So from our first post on the 10 things that every visitor needs to know about Singapore
, you’ve probably already gathered that Singapore is practically a Food Paradise
. Really, this is not just because the hokkien greeting “jiak ba buay
” (meaning: “have you eaten”) has transformed into such a social norm that it is now used just as often as “how are you”.To cut to the chase, we’re about to let you in on the top 10 food in Singapore that is absolutely not to be missed
Spicy… and not for the weak. Unknown to many, Laksa is actually Peranakan cuisine. This spicy noodle dish is especially popular among the Singaporeans who love awakening their taste buds with fiery gastronomy. It usually consists of noodles, fishcake, prawns and bean sprouts.The spicy soup is made from a coconut base – daredevils usually top this dish with sambal
(grounded chilli paste/sauce). Laksa is practically a staple dish on many menus, not just in hawker centres or in Katong, where the famous Katong Laksa is served. Many hotels class up the basic laksa by serving it with lobster – who says you have to stick to the rules when it comes to food?
- Chili Crab (and sometimes… the mantou that comes with it)
This is a delicacy in hawker centres, and is even served in steamboat and dimsum
(a style of Cantonese bite-sized portions of food traditionally served in steamer baskets) restaurants. If you drop by Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts, during the Singapore Food Festival from 17 July to 10 August 2015, you’ll realise that we’ve got this local favourite on our High Tea spread, too!Chilli crab is a Singaporean seafood dish most popular locally and in our neighbouring country, Malaysia. The sauce is just as important as the crab – it is a tomato and chilli-based sauce that can be both sweet and savoury. The accompanying mantous
(deep fried buns that can also be dipped in condensed milk) are often dipped in the chilli crab’s sauce and taste best when they are fried to a golden, heavenly crisp. Credits: Steamy Kitchen
- Chicken Rice
The delight of the list, and our personal favourite. Chicken rice is a basic delight for us and can be found almost anywhere in Singapore and on almost any Asian restaurant menu. There are so many variations, too, steamed, roasted, drumstick or breast meat preference. Add different permutations of the accompanying chilli sauce, ginger paste and dark soy so that the dish uniquely suited to your taste buds. Some restaurants mix it up Western style by serving the flavoured rice with chicken cutlets or fried chicken wings.Chicken Rice is probably our specialty dish – it’s the dish our locals miss when they travel or study overseas. Sure, other countries may sell it in a pack for you to heat up in your oven, but nothing tastes like home when you’re away from it. It’s become such an integral part of Singapore that to leave it out of our buffet spread didn’t seem right – so we’ve got that down, too! Located at the corner of Carousel, our chicken rice chef prepares your favourite style of chicken rice (steamed or roasted) in a manageable portion. Feel free to come back for seconds, though.
Credits: Jimmy Tan
- Fried Carrot Cake
Fried Carrot Cake, more commonly known in hokkien as chai tow kway
, ironically does not contain any carrot. It is actually a popular side dish that locals order over a hearty breakfast or a hawker dinner with friends. You can choose to order your carrot cake fried with dark sauce or just as it is. Both options are stir-fried cubes of radish cake and come served with delicious egg.“Uncle, chai tow kway, hei de!
” meaning “Uncle, carrot cake, black!” is probably one of the most common phrases heard in a coffee shop. It rings out over heaps of raised voices, each one struggling to be heard. Among the hustle and bustle of a heartland’s coffee shop lies an authentic, heart-warming culture that many of our locals hold dear.
It is amazing what simple skewers of grilled meat can do for culture. Accompanied by cucumbers, onions and Ketupat
(pressed Malay rice cakes), satay
is often served with a fragrant, sweet peanut sauce that’s simply heavenly when it’s piping hot.In Singapore, satay choices range from chicken to beef and even mutton! Most restaurants are flexible in mixing the offerings so that guests get a good mix of every flavour. It is the easiest dish to share and, by extension, the easiest dish to finish, especially when you’re in a group. Afraid that you won’t get the share your stomach desires? Carousel is bringing a time-limited “jumbo satay”
to our high tea buffet spreads this Singapore Food Festival… you may just want to check that out.