Singapore, a futuristic cosmopolitan city, is a melting pot of culture, advanced technology, luxury living, and lifestyle. Over the past few years, there has been increased footfall of travelers from all around the world.
TAKEAWAY: Singapore received its name from a Sumatran Prince during the early 14th century. He named the island “Singapura”, which in Sanskrit means “lion city”. This name was chosen because he spotted a strange animal while hunting and he thought it was a lion. However, there have never been lions in Singapore, and what the prince saw was probably a tiger.
There have been settlers from different countries. Therefore, the local foods of Singapore have been drastically influenced by Indian, Chinese, Arab, Malaysian, and Indonesian cuisines, resulting in some real lip-smacking dishes. So this makes it mandatory for you to try the famous foods of Singapore.
Your visit to Singapore is incomplete without tasting some staple dishes. So if you haven’t finished the checklist yet, it’s time for you to reconsider keeping the food culture of Singapore in it. To make it easier for you, we have prepared a list of famous foods of Singapore you must definitely try.
Rojak – The Traditional Singapore Food
Rojak is essentially a traditional salad dish of Singapore made from fresh food and vegetables. Chinese rojak, on the other hand, consists of pineapple, youtiao (dough fritters) cucumber, turnips, bean sprouts cooked in a sauce made of chili, tamarind, lime and lime peel, and a prawn paste, lastly topped with crushed roasted peanut. This is a kind of meal is easy to find in a street food market or in a Hawker center in Singapore. Try this food at Al Mahboob Indian Rojak, Toa Payoh Rojak and Hoover Rojak.
Bak Kut Teh – The Simplest Food Dish
This simple food of Singapore is prepared by boiling pork ribs with pepper and salt along with some herbs like ginger, garlic, star anise, etc. Enjoy it with rice and hot Chinese tea! This traditional Singapore dish has some really interesting stories about its origin, ask the locals for them! Try the best Bak Kut Teh at the following restaurants: Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh or Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup.
Dim Sum – Chinese Steamed Dish
Dim Sum is a traditional Chinese steamed dish and is considered to be one of the top comfort foods in Singapore. It is generally available from the morning until mid-afternoon at the local stalls and in many restaurants. The popular Singaporean dish of Dim Sum includes the BBQ Pork Bun, Xiao Long Bao, Siew Mai, Chee Cheong Fun and many more. Visit Swee Choon Tim Sum, Tim Ho Wan or Wen Dao Shi for the best Dim Sum in Singapore.
Crabs – The Most Wanted Seafood
If you’re a seafood lover, then don’t leave Singapore without digging into this delicious hot Chilli crab, as it is listed at number 35 on the World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN in 2018. You will find basically two styles of cooking a crab, one with chili tomato gravy and another with black pepper sauce, served with bread or a bun. Have the most delicious crab in Singapore at Long Beach Seafood, Crab Party and Red House Seafood Restaurant.
Bak Chor Mee – Food For Meat Lovers
Bak chor mee is minced pork meat, meatballs and liver along some fish blanched with thin egg noodles. It has the essential vinegar based sauce or gravy. This food of Singapore is Heaven for meat-lovers. You can taste Bak Chor Mee in any of the following restaurants in Singapore: 58 Minced Meat Mee, Tai Hwa Pork Noodle and Tai Wah Pork Noodle.
Laksa – The Malaysian Food
Laksa is a famous Malaysian dish that you need to try if you are willing to explore the food culture of Singapore. This Chinese and Malay inspired soup is a form of perikanan cuisine. It consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish and also some herbs and vegetables. Laksa is served in spicy soup and curry coconut milk or on sour asam. You can taste this dish in 328 Katong Laksa, Sungei Road Laksa or Janggut Laksa.
Kaya Toast – Cheapest Local Food
Kaya toast is one of the cheapest local foods you can have for breakfast or in the afternoon. This well-known “snack” is made with lathering the sliced traditional white bread loaf with the ‘kaya’; a jam produced with coconut, sugar, and egg, topped with some butter. Enjoy the Singapore classic with a cup of a tea or a coffee and the half boiled eggs. Kaya Toast is the national breakfast food of Singapore, have it at Tong Ah Eating House, Chin Mee Chin Confectionery or at Killiney Kopitiam.
Chicken Rice – The Stomach-Friendly Hainanese Food
Also known as Hainanese chicken rice, is a very basic, simple and popular dish in Singapore. The stomach-friendly Singaporean meal is made of rice cooked in chicken stock along with ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper. It occasionally also includes pandan leaves for extra flavor and aroma. Do garb a bit of the tendered glitzy chicken cooked in a traditional Hainanese way. Try this meal at Wee Nam Kee, Uncle Chicken Rice or at Boon Tong Kee.
Satay – A Singaporean Kebab
This meal is the Singaporean version of seekh kebabs. Satay is a dish of seasoned (mainly with turmeric), skewered and grilled meat (pork, chicken, beef or mutton), served with a sauce and rice. Have a taste of this food at Kwong Satay, Haron Satay or at Chuan Kee Satay.
Carrot cake – A Delicious Local Food
Carrot cake is one of the flavorful and delicious local foods. Unlike the name suggests, this dish is made from preserved radish (chai poh), eggs, and white radish flour cake. This last ingredient is the one who gave it the name, since it resembles a ‘white carrot.’ This is, no-doubt, a must try food while on vacation to the Lion City. Have a bite of this food at these restaurants who have it as a speciality: Fu Ming Carrot Cake, He Zhong Carrot Cake and Hai Sheng Carrot Cake.
About the Author: I am Kartik Parik, a foodie who loves to travel around the globe and taste the most delicious foods in every country! Apart from being a foodie I am also working as a Content lead at “Roaming Routes”. It’s a travel website providing best dual destination holidays like Singapore with Bali package, Bangkok and Pattaya, Mauritius and Seychelles and many more options.