Singapore is a foodie’s HEAVEN. I’m not kidding when I say you cannot go wrong with the food in this gorgeous city. I have been coming to this place ever since I can remember and every time I am back home in Manila, I regret not eating enough of the food (even though I eat like there’s no tomorrow when I’m there, lol). I always tell my cousins over there that they have no idea how lucky they are to be surrounded by some of the most delicious food stalls ever. If you are going to travel somewhere just to eat great food, Singapore would definitely be the place to go!
I’ve listed down the Top 5 Dishes that are an absolute must try when you are in the little island city-state!
1. Hainanese Chicken Rice
Hainanese Chicken Rice is a dish that is served with fragrant rice cooked in Chicken Broth, Chicken (either steamed or roasted) made with special spices and a steaming hot bowl of Chicken Soup. The condiments, Chili Sauce and Ginger Sauce, are also made with hints of Chicken Broth to complement the flavors in the main dish.
This is without a doubt the ultimate crowd favorite! Nothing tastes better than a plate of authentic chicken rice from Singapore. I have been to places in Manila that serve this dish but nothing compares to what you can get in a Hawker Center for only S$4. This has been my favorite dish ever since I was 6 years old – I’m lucky enough to have family here so Singapore is one of the places I visit at least once a year.
2. Char Kway Teow
This favorite is literally flat rice noodles stir fried in pork fat over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce. They also throw in bean sprouts, chives, chili, shrimp paste and different kinds of seafood like shrimps, squid and cockles. It is commonly stir fried with egg, fish cake and Chinese sausage as well. It is known for being unhealthy because of it’s high fat content but having this once in a while couldn’t hurt.(I’ve had this at least 3 times in the past 5 days, good luck to me).
This dish is a mix of sweet and savory flavors and each bite is filled with either egg, seafood or Chinese sausage. There is a lot of different flavor mixtures going on in this dish but none of them are overwhelming. I can guarantee you that you will completely forget about it’s unhealthy reputation because even the rice noodles stir fried with just their mixture of soy sauce is to die for.
3. Hokkien Mee
Hokkien Mee in it’s most common form is egg noodles and rice noodles stir fried together with egg, prawns, squid and slices of pork. It is then garnished with sambal (chili sauce) and lime. This dish is packed with flavor as it is cooked in pork stock which is reduced into a thick gravy which is then soaked up by the noodles. What sets this dish apart, I think, is how well the noodles are able to soak up all the flavor from the gravy as well as the sea food and egg. This one is a definite must try for foodies!
4. Fried Carrot Cake
Growing up, this was the only Carrot Cake I knew of. This was my dad’s favorite dish and he would always order it when we would visit Hawker Centers in Singapore. It was only a few years ago, when someone asked me if I wanted Carrot Cake and then proceeded to serve me an actual slice of cake that I realized how much the world is actually missing out on. This dish is basically just stir fried cubes of radish cake but don’t let that fool you, had I not known how this dish was made, radish would have never even crossed my mind! Radish cake is just steamed rice flour, water, and shredded white Daikon radish, which is then stir-fried with eggs, preserved radish, and other seasonings.
There are two types of Fried Carrot Cake – the White one which is tastes strongly of egg and the Black one which is a sweeter and more flavorful version because it is seasoned with sweet black sauce. I personally prefer the Black Fried Carrot Cake now but I grew up loving the White version.
5. Singapore Style Chili Crabs
How can you step foot in Singapore and not have their famous Chili Crabs? This one doesn’t even need an explanation. Simply put, if you love life then you will love these Chili Crabs!
Image from http://thehoneycombers.com
6. Ais Kacang
Ais Kacang (pronounced Ice Kachang) literally means mixed beans. It is comparable to the well loved Halo Halo. Although this feels like eating a snow cone with all the toppings like red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly, nata de coco, and ice cream. It is not as sweet or as milky as the Halo Halo but is still one of the more fun ways to cool down on a hot day. The serving is usually big enough for 2-3 people to share but trust me when I say you would want to finish the whole bowl by yourself!
Also, while you’re there… Don’t forget to try the many different sodas that F&N has to offer – their Ice Cream Soda is my favorite!
What is your favorite Singaporean dish?