Singapore is known for its high end shopping, amazing architecture, and luxury hotels. But another thing that this wonderful small country does best is food! There are plenty of 5 star restaurants here but you’ll find the best food in the thousands of Hawker centers and small stall eateries that call Singapore home. Each one serves authentic, traditional dishes handed down from their families and each proprietor will argue that their version is the best. This week’s installment of Gastronome Wednesday ~ Eat Like a Local in Singapore will have your mouth watering!
Gastronome Wednesday ~ Eat Like a Local in Singapore
Gastronome Wednesday ~ Eat Like a Local in Singapore will guide you on the foods to eat while visiting Singapore if you truly want to fit in.
One of my favorite dishes is Laksa. It varies depending on location. There’s Malaysian, Singapore, and Indonesian Laksa. My favorite is Singapore’s version. One of the best places to find this rich, creamy version is at 328 Katong Laksa on East Coast Road. It’s wonderfully spicy with just the right mix of coconut and evaporated milk, dried shrimp and spices. The service is a little, let’s say distant, but you’re there to eat a bowl of perfection, not make a best friend so it’s worth the trip!
Singapore’s signature dish is Chilli Crab. The main ingredient is mud crab steamed in a spicy yet sweet sauce made up of chili, tomato, garlic, rice vinegar, beaten eggs, and flour for thickening. The traditional gravy is quite spicy and westerners may find it a bit hard to take. But once you indulge in this delicacy you’ll understand what all the hype is about. The best part for me is the mantou (toasted buns). These little pillows of fried dough are perfect for slopping up the delicious sauce that’s left at the bottom of the bowl. The best place for this amazing, traditional dish…well go to the place where it was founded, Roland Restaurant located at Marine Parade Central.
Another famous dish here in Singapore is Chicken Rice. It’s of Hainanese origin and is very popular in almost all the Hawker Centers. You’ll get the most traditional and authentic version of this dish from Yet Con on Purvis Street in Bugis. Founded in the 1940s this little eatery has stood the test of time by keeping to a strict, unwavering recipe. The fresh, tender chicken is served dry (or without sesame, soya, or broth sauces.)
The rice is succulent with a perfect after taste of the chicken itself and served on the side with a bowl of broth and chili for dipping. This is a must try for two reasons; it’s traditional Singapore and the old Uncle that runs the place is the last generation. Sadly the recipe dies with him!
A mouth watering favorite of mine is Hokkien Mee. Singapore does it uniquely two ways. One is a deliciously gooey yellow noodle version with thick rice vermicelli and a dryer kind that uses the same yellow noodles but with a thinner bee hoon. My favorite…the dry type. The best I’ve had is at the Old Airport Road Food Center at the Nam Sing Hokkien Mee hawker. Their version is made with fried noodles, seafood stock and garlic. Add a healthy teaspoon of chili and it’s one of the best dishes you’ll ever eat!
My list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Roti Prata. I’m in love with this dish and Singapore has the most amazing places for it. Served with spicy chicken curry this crispy fried flour-based pancake is sinfully good. Originally a Pakistanian and Indian dish it quickly became a favorite of locals and visitors alike. One of the best places to eat this spicy wonder is Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Crispy Roti Prata on Crane Road. One of the greatest things about this stall is that it’s open at 6:30 AM so I never have to wait to indulge. This is a must try but forget about the diet as this dish is for pure indulgment, there’s no healthy version of it, but it’s worth every calorie!
Singapore is home to thousands of eateries and hawker centers and each one has a delicious, authentic spin on traditional Asian delicacies. The best way to find your favorite is to eat your way across the small red dot! There you have it, I hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Gastronome Wednesday ~ Eat Like a Local in Singapore.
Have you been to Singapore and tried any of these dishes? What did you think? Share your experiences with us!