Last month, I had the pleasure of taking a very quick unplanned trip to Singapore. I don’t really remember what Singapore looks like. What it feels like to stay and travel on my own. I mean, my grandma & my mom are coming too. But we didn’t really catch up together very much there. They have a plan, which doesn’t sound so interesting to us. So we (Karen, Vanessa, Valerie, and me) decided to take a walk by ourselves.
Before I took my flight there, I tried to recall what I did in Singapore last 2009. There’s not much I could remember. Of course I do remembered taking a walk in Orchard Road, and having a plate (or more?) chicken rice for lunch. But now I’m totally different. Honestly, I don’t feel like I enjoy shopping as much as my mom does, I know that. I mean, if I wanna go out for shopping, I could do that in Jakarta. There are plenty of fancy malls there.
So here’s the thing.
I love food, and I didn’t come to Singapore to shop. I came to eat.
I found that Singapore offers a great amount of varied foods I can hardly find in Indonesia. And I can’t explain what kind of food it is. It can be Chinese, Malay, Indian, Indonesian, Portuguese, Taiwan, or sometimes the food is even influenced by other culture and ingredients. It’s quite hard to convey the magnitude of its food, actually. But I am addicted to them.
1. Traditional Kaya Toast
What I miss the most about Singaporean cuisine is their traditional kaya toast. And that’s what I ate as soon as I arrived in Changi airport.
I had a soft boiled egg, kaya toast, and milk tea for brunch. Okay, they don’t call it ‘milk tea’, but just ‘tea’ although they will definitely put the milk in your tea before asking you first. So, if you want your tea to be plain, you can ask for Tea-O (with sugar) or Tea-O-Kosong (without milk and sugar). Or, if you want a cup of coffee instead, you could as for Kopi (with milk and sugar), Kopi-O (with sugar only), or Kopi-O-Kosong (without milk and sugar). Strange, isn’t it? Well, that’s Singapore.
So, this so called Kaya Set is the most common traditional Singaporean breakfast. I don’t know where they got this breakfast idea. Not from China (I’ve been there and there’s no way I could find this delicate toast), not Indonesia, not Malaysia, and not even India. So it comes from Singapore I supposed.
You can easily find this kind of breakfast in any kopi tiam (咖啡店 or coffee shop) in Singapore. I mean, the traditional one. You don’t wanna end up fighting with the barista in Starbucks for asking a kaya toast.
2. Carrot Cake
Next up is carrot cake. No, it’s not a creamy cake that tastes like a sweet creamy birthday cake. And I don’t even find a slice of carrot in it. Carrot cake here is actually a turnip cake which is fried with eggs, onion, and sweet soy sauce. An additional of chili sauce would be just perfect. I don’t know where I could find a savory carrot cake in Jakarta. The only place I ever found it is in Kopitiam, Central Park Mall. But it tastes kinda different and it was a little bit too thick.
Too bad I didn’t take a photo of the carrot cake I ate, but seriously, you’ve got to try this one!
3. Oyster Omelette / oh jian
Oyster Omelette is one of my favorite too! But I only eat oyster omelette like 1 or 2 times a year. Besides it is greasy and high in cholesterol, I can barely find a good oyster omelette in my country.
There are two types of oh jian here : the one where the oysters are mixed in a flour paste and the one where it’s just the oysters and the egg. I like the second one much much better.
Here in Singapore, you can find oh jian in almost any hawkers centers. But they say the best oyster omelette in Singapore is the one at Ah Chuan Fried Oyster Omelette (Blk 22 Toa Payoh Lorong 7). Quite frankly, I don’t go there since I didn’t know exactly where it is and unfortunately I couldn’t find it, so I bought mine in Newton Circus Food Center. And it tastes just good.
4. Chicken/Pork Rice
Born and raised in a Chinese family, I often had hainanese chicken rice as my lunch or dinner (or even both). Turns out, hainanese chicken rice is (also) one of my favorite meal so far. I even cooked my own chicken rice several time lately, and I’m proud it always turns out to be… edible.
Huff, okay! So…
Chicken rice is actually one of the reasons I decided to revisit Singapore. It’s like it is the most famous and popular dish in there. You can find it in hawker centers, in the food court, in restaurant, or… I don’t know. You name it. You can actually find it anywhere!
However, if you wish to try the most favorite one, you should go to Tian Tian Chicken Rice (Maxwell Rd Food Centre) or Boon Tong Kee (Balestier Rd). Most Singaporeans recommend these places.
Remember, you should never leave Singapore without having a plate (or 2, 3, 4…) of chicken rice before. Don’t miss it!
5. Chicken Curry
Chicken Curry is the common food in South Asia, especially India. But here in Singapore, chicken curry is so easy to find. I had mine in 1983 A Taste of Nanyang. But the one at Killiney Kopitiam is also the one you shouldn’t miss.
Anyway, if you happens to stop over at 1983 A Taste of Nanyang, you should also order their Nasi Lemak!
Craving for hot food in a rainy day? Chicken Congee is the best choice for you! I had a big bowl of hot chicken congee in a cold rainy afternoon. It was served with chicken and ginger slices. And it was… so… tempting. Anyway, I left my phone at the hotel so I didn’t take any photos of it.
7. Roti Prata, “Finger licking good”
Roti Prata is basically a fried pancake from India. It is served with a sprinkle of sugar or curry. I loveeee Roti Prata, and you could find it anywhere in Singapore. Gosh, I can’t believe I say that for every kind of foods I write about.
Forget about eating roti prata with your fork or spoon. You know what? The best way to eat it is by dunking it to the curry soup with your fingers!
8. $1 Ice Cream
Who doesn’t want a cheap ice cream for a hot sunny day?
Well, this famous one dollar ice cream can easily be found in any tourist area in Singapore. Forget about your diet plan, and just buy one with bread, cone, or wafer.
Mocha chip is highly recommended!
So, those are the foods I miss the most from Singapore. Not to mention char kway teow, chicken curry puff, chilli crab, and others. I’m gonna visit Singapore again for sure to fulfill my cravings!
Have a nice weekend, and Happy Easter! 🙂
The foods you talked about are my favourites too! Interesting blog. 🙂
Hi Frederick. Haha they’re addictive, right? Aw, thank you 🙂
One dollar ice cream at Orchard road 😀
Halo kak William! Hahaha iya. Nagih deh :9
All of it looks delicious. I’ve also wanted to head out to South East Asia, the food, the sights and the culture are all so different to what I have experienced before.
Wow you should then! 🙂 I’m sure there are a lot of ‘strange’ food you’ve never tasted before. They got a completely different kind of food in each country here in South East Asia.
I’m always up for eating something ‘strange’. Here in Peru it’s common to eat guinea pig which is surprisingly tasty although not exactly the most meaty of dishes, I’ve also eaten alligator in the North of Peru in the jungle. They also eat cat on the coast but I haven’t tried that (yet anyway).
Omg is that even legal? Eating those animals? Hahaha. Anyway, I heard people in Medan, Indonesia eat dogs.
Baking cupcakes has also become an integral part of many
weekend parties where people get together, share recipes, have fun
baking and decorating, and (the best part) sampling different cupcakes.
or any other appropriate information on a thin, rectangular wafer.
To achieve any degree of success, you have to throw that “hobby” label
out – it’s time to work.
Yes, it is all about food in Singapore. Problem is the finding of the best ones. I remembered having to walk a lot to reach the recommended restaurants. But if you are not that choosy, any hawker centre would have all of those that you mentioned above.
Hi, Kuan Yew!
Yes I found it so hard to find the best ones. There are only a few stalls in hawker centre that sell a good one.
But it’s better than none, you know. It’s so hard to find this kind of food in Indonesia 🙂
Hey Sharon, I did think that the ‘Kaya Toast’ looked more British than anything else, and Wikipedia seems to agree. How was the ice cream sandwich?
Yeah it is. At least, it looks like toast with a weird jam, doesn’t it? The rest of them must looks so weird to you I guess.
The ice cream sandwich was so tempting! And extremely cheap too, compared to other snack in Singapore.
You should come visit Singapore someday! 😀
Well, the ice cream with the bread looked the weirdest to me. Yeah, I would like to. Maybe one day…
Ahh.. This brings back memories… 🙂
Thanks for posting this. The food look so yummy!
Thanks for reading!
Ah I’m thinking about adding the Chili Crabs and also Laksa to the list 😀