to fight for seats!

The best part of the evening?

Do you know the Satay Man... the Satay Man, the Satay Man? Do you know the Satay Man... whose weapon is a fan?
The satay from 'TOP ONE SATAY' stall which had the least number of people queuing! Our satay came fast and piping hot, were tender and juicy, with just the right hint of spice. Even the mutton ones had no 'distinctive' smell to it, and this was quite amazing because it was not drowned in spice to mask the smell!

We reached at around 6.00pm, and by the time we were finished, it was almost 8.30pm. We took only about 20 minutes to eat - so the rest of the time was spent waiting for a table, queuing for food, queueing for drinks and waiting for food. I think the main problem is that apart from the satay stalls, there is only one stall serving a certain type of food, so there are no options. It's either you wait, or you wait.

I would rather go to Newton Food Centre any day.

Satay By The Bay

18 Marina Gardens Drive
Singapore 018952
Neighbourhood: Bayfront

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 7:00 - 23:00
Some stalls are open 24 hours.

Getting There:

By MRT or Bus

Via the Circle Line:
Alight at Bayfront MRT Station (CE1)
Take Exit B and follow the underground linkway

Exit and cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge into Gardens by the Bay

Via the North South / Circle Line:
Alight at Marina Bay MRT Station (NS27/CE2)
Take Exit A and hop onto bus service 400
Alight 4 stops later at the bus stop along Marina Gardens Drive\

By Car
    From East Coast Parkway (ECP) heading towards the city:
  • Take Exit 17A and turn left onto Marina Place
  • Continue through to Marina Boulevard
  • Turn left at Marina Gardens Drive
    From East Coast Parkway (ECP) heading towards Changi Airport:
  • Take Exit 17 and turn right into Central Boulevard
  • Turn right onto Marina Station Road
  • Turn left onto Marina Street
  • Follow through onto Marina Boulevard
  • Turn left at Marina Gardens Drive

Visitor Centre Basement Car Park:
Capacity: 420 lots
Hours: Opens 5:00am - 2:00am daily
Located via the Main Gate
Parking charges apply

Meadow Open-air Car Park
Capacity: 300 lots
Hours: Opens 5:00am - 2:00am daily
Located via the Meadow Gate
Parking charges apply

Satay by the Bay Open-air Car Park:
Capacity: 138 lots
Hours: Opens 24 hours daily
Located via the Satay by the Bay Gate
Parking charges apply

Marina Barrage Car park
260 Marina Bay Way
Singapore 018976
Hours: Opens 24 hours daily
Free Parking


  1. I agree that Satay by the Bay is just over-rated. I order sefood from Boon Tat BBQ seafood and was so diappointing. My satay was from the stall with the longest queue but was so diaspponting. I would rather eat at East Coast Village

    1. Susan, you ordered from City Satay or the Geylang Satay stall? Those had the longest queues! IF you decide to drop by again, try this stall. We were really impressed because we were not expecting much.

      The sting ray from this stall I ordered (which harvested the rice for an hour) was not bad, actually. But it's steamed, and chilli added on, which I thought was so misleading! That said, the fish is fresh lah. Otherwise they steam stale fish, the smell I cannot tahan already, especially sting ray!

    2. I love that photo with the steps, along the reservoir! I didn't know there was a satay club by the bay, and I am keen to check it out, but the mention of the lack of parking and the crowd scares me :(

      Yay, your first sun flare photo...its a good start! And me no pro lah, I just love to experiment with my phone and camera!

    3. I also didn't know! Grandpa asked to go, and he's apparently more updated than I am - for crying out loud! Hahaha!

      Go on a weekday evening. Better luck, I think :)

      I want to experiment more - but very hard when the boy sees my phone and wants to play games on it! The iPeh now no longer holds attraction because some games require 3G *roll eyes*

  2. I went there a few weeks ago and ordered from both stalls (chinese & malay), so far so good but superb though. My kids love the pizzas :)

    1. I heard about the pizza... next time drop by Modesto's, ok? Hehehehe

  3. I went there a few weeks ago and ordered from both stalls (chinese & malay), so far so good but superb though. My kids love the pizzas :)

  4. I went there a few weeks ago and ordered from both stalls (chinese & malay), so far so good but superb though. My kids love the pizzas :)

  5. Hmm my husband will love this. Will check it out when we visit Sg.

    1. Please do! It has its charm :)

  6. Very interesting article! Long time I am looking for a website that offers clear insights about tourist MRT Map Singapore. My long term search end here and your website are really stunning.



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