They came from China, Malaysia and Southern India to work in a maniacally busy port city. And long before anyone had coined the term “fusion food”, these street vendors were borrowing delicious flavours, techniques and ingredients from each other, unwittingly forging south-east Asia’s most beguiling food culture. Singapore has established itself as one of the world’s great eating capitals; food is the national obsession and the hawkers’ centres are an iconic experience on Singapore holidays. You might not get to taste the authentic flavors on Singapore tour packages; you’ll have to step out onto the streets.
Chilly Crab and Satay dominate the face of the Singapore street food scene. The steamed crab in a chilly tomato sauce and the grilled meat skewers (most commonly chicken) with spicy peanut dip can be found in stalls across the city. Another close contender for national dish is chicken rice, oily rice made with chicken broth and boiled chicken served with sliced cucumber and chilli paste; its simplicity belies its deliciousness. The absolute must-try’s on you Singapore holidays are Katong laksa, Singapore’s take on the traditional curry laksa, south Indian inspired tissue-thin, crispy, flaky roti prate, a distinctly Singapore version of stir fried Hokkien Mee, Chai tao kway (carrot cake), a mixture of shredded white radish (daikon) and rice flour stir-fried with egg, garlic and green onions.
Singapore’s national breakfast dish is kaya toast, thinly sliced, crisply toasted bread served with a spread made of eggs, sugar and coconut milk that has been flavored with pandan leaves. Enjoy it with soft-boiled eggs and a strong cup of tea or coffee. Beer and Milo are the most popular drinks available everywhere. Most Singapore holiday packages now include the government sponsored hawker food courts, an effort to save the real street food culture. Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, East Coast Lagoon Food Village, Food Republic, Old Airport Road Food Centre and Chinatown Food Center all serve fresh, hygienic tasty street food.
As the newest member of the content team at WeAreHolidays, Shivangi Rajendran comes from the world of professional dancing. With a passion for travel and a flair for writing, the Masters in Mass Communication is just an added advantage. A gypsy at heart, she doesn’t believe in planning and is always ready to pack her bags and leave.