Singapore is a famous foodie destination and an absolute paradise for anyone like me who loves good food. An eclectic mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and European cultures has given the country a vast food heritage and led to some stunning fusion dishes. Here are ten of my ultimate foods to try in Singapore.
1. Chicken rice.
Chicken rice is famous all over Singapore and Malaysia and one of the best places to try this relatively plain but unbelievably tasty dish is at Maxwell Food Court. There are a few stalls that sell the dish, all of them delicious, but Tian Tian Chicken Rice beats them all hands down with a buttery, spicy taste to its chicken. It’s no wonder there’s always a massive queue!
2. Kueh tu tu.
I can’t get enough of these little rice cakes! They are steamed rice flour cakes with a choice of peanut or coconut (my personal favourite) and palm sugar filling. There are many places you can get these, but I always make a beeline for Tan’s Tutu Coconut Cake on Havelock road whenever I am back in my second home as they are baked to an old family recipe and always seem to be so much tastier than anywhere else!
3. Kaya toast.
Where else in the world would you find an entire franchise devoted purely to toast? Only in Singapore! Kaya toast at the franchised Ya Kun Kaya Toast is a popular snack throughout Singapore and Malaysia and is a staple breakfast of mine whenever I am here. Kaya is a sweet coconut jam, with a topping of sugar, coconut milk and eggs. My heart will probably explode in some horrific diabetes related incident later in life, but when breakfast tastes this good, who the hell cares?
4. Beef pho.
Every now and then my normally overactive sweet tooth is silenced and I get in the mood for something rich and meaty, and the pho broth at Pho 99 – a traditional Vietnamese restaurant on Amoy street – fits the bill perfectly with just the right amount of salt, and the sliced beef itself just melts in your mouth! Make sure you try the light and crispy spring rolls too!
5. Blueberry and banana pancakes.
Okay, pancakes are hardly a Singaporean national dish, but they are a backpacker tradition so the cultural criteria remains intact! For me, anyway. Besides, the blueberry and banana pancakes at The Loft, a hidden away, minimalist cafe in the heart of chinatown are stunning! Especially when topped with honey! Save yourself time and just order yourself double helpings straight away, because I guarantee you will want seconds!
Laksa is one of Singapore’s many popular signature dishes, and is yet another meal I can’t get enough of! Again this can be found all over Singapore but among the best I have tasted is at Katong Laksa on East Coast Road (not far from the East Coast Seafood centre). Their laksa gives spicy a whole new meaning and I nearly ruined my sinuses the first time I tried one, but the taste you get once you get used to it is truly amazing and perfectly refreshing in the Singapore heat.
7. Chicken satay.
The smith street food stalls aren’t a patch on what they used to be after the gentrification of the street last year. It’s as if all the magic left with all the rickety plastic chairs and barbecue smoke. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the plates of chicken satay, perfect for a late evening snack as you people watch the crowds of tourists! Beef and mutton satay are also really nice.
8. Chilli crab.
You can’t come away from Singapore without trying the chilli crab at least once. It is an absolute traditional must have dish, and the views and setting at East Coast Park are the icing on the cake. The crab meat here is just so soft and flaky it practically melts, and the chilli sauce is delicious, especially when you soak it up with some chinese bread buns! Bring your stretchy pants here, you’ll need them!
9. Hokkien Mee.
Fried Hokkien Mee is about as Singaporean as you can get. It is a deliciously earthy, spicy noodle dish with prawns, and can be found in most food courts all over Singapore. Maxwell Road food court has a couple of stalls that do great ones, as does Tiong Bahru Food Court.
10. Steamed Buns.
I love steamed buns, especially the barbecue pork! These are traditionally Chinese but like many Chinese dishes have been firmly adopted into Singaporean cuisine. There are so many varieties and I once ate so many I had to spend the entire afternoon lying on my bed to recover! The barbecue pork is my usual go to snack and these can literally be found in food courts and restaurants all over the country. A particular highlight though because of it’s uniqueness has to be the chocolate filled panda bun at Mama Panda Kitchen in the River Safari. The place itself is nothing special, a fast food place in a zoo, but hell, look at this and tell me you don’t want one!
These are my favourite go to foods whenever I am in Singapore, but by no means are the full extent of the awesome range of both national and fusion cuisine available in the foodie capital of the world. If you are ever in Singapore I urge you to try as much a variety of food as you can handle in the time you are there, it is an experience in and of itself!
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*Important note: This post is in no way sponsored or incentivised by the businesses or places mentioned. I received no payment or favours for writing this. This is just my own personal opinion on my personal favourite foods to eat in Singapore and where you can find good examples of them.