Singapore, an island city-state in Southeast Asia, is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, be it for a short layover or a much longer stay.
Known for being a bustling financial centre and a family-friendly travel destination, Singapore is also a foodie’s destination, thanks to its multicultural population. Migrants from all over Asia brought their culinary traditions with them making Singapore a melting pot of different culinary styles. The local food in Singapore is a potpourri of dishes with Chinese, Malaysia, Indian, and Indonesia influences.
What people love about Singapore is that you don’t have to go to expensive, fancy restaurants to sample the best Singaporean dishes. Hawker centres and food courts are the best places for tourists to have a delicious Singaporean meal. Singapore’s hawker food rose to popularity in the 1970s and to this day, the trade is kept alive by locals and tourists who can’t get enough of the delicious flavours of this unique cuisine.
Here’s a short list of what to eat in Singapore.
1. Hainanese Chicken Rice
Singapore’s most popular dish, Hainanese Chicken Rice is made from cooking chicken in chicken bone stock. After cooking, the chicken is dipped in ice water so that a thin layer of fat congeals on the skin giving it a jelly-like appearance. The tender chicken meat is then thinly sliced before it is served on a bed of fragrant rice cooked in chicken stock, herbs, and spices. An order of chicken rice comes with chili sauce and ginger dip.
Hainanese Chicken Rice is sold all over Singapore but the best places that serve this delectable dish are Boon Tong Kee on Bishan Street 13 and Tian Tian Chicken Rice in Maxwell Road Hawker Centre. You can also find it at We Nam Kee Restaurant on Thomson Road, an establishment that has been serving this amazing dish for decades.
2. Char Kway Teow
Char Kway Teow is another must-try dish in Singapore. Made from flat rice noodles, blood cockles, egg, Chinese sausage and bean sprouts stir-fried in high heat and seasoned with sweet dark soya sauce, the dish makes for a satisfying meal, making it a huge favourite among office workers.
The best stalls that serve this delectable noodle dish are Hill Street Char Kway Teow in Bedok South Road Market & Food Centre, Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee in Hong Lim Food Centre, Zion Road Fried Kway Teow in Zion Riverside Food Centre, and Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow in Ghim Moh Market And Food Centre.
Thanks to the Straits Chinese who migrated to the Malay Archipelago back in the 15th and 17th centuries, visitors to Singapore are now enjoying the best Peranakan or Nyonya dishes like curry laksa.
Prepared by cooking rice noodles, cockles, fish cakes, bean sprouts, shrimp, and bean curd in a spicy coconut milk-based broth, curry laksa is Singapore’s most popular Peranakan dish. To have the best bowls of curry laksa in the city, drop by 328 Katong Laksa on East Coast Road or Janggut Laksa in Queensway Shopping Centre. But if you want laksa that’s cooked over charcoal fire, go to Sungei Road Laksa. This laksa stall, located along Jalan Berseh, has been serving traditional-style laksa for over 60 years.
4. Wanton Mee
You might have had wanton mee one too many times during your trips to Hong Kong but you should still try Singapore’s take of this yummy noodle dish. Unlike, Hong Kong’s wanton mee which consists of noodles and prawn dumplings in a bowl of hot broth, Singapore’s version is served ‘dry’ – egg noodles, light sauce, pork dumplings, barbecued pork belly, fried pork lard, and some vegetables. You can also have your wanton mee spicy, with a healthy amount of chili sauce mixed in.
For the best wanton mee in Singapore, visit Fei Fei Wanton Mee in Joo Chiat Place and Kok Kee want Mee in Lavender Food Square on Jalan Besar, and Parklane Zha Yun Tun Mee House in Sunshine Plaza, Bencoolen Street. Eng’s Wanton Noodle House on Tanjong Katong Road serves great wanton mee as well.
5. Nasi Lemak
A versatile dish of Malay origin consisting of rice cooked in coconut cream, deep-fried anchovies, sambal, cucumber, egg, cucumber slice, and fried chicken or fish, nasi lemak is an all-day favourite among locals in Singapore.
For the best nasi lemak in Singapore, head to Ponngol Nasi Lemak on Upper Serangoon Road, Mizzy’s Corner at the Changi Village Market and Food Centre, and Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak in Adam Food Centre – all these stalls serve really good nasi lemak at wallet-friendly prices.
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By: Brendelyn Balaga