The island nation of Singapore welcomes more than 10 million visitors a year. The city state offers visitors an experience which includes a distinctive amalgamation of Eastern cultures and Western amenities.
Singapore is also a great shopping destination and most locals have a penchant for trawling its many malls and shopping centers. Moreover Singapore attracts hordes of overseas visitors to its shores each year for the annual Shopping festival called the Great Singapore Sale which is usually held between the months of May and July each year.
Apart from shopping another favored past time of Singaporeans is ‘eating’ and this small nation has a well-known street food culture where many local delights are served in establishments called ‘Hawker Centers‘ and Food Courts. These Hawker Centers are clean and hygienic like the rest of Singapore and it’s quite safe to indulge in the many local foods that are served here without fear of being plagued by the dreaded stomach bug.
Almost every shopping complex on Singapore’s main shopping and entertainment drag, Orchard Road has a food court or hawker center located within its environs so it is quite easy to find these delicious indigenous foods and enjoy a new gastronomical experience. Here are some of the famous Singaporean local food that are a must-try for your next trip to Singapore
Hainanese Chicken Rice
This simple dish is often called the ‘National dish’ of Singapore and consists of strips of chicken which are boiled in a chicken bone stock and served with a lightly flavored rice which is also prepared in chicken stock. The dish is served with accompaniments which include a bowl of clear soup, some pickled cucumbers and a hot chili dipping sauce. The Chatterbox restaurant located in the Meritus Mandarin Hotel on Orchard Road is world renowned for its chicken rice.
Popiahs are fresh spring rolls which are not fried but served as they are. The skin of the popiah consists of a wafer thin crepe which is made of wheat flour. These spring rolls are usually are filled with hoisin sauce, finely chopped and stir fried jicama, beans, carrots, tofu and bean sprouts. The fillings of the popiahs may differ with each hawker center. The popiah is an indigenous dish of Singapore which has its origins in the original ‘Peranakan’ culture of the island.
Laksa is yet another Perankan dish which has evolved from a simple noodle soup over the years. There are several varieties of Laksa found in Singapore but the two main varieties are Curry Laksa and Assam Laksa. The Curry Laksa consists of thick noodles served in a coconut curry soup while the Assam Laksa refers to noodles served in sour fish soup. Apart from noodles, the Laksa also has fried tofu, fish sticks, shrimp and vegetables in it. A popular variety of Laksa served in Singapore is called Katong Laksa . This dish is named after a residential area in Singapore called Katong, where the vendors of Laksa cut up the thick noodles into bits in order to make the Katong Laksa easier to eat
Singapore Chili Crab
Yet another dish which competes for the hotly contested title of the national dish of Singapore is the Chili Crab. The Singapore Chili Crab consists of hard shelled crabs which are cooked in tomato chili gravy. The dish is served with steamed Chinese buns which are used to mop the gravy as you work your way through the crab. The best chili crabs are served in the sea food restaurants located on the East Coast of Singapore.
Ais Kacang or ABC as it is called, the latter being an acronym for the Malay name for this desert is a refreshing way to end a delicious spicy meal in Singapore. This desert comprises of a mountain of shaved ice which is garnished with many brightly colored sweet syrups and at the base of this heap of ice lies bed of unusual ingredients which include red beans, sweet corn, palm seeds and jelly cubes. The Ais Kacang is an extraordinary desert which is an acquired taste. This icy treat is not only great for wrapping up a meal but presents a perfect way to tackle Singapore’s hot humid weather as well!
Picture of Singapore popiahs originally posted by avlxyz