How to Eat Your Way Through Singapore
Ask someone how their holiday to Singapore went and one of the first things you’re likely to hear them rave about is the food.
Food in Singapore means so much more than just sustenance. Food in this part of the world means culture, tradition, heritage, community, family, friendship, love, warmth, inter-generational knowledge, the art of ancient healing, and so much more…
So when travelling to this part of the world, experiencing the food is every bit as important as experiencing the culture. Here are a few ways you can make the food experience central to your travel experience.
From Hawker Food…
Singapore is famous for its hawker fare and missing out on that is like saying you went to Naples and didn’t try the pizza.
Look up “must-try” dishes and decide how far you’re willing to go (or rather, how long you’re prepared to stand in line) for the best. Sometimes a taste will do. If you want insider access, like the opportunity to speak to seasoned and next-generation hawkers, our Concierge is able to assist.
5 ‘must-try’ local Singapore dishes:
1/ Kaya toast and soft boiled egg. No cheating here. The butter has to be a slab.
2/ Bak Chor Mee. Say ‘yes’ to minced pork and fish balls, though the chilli and liver are optional. Have it ‘dry’ and choose from a variety of noodles.
3/ Popiah. The fun is in seeing how the thin popiah skin is made. Visit Kway Guan Huat in Joo Chiat for the experience.
4/ Chilli crab. There are many travellers who don’t have a palate for spicy food, but if you do, make the trip to 462 Upper East Coast Rd to the seafood restaurant Hua Yu Wee. Evenings only.
5/ Hainanese Chicken Rice. The magic is in the flavour of the rice and the texture of the chicken. Don’t forget the chilli.
This is merely skimming the top of a long list. We haven’t even started on the ethnic noodle dishes, Malay nasi lemak and rendangs, Peranakan kuihs, and Indian curries and rotis.
To Fine Dining in a Restaurant…
This is a hot topic of discussion at our table. We know that food-focused guests want to eat at great restaurants and Singapore has its fair share of awarded and Michelin-starred outfits. As a traveller, which restaurants are worth your time and offer a uniquely “Singapore” fine-dining experience?
The consensus is that eating at restaurants that offer the best of ethnic food – whether Chinese, Malay, Indian, Peranakan or Eurasian – is worth it. That, and a memorable ambiance should be considered criteria. A breathtaking view of Singapore, a meal at the gardens, dining in a heritage interior – that counts as long as the food is good. There’s a lot of showmanship in the restaurant industry, so choose wisely.
Go Behind the Scenes
For people who are passionate food, a trip behind-the-scenes and into the kitchen is a treat. However, many traditional food producers hold their techniques and recipes very close and access can be limited.
Our local network has opened the door to some special food experiences, so if you have a group that is interested in activities like traditional baking, tea roasting or understanding the origins and uses of herbs and spices, our Concierge will be able to help refer you to the right people.
Dine With A Local
Of course, we have to add private dining to the list of ways to experience Singapore’s rich culinary heritage. This is Singapore food at its most authentic. Not only will you be able to taste dishes from a family’s history, by sitting at the table with the cook you’ll be able to get a first-hand understanding of the cuisine of their culture. Every meal is designed with a story that reflects Singapore’s past, present or future.
Choose from Signature Dining, which is more like fine dining, or select a more informal experience by booking a Private Table.