Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of taking a short trip to Singapore. I spent the first day alone and slept at a hostel with the other 3 guys sharing the same room. Trust me, my mom freaked out, like so much, when I told her about my roommate. I walked around the city, went to a Cat Cafe, ate a lot of local foods, meeting good old friend. It was more than I could ask for.
You know, most Indonesian come back to Singapore for shopping. Well, it’s a bit different with me, I come back 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, Taiwan, or sometimes the food is even influenced by other culture and ingredients. So here you go…
MY FAVORITE SINGAPORE LOCAL FOODS.
Bak Kut Teh
Long story short, Bak Kut Teh (which literally is translated as ‘meat bone tea‘) is a soup consists of pork ribs. I was a bit confused about the ‘tea’ part since I don’t think they use tea as the soup base? But then later I found out that people normally eat it with tea since most believe that tea can help to dissolve some amount of fat contained in the soup. So that’s how it was named after! I supposed.
This is what my Bak Kut Teh should be : tender ribs that it’s easily fall off the bone as you bite them with hot intensely rich peppery soup and some amount of whole cloves of garlic.
Where to eat Bak Kut Teh in Singapore :
>> Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
11 New Bridge Rd #01-01, Singapore 059383
Phone : +65 6533 6128
>> Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
208 Rangoon Road, or
2 Bayfront Avenue, #B2-50, Stall 11 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, or
248 Tanjong Katong Road, or
190 Keng Lee Rd #01-03
Oyster Omelette / Oh Jian
Oyster Omelette or, as the locals say it, Orh Luak or Oh Jian is another favorite of mine. I always make sure not to leave Singapore without having these gooey savory omelette for at least once.
This glorious omelette consists of mostly oysters, with egg mixed with potato starch to make it gooey and thick. Sometimes they use pork lard to fry the omelette so it has this very nice savory smell when eaten. I like to eat mine with chili sauce mixed with lime juice. It’s simply a humble yet comforting food.
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.
Where to eat Oyster Omelette in Singapore :
>> Ah Hock Fried Oyster Hougang
#01-54, Whampoa Food Market, 90 Whampoa Drive, Singapore 32009
>> Ah Chuan Fried Oyster Omelette
Kim Keat Palm Market and Food Center, Toa Payoh, Singapore
Next up is carrot cake or Chai Tow Kway. No, it’s not a creamy cake that tastes like a sweet creamy birthday cake. And I didn’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.
Where to eat Carrot Cake in Singapore :
>> Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway
Zion Riverside Food Center, Zion Road, Singapore
>> Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao
Bedok Interchange Food Centre
Upper Changi Road
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!
Where to eat Chicken Curry in Singapore :
>> Killiney Kopitiam
>> 29 Delights
Blk 29 Bendemeer Food, Center Stall 29, Bendemeer Road.
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. I even ordered some salted duck egg.
Some place sell their congee with frog legs and some sell it with fish. But I prefer the chicken one.
Where to eat Congee in Singapore :
>> Zhen Zhen Porridge
Stall 54 Maxwell Food Centre
>> Sin Heng Kee Porridge
685 Hougang Street 61 #01-150, Singapore
>> Ah Chiang’s Porridge
65 Tiong Poh Rd, Singapore
Oh, another favorite of mine.
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.
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!
I like my Roti Prata to be a bit puffy. It should be crispy at the edges but still very soft and gooey inside.
Where to eat Roti Prata in Singapore :
>> Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Cripsy Roti Prata
7 Crane Road, Poh Ho Restaurant
>> Sin Ming Roti Prata
Jin Fa Kopitiam, 24 Sin Ming Road
$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.
Where to eat $1 (or $1.2) Ice Cream in Singapore :
>> Orchard Road
in front of Takashimaya
>> Clarke Quay
near Riverpoint Bridge
Kaya Toast and Soft-Boiled Eggs
It’s a national breakfast menu!
Imagine this : a crispy golden brown toasts filled with butter, which slowly melts as you eat your toast, and kaya (coconut jam).
For those who’s not familiar with Kaya Jam, it’s basically a jam made from eggs, coconut milk, sugar, and pandan. So it has this rich sweet unique flavor and smell.
Some people it it by dipping the toast into the soft boiled egg, some don’t. Some like their bread thick, some like theirs thin and crispy. I like mine thin and crispy. That way, I can taste the kaya jam and the butter better.
This… is off the chain, I tell you.
Where to eat Kaya Toast in Singapore :
>> Ya Kun Kaya Toast
18 China Street #01-01, Far East Square Singapore
Tel: +65 6438 3638
>> Killiney Kopitiam
67 Killiney Road, Singapore 239525
Another option for breakfast if you prefer something “heavier” than a toast. Wanton Mee!
Here in Singapore, a plate of Wanton Mee normally includes thin noodle, veggies, char siu (which is barbecued pork) or barbecued duck, and wonton (dumplings). It can be served dry or in a soup. The soup is normally served in a separated bowl if you order the dry one.
Where to eat Wanton Mee in Singapore :
>> Fei Fei Roasted Noodle
Yuhua Village Food Center, Stall 28, Jurong East
>> Eng Kee Noodle House
Block 155 Bukit Batok Street
Hainanese Chicken 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.
So, it happened that 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), or Wee Nam Kee. 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!
Where to eat Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore :
>> Tian Tian Hainanese chicken
Maxwell Road #01-10 Maxwell Food Centre
>> Boon Tong Kee
399 /401 /403 Balestier Road
>> Wee Nam Kee
101 Thomson Road, United Square
Different with the thin Wanton Mee, Hokkien Mee is bigger, thicker, and has this more gooey texture. It is often stir-fried with prawns and squid. When you eat it, you can actually notice that it has a strong prawn stock flavor in it.
For extra kick, people usually eat it with chopped red chili, or even sambal. Noodle and chili could never go wrong!
Where to eat Hokkian Mee in Singapore :
>> Tian Tian Lai Hokkien Mie
Blk 127, Toa Payoh Lor 1
>> Geylang Lor 29 Fried Hokkien Mee
396 East Coast Road
One thing you don’t want to miss when you’re in Singapore : CHILLI CRAB!
It’s basically a stir-fried crab, with sweet and spicy tomato based sauce. It’s often eaten with steam or fried Mantous (buns). Imagine those fluffy hot Mantou, dipped in a thick spicy chilli crab sauce. BOOM. End of the word.
I had mine at JUMBO SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, Boat Quay which is located by the riverside. They use fresh Sri Lankan crabs, and the sauce was soooo thick, sweet, and spicy!
Where to eat Chili Crab in Singapore :
>> Jumbo Seafood Restaurant
30 Merchant Road # 01-01/02
Riverside Point, Singapore 058282
Tel : 6532-3435 Fax : 6538-3433
>> No Signboard Seafood
414 Geylang Road
Tel: +65 6842 3415
Iced Sugar Cane
Now this is my first aid when it comes to a hot sunny day. Oh, nothing tasted better than a sweet iced sugar cane, except iced coffee of course.
This local drink is extracted from pressed sugarcane. Sugarcane is peeled and then crushed in a rolling machine. Best served with ice cubes. Sometimes, a squeeze of lime is added.
You can find Iced Sugar Cane in most hawker stalls or food courts all across Singapore. It is THAT easy to find.
Where to drink Iced Sugar Cane in Singapore :
>> Victory Sugar Cane Juice
Blk 409 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 #01-08, Singapore
>> Sugarcane Juice
Stall 16, Chomp Chomp Food Centre
Laksa (rice noodle) in Singapore are often served with curry soup. The curry soup itself has a strong coconut-milk and shrimp flavor. It is thick in consistency and strong in flavor.
Where to eat Laksa in Singapore :
>> 328 Katong Laksa
53 East Coast Road, Singapore 428771
Tel: +65 9732 8163
So, what’s you favorite SINGAPORE LOCAL FOOD? Any recommendation for me? As I’m gonna visit Singapore again for sure to fulfill my cravings!