Being one of the world most popular tourists’ destination, Singapore has many to offer rather than just a modern vibrant cosmopolitan. With 3 major races make up most of its population, this multi-racial society not only preserves their generation of oriental culture heritage perfectly, but also well open to western culture as well. They say: Singapore is a place where the East meet West.
This uniqueness in culture mix has great influence in the local’s food as well. With its multi-racial cultures, there are just too many varieties of good and delicious street food available, making Singapore the local food paradise for tourists from all over the world. Singapore food paradise image is further emphasized when the Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asian features the most famous tourist food spot in Singapore, Newton Hawker Centre in the movie.
In fact, it is really difficult to just pick the Top 5, because there are just too many good local foods here. Nevertheless, here are the Top 5 must not missed local food in most tourists’ opinion.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Hainanese Chicken Rice is on top of the list.. Heralded by the Singapore Tourism Board as the Singapore National Dish, this is the No.1 local food that every tourist should try.
In fact, it is so good and so popular, until quite a number of restaurants (even a stall in Hawkers Centre) have made their chicken rice into the Michellen star list.
Hainanese Chicken rice has been here in Singapore for generation. Originated from the Hainanese and Cantonese migrant workers, now one can find there is some subtle variants between them. However traditionally all Hainanese chicken rice are basically made up of succulent poached chicken and perfectly tender fragrant rice, and served with a sweet, thick and dark black soy sauce, a ginger puree and a specially made for chicken rice’s chilli sauce.
The rice is not a normal rice. This rich flavor rice is pre-fried with chicken fat and chicken stock that come from poaching the whole chicken. This makes the rice full of aroma and just delicious.
The chicken used in making Hainanese Chicken rice is poached until the chicken’s skin turns yellowish and with moist like texture. This made the meat is just tender enough yet filled with mouth watering fragrant.
Beside those normally accompanied condiments, some restaurants also serve their chicken rice with a thick broth of chicken stock, garnished with cucumber slices and coriander leaves.
Nasi lemak is a food originated from Malay ethnic but is now widely enjoyed by all residents in Singapore. “Nasi” means rice and “Lemak” means fat (coconut fat) in Malay. The rice is specially steamed and is enriched with strong coconut milk and is also flavored with Pandan leaves. In fact, it is this flavor that make Nasi Lemak’s rice itself taste so fragrant and nice.
There are many different types of topping normally served together with this rice. These include fried chicken wings or chicken drumsticks, fried anchovies (Ikan Bilis in Malay’s word), fried peanuts, cucumber and some specially made sambal (sweet and spicy chilis paste).
As Nasi Lemak is widely available almost in every food court, Hawker Centre or Kopitiam (coffee shops), do not miss the chance to try it out when you are in Singapore, and leave comment below how you feel about Nasi Lemak..
Chili Crab is the national icon of Singaporean cuisine. Even the Singapore Tourism Board has promoted Chilli Crab as one of the Must Try tourist’s food in Singapore.
Oversized Sri Lankan Crabs are normally used in this dish. The secret of Chilli Crab tastiness is on it’s thick and drippy gravy, which is sweet, spicy and savoury in flavor. The crabs are stir-fried in this gravy. You will love the feel and taste of eating this crabs when the delicious gravy seeps into the succulent flesh of the crabs meat.
Since the gravy is so nice, beside eating the crab meat, many people are actually eating this gravy with ManTou (a small steamed buns) by dipping them into this delicious sauce. May be a secret or my personal preference, I really enjoy pouring this crab meat gravy on the white rice and eat together, I feel it is the best! I am not sure others though.. J
Chilli Crab is not so cheap compare to other 4 local food. There are some famous Chilli Crab restaurants that not only love by tourists, but the local as well, for example Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, No Signboard Seafood Restaurant etc..
Originated from South Indian, Singaporeans love this food very much and eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even supper! If you have been to Malaysia, you may find the similar food but named differently there, it is called Roti Canai in Malaysia.
Roti Prata means “flatten bread” in Hindi. So basically Roti Prata is a fried flatten dough that made from flour, water, oil, sugar, salt and ghee. It is normally served with various types of curry, for example chicken, vegetables, fish or mutton etc., depending on the availability. The curry normally is not spicy, but tasty.
The Roti Kosong (plain bread in Malay word) refer to the plain flatten Roti Prata itself. It tastes a little bit sweetie and you can actually consume as it is. But you can choose from varies type of filling and topping to add more taste to the serving. Popular filling includes butter, kaya, egg, banana, onions, milk, sugar, cheese as well as honey. My favouritte is banana and butter Roti Prata..I love it.
The making of Roti Prata requires good skill. It is made by stretching and pressing the dough repeatedly to flatten it until it is like a paper thin. It will then be fried on a hot stove and flipped repeatedly until the dough is fully cooked. In fact, if you have a chance, watching how the skilled cook flipping and stretching the Roti Prata in the air is already an enjoyment.
Roti Prata can be found in many restaurants, Kopitiam (Coffee Shops) and food court. And it is comparatively a very cheap but tasty local street food. Again, do not miss the chance to try out Roti Prata when you are in Singapore.
This is another Must Try local street food which originated from Indonesia. Similar to Nasi Lemak, it is so popular that even other ethnics are selling this Malay foods, and easily available almost everywhere in Singapore.
Satay is actually made by skewering fillets of seasoned meats on a pointed stick and is grilled with the heat from the charcoal fire until it turns into golden color. Marinade and spice are evenly applied on this meat when tossing it on the grill to make it looks nice and tasty.
Normally it is served with a bowl of specially made peanut paste which can spices up the flavor even more. Also served with this Satay are onion, cucumber and Ketumpat, a Malay style of rice dumplings. Personally I think this Ketumpat is the best and perfect companion for Satay.
Needless to say..guys…this is a Must Try!
Basically, these local foods are quite cheap (except the Chilli Crab). You can find them everywhere, restaurants, hawker centre, Kopitiam (coffee shop) and the food court inside shopping malls. So there is no reason you can’t find and try out these Top 5 Must Try local food when you are in Singapore.