Singapore is a wonderful city with a beautiful skyline and should definitely be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Once there, you’ll find that the cuisine is very diverse with a blend of Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, and western influences.
Here is a quick list of some fine choices of Singaporean cuisine, whether you’re interested in dining or grabbing a bite to eat at a street cart.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Originating in the Hainan province of China way back to the Qin dynasty, this chicken rice is now a popular dish in Singapore. It is even often considered to be one of the “national Singapore dishes”. There are variants of the chicken in how it is prepared. Popular options being soy sauce chicken and roasted chicken. There are plenty of dipping sauces to choose from too.
Bak Kut Teh – Pork Rib Tea
Despite its name, the “pork rib tea” contains no tea itself, but has traditionally been served with Chinese tea. Depending on which version you choose, it can have either a “peppery” taste or “medicinal herb” taste. The pork ribs are simmered over several hours. Some of the herbs commonly found in Bak Kut Teh include star anise, dang gui, pepper, cinnamon, and various spices.
Black Pepper Crab
One of Singapore’s most iconic dishes, the black pepper/chili crab was created at the Long Beach Seafood Restaurant back in the 1950s. It’s become such a popular dish over the decades and is now available in restaurants all over the city-state. No matter where you go, you’ll find this deep-fried crab smothered in a rich oyster sauce spiced with chili peppers, ginger, and peppercorns.
Char Kway Tiao – Fried Flat Noodles
This might not be the best-looking dish in Singapore cuisine, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. In fact, it’s a popular, smoky noodle-dish throughout Southeast Asia, in destinations such as Singapore. The noodles are fried in dark soy sauce and complemented by shrimp or Chinese sausages, egg, cockles, and bean sprout.
Chai Tow Kway – “Carrot” Cake
You’ll find some interesting vegetarian-friendly dishes during your next trip to Singapore, including this carrot cake. Despite its name, contains no carrots and is not sweet. Chai Tow Kway is actually prepared with rice flour and white radish and can be served with or without dark soya sauce. If you’re a strict vegetarian, check and make sure that the restaurant does not use any fish/oyster sauce and/or lard in marinating or stir-frying.
Start each day of your trip eating Singapore’s “traditional breakfast” with either kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). The bread is either charcoal-grilled or toasted, enveloping butter and a spread of kaya, which is a traditional jam made from eggs and coconut. Sometimes it contains a bit of dark soya and white pepper. It can be ordered with soft-boiled eggs with runny yolks.