Listomania: Top Five Singaporean Meals

Singapore is called the hub of street food, and there is a reason behind it. But over the past few months, I have developed a penchant for a certain dishes. Before you read on, keep in mind that to enjoy dishes from a different country and culture, the first prerequisite is to open your mind and pull up your experimenting socks. With that spirit, let’s list!

  1. Chicken Rice

chickenrice

What is it?

The dish originated from Hainan, China and is known as Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Its main ingredients are boiled rice and boiled chicken, but what makes it so different is the preparation. The chicken is boiled in the chicken bones stock, which is heated repeatedly for maximum flavor. The rice, on the other hand, is boiled in chicken stock, and has aroma and essence so amazing! The main dish comes with the side orders of clear vegetable soup, tangy chili sauce, cucumber and tomato salad, and greens boiled in oyster sauce. The dips are full of unique flavor that offsets the blandness of the main dish.

Where do I get it?

As it is both a common and a popular dish in Singapore, you can get it anywhere from the local coffee shops to the neighborhood food court to a fancy restaurant specializing in local cuisine. However, I strongly recommend that you try it at the Sergeant Chicken Rice in Food Junction, which is found in many malls.

2. Singaporean Breakfast

toastbox

What is it?

As basic as you can get, it is bread, eggs, and coffee. However its localization makes it extremely special. The typical breakfast consists of two slices of toasted bread with kaya (coconut and egg jam) and butter. It comes with two runny eggs, not soft boiled but downright runny. It may shock (or even revolt) you the first time, but give it a go, they are not raw. Break open the eggs in the saucer, sprinkle some salt and pepper, add a drop of soya and stir with the spoon. Dig in. Wash it down with the choice of local coffee: kopi made from condensed milk or kopi-c made of evaporated milk. It is one of a kind, and you will defiantly want to try it again. But just so you do not blame me later, kaya oozes with calories, so stick to one portion.

Where do I get it?

Again, this is also a very common breakfast and available in every nook and corner but you must try it at either Toast Box or Ya Kun Kaya Toast. Both have numerous outlets dotted all over Singapore. If you have to stay away from all kinds of fat, you should then opt for Toast Box, and order peanut butter toast (yes, it is less fattening than kaya) and kopi-o, coffee without sugar.

3. Pepper Crab

peppercrab

What is it?

It is a hard shell crab, prepared in thick pepper gravy. Simple. Served whole, with the tools and apparatus to devour it, it is best enjoyed with tiny buns. Although, you can eat it with rice or noodles too. It is usually the Sri Lankan crab, but if you are picky, you can ask for the Australian one too at an extra price. Although, the unofficial national dish is the chili crab, which is cooked in sweet chili gravy, black pepper is a personal favorite. Eating it is hard work and you must not wear your best dress when you venture out to eat one, but believe me, it is totally worth it!

Where do I get it?

Many restaurants serve crab, but the places to try it the first time are either Jumbo or Long
Beach. My personal favorite is Jumbo at Clarke Quay, where you can sit by the river, don a bib, and munch on.

4. Laksa

Laksa

What is it?

In plain words, it is spicy noodle soup. It originated from the Peranakan cuisine, which is a mixture of Malay and Chinese. The uniqueness of the dish lies in its soup, which is made from coconut. There are many variations of the dish, but the most common and the most delicious consists of yellow coconut curry soup, tofu puffs, fish sticks, shrimp, and some green veggies. The noodles can be of your choice. In case you are not keen on seafood, you can always ask for chicken instead. Remember, it is mainly the soup that does the magic!

Where do I get it?

Everywhere, seriously. Although everyone seems to swear by different places for the best laksa in Singapore, most stalls make good laksa. There is a little chance that you will go wrong with it, unless you order it in Little India or Chinatown. Remember, this is not Malay or Chinese cuisine, this is typical of Singapore. However, like everyone else, I too have a favorite stall – Yum Yum Yong Tau Fu. Laksa. It is located in the East Link food court in Tampines Central 1. Here! If you are in the vicinity, go look for aunty Ling and order her special laksa.

5. Yong Tau Foo

yongtaufu

What is this?

It is the health food for the Chinese all over the world! It is basically consommé chicken soup (can be beef too, so check in case you are averse) with your choice of noodles and wide varieties of meat and veggies. You walk to the stall, pick up a bowl and a prong. Choose your choice of oddments ranging from mushrooms, greens of several types, sprouts, fried tofu, fish balls, crab sticks, bitter gourds, chili, okra, eggs, and much more. Bitter gourds and okra are usually filled with fish paste. Drop your picks into the bowl, walk over to the server and order your noodles – rice noodles, vermicelli, or none and handover your bowl. Your oddments will be cut, thrown in a strainer, and dipped into the boiling soup for a couple of minutes. You can choose to top up your bowl with some soup.

Where do I get it?

There is nothing more ubiquitous than yong tao foo. Being equally popular amongst the weight watchers and wallet-watchers, it is found in every single food court. You can try it at the stall in Food Junction, but really, any hygienic place (look for the A rating) is good.

Credits: Pictures from Google.

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8 Responses to “Listomania: Top Five Singaporean Meals”

  1. Nothing for vegeterians, Sunshine Girl?

    • sunshin3girl Says:

      This is South East Asia, there is no concept of vegetarian, really. If you ask for vegetarian food, they’ll give you food with veggies. That is, it will have meat or soup from meat but will also have vegetables.For example, many this popiah is vegetarian but look.

      However, this does not means vegetarians cannot survive here. Little India has a lot to offer and also some fancy restaurants, but not much in local food.

  2. [...] is a pretty good blog on Singapore Food. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Festivals and more in Singapore Posted in [...]

  3. I am particularly fascinated by pepper crab and laksa. However, Yong Tao Foo is also great when you want to go low on calories.
    I think I will cook Laksa today :) I have understood how to make it. Only that it will be a vegetarian verion. Thanks for the details of the dishes, ingredients, sauces etc.

    Lastly, your food posts make me very happy. Really. You must explore the ‘food’ world in depth and write more.

  4. What, no nasi goreng? It’s Indonesian but brilliantly done in food courts of Singapore.

    • sunshin3girl Says:

      “Nasi” is rice, and “Goreng” is fried in Bahasha. Yes, it is quite delicious and I am impressed you remember proper names from your visits. :)

  5. [...] photo from sunshin3girl [...]

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