Alright, alright Singapore, you’ve won this round. Not only do you have the world’s best airport, but you also serve some of the tastiest eats in Asia. We’re talking 20,000 eateries to feed a nation of only 5 million, and over 218 food hawker centres. And what are these so-called ‘Hawker food markets’ we speak of? Well, they’re basically open-air complexs offering super affordable meals of all different kinds. Basically, if locals hang there, you know it’s going to be a winner.
And with so much of the Singaporean cuisine influenced by foods from China, Malaysia and India – it’s truly a culinary experience for both locals and international travellers. Anthony Bourdain once even described Singapore as “a city for serious eaters & perfect for a gastro-tourist, somebody who travels to eat.”
We think we’re sold already…
Kaya toast and soft boiled eggs
Kaya is a sweet creamy coconut spread known as srikaya (coconut egg jam). It’s a popular snack throughout Singapore and best served on toast or crackers with a side of Kopi (a local coffee).
Where to go? Most major shopping outlets will serve em but Ya Kun Kaya Toast never disappoints.
Ice cream sandwiches
Thanks to the hot climate in Singapore we’ve been blessed with $1 ice cream sandwiches of all different kinds (Corn, durian, coffee, chocolate etc).
Where to go? Orchard street and Chinatown is lined with street vendors.
Hainanese Chicken rice
Don’t you dare leave this place without trying the Hainanese chicken rice (steamed chicken, rice cooked in fragrant chicken broth, bowl of chicken soup and dipping sauce). Oh, did we mention – chicken?
This national dish is loved by locals and visitors simply for its tastiness & budget friendly prices and can be found all over, from hawker stalls to food outlets and high-end restaurants. But the true highlight of this dish is none other than its side of dipping sauce consisting of chilli sauce, ginger paste and dark soy sauce.
Where to go? Maxwell hawker to eat at 30-year-old food stall Tian Tian (1 Kadayanallur St).
Word on the street is that this is Singapore’s #1 culinary export to the world. Can you blame them? The chilli crab consists of sambal (chilli), vinegar, tomato paste, and egg. The crabs are steamed, cracked and lightly stir fried in a paste (chili sauce, ketchup and eggs) with bread served to soak up the fragrant sauce.
Where to go? Old Airport road Food centre
There are two main types of laksa: curry based or asam (sour). Traditional Singaporean laksa uses vermicelli noodles, coconut milk, beancurd puffs, fish slices, shrimp and cockles giving your tastebuds a run for its money.
Where to go? Sungei Road Laksa or 328 Katong Laksa
With so much of Singapore’s food influenced by the Chinese, Malaysian and Indian cuisine, the Roti Pratha is believed to have evolved from Punjab, India. Roti means bread, and prata means ‘flat’ in Hindi language. This fried pancake is filled with all kinds of tasty ingredients from cheese, eggs, mushrooms, onion or sometimes, even chocolate. The Prata is best served with a fish or chicken curry, whilst others simply like to sprinkle a little sugar on it.
Where to go? Little India
Char Kway Teow
Think thick rice noodles fried and mixed with soy sauce, bean sprouts, fish cake, clams, chinese sausage, egg and whole prawns. Don’t know about you guys, but those flavours certainly pack a punch.
Where to go? Hill Street Char Kway Teow
Bak Chor Mee
A true Singaporean dish that’s served with minced pork and egg noodles. The sauce the noodles are mixed with is made up of vinegar, chilli and soy sauce. Sounds simple right? Well yes, if you get the art of balancing the sauce right…
Where to go? Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork noodle was recently awarded a one-star michelin award.
Don’t be fooled by the name. The ‘chai tow kway‘ is a savoury carrot cake that doesn’t even have carrots in it! Rather, the main ingredients are rice flour and white radish. It’s then steamed, cut into cubes and fried with garlic, eggs and preserved radish called ‘chai poh.’ Best served with a side of soy sauce.
Where to go? Zion Road Food Centre or Changi Village Hawker Center
Literally means “pulled tea” from the pouring process of the tea whilst it’s prepared. It’s made from black tea, condensed milk or evaporated milk and is very popular throughout Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore.
Where to go? Many street hawker venues will have Teh Tarik available.