Singapore is often thought of as a mecca of Asian cultures. With a good mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian population, it is the gastrophile’s best location for a variety of delicious multi-cultural dishes. It’s possible to have Chinese for breakfast, Indian curry at lunch, and delicious Malay food all within the same day. While most of the tourist-recommended accommodations and hotels in Singapore have great restaurants, it’s fun to branch out into the city itself. When you visit Singapore, be sure to try these 7 excellent multi-cultural dishes at least once.
1. Bak Kut Teh
In most areas of the world, we consider tea to be something that’s made from fruit or leaves. Not so in Singapore; BakKutTeh is the perfect breakfast or snack item while on the go. This fabulously umami flavoured tea is crafted from an assortment of herbs and pork bones, creating a fabulous broth that’s quite tasty. Most places will serve it with dough fritters and pork knuckles, so it can be a simple snack or a more rounded meal if needed.
2. Chili Crab
For the spicy food aficionado, Chili Crab will be Singapore’s best dish. This beautiful cooking method produces crab that is bright red in colour and heavily flavourful. Many people beleive this to be Singapore’s most famous dish, this is the equivalent of greasy gourmet elsewhere in the world. This delicious recipe uses the following ingredients:
● Sesame oil
● Black rice vinegar
● Ground chili
It’s not just about tossing these flavourings together, though; like Ramen in Japan, chefs craft this delicious dish using processes that are often closely guarded as family secrets.
This Malaysian dish combines noodles with a delicious curry-based sauce. It is crafted from a mixture of coconut milk curry, shrimp, egg, and cockles, and comes in a short-noodle and long-noodle format. If you aren’t proficient with chopsticks, stick with the short-noodle format for ease of eating. If you are, the long-noodle format is considered even richer and more delicious. You’ll find this at most restaurants in the Katong District of Singapore.
4. Yu Sheng
It’s delicious, but it’s also said to bring great luck to those who eat it. Yusheng, known in English as Prosperity Toss, was created by Singaporean chefs in the 1960s out of a desire to celebrate Chinese New Year. A unique ritual goes with eating Yusheng–you should quite literally chuck your food up into the air with your chopsticks while making a wish. This is said to bring great luck. The higher your food goes, the better your chances of luck. And if your luck doesn’t benefit, your tastebuds certainly will, thanks to the strips of raw fish and delicately flavoured vegetables.
5. Carrot Cake
Typically served for breakfast, this uniquely sweet cake doesn’t actually have orange carrots in it. It uses a vegetable that is more closely related to the radish, with a combination of ginger and other spices. Chefs start with daikon radish, and combine it with flavourings, adding an egg or two to bulk up the protein and add flavour and impact. The cake is normally grilled, and comes in both a light and dark format; the darker format has a few squirts of soy sauce added and caramelised on the grill. It’s great for brunch or breakfast, and comes with continental breakfasts that are served in most Singaporean hotels. It’s slightly salty, very umami, and packed with plenty of flavour to help you kick-start your morning of exploring and adventuring around Singapore.
When you want to sit down with a cup of tea and something sweet, seek out Rojak from one of the markets. This delicious combination of fruit and spices is considered to be Singapore’s response to fruit crisp or apple cobbler. It starts with cucumber, flavourings, banana flower, bean sprouts, fritters, and a healthy dose of pineapple and mango, but each chef has his or her own way of cooking Rojak. Either way, it’s a delicious dish that makes a great kid-friendly snack. Try out a few different shops during your trip for best results.
7. Ice Kachang
Shaved ice is popular across most of the hotter areas of Asia, and Singapore is no exception. Found at most markets, these delicious treats are a great way to cool off, and children will absolutely love them. In Singapore, shaved ice is much more than just flavourings added to shaved ice itself; inside the ice, treats are hidden. You’ll find everything from creamed corn to gummy candy, depending on the flavour you choose to enjoy. Annie Peanut Ice Kachang is said to be the most popular shaved ice shop in the entire city, so seek it out on the Tanjong Pagar Plaza if you want to enjoy it for yourself.
You may also like to check out my posts on other delicious food places here