In terms of cuisine, Singapore’s food has developed through many different influences including Chinese, Indian and Malaysian. No matter how long or short your stay is in Singapore, you have to try the local food which can be an activity in itself! As soon as I arrived in this incredible country, I researched as much as I could to see what I should eat. After much thought, here are the 5 things to eat in Singapore; according to me.
1. Kaya Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs
This is THE traditional Singaporean breakfast and one that you’ll find yourself coming back to each day. It’s a very simple dish consisting of bread grilled over coals, spread with coconut jam and two slices filled with thick butter. Delicious.
Now, where the eggs come into this I don’t really know, but I’ve heard that some people dip the toast into the eggs. I’m not sure if that actually happens but I know you wouldn’t catch me doing that. Even if I do try to eat like a local; I have limits. I found that I ate the eggs first (like a main course) followed by the toast.
The only place to try this is at the original Ya Kun Kaya Toast in Far East Square, Chinatown.
2. Hong Kong Style Soya Sauce Chicken
This is the dish that Singapore is probably most famous for. In fact, a humble stall in a hawker centre was awarded a Michelin Star for this dish. It’s now a tourist destination in itself; Hawker Chan is touted as the world’s cheapest Michelin Starred Meal. I couldn’t not include this in a list of 5 things to eat in Singapore.
However, I’m going to direct you away from here to something a little more authentic. I would never have known about this little stall, in the same centre as Hawker Chan, were it not for a helpful local. He explained that Hawker Chan was simply bought out and the company uses his name to develop ‘fast food’ style restaurants. The better place to try was a stall with a little old lady, opposite the toilets, with no English language signage. Here was the woman who trained Hawker Chan himself. So, if you want to try this dish (and believe me you do), head to the second floor of the Chinatown Hawker Centre and keep your eyes peeled.
Between two, a half chicken with rice was plenty of food all for around S$7. You’ll see the chickens hanging nicely in the window already cooked covered in a shiny, brown glaze. As soon as you order, that chicken is chopped up right in front of you then served with a beautiful sauce. I could have eaten this again and again, it was that good.
Get there early though (it opens at 10am) as there’s only a limited number of chickens. Once they’re out, they’re done for the day.
Originally from Indonesia, this dish is perfect for lunch or even dinner. The dish consists of skewered tumeric-marinated meat cooked over flames. The meat is often chicken but I’ve seen both pork and beef as well.
The meat is served alongside a peanut satay dip and, if go to City Satay at Satay by the Bay, ask for the pineapple salsa! At around S$10 for 15 skewers, you cannot go wrong!
4. Sweet & Sour Chicken
Is this Singaporean food? I’m not sure. All I know is that it’s something I would order from my local Chinese takeaway. If you’re not eating at hawker centres whilst your in Singapore, you have to eat at a food court; just like the locals do. In England, if you said to me, you have to eat in a shopping centre food court as it’s authentic I’d tell you you must be joking. I don’t want chain food and certainly not Frankie & Benny’s.
However, the buzz of a shopping centre food court in Singapore is something entirely different. It’s essentially street food stalls just inside a shopping centre. The food is also out of this world with everything to choose from.
Of course, me not knowing how to read the language made it very difficult to narrow down a stall but eventually I settled on sweet & sour chicken. I knew that was one thing I’d enjoy. The battered chicken with rice and the sauce was beautiful and, somehow, felt healthier than a takeaway version back home.
I’d highly recommend visiting Millenia Walk for the food court and trying the sweet & sour chicken! Just remember, if you see a packet of tissues on the table, a local has reserved their seat. Oh, and don’t be put off by the robot collecting trays…
5. Indian Rice Meal
As I mentioned earlier, Singapore really is a melting pot of many different cultures and cuisines. You’ll notice that Singapore is divided into different quarters and one of my favourites is Little India. Here you can experience authentic Indian food without having to visit India itself (although you’d probably want to do that too).
This is one for the vegetarians out there. Upstairs at Komala Vilas you can order a rice meal which basically contains loads of different dips and vegetable curries along with rice. Authentic South Indian food is nothing like your Chicken Korma or Tikka Massala but is beautiful in it’s own way.
You’re also going to want to try the onion bhajis which are exceptional.
If you weren’t hungry before, I’m sure you will be now! In my opinion, these are the best 5 things to eat in Singapore. Not only are they really tasty, they’re also really cheap which is a godsend in Singapore. However, I’ve probably missed quite a few off my list as I was only there for four days. I definitely plan to return though so, if you’ve got any recommendations, let me know in the comments below!