Often described as a national pastime, eating-out is an integral cultural experience in Singapore. Owing to its multi-cultural population, Singapore is a haven of many cuisines. The country is obsessed with food (Singaporeans eat five meals a day!) and the various Malay, Thai, Indian, Chinese and other fusion dishes that have developed over the decades, comprise Singaporean food. During your holiday in Singapore if you are planning to stick to safe Indian cuisine, your options are aplenty but you are doing a disservice to yourself. Here is what Singapore has on its platter for you!
If you are new to Chinese cuisine, Singapore is an excellent place to start and if you are a fan already, you will surely make your way to these most loved Chinese diners. Situated in the Food Centre at 16 Bedok South Road, Hill Street Char Kway Teow serves the best Char Kway Teow (a popular noodle dish) and a range of authentic Chinese fried noodles, accompanied with Lap cheongs (Chinese sausages). Chilli Crab is another signature Singaporean dish which can be enjoyed in several restaurants, the most famous being Jumbo Restaurant at East Coast Road.
Try the delicious “Laksa” at 328 Katong Laska on the East Coast Road
A delectable noodle soup with fish, Laska is a Peranakan dish (a synthesis of Malay and Chinese cuisine) and the best place to find it is at 328 Katong Laska on the East Coast Road.
The Flavours of Southeast Asia
Tropical ingredients like turmeric, chillies, coconut and ginger, lend a rich flavour to Southeast Asian cuisine. Accompanied with the best sea food like crabs, fish, etc. and the humble rice, one can enjoy a great variety of Malay, Thai and Indonesian food in Singapore. Chicken rice,Gado Gado (assorted vegetables with peanut sauce) and Satay are some must-try dishes in Singapore which go well with Teh Tarik (pulled tea), the signature Singaporean drink and other beverages too. One can find a number of restaurants in Airport Road and at several food courts across the country.
Gado-Gado, Chicken Rice and Satay are a must-try when in Singapore | Photo Credit: Tropika satays / wikimedia
Vegetarian? Time To Be Happy
Oooh, yeaaaahhhh, another of my absolute favourite things to eat in Singapore. Go directly to Little India. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. Just go there and feast. My favourite place to visit is Komala Villas, a very well known spot in Little India which serves exceptional Northern Indian Food. Also a good place to visit, for Southern Indian Food that isn’t vegetarian, is The Banana Leaf Apolo, which is famous for its fish head curry and mango-prawn curry.
If you’re going to Komala Villas, and you really should, be sure to try the amazing Masala Dosai. It’s basically a very long crepe made of rice batter and black lentils (perfect for those with gluten intolerance). The Masala Dosai is stuffed with curried potato and spices, the crepe is then wrapped around it, kinda like a really, really big cannoli. It’s served with a number of different dipping sauces and curries, all vegetarian of course. Masala Dosai should cost around $3.50SG.
(note: don’t get confused and go to a place called ‘Komala’s’… make sure you go to Komala Villas.)
For The Love Of Street Food
Singaporean street food is the best. Ahh… the joy of egg noodles (better known as friedHokkien mee) and dumplings! Cheap, fresh, hygienic and nutritious – this is all you need. Take an evening off from shopping, Sentosa and sightseeing and just head to Maxwell Road Hawker Centre in Chinatown where over 100 stalls sell street food and quick bites from around the world.
Do not miss Kaya Toast in Singapore! It’s hard to fit this one in to a group, but it’s a must-try! Kaya is a jam made of coconut milk and eggs. It is sweet, fluffy and does wonders to your palette. You can savour a good part of Kaya toast with coffee at Ya Kun Kaya Toast on China Street, Far East Square.