Have you ever wished you were a bit more adventurous when it comes to trying out local delicacies? Have guests in town and want to give them a special foodie treat? Well, Karni Tomer of Wok ‘n’ Stroll is your mama (of three)! This Israeli expat has really tapped into the zeitgeist — apparently “food sherpas” are all the rage right now according to The New York Times, and Karni is definitely kept busy by the high demand for her specialist services.
So what exactly is a food explorer?
Well, as Sofia and I discovered one super-hot morning in Joo Chiat, it’s basically someone who knows the best spots in town to grab a bite, and that means street food, not fancy hotel buffets or high end spots. Karni acts as your guide when it comes to hawker fare, tucked away secrets and back-alley kitchens, barging down side streets and asking to try aunty’s cooking. She’s a fearless mama on a mission and she knows her stuff!
Having been a keen cook and foodie all her life, on arriving in Singapore four years ago, Karni threw herself into exploring the city, one dish at a time. Roaming the wet markets, constantly asking questions and discovering, she realised that others could benefit from her insider knowledge, and has never looked back.
Karni offers several different culinary tours, from the Joo Chiat one that we sampled, to an evening out in Geylang, a special Tea Time outing, Wet Market Tours, Farm Experiences and much much more. Everything can be totally customised to your liking (Sofia and I were bundled into a taxi and taken to Geylang Serai Market when Karni realised we hadn’t been there before!) and it’s an exhilarating, tummy-filling voyage of food discovery.
On our Joo Chiat tour, we started off by tucking into some Nyonya Dumplings and Kueh Dada at a tea shop, washed down with beer mugs of jasmine tea, then headed off for a steaming bowl of Laksa with some Otak-Otak on the side, finishing up with some Rojak from the smiliest uncle on the block. Then we popped into the aforementioned taxi to bop over to Geylang to sample some dhosa and Malaysian delights, picking up some coconut sugar and spices for our home cooking! Karni even hands out little food passports which she stamps for you as you try each dish, which adds to the fun. We definitely filled up while we were munching our way around town, but it’s amazing how much room in your tum you can discover if you put your mind to it.
As Karni’s tours involve a lot of walking in the heat and sampling sometimes spicy dishes, they’re probably not suitable for the very little, but out-of-town teens will love the evening tours in particular when you can feel the city really coming to life. Get a group together for a special occasion that will get everyone talking — Wok ‘n’ Stroll is really a fabulous way to fall in love with S’pore’s foodie culture, one bite and sip at a time!