Singapore is a rich and vibrant city known for its architecture, cleanliness, and lively city life. However, what Singaporeans will boast most about is the amazing food the country offers. Before we get into my favorite foods in Singapore it’s important to go over Singapore’s restaurant culture. Just like in America there are restaurants that range from very affordable to very expensive. But unlike America, Singapore has hawker centers. Hawker Centers are like massive food courts with super affordable dishes. The number of options can be really overwhelming at times. That is why I am going to go through my favorite dishes while I was in Singapore.
For breakfast, I always started with a kopi breakfast set. This includes coffee with condensed milk, two soft boiled eggs, and two pieces of toast with butter and kaya all for about a $1.50. My first warning is to be careful with the soft-boiled eggs. A lot of exchange students think they are hard-boiled and make a mess of it. Kaya is a coconut spread that is delicious on toast and pairs well with the coffee and eggs. The breakfast set is a great way to get your caffeine, carbs, and protein all in one cheap dish.
For lunch, I often liked to eat fish bee hoon. Fish bee hoon is sliced fish with udon noodles, an egg, bok choy, all cooked in a delicious broth. I would often add chili sauce to make it a little more spicy and fried anchovies for salt. I could always count on this dish when I wanted something warm to fill me up.
Another delicious dish is Mala Hot Pot. However, ordering it can be a bit intimidating. It is a create-your-own dish, where you choose different vegetable meats and other additions to put into a dish cooked with chilis, peanuts, and a sauce reduction. It takes some experimenting to figure out what you like. I personally would get bok choy, sliced pork and chicken, broccoli, sliced tofu, and some beans. After you pick your ingredients you then pick your spice level. Word for the wise, spicy in the states is not the same as spicy in Singapore. I would start with a one out of five on the spice level and work your way up each time. By the end of my stay, I could handle about a three out of five, but after finishing the dish I was sweaty and delirious. Lastly, you choose if you would like it over noodles or rice. I personally am a fan of rice. The dish is big, so usually, you get it with a friend.
If you are looking for something milder and equally famous in Singapore, you got to try chicken rice. It is just as it sounds, roasted chicken over rice. There is something about the simplicity of the dish that makes it SO good. You can also pretty much get it in any hawker station, but there is one place that is king of all the chicken rice places, Liao Fan Hawker Chan. This hawker received a Michelin star for its chicken rice and is the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world.
Another signature dish of Singapore is chili crab. It’s a bit more expensive than the dishes above but is well worth the price. How can you go wrong with delicate crab slowly cooked in a spicy and sweet chili sauce? Just writing about this dish makes my mouth water. This was by far the most delicious meal I had in Singapore. Pro-tip, order bread on the side to dip with the sauce.
For dessert, there are a lot of different options to choose from. A traditional Singaporean and Malaysian dessert though that I really liked is bubur cha cha. This is made up of sweet potatoes and yams with jellies in a coconut cream soup. You can either get it hot or over shaved ice. It is a great healthy alternative to ice cream. It is extremely rich and creamy and helps alleviate that sweet tooth.
Well, that concludes some of my favorite foods from Singapore. Like I said there are hundreds of different dishes that you can choose from. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You might find out that it is one of the best dishes you have ever eaten.