Local delicacies


What do Singaporeans talk about ? FOOD !!

If you really want to localise and blend in, you have to know a few typical Singaporean dishes… I can guarantee this will enable locals to relate to you easily!!

Chilli Crab – Simply a must do on the island, and there are many seafood restaurants where you can order it, like Jumbo Seafood Restaurant for instance.

Satay Sticks –  Beef, mutton or chicken on a stick, served with peanut sauce, chilli, rice cakes and cucumber. De-li-cious. Especially when you buy it as a take-away at East Coast Lagoon Food Village and eat it on the beach directly from the plastic bag while enjoying the late breeze by the sea. Hmmm.

Hainanese Chicken Rice – Some people say it’s Singapore’s national dish ! Originally from the island of Hainan in the South of China, the dish is simply boiled chicken served with rice cooked in the chicken broth. It’s even more delicious with thick black sauce !! A personal favourite 🙂

Fish head curry – or « Ikan Merah » in Malay. Red snapper head cooked in a curry and coconut sauce.

Laksa – A Peranakan (mixture of Chinese and Malay culture) specialty. Laksa is a super fragrant and quite spicy noodle soup. Curry Laksa is the best, with coconut and curry in it.

Nasi Lemak – In Malay, « nasi » means rice and « lemak » means coconut. Therefore it is rice cooked in coconut, served with peanuts, cucumbers, fried fish and sometimes deep fried chicken. Don’t worry if it’s served in a banana leaf, it’s clean (trust the Singaporeans)! A second best favourite 🙂

Bak Kuh Teh – A fragrant Chinese pork rib soup.

Char Kway Teow – Very famous in Singapore (and can also be found in Singaporean restaurants in other parts of the world too !). Thick rice noodles (« kway teow ») cooked in dark soya sauce and served with Chinese vegetables, eggs and usually prawns or beef.

Ice Kachang – Try this desert ! It’s grated ice with red bean, jelly and syrup. It looks very colourful, you can’t miss it.

These dishes are very local and can mostly be found in hawker centers, food courts or coffee shops (rarely in restaurants). For more information on where to go, be a true singaporean and refer to www.hungrygowhere.com !!

Man I’m hungry now !!

More typically Singaporean dishes available here

Advertisements

An Asian melting pot?


I have often been asked whether Singapore is only inhabited by Chinese people… which shows how unfortunately little is known about the origins of Singaporeans.

There are three major communities living together on the island : Chinese (approximately 75%), Malays (14%) and Indians (9%). As you know, each community more or less has its own district, as a legacy from the British colonial governement in the 1820s – Chinatown, Arab Street and Little India. And added to these 3 major races, Singapore is also home to Eurasians (people of both European and Asian descent), as well as other mixed-cultured individuals (like Peranakans for instance, descendants of both Chinese and Malay cultures).

Peranakan Kebayas. They best represent the blending of Chinese and Malay cultures

To me, the cohabitation of different races is one of the key assets that Singapore has, both politically and culturally speaking. As you might have seen, it is a key theme adressed in political messages from the government (to strengthen the feeling of unity in one nation) and which allows Singapore to stand strongly as one. As for culture, what better proof of a sucessful melting pot than Singapore’s culinary delicacies ?

If you are interested in this subject, I would recommend to visit the Peranakan Museum as well as the National Museum of Singapore to get a better insight in Singapore’s multiculturalism.