Singapore has a diverse cuisine, influenced by the flavours and styles of China, Thailand, Malay and India. Here are just a few of Singapore’s most popular eats and treats!
Char Kway Teow
This flavour-packed noodle stir fry is a national dish of Singapore and one of its most popular street foods. It typically contains Chinese sausage, egg, prawns, cockles, soy sauce, fishcake and Chinese chives. As the dish is usually cooked in pork fat it is known for being quite heavy and fatty (but it also has a reputation for being very tasty).
With Chinese origins, Chicken Rice was traditionally prepared by cooking a whole chicken in boiling chicken/pork stock, but in Singapore the stock has been replaced by water flavoured with ginger and garlic. The chicken is then shredded and severed with rice (which has also been cooked in the flavoured stock) and a spicy chilli and garlic sauce. A chicken broth also typically forms part of the meal.
Have you ever skinned a hairy red rambutan to get to the sweet, grape like fruit inside? Or munched on the white flesh of a mangosteen? No? Well in Singapore you can get your hands on these, and several other, interesting tropical fruits. Also worth looking out for are the lychee-like longan and the spiky skinned durian.
This is probably one of Singapore’s most famous dishes. A whole crab (usually a much-more-delicious-than-it-sounds mud crab) is fried and coated in a tomato and chilli sauce. Despite the name, it isn’t an overly spicy dish but strikes a nice balance between savoury and sweet flavour.
Fish Head Curry
To make this quite striking dish the heads of red snapper fish are slowly cooked in a curry sauce before being served with a mixture of rice and vegetables. The curry sauce coating the fish heads is generally similar in flavour to the Kerala style curries produced in the south-west region of India.
Kaya is a spread made of sugar, coconut milk and eggs, which is then flavoured with pandan, the fragrant leaves of a tropical plant. Kaya is typically served on bread or toast and is one of Singapore’s most popular snacks. In recent years kaya toast has begun to feature on the menus of dozens of coffee bars across Singapore.
Laksa is a creamy curried coconut soup served with sambal chilli paste and coriander. Traditionally shrimps, fish sticks and cockles are added for flavour and texture, although you can get chicken laksa in some areas.