February 8, 2021

The Food Lovers’ Guide to Singapore

One of the most common reasons people come to Singapore is its food. Singapore is synonymous with delicious food, unique flavours, and savoury dishes. The locals are a bunch of food-loving people that no matter the time of day, it’s always easy to find them enjoying their meals not just in fashionable restaurants and trendy cafes but also in hole-in-the-wall coffee shops and hawker stalls. And since Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, you can also easily find various cuisines here, including Mexican, French, Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian. Learn about that and more in this food lovers’ guide to Singapore.

Food lovers’ guide to Singapore: Dishes you shouldn’t miss

Being the food lover that you are, here is a list of the top dishes that you shouldn’t miss in Singapore.

1. Laksa

food lovers' guide to Singapore: laksa in a bowl

The fusion of Chinese and Malay flavours and ingredients can be tasted in Singapore’s Laksa. This bowl of heavenly goodness is filled with rice noodles, which serve as the base of the dish, some gravy or curry, vegetables, herbs, and pieces of protein. However, there are many variations of laksa wherein some include coconut milk. With its popularity, you can even find laksa restaurants!

2. Bak Kut Teh

food lovers' guide to Singapore: pork bones soup in a bowl with a cup of tea and a teapot

Bak Kut Teh literally translates to pork bones tea, which has Chinese origins and is popular in Malaysia and Singapore. From its name, it’s easy to judge that the pork is cooked in tea. Fortunately, or unfortunately, tea has nothing to do with the dish. However, according to accounts, its name includes the word ‘tea’ because it used to be consumed with a strong type of tea to wash away the grease.

In this food lovers’ guide to Singapore, we’ll tell you that the basic recipe for Bak Kut Teh includes boiling the pork in water that is mixed with white pepper, salt, and garlic. The pork has to become tender and the other ingredients fully incorporated into the soup. It’s best eaten with a bowl of white rice and some Chinese side dishes like braised tofu and mustard greens.

3. BBQ Sambal Stingray

food lovers' guide to Singapore: stingray on a plate with banana leaves

A unique Singapore dish is the stingray. For this BBQ dish, fillets of stingray are seasoned with a layer of sambal chili sauce and grilled on a banana leaf package. The banana leaves keep the stingray steamed and grilled at the same time to ensure that the meat stays juicy and filled with the light aroma of the banana leaves.

4. Zi Char

food lovers' guide to Singapore: stir-fried green vegetables

This is a unique term in Singapore that refers to made-to-order cooked food, specifically Chinese-style stir-fry or deep-fried dishes. These dishes are usually served piping hot and right out of the wok, making it the perfect match to a bowl of rice.

5. Hokkien Mee

food lovers' guide to Singapore: noodle soup in a bowl with chopsticks

Every food lovers’ guide in Singapore should include Hokkien Mee, one of Singapore’s most famous fried noodle hawker dishes. From its name, the dish came from the Fujian province of China and has now been adapted in Singapore and Malaysia.

So what can you taste in Hokkien Mee? Basically, it’s got a mixture of egg noodles and white rice noodles that are fried with an egg in a wok and drizzled with some pieces of seafood like squid and shrimps and some bean sprouts. Some restaurants stir-fry it dry, while some others cook it with gravy.

6. Chicken Rice

food lovers' guide to Singapore: Chicken meal with rice

Before you judge this dish, hear us out. It may have a pretty simple name, but its taste is nowhere near simple and ordinary. A food lovers’ guide in Singapore knows that this dish should be on every list of food recommendations in Singapore. This Hainanese-influenced dish is a combination of chicken, rice, and sauce and is among the favourite dishes in the country.

Food lovers’ guide to Singapore: Places to find these dishes

With Singapore being a food lovers’ island-nation, it’s easy to find these dishes practically everywhere. From hawker stalls and street vendors to restaurants, it’s not difficult to catch your senses with something that smells terrific and looks delicious!

1. Hong Lim Market Food Centre

If you want to find endless food options, this is the place to go!

2. Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Have access to some of the best and most delicious dishes in Singapore by visiting the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. It’s one of the busiest and biggest hawker centres in the country that serves Chinese food. And if you’re into clay pot rice dishes, you can find here the locals’ favourite!

3. Old Airport Road Hawker Centre

To give you an idea of exactly what this place can offer you, it won the survey for the best hawker centre in Singapore. As the first one in the country, it’s big and spacious and home to some of the oldest vendors in Singapore.

4. Geylang Serai Food Centre

Have a taste of the best Indonesian and Malay food, this is the place to be where you can find Nasi Padang stalls in its food court.

5. Tiong Bahru Food Centre

As one of the oldest markets in Singapore, this place has been recently renovated and has the appearance of a mall food court. With a nice open-air setting, it is spacious, clean, and nice.

You will never run out of food options in Singapore. Wherever you look, there is always something good and worth trying. But be sure not to miss any of the suggested places and food on this food lovers’ guide to Singapore to have a grand time.


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