Must Eat Food In Singapore & Where To Eat It

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A Lovely Planet’s guide to the must eat food in Singapore and where to eat it.

 

I first visited Singapore in 2008 as a backpacker for a brief two-day visit which involved a Singapore Sling at Raffles and a trip to the Night Safari at Singapore Zoo. I have to admit that I didn’t exactly fall in love with the city and I wasn’t too worried about returning.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

A very youthful Hayley in 2008

 

Now, ten years on, a lot has changed. I’m no longer a backpacker (most of the time anyway), and Singapore has developed massively since my last visit. After hearing about Michelin star hawker stalls and seeing pictures of Gardens by the Bay on Instagram, I decided I needed to give Singapore another go.

This time around, I loved it. Maybe I have become more of a city gal after seven years of living in London, or maybe it’s the food, either way, after five days in Singapore, it’s now up there as one of my favourite city breaks.

We, of course, visited Gardens by the Bay and the Botanic Gardens, which were both stunning. But I think the main highlights for me were food related, specifically the hawker centres. I’m not sure how I managed to miss these on my first trip to Singapore, but these centres offer a huge variety of food stalls, with cuisines from all over Asia and further afield. And the best part is that they are soooo cheap! I spent the whole trip thinking ‘why don’t we have this in Sydney/London!?’.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Gardens by the Bay

 

After some extensive eating, here are my favourite Singapore must-eat dishes!

 

Must Eat Food in Singapore

Dish: Hong Kong Style Soya Chicken Rice

Where: Hawker Chan, Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Officially the world’s cheapest Michelin star meal, Hawker Chan received a Michelin One Star award in 2016. Since then the food stall in the Chinatown complex has become so popular that Hawker Chan opened a restaurant across the street from the centre. Prepare to queue for the tasty chicken dish, but it’s totally worth it, especially for the price! While here check out the other stalls at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Singapore’s largest hawker centre.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Hawker Chan Hong Kong Style Soya Chicken Rice

 

Dish: Chicken & Prawn Satay

Where: Lau Pa Sat/Satay Street

Lau Pa Sat is a great hawker in Singapore’s CBD, which is worth a visit in its own right. In the evenings, however, the street next to the market is closed off, and lined with stalls selling satay – delicious sticks of chicken and prawns with a tasty peanut sauce. Even if you don’t taste the food, it’s worth visiting for the atmosphere alone. Lau Pa Sat was probably my favourite hawker and we ate here a couple of times, including sampling the dim sum and daal with naan. So good!

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Satay

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Satay Street

 

Dish: Prawn Vadai

Where: Sky Lab Cooked Food, Tekka Centre, Little India

Vadai are deep fried balls made with lentil flour, green chillis, onions and whole prawns. Sky Lab Cooked Food specialise in these tasty snacks, as well as delicious onion bhajis.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Prawn Vadai

 

Dish: Murtabak & Prata

Where: Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata, Tekka Centre, Little India

After you’ve eaten prawn vadai, head to Farimah Stall for murtabak and prata. I ate a lot of these delicious breads in Singapore. Murtabak is a type of roti with egg, onion, spices and sometimes meat, folded and grilled and served with a small pot of daal or curry. Yum. Prata is similar but more delicate and usually isn’t stuffed, although can be served with eggs, meat etc. inside too.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Murtabak & Prata

 

Dish: Buah Keluak of Braised Local Chicken, Peranakan Signature Black Nut Sambal

Where: Candlenut, Dempsey Hill

The signature dish of Michelin star Candlenut is well worth splashing out on. Though it doesn’t look like the most appealing dish, (kinda looks like black goo), the taste is unlike anything I’ve ever had before. Candlenut specialises in Peranakan food, and this dish is made with buah keluak, a nut from the kepayang tree. It’s actually poisonous if you eat it raw, but made edible by fermentation. It’s a key ingredient of Peranakan cuisine, and this dish at Candlenut is a modern interpretation of a traditional dish.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Buah Keluak of Braised Local Chicken, Peranakan Signature Black Nut Sambal

 

Dish: Hainanese Chicken Rice

Where: Tian Tian, Maxwell Food Centre

A favourite of Anthony Bourdain, Tian Tian sells a simple dish of boiled chicken, rice and sauce, but it’s totally delicious. Chicken Rice is actually one of Singapore’s most popular dishes and you can find it everywhere. The chicken is cooked in pork and chicken bone broth and the rice is cooked in chicken stock, which gives it its delicious flavour. Served with three sauces; hot chilli, ginger and soy.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Hainanese Chicken Rice

 

Dish: Selfie Coffee

Where: Selfie Coffee, Haji Lane, Kampong Glam

Exactly as it sounds: order a coffee, take a selfie, and your coffee is presented with your face on top! Obviously something you only do once, but a little bit of fun! Plus Haji Lane is awesome; there are lots of cool little shops, cafes and bars and it has really colourful murals all over the walls.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Selfie Coffee

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Our faces on a coffee!

 

Dish: Dim Sum

Where: Cherry Garden, Mandarin Oriental

I love dim sum, and Cherry Garden is considered one of the best places in Singapore for the delicious dumplings. The restaurant specialises in Cantonese cuisines, so in addition to dim sum, the restaurant has lots of other delicious dishes – a particular favourite was the baked tiger prawn with Yunnan black garlic. Delicious!

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Dim Sum at Cherry Garden

 

Dish: Carrot cake

Where: Guan Hin Homemade Carrot Cake, Chinatown Food Complex

Despite the name, this dish does not contain carrots and is nothing like the carrot cake you get in the UK/Oz. It’s actually made from pureed daikon radish and rice flour which is steamed, chopped up and fried with egg and preserved radish. It comes in two varieties – white and black. The black one is fried with dark soy sauce giving it a sweeter taste, while the white is fried only with beaten eggs making it more savoury.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

We ate the carrot cake before taking a photo, so here’s a picture of China Town instead!

 

Dish: Popiah

Where: Satay by the Bay (I also read that Good Chance Popiah is great but didn’t get to try it)

A thin pancake stuffed with cooked vegetables and sometimes meat. Really tasty and not as heavy as some of the other bread style options. You won’t find these at all of the hawker centres, so make sure you order it when you do!

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Popiah

 

These are just some of the many tasty things to eat in Singapore. I would return to the city for the food alone! Have you been to Singapore? I’d love to hear your favourite dishes!

 

Where To Stay

We stayed at two hotels during our time in Singapore, both were great, with stunning swimming pools!

Double rooms at Mandarin Oriental start from £223 (SGD $399) including breakfast.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

The most amazing bath in our room at Mandarin Oriental

 

Superior rooms at Oasia Hotel Downtown start from £134 (SGD $240) including breakfast.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

The swimming pool of dreams at Oasia Downtown

 

How To Get There

We flew with Norwegian from London Gatwick to Singapore on a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in their amazing Premium seats! Premium seats start from only £559.90 one way, which includes more than one metre of legroom and lounge access. Economy fares start from £159.90 one way.

 

Must eat foods in Singapore - a lovely planet

Flying Premium with Norwegian.

 

Travelling in Asia? Check out our guides to Cambodia here.

 

Thanks to Visit Singapore and Mandarin Oriental for hosting A Lovely Planet.

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