With its mix of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, and European influence, Singapore is a truly fascinating place to explore. Visitors are often impressed by the high rises, huge shopping centres, and high living standards of this South East Asian nation, and the local gastronomy is even more appealing. Singaporean cuisine is tantalising thanks to its exotic mix of fresh produce, spices, and unique preparation methods. Eating out in Singapore is a pleasure that no visitor should miss out on. Below you will find a list of the five Singaporean dishes that you must absolutely try during your stay.
This is the ideal starter in any Singaporean meal. Rojak is a refreshing but filling salad made with crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, green mangoes, turnips, green apples, rose apples, and pineapples, which are adorned with bean sprouts and ginger flowers, and are served in a delicious sauce made with tamarind juice, roasted peanuts, lime, prawn paste, coconut sugar, and chillies. Rojak is served with fried dough sticks that are dipped into the sauce.
Laksa is a noodle soup made with a thick coconut sauce that is seasoned with curry powder and chilli paste. Laksa is served with wide rice noodles and a flavourful array of seafood, such as lobster, prawns, and cockles, although some restaurants serve a chicken variety too. The flavours of the coconut and seafood mix are further enhanced by a generous sprinkle of condiments like lemongrass, coriander, ginger, tamarind, turmeric, and mint, in addition to pineapple, cucumber, lettuce, and other vegetables.
Chicken rice is a staple for Singaporeans, and once you try it you will understand why. This dish is available pretty much everywhere, from street stalls to high-end hotels. Chicken is usually stuffed with ginger, garlic, and green onions, and then is boiled or steamed over a very low fire so that it soaks up all the flavour. The chicken is served on a bed of fragrant rice that has been adorned with shallots, onions, ginger, and other spices sautéed in sesame oil. This dish is often garnished with fresh vegetables, usually cucumber or tomato, and a spicy side sauce is provided for those who enjoy the hottest flavours of Singaporean cuisine.
Chilli crab ranks second to chicken rice in terms of popularity among the locals. The dish involves stir frying whole crabs in their shell in a thick sweet tomato and chilli sauce, which despite its fiery red colour is only mildly spicy. Once stir fried, the crabs are seasoned with oyster or dark soy sauce, peanut oil, ginger, garlic, and tamarind paste, and are served with green onions and cilantro. Eating chilli crab is a rather messy affair, but don’t let this discourage you from sampling this exquisite dish.
Singapore is hot and humid all year round. The local cuisine is not particularly known for its range of desserts, but if you must treat yourself to something sweet while in Singapore, make it an ice kachang. This dessert is served in a cup and consists of grated ice shaped into a ball that rests on a bed of sweet red beans, palm seeds, and jelly. The whole thing is drenched in colourful syrups, chocolate, and (or) condensed milk.
From starter to dessert, Singaporean cuisine makes a trip to this fascinating country well worth the effort. Immerse yourself in Singaporean culture by sampling the dishes listed in this article during your next stay in Singapore! There are some great prices available on flights to Singapore, so there’s never been a better time to get out there and taste some these fantastic flavours.