TOP 10 Local Food to Try in Singapore

Want to try local food but not sure what to order? Read on to find out more about these local food and where to get them.

TOP 1 Bak Kut Teh (Pork Ribs Soup)

Bak Kut Teh was a staple among the early Chinese immigrants who work as labourers as a bowl of the nutritious pork ribs soup paired with rice would give them the energy they need for the day’s work. The humble dish has now evolved to become a hot favourite among Singaporeans who find the fall-off-the-bone pork ribs and the rich herbal peppery broth irresistibly comforting.

Recommended stalls: Song Fa Bak Kut Teh (New Bridge Road), Founder Bak Kut Teh (Balestier)


TOP 2 Wanton Mee

Wanton mee is another common local food. Springy egg noodles are doused in soy sauce and chilli paste before wantons, sliced barbecued pork (char siew) and vegetables are added to it. Wantons are made of marinated minced pork wrapped in wanton skin and can be boiled or fried. It is a popular delicacy on its own and it is not uncommon to see diners ordering a plate of fried wanton to share with their family and friends during meal time.

Recommended stalls: Eng’s Wanton Noodles (many outlets islandwide), Da Jie Famous Wanton Noodle (Jalan Besar), Fei Fei Roasted Noodle (Yu Hua Village Market Food Centre)


TOP 3 Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak (coconut milk rice) is a Malay dish that is widely popular in Singapore. The rice exudes a mouthwatering fragrance as it is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves. It is then served with ingredients such as chicken wings, fried fish and fried eggs, and a side of fried anchovies and peanuts, cucumber slices, and sambal (spicy chilli paste) which is a staple on every plate of nasi lemak.

Recommended Shops: Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak (Boon Lay market), No.1 Adam’s Nasi Lemak (Adam Road Food Centre), Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak (Adam Road Food Centre)


TOP 4 Chicken Rice

Chicken rice is one of the most common and popular food in hawker centres. The fragrant rice is cooked with chicken broth, ginger and pandan leaves to create a fragrant and savoury taste. It is then paired with either chopped roasted chicken, white chicken or braised chicken. Soy sauce and fragrant oil are then slathered onto the chicken and rice with some slices of cucumbers by the side. With spicy lime chilli paste, ginger paste and a bowl of soup to accompany the rice, the combination is heavenly.

Recommended Shops: Boon Tong Kee (many outlets islandwide), Loy Kee Chicken Rice (Balestier), Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (Maxwell Food Centre)


TOP 5 Kaya Toast 

Kaya toast is commonly eaten for breakfast or afternoon tea. The traditional rectangular bread loaf is sliced into thin slices and toasted on a grill until it is nicely charred and crispy. It is then lathered with coconut or egg kaya, before two slices of bread are put together with a slab of indulgent butter between them. Munching on this crispy buttery goodness is pure bliss. It is no wonder that the kaya toast has become the unofficial national breakfast of Singapore, together with a cup of coffee and a set of half-boiled eggs.

Recommended shops: Kopi Alley (Woodlands Civic Centre), Tong Ah Eating House (Keong Saik Road), Ya Kun Kaya Toast (many outlets islandwide)


TOP 6 Chilli Crab

One of the most famous Chinese dishes to try when you are in Singapore has got to be the chilli crab. Chilli crab is cooked using a mix of chilli sauce and tomato sauce together with garlic, chilli and onions, and thickened with egg and corn starch. Chilli crabs are usually served together with fried mantous (buns), which are dipped in the luscious sauce.

Recommended stalls: JUMBO Seafood (East Coast Seafood Centre), Long Beach (East Coast Seafood Centre), Hua Yu Wee (Upper East Coast Road)


TOP 7 Laksa

Singapore laksa is markedly different from Malaysia laksa (the famous Penang assam laksa). It consists of rice noodles in a curry broth that exudes the fragrance of coconut milk and spices. Various ingredients such as cockles, fishcake, prawns and beancurd puffs are added to the bowl together with laksa leaves as garnish and sambal chilli for those who like an extra spicy kick.

Recommended stalls: 328 Katong laksa (Katong), Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa (Queensway), Sungei Road laksa (Jalan Besar)


TOP 8 Curry Fish Head

Curry fish head is popular in both Chinese and Indian restaurants. The head of a fish such as red snapper is stewed in curry with assorted vegetables like lady’s finger (okra) and brinjal (aubergine). It is typically served in a claypot so that the dish can remain warm for a longer period of time as the diners indulge in the savoury goodness. The Indian style of the curry tends to be more laden with spices compared to the Chinese style.

Recommended stalls: Xin Yuan Ji (Bugis), Yu Cun Fish Head Curry (Upper Paya Lebar Road), Muthu’s Curry (Little India)


TOP 9 Murtabak

Murtabak is made from a large piece of roti prata with either chicken, mutton, or beef fillings. The meat is cut into small pieces and cooked with small potato cubes in a curry gravy until the mixture is dry and fragrant. It is then wrapped in a roti prata skin and pan fried on a flat hot pan till the skin is golden brown and crispy.

Recommended Shops : Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant (North Bridge Road), Victory Restaurant (North Bridge Road), Sri Kamala Vilas Restaurant (Little India)


TOP 10 Bak Chor Mee (Minced Pork Noodles)

This noodle dish is usually served dry with a bowl of soup on the side. Two types of noodles are commonly used: mee pok (flat noodles) and mee kia (thin springy noodles). The noodles are coated with a mixture of pork lard, chilli paste and vinegar to create a delightful flavour. Ingredients such as sliced pork, minced pork, pork liver, pork balls, wantons and prawns are then added to the noodles.

Recommended stalls: Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles (Crawford Lane), Seng Hiang Bak Chor Mee (Bedok North Street 4 Blk 85 Fengshan Hawker Centre), Macpherson Minced Meat Noodle



Credits : wokthefork, tripadvisor, sethlui, onthereddot, veenaworld, kfntravelguide
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