Singapore gained independence in the year 1965 and its food cuisine has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
The Singapore cuisine is as diverse as its population, a little blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, and other Western influences. A visit to the hawker markets or one of the shopping mall food court would be gastronomically satisfying and a perfect eye-opener for your taste buds.Eating is a natural obsession here and many Singaporeans pride in these local delicacies. When you visit Singapore, the biggest question arises as to what one should eat and where should they eat. We have enlisted a guide for you to taste Singapore’s 7 most favorite dishes. The dishes are not listed in order of significance and there is much more variety on offer than this list.
- Singapore Chilli Crab
One of the local dishes which has gained international acclaim, the Singapore Chilli Crab was created in the year 1956 by Madam Cher Yam Tian. Her street food vendor cart gained enough popularity to start a restaurant named Palm Beach Seafood restaurant that still serves one of the best Singapore Chilli Crab in this city-state. Here Hard-shell muds crabs are steamed for the shells to partially crack. They are then marinated and cooked with a tangy sauce containing tomatoes, chili paste, ketchup, and eggs. The dish is served with mantou buns or bread to soak up the gravy. It is best to taste when eaten with bare hands. Try the version at the Fullerton Road for a rich taste of this local delicacy.
- Hainanese Chicken Rice
One of the all-time favorites for a filling lunch in Singapore. Here tender chicken is marinated with garlic and cooked with white rice. The rice oozes with a fragrant aroma and flavor with the quality of the chicken stock. The cooked version is seasoned with dipping sauce and served with hot steaming chicken. There would hardly be any vendor not selling this dish in the hawker market. The Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken served at the Chan Hon Meng’s stallholder has been awarded a Michelin star in the inaugural version of the Singapore Michelin Guide. There is big rush during lunchtime and a visit early will give you a taste of this popular version. You can also try the version served at the Chinatown Complex Food Center at Smith Street for a unique taste.
- Barbecue Stingray
With origins in the streets, this local dish is one of the popular seafood delicacies which are served at the hawker stalls. The classic version features stingray meat are garnished in a spicy sambal sauce – a spicy hot version of chilies, shrimp paste, tomatoes, sugar, shallot, ginger, fish sauce, and lime juice/vinegar which are nestled in a banana leaf and grilled slowly over coals. For the best version of this dish head to the Chomp Chomp Food Center at the Kensington Park Road.
Rice noodles are mixed with spicy coconut milk soup and seasoned with fish cakes, prawns, shrimps, eggs, and chicken meat. This local delicacy has heavy Chinese and Malay influences and is considered a cross dish between Chinese and Malay cuisine. There is nothing more you can probably ask from a noodle soup. The Singapore version called Katong Laksa uses cut-up noodles with optional cockles and tofu puffs for flavor. This version is easy to slurp and you would not require the typical chopsticks to consume them.
- Hokkien Prawn Mee
After a tiring day of sightseeing, the Hokkien Prawn Mee is a perfect meal to end your day. This dish consists of a big plate of stir-fried Hokkien noodles blended with slices of chicken or pork, prawns, squid and fish cake and flavored with soy sauce, chili, and vinegar. To tone down the oil taste, it is often seasoned with a lime wedge, and sambal sauce in the end. One of the popular dishes served at the hawker markets or the food courts of the various shopping malls in Singapore. One of the local delicacies of Singapore which you should never miss out on during your holiday to Singapore.
- Fish Head Curry
The western world may discard the fish head in comparison to its remaining body, but in Singapore, the fish head is a huge delicacy. Here a huge fish head and vegetables are simmered in a gravy and served with rice or bread and a glass of local lime juice called Calamansi. The origins of this dish are South Indian with slight Chinese and Malay influences. In the sweet-sour version, the dish is garnished with tamarind juice for taste. The tender cheeks are the best part of the dish and a treat to your taste buds. There are different versions served in various restaurants, but for the best taste and the most popular versions visit the Muthu’s Curry, Race Course Road, the Suntech City Mall, and the Dempsey Road.
- Oyster Omelet
An egg omelet finely blended with flour and small oysters. The batter is thickened with starch (either potato or tapioca) before it is fried and finally garnished with coriander leaves before being served. Popularly referred as Orh luak, the outer layer of this dish is crispy due to the combination of egg and tender oysters and the inner side is as tender as it can be. One of the best places to try out this dish is Mee Sek Food court on Upper Serangoon Road.
As a tourist or visitor, this list will help you create a checklist of authentic local cuisines in Singapore. You should definitely not miss them out no matter what. Overall, Singaporeans are so obsessed with their food that a list of the favorite dishes is not possible to fit into one article. The above list contains just a minor fraction of the must-try dishes in Singapore.