Singapore isn’t called Instant Asia just because of the ethnicities residing there, but because it instantly gives a tourist a glimpse into Asia’s vast culture and tradition. Their geographical location makes it an ideal spot for all the neighboring ethnicities to blend in and create something beautiful and awe-inspiring.
You’ll see Chinese, Indonesians, Indian, Malaysians and many western people there.
The food in Singapore is a blend of its heritage and all these stunningly diverse people and their heritage. Here you’ll find influences of all these countries in the food served at food courts, hawker centers, and coffee shops.
The richness of color and flavor will surely take you on a gastronomically gratifying ride. Here are our top picks for the food that you must try on your visit to Instant Asia:
1. Hokkien Prawn Mee
Hokkien Prawn Mee is a dish that is a seafood lover’s dream. Packed with rice prawn stock, fried pork, fish cake, rice noodles, and squid, it is sure to pack a flavorful punch for you.
This dish is a delicacy today; however, it comes from a humble background. It was eaten by Hokkien factory workers after the war. They used to fry any extra noodles and eat them as a complete meal.
This dish later evolved into Hokkien Prawn Mee after incorporating seafood and is widely loved in Singapore. For more detail on this dish and other such dishes, you should hop on a search engine and search for “food blog Singapore.” They will share their personal experience with each dish, and you’ll be able to identify better whether you want to try it out.
2. Bak Kut The
Bat Kut Teh, which is Meat Bone Tea or Pork Ribs Soup, is one of the oldest dishes served in Singapore. It is of Singaporean heritage and has several different stories about how it was invented.
One famous story is that a beggar asked for food from a roadside pork noodle store. The store owner suffered from poverty but wanted to help this starving beggar. He took out some leftover pork bones and added whatever spices he had left. The story states that they were pepper and star anise. Hence a tea-colored soup was born and was named pork bone tea.
The dish has been around for a long time, and people still enjoy it. If you want a taste of the real Singaporean deal, then you must try Bat Kut Teh.
Today, a few herbs are combined with the traditional ingredients to add a little more flavor.
3. Nasi Biryani
If you are an avid food lover, there is no way that you don’t know what a Biryani is. It is a South Asian mixed rice dish made with basmati rice. It has saffron, red chili, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaves, garam masala, etc. Biryani has a distinct yellow-orange color and a heady aroma. It is loved by South Asians in Singapore and can be a little spicy.
You can choose whether you’d like it in chicken, mutton, beef or fish. Moreover, many vegetarian versions of the traditional Indian-Muslim dish are also emerging for vegetarians and vegans.
Be sure to try this out on your next trip to Singapore.
4. Dim Sum or Dian Xin
Dim Sum is a Shanghai/Hong Kong-inspired cuisine popular in Singapore. This is a whole platter of a set of small dishes served together. They can be enjoyed together and reflect the traditional Chinese collectivist custom.
A Dim Sum usually includes Siew Mai, Xiao Long Bao, Cheong Fun, etc.
Moreover, if you are a Muslim struggling to find what to eat in Singapore, look no further than the Dim Sum, as it is Halal-certified. A lot of Muslims in the region also own Dim Sum houses.
5. Chilli or Pepper Crabs
Crabs are a delicacy in Singapore and are often eaten by tourists. The two styles of cooking sauces that they adopt are the traditional tomato chili sauce and the black pepper sauce. Both of them are enjoyed with buns (mantous) which are dipped in the sauce.
Other cooking methods are also being used lately, like the salted-egg crabs and the crab bee hoon.
It is cooked in a manner that retains its crispiness, and the meat is properly cooked. Hence, it is a two-step process. First, crabs are boiled so that the meat is properly softened. Second, it is fried, so it doesn’t stick to the shell.
6. Nasi Lemak
If you go to Singapore and don’t have the Nasi Lemak, you are seriously missing out. It is one of the most versatile dishes in Singapore and is served as a breakfast, lunch, and dinner item. You can have it at any time. It was originally a breakfast item; however, it became so popular that people wanted to have it all the time.
It is a Malaysian dish and was traditionally wrapped in banana leaves. However, Singapore is a diverse country, so we see many variations of the dish.
The santan-infused rice is steamed with coconut cream, which gives it a sweet fragrance. It has fried anchovies, eggs, peanuts, and chili paste. This chili paste, often called sambal, determines whether a Nasi Lemak is good or not.
7. Tau Huay
The Tau Huay is the sweet tooth’s dream dessert. It is made of beancurd tofu and sugar syrup. It can be eaten with rice balls and various jellies. You can have it hot or cold depending upon your preference.
Due to the flexibility this dessert has, it can be incorporated into various flavors. The dessert’s texture is smooth and very popular among the locals.
Now you know what to try when you go on a trip to Singapore. These dishes are the most popular among the locals and tourists visiting Singapore. They are easily available and must be tried if you want to explore a new set of flavors.
Hope you enjoyed the article and have already decided what to try on your visit to Singapore.