The culturally rich city-state of Singapore is known as a food paradise, and for good reason. Influences from Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European cuisines make Singaporean food a gastronomic melting pot. Here are some essential tips for savoring the best of Singapore’s food scene:
1. Embrace Hawker Centres
Hawker Centres are open-air food complexes offering a wide range of affordable and delicious food. From traditional dishes like Hainanese Chicken Rice to innovative fusion foods, these centres are the heart of Singapore’s culinary scene.
2. Start with National Dishes
Two must-try dishes are Hainanese Chicken Rice – poached chicken served with fragrant rice, and Chili Crab – hard-shell crab tossed in a sweet, savoury and spicy sauce. These dishes embody the essence of Singapore’s multicultural cuisine.
3. Try Laksa
A bowl of Laksa, a spicy noodle soup combining Chinese and Malay culinary elements, is a soul-warming experience. The gravy, made from coconut milk and dried shrimp, and served with noodles, prawns and fish cakes, is an explosion of flavors.
4. Don’t Miss Out on Roti Prata
Roti Prata, a South-Indian influenced flatbread, is a favorite breakfast item. Enjoy it plain or with fillings, paired with a side of curry for dipping.
5. Savor Peranakan Cuisine
Try Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine, a unique blend of Chinese and Malay cooking styles. Signature dishes include Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken stewed with a local nut) and Babi Pongteh (braised pork in fermented soy bean sauce).
6. Explore Seafood
Singapore’s tropical location means an abundance of seafood. Must-tries include Sambal Stingray (barbecued stingray slathered in a spicy sambal sauce) and Black Pepper Crab.
7. Enjoy Kaya Toast and Kopi
Kaya toast, served with soft-boiled eggs and a cup of Kopi (local coffee), is a traditional Singaporean breakfast that you shouldn’t miss.
8. Visit During a Food Festival
Try to visit during the Singapore Food Festival held every July, where you’ll get to experience food workshops, themed celebrations, and special menus.
9. Experience Durian
Known as the ‘King of Fruits’, Durian is renowned for its unique (and to some, overwhelming) aroma and taste. Trying this fruit can be a truly unique experience!
10. Hydrate with Local Drinks
Quench your thirst with local drinks like Bandung (rose syrup with milk), Teh Tarik (pulled tea), or simply a refreshing coconut.
Singapore’s culinary scene is a beautiful representation of its cultural diversity. Whether you’re a fan of spicy curries, sweet pastries, or exotic fruits, the city-state has something to offer everyone. In Singapore, there’s always a new flavor waiting to be discovered.