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EAT LIKE A SINGAPOREAN
Welcome to the land of multi-cultural culinary pleasures. Indian, Chinese, Malay, Peranakan, Eurasian, French, Italian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese… the list goes on. For a start, try these local dishes that even locals can’t get enough of.
Char Kway Teow
Flat rice noodles stir fried with sweet dark sauce, eggs, bean sprouts, chives, Chinese sausage, prawns or sliced fish cake and cockles.
Crabs cooked in a chilli and tomato gravy, served with fried bread rolls. Dunk the bread into the gravy for a uniquely Singaporean taste.
Fish Head Curry
A whole fish head cooked with okra, eggplant and tomatoes in a spicy curry. Best served with steamed white rice and ice-cold lime juice.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Steamed chicken accompanied by rice cooked in chicken stock. Served with cucumber slices, minced ginger, chilli sauce and dark soy sauce.
Rice noodles in a spicy coconut broth with fresh cockles, bean sprouts and sliced fish cakes.
An Indian pancake stuffed with minced mutton or chicken, pan fried to a chewy, crunchy exture and served with spicy curry.
Steamed white rice accompanied by a variety of Malay-style meat, fish, vegetable and curry dishes.
A salad of fruits, vegetables and fried crullers tossed in prawn paste and sprinkled with peanuts.
Skewered meat grilled over coal fire. Served with rice cakes, onions, cucumber and a spicy peanut gravy.
POPULAR FOOD CENTRES
The crux of enjoying the best eats at a food centre is that if you see a queue, printed accolades or newspaper articles at the stall, the food is usually worth trying or waiting for.
If you see a packet of tissue on the seat or table, it means the seat is taken. That’s how it works here, especially during lunch hours in the Central Business District.
Getting There: Best by taxi
Geylang is known for late-night eateries that serve a variety of specialty local cuisine such as frog’s leg congee, dim sum, claypot rice and silky bean curd. Coincidentally, this area is also Singapore’s red-light district.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
Where: Esplanade. Open: Mon-Thu 5pm-2am; Fri & Sat 5pm-3am; Sun 4pm-1am
Photo: Singapore Tourism Board
Sample a variety of local street food such as satay, oyster omelette and fried carrot cake prepared by hawkers specially handpicked by founder KF Seetoh.
Lau Pa Sat
Where: Boon Tat Street
Known for alfresco satay hawkers in the evenings, Lau Pa Sat is in the heart of the business district. It is also the largest Victorian filigree cast-iron structure in Southeast Asia.
Maxwell Food Centre
Getting There: Chinatown MRT
There are many famous stalls at this food centre. One of them sells kuay chap, a dish of noodles with pig’s innards.
Newton Food Centre
Getting There: Newton MRT. Open: Noon to 2am
Order seafood dishes such as barbecued stingray, jumbo prawns and chilli crab. Have a bowl of porridge, ice kachang dessert, or try a pungent durian fruit if you dare.
LOCAL FOOD TRAIL
ION Orchard Food & Heritage Trail
ION Orchard, Basement 3
Monday – Friday, 11am
Treat your taste buds to an array of Singaporean flavours at this food trail. Sample kueh (Straits Chinese-style cakes) from Bengawan Solo, bakwa (barbecued pork) from Lim Chee Guan, kaya (coconut jam) toast from Ya Kun Kaya Toast and ginseng tea from Eu Yan Sang, which specialises in Chinese herbs and medicine. End the trail on a high at ION Sky, the tallest point on Orchard Road, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of iconic heritage districts. Register at ION's B3 Concierge Counter by 10.45am (maximum 10 adults per session). Show your passport to receive a $5 F&B voucher when you sign up.