Travel-mad Zoe Macfarlane shares her life on the road as a digital nomad, this week she delivers you some tasty (potentially mouth-watering) updates from The Lion City, Singapore.
Singapore is known its energetic vibes, off-the-Richter cleanliness and the shopper’s paradise of Orchard Road, but if you want to understand the country and its culture, you need to look to their ethnically diverse cuisine.
We’ve cooked up the most popular dishes to help you get to know the real Singapore.
This spicy noodle soup with a rich, coconut-y broth is served with rice noodles and seafood. Originally a dish from the Peranakan community, this popular meal can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or all three, we’re not judging).
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Early immigrants bought their original bony, oily chicken rice from Southern China and thankfully, over the years, the dish morphed into one of Singapore’s most treasured meals.
Now tender, bite-sized chicken pieces are served with fragrant rice and a flavorful dipping sauce. Expect to wait at Tian Tian Chicken Rice to get your fill.
If flaky pastry surrounding a spicy potato-and-meat filling sounds like a bit of you, then don’t go past Singapore’s curry puff treats. From hawker stalls to fancy restaurants, you can sample this crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth snack across Singapore.
Check out the sardine curry puff at Soon Soon Huat on East Coast Road if you’re in the ‘hood.
It’s easy to find satay sticks in Singapore but the aromatic scents of downtown’s Lau Pa Sat are worth an evening of your time. Housed in a beautiful iron building, you can choose from an array of hawker stalls with local dishes. The chicken and pork satay sticks draw the crowds though.
Roti & Curry
The Indian community in Singapore makes up nearly 10% of the population and this has influenced the country’s cuisine. Double down on your explorations of Little India by including a food break to sample one of the most popular imports here – the crispy-out-fluffy-in roti pancake and aromatic curry sauce. It’s to die for (not literally, it’s only curry).
While the name may imply this dish is going to make your eyes water, it’s actually sweet and typically served with mud crabs. Mop up the thick tomato chilli sauce with mantous, fluffy steamed buns that accompany your meal.
Head to expat fave Red House to sample Singapore’s best.
If you’re short on time and want to sample most of the above dishes in one go, consider the 3-hour Singabites Katong Evening Tour. Explore the Katong area, sampling the best neighbourhood bites, all while the guide drops local knowledge like it’s XXXX. Book ahead and be warned; you may need to go up a pant size by the end.
Sleep it off
Feasting is fatiguing so having a great hotel to return to is imperative. The urban, hip Quincy offers bold colours, weekend activities, and a range of free offerings that can rejuvenate you, post-food coma. We won’t mention the free daily snacks after all this talk of food.
What are your favourite Singaporean dishes?
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