Singapore is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Its blend of different cultures, iconic colonial buildings, modern high-rises and street markets will is enchanting and surely will fascinate the travelers. These entire great attractions aside, this multicultural city has emerged as one of the top food destinations. One of the expressions that have been used to describe Singapore is “a foodie paradise” and this has helped enhance the city’s reputation as the place to go for those who love to eat.
The best thing is that you don’t need to go into a fancy restaurant to find these food varieties. Being that eating is Singapore’s national past time, the places to eat this food vary from high-end restaurants to hawker or street-food stalls. For as little as $3 you can get a taste of the best food that Singapore has to offer.
If you are getting ready to get on a bus to Singapore, here is a list of 15 foods that have stood the test of time that you must try:
(1) Bak Kut Teh
This is one of the most iconic dishes in Singapore. It is prepared with simmering meaty pork ribs in a liquid mixture of herbs and spices of garlic, white pepper and salt. Bak kut teh is consumed along with strong tea in the belief that this will help dissolve the grease in the soup.
(2) Hainanese chicken rice
This dish was adapted from the early Chinese immigrants who came from Hainan province in the southern parts of China. Considered one of Singapore’s national dishes, the chicken is prepared by immersing the chicken in boiling water and then then dunking it in an ice bath before slicing it. The hot water that has some of the skimmed chicken fat is used along with garlic and ginger to prepare the chicken.
(3) Hokkien Prawn Mee
Not to be confused with Hokkien Char Mee, this is a mixture of rice noodles and egg noodles fried in a fragrant stock that has prawns, fried pork fat, fish cake and squid. In some cases, pork strips are added to enhance the flavour.it is served along with some lime juice and sambal chilli to give you that extra zing.
(4) Tau Huay
This is a Chinese dessert made using beancurd tofu that has been sweetened with some sugar syrup. Its traditional version is soft and soaks in the syrup to be taken together. Sometimes soya bean milk or grass jelly is added as well. You can either eat it hot or cold.
This dish has a heavy Indian Muslim influence. The fried rice dish is made using long grain rice. It is flavoured using cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and bay leaves. The biryani can be beef, chicken or fish biryani depending on the meat used.
(6) Nasi Lemak
This very versatile rice dish used to be considered as a breakfast item but people now take it for lunch or dinner too. The rice has a sweet fragrance due to the coconut cream used to steam it. There are different variations of Nasi Lemak and they offer a wide variety of ingredients such as drumsticks, fried chicken, sotong balls and luncheon meat.
(7) Roti Prata
This South-Indian bread is very popular in Singapore. It is made by frying thinly flattened dough that has been flavoured with ghee. Usually served with mutton curry or fish, roti prata never disappoints. While the classic variations were either plain or mixed with egg, menus now have eccentric variations including chocolate, cheese which has turned rotti prata into a dessert.
Rojak is a fruit and vegetable salad made by mixing dough fritters, beancurd puffs, pineapple, radish, cucumber, bean sprouts and roast peanuts with prawn paste sauce to come up with a harmoniously tasty blend. Its ingredients are a reflection of the cultural diversity that Singapore has to offer.
(9) Char kway teow
This noodle dish is very popular in Singapore. In fact Singaporeans consider it a national favourite. It is a combination of flat rice noodles and a sweet dark sauce. Stir-fried at very high temperature with fish cake, egg and Chinese sausages, the original intention was always to load the dish with fats as labourers needed a cheaper source of energy.
(10) Chai tow kway (Carrot cake)
This is a popular Singapore dish that can be found at almost every food place in the city. It differs from your typical Western carrot cake that has been made with orange carrots. Singaporean carrot cake actually has no carrots at all. It is made using rice flour and daikon radish which are fried in pork lard and eggs.
(11) Wanton Mee
This combination of wanton dumplings, some boiled vegetables, yellow egg noodles and small slices of char siu. The dish is best served in a hot broth together with shrimp wontons the texture and tangliness of the egg noodles is what makes this such a refreshing dish.
This is considered as the national fruit of Singapore. While a foreigner is likely to be turned off by its strong smell, locals adore its flesh and they use it to make cakes, desserts, tarts or even shakes. Nowadays there are many newer popular strains that have an even stronger fragrance.
(13) Duck rice
The best places to find good ducks are the shops that specialize in duck rice only. The dish combines plain white rice together with roasted duck and flavoured with braised sauce. There is a different version that uses braised duck meat with yam rice with some eggs, peanuts tau pok on the side. While the two versions have different taste profiles, they are both equally yummy.
(14) Curry puffs
These are a favourite midday snack for many people in Singapore. It is simply a miniature pie that has been filled with curry. The pastry shell is baked in the semi-circular in shape. Most of the times, the fillings are chicken curry and potato. But there are other variants that can also be used such as chilly crab or tuna curry.
This fresh spring roll is very popular in Singapore. The ingredients are rolled up using a thin wheat crepe that is paper-like. Hoisin, a sweet sauce, is smeared on the laid out wheat crepe before the fillings are added. Most of the times, ingredients in a Popiah include boiled eggs, lettuce, Chinese sausage, small prawns, lettuce and filled with turnip strips and cooked carrot.
There you have it, 15 must have local delicacies in Singapore. Besides completing your trip with the abundance of top destinations, you must not forget to indulge in these delicious local treats! Then, only you can claim to have completed your Singapore trip!