It is said that “the belly rules the mind”….and when it is related to our dream destination Singapore, a rich legacy of dishes consisting of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian lineage is highly anticipated. Be it the charming shophouses or the food parlours of shopping malls, or even the hawker centres, Singaporean heritage of delicacies always stand out of the box.
Starting off the day with a breakfast dish, Singapore offers us their national breakfast with a plate of pandan-scented Kaya toast; Kaya, a jam made from eggs, sugar, coconut milk, along with some runny-yolked soft-cooked eggs topped with white pepper and dark soy sauce. It is generally served with the Kopi(coffee), the signature coffee drink of Singapore that generally comes with sugar, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.
Singaporean Noodle varieties
One can also unravel the multi-variety of Singaporean noodles in breakfast or evening supper, namely, the Beef Kway Teow,i.e, flat rice flour noodles stir-fried with beef and served dry or with soup, or the Shredded Chicken noodles,i.e. noodles topped with shredded chicken, fish dumpling and mushroom, either, the Vegetarian Bee Hoon, a Singaporean noodle dish comprising of vegetarian spring rolls, fried tofu skin, and mock meats made from gluten. It is worthy to mention about the Char Keow Teow, Singapore’s local food, that is a stir-fried noodle dish over very high heat with a light and dark chilli soy sauce, made of flat rice noodles, with prawns, eggs, slices of Chinese sausages, bean sprouts, Chinese chives and shrimp-paste. Chon Hiang is a famous Char Kway Teow food stall in the East Coast Lagoon Food Village, however, Golden Mile Food Centre,91 Fried Kway Teow #01–91 are well-known hawker centres serving Char Kway Teow.
On account of our culinary journey to savour the flavour across this island, main dishes that can be taken for lunch or dinner include Hainese chicken curry,i.e., a fragrant rice dish with juicy steamed white chicken cut into thin pieces, served with some light soy sauce. It is topped with cilantro and sesame oil along with a garlic-chilli sauce. For its unique fragrance, the rice is cooked in the chicken broth with ginger and pandan leaves. Besides, Duck rice, Teochew Porridge, Nasi Goreng all are stir-fried rice dishes with various combinations, that can be considered for a heavy meal. The Murtabak specifically plated up at Zam Zam, one of the oldest Singaporean restaurants by an Indian Muslim with an international reputation, is a heart-melting preparation. It is a huge and stuffed pancake filled with either chicken, beef, mutton, venison and sardine versions, it’s layers of crispy buttery naan pastry have golden, flaky appearance; bursting inside are the chunks of succulent chicken, folds of egg and sweet onions, and spices that give it a calorie-ladened flavorful taste.
Singaporean Chinese cuisine include the Bak Kut Teh, popularly known as the meat bone tea, which is a pork rib soup made with a variety of Chinese herbs and spices, the fish Ball noodles, the Turtle soup, the Fried Hokkien Mee,which is egg noodles and rice noodles stir-fried with egg, slices of pork, prawns and squid,served and garnished with spring onion, lard, sambal chilli and lime.
Singaporean Malay dish includes Otak-Otak, which is spicy fish cake grilled in a banana leaf wrapping, Goreng Pisang, i.e., bananas rolled in flour, fried and eaten as a snack, Soto, a soup dish mainly composed of meat and vegetables, Satay, grilled meat on skewers served with satay sauce which is a spicy peanut sauce and usually eaten with ketupat, cucumber and onions.
Singaporean Indian cuisines are influenced from North as well as South India, that includes the famous Biryani, which is an aromatic fried rice dish heavily flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and bay leaves, served with the accompanying chicken or mutton curry in one dish, can be traced at popular hawker centres like Allauddin’s Biryani,Tekka centre ,Zam Zam restaurant and many more. The Roti Prata, another popular dish for supper is a fried bread pancake, that is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. A plethora of modern variations is available, including egg, cheese, chocolate, masala durian and even ice cream. The Dosa, the Tandoori Chicken, the Vadai, the Appam all have their ancestry in India.
Singaporean National Dish
Talking of Singapore dishes would be incomplete without mentioning its internationally popular seafood preparations, its national dish being the Chilly crab, iconic seafood of Singapore, where the crab is cooked either with spicy tomato chilli sauce or with black pepper sauce. At Mellben Seafood, chilli crab and clay pot crab vermicelli soup (clay pot crab bee hoon) along with salted egg yolk green beans are served. The crab is slathered in a thick delicious chilli paste, in which fried buns called Mantous, served with the crab can be dipped.
Singaporean multi-ethnic cuisines amaze the tourists to step on this island of rich heritage and pamper their taste buds, their cross-cultural collection of authentic items and delicacies are surely going to captivate your soul and make your visit here again and again.