They say the best way to truly discover a country’s identity is through its cuisine. There is no doubt that Singapore’s melting pot of cultures plays a huge influence in the variety of flavors and spices we taste in each of its most famed dishes.
Whether you’re a new resident of Singapore or simply visiting for the weekend, Evolve Daily gives you our top picks of Singapore’s most iconic dishes.
Without further ado, here are Evolve Daily’s 8 Must-Try Dishes In Singapore:
1) Chilli Crab
Listed at #35 of CNNGo World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods, chilli crab definitely lives up to the hype. Mud crabs (the bigger, the better) are wok-fried to perfection in a dense tomato and chilli sauce.
Don’t let the name fool you, chilli crab is tame enough for the most spice-phobic diner. This semi-sweet and savory dish must be eaten with your hands for the ultimate dining experience. Don’t forget to order a side of fried mantou (small bread buns) to dip into the sauce.
Try it at: Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, Clarke Quay
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay
2) Char Kway Teow
A popular noodle dish with humble beginnings, it is also found in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. Char Kway Teow is also considered a staple in many hawker centers.
Flat rice noodles are stir-fried over an immense heat with a variety of viands: prawns, fishcake and cockles, tossed in a sweet, spicy and salty combination of chilli and soy sauce. It is a must-try umami experience for even the most unadventurous diners!
Try it at: Chinatown Food Centre
Nearest MRT: Chinatown
A dish with origins in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine, it is listed at #14 on CNNGo World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods. Skewers of chicken, beef, pork or lamb are grilled to perfection over an open charcoal fire. Served with onions, pickles and pressed rice cake, feel free to drizzle your stick of satay with some homemade peanut sauce for that ultimate local flavor.
Try it at: Lau Pa Sat
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place
4) Hainanese Chicken Rice
Like Bak Kut Teh, Hainanese chicken rice is the ultimate comfort food. A hearty meal consisting of fragrant rice and bite-sized steamed white chicken, many Singaporeans consider Hainanese chicken rice to be their national dish.
As simple as it looks, hours of preparation are required in cooking chicken rice: once the chicken is steamed for several hours, it is then blanched in cold water to ensure that the meat remains tender. Don’t forget to heap on the sauce – chicken rice tastes delicious with dark soy sauce, ginger and chilli.
Try it at: Maxwell Food Centre
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar
5) Kaya Toast
You can’t start your day right without a traditional Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and a steaming hot cup of kopi. A sweet coconut and pandan jam is slathered between two pieces of toast and a generous slab of butter, warmed and toasted atop an open grill. If you truly want to embrace the whole experience, dip your kaya toast in your soft boiled eggs (after seasoning them with pepper and soy sauce of course) and take a sip of kopi afterwards – pure bliss!
Try it at: Ya Kun Kaya Toast (many locations island-wide)
6) Bak Kut Teh
Literally translated as “meat bone tea”, this is Singapore’s equivalent to chicken noodle soup – a comforting, meaty broth to soothe the weariest soul. Meaty pork bone ribs are simmered for hours in a heady broth of various herbs and spices, resulting in a tangy, peppery soup that is just as satisfying as it is delicious.
Try it at: Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay
7) Fish Head Curry
Of all the dishes mentioned in this list, fish head curry is the only dish that truly reflects the multi-cultural heritage of Singapore. Red snapper fish heads are stewed in a rich, spicy coconut based curry with eggplant, okra and fried beancurd with a distinct tamarind flavor that is sure to tantalize tastebuds. Served with rice or soft buns, there’s no way to go low carb with this dish. It’s simply too rich and spicy to be eaten alone!
Try it at: Muthu’s Curry
Nearest MRT: Little India
Also known as the “King Of Fruits”, the durian is definitely an acquired taste. Its pungent odor can be so overpowering that it is banned in all public transportation services in Singapore. However, you shouldn’t dismiss the durian just yet. The rich, custard-like flesh of the durian is also known to be an aphrodisiac – perfect for those in search of love!
Try it at: Geylang Road
Nearest MRT: AlJunied
Had your fill of local flavors? Check out Evolve Vacation and see how you can top off your holiday in Singapore with a training session with some of the greatest World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and MMA.
So tell us, which dishes do you want to try?