Food is a significant part of the culture in Singapore, with the local cuisine being so diverse and flavourful. From the unofficial national dish of chicken rice to a bowl of spicy laksa, these are some of the dishes that you simply have to try when visiting Singapore.
Regularly voted as one of the tastiest dishes in the world, chicken rice is Singapore’s unofficial national dish, and originates from the Chinese island of Hainan. The dish consists of a whole chicken cooked in a pork and chicken broth, before being sliced and served up with some rice that has also been cooked in chicken broth. The accompaniments are what helps to really add flavor, from the spicy chilli dip to the ginger and soy sauce.
Laksa is the perfect example of Peranakan cuisine, a type of cooking that brings together Chinese and Malay flavors. This one-bowl dish consists of vermicelli noodles and fried tofu, surrounded by a creamy coconut sauce. Seafood is often also usually added, from shrimps and cockles to fish slices, as well as diced vegetables, Vietnamese mint and ginger.
Chilli crab would have to be another one of Singapore’s unofficial national dishes and first became popular here in the 60’s. The original recipe features crab that has been cooked in a sweet tomato sauce, along with plenty of chilli and herbs, and can be found served up at restaurants all around the country.
While you may know carrot cake as being a sweet dessert, this dish is actually something completely different in Singapore. This savoury snack is made from daikon radish rather than carrots, but since the Chinese word for radish and carrot is the same, this is how the dish obtained its slightly confusing name. This dish is more like an omelette than a cake, but it is deliciously more-ish and should always be eaten fresh.
Char Kway Teow
Singapore has its fair share of fried noodle dishes, but char kway teow is at the top of the list, and is a favorite amongst just about every local. The dish consists of wide flat rice noodles, which are stir-fried with egg, soy sauce, shrimp paste, chilli, and a variety of other ingredients, from Chinese sausage and blood cockles to tofu and bean sprouts. This is quite a sweet dish and actually takes some skill to master, as the noodles can often turn into a sticky lump when cooked by an amateur.
From roast pork belly to roast duck to roast chicken, if you walk by a Cantonese roast meat restaurant in Singapore, you will see all of these charred, juicy meats on display. Whether you order a single plate of rice, accompanied by a variety of the different meats, or entire plates of one protein, you will no doubt fall in love with the crispy skin and the delicious array of seasonings used.
Singaporeans are known for being avid foodies, and the incredible cuisine to be found here is proof of that. From the delicious simplicity of chicken rice to the spicy heat of chilli crab, these are, without a doubt, some of the top must-try dishes for visitors new to the country.