• Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

© 2019 Reddot Media Inc. Pte Ltd

 

Local Flavors

Chicken Rice

One of Singapore’s most famous dishes, chicken rice can be found everywhere, from hawker centres and food courts to casual eateries and high-end restaurants. Visitors can sample different versions of the traditional Hainanese dish, where the chicken is blanched and soaked in cold water to keep the meat tender. There’s also a roasted or braised style; each has a distinct taste. Pay attention to the quality of rice and chilli sauce served—the rice should be lightly oiled and fragrant, while the sauce should have a zing of ginger to it. From S$3 per serving.

Where to have it: Loy Kee Chicken Rice,Address: 342 Balestier Road, Tel: +65 6252 2318,
Opening Hours: Mon–Sun 10am–10pm, Nearest MRT: Novena Station

Where to have it: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice,
Address: Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street #01-10/11, and other locations,
Tel: +65 9691 4852, Opening Hours: Tue–Sun 11am–8pm, Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar Station

Chicken Rice

One of Singapore’s most famous dishes, chicken rice can be found everywhere, from hawker centres and food courts to casual eateries and high-end restaurants. Visitors can sample different versions of the traditional Hainanese dish, where the chicken is blanched and soaked in cold water to keep the meat tender. There’s also a roasted or braised style; each has a distinct taste. Pay attention to the quality of rice and chilli sauce served—the rice should be lightly oiled and fragrant, while the sauce should have a zing of ginger to it. From S$3 per serving.

Where to have it: Loy Kee Chicken Rice,Address: 342 Balestier Road, Tel: +65 6252 2318,
Opening Hours: Mon–Sun 10am–10pm, Nearest MRT: Novena Station

Where to have it: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice,
Address: Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street #01-10/11, and other locations,
Tel: +65 9691 4852, Opening Hours: Tue–Sun 11am–8pm, Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar Station

 

Chilli Crab

What started as a dish purportedly sold from a pushcart in the 1950s has now become a star in the global food scene. One of the earliest versions of chilli crab—mud crabs stir-fried with tomato and chilli sauce—is still on the menu of Roland Restaurant in Marine
Parade Central. A more modern and widely common recipe these days includes sambal (spicy chilli paste), eggs and tomato paste for a rich, umami taste that’s finger-licking good. Most restaurants offer Sri Lankan crabs and there is also a more deluxe option of
Alaskan king crabs. Diners can order fried or steamed buns, called mantou (a type of Chinese bun), to dip into the gravy. From S$30 per crab (based on weight).

Where to have it: Jumbo Seafood,Address: East Coast Seafood Centre. 1206 East Coast Parkway #01-07/08 and other locations, Tel: +65 6442 3435, Opening Hours: Mon–Fri 5–11:45pm; Sat & Sun 11:30–12am, Nearest MRT: Bedok Station

Where to have it: Roland Restaurant, Address: Block 89 Marine Parade Central #06-750,
Tel: +65 6440 8205, Opening Hours: Mon–Sat 11:30am–2:30pm, 6–10:30pm; Sun 11am–2:30pm, 6–10:30pm, Nearest MRT: Eunos Station

 

Fish Head Curry

One of the country’s most iconic dishes, it aptly represents Singapore’s multicultural tradition. There are Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan (Straits-born people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage) versions, with each ethnic group making subtle variations to the curry sauce. Some mix in tamarind for a touch of sourness, others add coconut milk for a creamier texture, and pineapple is sometimes added for a dash of fruitiness to the gravy. The one similarity though is the use of the head of a red snapper, along with a mix of vegetables, such as okra (lady’s fingers) and eggplant. From S$25 per serving.

Where to have it: Muthu’s Curry,Address: 138 Race Course Road #01-01 and other locations,
Tel: +65 6392 1722, Opening Hours: Mon–Sun 10:30am–10:30pm, Nearest MRT: Little India Station

Where to have it: Ocean Curry Fish Head, Address: Block 92 Toa Payoh Lorong 4 #01-264 and other locations, Tel: +65 6252 2168, Opening Hours: Mon–Sun 11am–9pm; Closed on every alternate Tuesday and the following day after a Public Holiday, Nearest MRT: Braddell Station

 

Nasi Lemak

Visiting foodies can expect a mix of flavours and textures from nasi lemak, a popular breakfast meal with the locals. It comprises rice cooked in coconut milk—some cook the rice with pandan leaves to give it extra fragrance and a green colour—with side servings of deep-fried fish or chicken wings, otah (spicy fish paste grilled in banana leaf), fried ikan bilis (anchovies) with peanuts, eggs, cucumber slices and sambal (spicy chilli paste). The sambal is a key ingredient; it should be robust and spiked with the flavour of shallots and ground dried shrimp. From S$3 per serving.

Where to have it: Adam Road Food Centre, Address: 2 Adam Road #01-02,
Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens Station

 

Hokkien Prawn Mee

The yellow noodles and thick bee hoon (rice vermicelli) are stir-fried with succulent prawns, squid, pork belly strips and egg in a rich stock made from pork bones and prawn heads. This dish is often served with sambal (spicy chilli paste) and a squeeze of fresh lime for extra zest. A big contributor to the overall taste lies in the skill of the hawker imparting wok hei—literally ‘breath of the wok’, a cooking technique that involves tossing food in a wok—for a fuller, bolder flavour. Some places add fried pork lard as a crunchy topping. From S$3 per serving.

Where to have it: Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Noodles,Address: Chomp Chomp Food Centre,
20 Kensington Park Road #01-27, Nearest MRT: Lorong Chuan Station

Where to have it: Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee, Address: Old Airport Road Food Centre,
51 Old Airport Road #01-32, Nearest MRT: Dakota Station

 

Laksa

This spicy dish is made of vermicelli noodles flavoured with coconut milk and dried shrimp, and topped with prawns, cockles, eggs, fishcake and freshly julienned aromatic laksa leaf. Hawkers across the island whip up different types of this dish. Visitors should try the Katong laksa, which has short noodles swimming in coconut broth. Other versions include the curry-like Sarawak laksa and the tamarind-infused Penang laksa. Regardless of which version, the result will be the same—one of pure satisfaction. From S$3 per serving.

Where to have it: 328 Katong Laksa, Address: 51 East Coast Road,
Nearest MRT:
Dakota Station

Where to have it: Sungei Road Laksa, Address: Jin Shui Kopitiam. Block 27 Jalan Berseh #01-100, Nearest MRT: Jalan Besar Station

 

Roti Prata

Roti prata is a flaky South Indian flatbread. Crispy on the outside but soft to the bite, it is best eaten plain or with an egg cracked onto it. It is often served with a savoury, spicy curry (fish and mutton are popular options). Some locals also eat it with sugar, or sweet toppings such as banana, chocolate sauce or ice cream. Different stall owners produce pratas with different textures, but the technique is always the same: a skillful twirl of the dough till it is paper-thin before folding it in and cooking it on a greased griddle. From S$1 per serving.

Where to have it: The Roti Prata House, Address: 246 Upper Thomson Road,
Nearest MRT: Marymount Station

 

Kaya Toast

A popular breakfast item amongst locals, kaya toast is also eaten as a snack during teatime. The rich kaya spread—a traditional jam made from coconut, eggs and pandan leaves (which results in green kaya) or palm sugar (which makes brown kaya)—is slathered between slabs of cold butter and crusty bread. Pair it with a local kopi (coffee) or teh (tea), and the sugar rush is complete. Many locals also eat it with two soft-boiled eggs mixed with dark soy sauce and a dash of pepper. Heritage coffee shop chains are popular spots to try this local delight, which is credited to the Hainanese. From S$3.50 per serving.

Where to have it: Killiney Kopitiam,Address: 67 Killiney Road and other locations,
Tel: +65 6734 3910, Opening Hours: Mon, Wed–Sat 6am–10pm; Tue & Sun 6am–6pm,
Nearest MRT: Somerset Station

Where to have it: Ya Kun Kaya Toast,Address: Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road #05-33 and other locations, Tel: +65 6884 9552, Opening Hours: Mon–Thu & Sun 9am–9pm; Fri–Sat 9am–9:30pm, Nearest MRT: Somerset Station