To locals and foreigners, Singapore is known to be a food paradise. Having lived here for all my life, I would have to say that this statement stands true. Due to its multi-cultural and multi-racial background, the food that you find in Singapore are influenced by the races that are present in this country, which includes – Chinese, Malay and Indian races.
In this blog entry, let me introduce you to some of the ‘staple’ Singaporean dishes that everyone should try if given the opportunity.
1. Hainanese chicken rice
Hainanese chicken rice is a favourite among locals and foreigners alike. Even though the name of this dish seems to imply that it is a Chinese dish from Hainan Island in China, I think that this is a dish that is unique to Singapore. When ordering this dish, you can either choose “white chicken” or “roast chicken” and it comes with a special type of rice that is cooked with. Also, it is within a specific kind of chilli sauce and you can add dark sauce or ginger sauce if you fancy. This dish can be found in most hawker centres and coffee shops in Singapore and there are many famous chicken rice chain shops such as ‘Boon Tong Kee’ and ‘Wee Nam Kee’. There is even a Wee Nam Kee chicken rice outlet in Korea now!
2. Chilli crab
Another iconic Singaporean dish is chilli crab. This dish is cooked using Sri Lanka crabs and it is drenched with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce that makes it really delicious. Fried mantou, which is a kind of bread, can be eaten with the sauce as well. Most seafood restaurants in Singapore will sell this dish and other variants of this dish are black pepper crab, creamy butter crab and even salted egg crab.
This is a noodle dish, and it is rice noodles that is cooked in a spicy, coconut broth. Prawns, cockles, bean sprouts, and tau pok are normally added into the broth and eaten together with the noodles. This dish is also found in Penang, Malaysia, but the broth is made in a different way.
4. Hokkien mee
Another noodle dish of Singapore is Hokkien mee. This is fried noodle dish that is usually cooked with bits of pork, squid and prawns. The noodle is cooked in a delicious prawn broth that will add sweetness to the dish.
5. Bak chor mee
The name of this dish translates to ‘minced pork noodle’. It Is also a relatively cheap dish that can be found in hawker centres and coffee shop. It is basically minced pork that is served from various kinds of noodles, though a type of noodle called Mee Pok, is the most commonly used type of noodle. This very unassuming noodle dish actually attained a Michelin star award for this and it goes to show that it is indeed must-try dish in Singapore.
These are just 5 of the many unique dishes that you can find in Singapore. Singapore is truly a food haven with lots of different kinds of food that are for offer here, and it’s truly a good place for a foodie to come and visit!
By Tan LiJia Gloria, ASEAN Correspondent from Singapore