Singapore is known for its cuisine. Every dish has flavors of India, China, and Malaysia within, creating a taste very much its own. Singapore’s rich diversity also brings influence from Thailand, the Middle East, and Indonesia. Food is part of the culture, so naturally, there are plenty of delicious dishes completely “Singaporean,” most of which you MUST try. Here are my favorites.
yumyumyum Kaya toast is wonderful! A thick layer of kaya (coconut jam made of coconut, eggs, and sugar) is spread onto toast. Sometimes it’s topped with butter/margarine and sugar, and quite often it’s served with two soft boiled (super super runny) eggs to dip the toast into.
What to Drink with Kaya Toast : Kopi (coffee) or Teh (tea)
Bak Kut Teh
This was actually the first thing I had ever eaten in Singapore and it’s a sure favorite of mine. Bak Kut Teh can be translated to “meat bone tea,” although that’s not what this is at all. Bak Kut Teh is a bone broth-based, pork rib soup. It’s a super simple meal, but absolutely incredible. The soup is not made from tea, like the name suggests, rather, tea is supposed to be consumed with this dish to cut the oil from the soup.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
How can anyone not like chicken rice?! ‘Chicken rice’ is nearly synonymous with ‘Singapore,’ incredibly well known and easy to find at any hawker center. Chicken rice is literally just rice and steamed or roasted chicken, but the rice is flavored from being cooked in chicken fat/stock. That may not have been the most appealing way to describe it, but I promise you- it’s sooOOOooo good. It’s usually served with soup as well!
I eat nasi lemak all the time. It’s definitely something I’ll miss about Singapore 😦 Nasi Lemak is actually a Malay dish (I KNOW it isn’t ‘Singaporean,’ but we’re only 2o minutes from Malaysia, let it slide) comprised of coconut rice cooked in pandan leaves (yum), chili cuttlefish, fried chicken, peanuts, egg, and small fried fish. Everything comes together so well and UGH so good. There are other variations of this dish, but the mentioned above is quite common.
Ice Cream Sandwich
A classic Singapore staple- You can find these everywhere in Singapore, from Clarke Quay to Chinatown to right outside the botanic gardens. Ice cream sandwiches are either sold in bread (real bread, don’t be fooled and think its some sort of sweet bread) or wafers. There are tons of different flavors of ice cream- There are the classics like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc., and then there are the flavors a bit more unique to Singapore- sweet corn and durian being two. These are the best for super hot & humid days (which we have plenty of), and at $1.20, they can’t be beat!
Milo Dinosaurs are commonly seen as kiddie drinks, but UH NO they’re great for any age!!! A milo dinosaur is iced milo with heaping spoonfuls of undissolved Milo drink mix on top. Super rich, super chocoloatey, super yummy. I’ll never forget the first time I had one of these! I was with my boyfriend (at the time) and his friends, and we were sitting at Newton Hawker Center drinking these. We probably had at least two each (probably over 2000 calories but WORTH IT). I don’t really think these are “Singaporean (maybe from Australia?),” but they’re common here and yummy and I only found out about them after moving here.
I’m leaving out plenty of classic Singaporean dishes here (the list goes on forever), but those were a few of my favorite treats to get whilst here. If you’re curious to see what other dishes Singapore takes pride in, check out this video, which shows you all of the big ones!
It’s also made by my little sister for a film class (proud sister moment).
If you’re in Singapore, whether that be for a long layover or if this is your home, fill up on these dishes, as there’s no better place to eat them than The Little Red Dot.