Singapore offers an eclectic mix of food, and this goes the same for our local snacks. You can find these snacks in night markets which are also known affectionately as Pasar Malam (‘pasar’ means ‘market’ and ‘malam’ means ‘night’ in Malay). In recent years, these fleeting markets have become a rare sight that even the locals are finding it hard to find one.But not to worry, as the number of Pasar Malams is dwindling, hawkers have also slowly moved out of such premises and set up stalls around Singapore which makes it easier for you and me to locate them.So, here are some of Singaporeans’ favourite local snacks that you should try!
- Muah Chee
Photo Credit: The Straits Times|Chew Hui MinMuah Chee, similar to the Japanese mochi, is made up of chewy cut-up bits made of glutinous rice dough coated in crushed peanuts and brown sugar. They normally come in the original flavour, or in Sesame flavour which gives the sticky dough its black colour. A simple but very satisfying snack!
Where to get them:
Heavenly Snack 天下小吃
Blk 79A Circuit Road Food Centre, #01-106
Tuesday to Sunday - 11.30am to 10pm
Closed on Monday.
- Dragon’s Beard Candy
Photo credit: Sharon MohOnce a snack for the royalty in China and Korea, strings of finely threaded malt cocooning a dollop of crushed peanuts form these little nuggets of happiness. It melts slowly when placed in your mouth, leaving a rich, sweet flavour.What makes purchasing the Dragon’s Beard Candy interesting is watching the process of making the sweet treat. If you have a chance, witness how the candy maker craft a solid malt candy into fine threads.Psst…At the Mad Museum Art and Design, there’s a candy master by the name of Aunty Lili, whose Dragon’s Beard Candy has been praised as a national treasure by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. She conducts an hourly demonstration between 12-7pm too!
Where to get them: Aunty Lili’s Dragon’s Beard Candies Mad Museum Art and Design
10 Tanglin Road
Daily: 12pm to 7pm
- Steamed Rice Cakes – Wah Ku Kueh
Photo credit: PpinkpopsiclesThese colourful, light and spongey “muffins” are iconic childhood favourites. They are usually paired with grated coconut or red sugar for extra flavour!
Where to get them: Bengawan Solo ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, #B4-38
(3-minutes walk from Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore Hotel)
Daily: 10AM to 10PM
- Gao Lak
Photo credit: Seth LuiSee a street vendor with a big wok along the streets? They are usually the Gao Lak vendors.Gao Lak are roasted chestnuts and these morsels of delights give off an aroma so fragrant that you will be tempted to buy some when you walk by. Buying them in ubiquitous brown bags and eating them right away while they are still piping hot is the best way to enjoy these favourites.These can still be largely found in Chinatown and Bugis street.
- Kueh Tutu
Photo credit: The Peak Singapore
Kueh Tutu, a round-shaped steamed cake seated on small squares of Pandan leaves, is well-loved for its soft, pillow-like consistency. Traditionally filled with either sweetened coconut or crushed peanuts, the snack has, in recent years, kept up with the ever evolving taste preference of Singaporeans and introduced new fillings like chocolate, cheese, matcha jam and red bean.
Where to get them: Tan’s Tu Tu Coconut Cake 22B Havelock Road, #01-25
Daily: 12PM to 3PM
Rojak comes in two different styles - the Indian Rojak and Chinese Rojak. They are similar in name yet very different in flavours.
Photo credit: Honeycombers SingaporeIf you are into sweet stuff, you will find the Chinese Rojak delectable! Chinese Rojak usually consists of a variety of vegetables, fruits and youtiao (dough fritters) mixed in a sweet and sticky black sauce that’s made from prawn paste. Whereas, the Indian version is savoury; a plate of a variety of fritters (The prawn fritters are the best!) and raw vegetables like cucumber, red onions and green chilli, served with a bowl of fiery red hot chilli for dipping.
Photo credit: Burpple | Qing Xiang
Chinese Rojak Where to get them: Soon Heng Rojak HDB Hub Gourmet Paradise
480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, #B1-01
Daily: 11AM to 8PM
Indian Rojak Where to get them: Temasek Indian Rojak Tekka Food Centre
Blk 665 Buffalo Road, #01-254
Daily: 9AM to 9PM
Closed on alternate Mondays.