Surely, there was a compelling reason that made you give time for this article. Let me guess. It was the street eats part, wasn’t it?
This was also the exact same reason why we went to explore Singapore. Other than the fact that it’s one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities in the world with some of the best destinations, the city is also home to a diverse array of gastronomic delights that even people with the most discriminating taste can find impossible to resist. But before we get into that, let us first get to know Singapore’s other facets that are equally interesting and enticing.
Singapore has one of the strongest economies in the world with a history of just about 50 years. It may not sound like a lot, but this progressive city tells of tales of tribulations, trials, and triumphs. From being a colony to a city-state with a unique identity, there are stories lying beneath its smiling people and colourful landscape that wait to be uncovered. Here they are.
We might not be familiar with Singapore’s national anthem, but we all know that it represents the country and keeps it together. If you want to know what the anthem says without looking it up on Google, simply take one of their SG$1,000 notes, and you’ll find it in micro-text at the back.
So, why then is it called Singapore? It started when Sang Nila Utama, a prince from Palembang, believed he saw a lion in the area. So, he named the island ‘Singapura’, which literally means ‘Lion City’ in Sanskrit. The thing is, there has never been any lion outside of captivity in the city. Now, that answer’s the existence of the famous Merlion.
Despite Singapore’s impressive development, it is still home to more species of trees than there are in the entire continent of North America.
Singapore may be a small city-state, and the US may be 15,000 times bigger than it. However, it has over 3,000 kilometres of road, which, when stretched out from end to end, equals the distance between Singapore and Hong Kong.
Most of us only know about the main island of Singapore. However, the city’s total land area includes 64 offshore islands surrounding the main island. The more famous ones include Sentosa Island, St. John’s Island, Pulau Ubin, and Sister’s Islands.
When it comes to experiences and adventure, Singapore is always all-out. This is why it is the first to launch a night safari, which is also the world’s first night zoo. There are more than 1,000 animals scattered all over the 350-hectare premises, which opened in 1994. The experience offers a 40-minute tram ride that shows you the main attractions of the park.
In 1970, Singapore built the first man-made waterfall at Jurong Bird Park. Declared as the tallest waterfall in an aviary, it drops at a height of 30 metres.
Enough with the facts about Singapore because we’ve all been itching to discover the best street eats in the city.
Tiong Bahru has an interesting history. Before it became the famous market it is today, the place served as a Chinese burial ground. Around the place, you can find trendy bakeries, apartment blocks, and boutiques. And right in its heart is where you can find the best-tasting Singaporean-style breakfasts.
Make sure to enjoy a strong black kopi or a cup of English breakfast tea here. You can also combine the two and eat a pig’s organ soup or some steamed rice cakes with a unique sauce at the top called chwee kueh.
Located right in the heart of Chinatown, Maxwell Food Center brims with 100 stalls that serve up one of the city’s largest varieties of food. Here, you can try their fish XO soup, a noodle broth that’s made with brandy; durian, a famous sweet fruit with a pungent smell; chilli crab, their national dish; and Hainanese chicken rice that’s made with poached chicken and served with rice.
The name refers to an old market, characterised by a huge octagonal building with fretted leaves, Victoria columns, and cast-iron buttresses. This is where to eat satay sticks of lamb, pork, chicken, beef intestine, and beef tripe. You can go particularly to Boon Tat Street between 7 p.m. and midnight to find the best satay sticks.
This Singaporean wanton is not quite like the shrimp-only dumpling in Hong Kong because it contains a mix of prawns and minced pork. It is served with springy egg noodles along with barbecued pork and leafy vegetables.
This is a famous dish in Singapore that’s cooked in pandan leaf and coconut milk with rice. It is usually consumed for breakfast or lunch and comes with omelette, fresh cucumber, deep-fried anchovies with peanuts, and sambal chilli.
The Roti Prata is a breakfast staple in Singapore that’s been nicknamed the ‘Asian Croissant’. It is made from a South Indian, flour-based flatbread cooked with clarified butter on a hot griddle. It is best enjoyed with mutton curry, fish, and even sugar for kids.
If you want to know the most popular Peranakan street food in the city, look no further than the laksa. This Chinese-Malay-inspired dish comes with thick vermicelli noodles swimming in a spicy, coconut milk-enhanced broth. It’s drenched in bean sprouts, fish cakes, and cockles.
Get your taste buds ready for a tickle when you try the Sambal stingray—made with thin slabs of grilled stingray that’s served on fresh banana leaves. It’s smothered in a rich layer of chilli jam and drizzled with garlic and fresh chillies.
You might have to skip your fancy, commercial milk lattes for this ginger tea that’s a staple of Indian drink vendors.
More popular in the Singaporean-Indian community, the fish head curry is made by stewing large heads of fish in a spicy sauce. The dish is served with vegetables like okra and aubergines.
These are just a few of the must-try street eats in Singapore. Coming here will introduce you to a plethora of authentic gastronomic delights that cannot be copied even by top-notch chefs. Adding to the total feel of eating a Singaporean dish is the ambiance created by the views, market, and stalls that are famous this side of the world.