Singapore food guide: five must-try dishes for the first-time traveller

Singapore food guide: five must-try dishes for the first-time traveller

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Singapore is known to be one of Asia’s best food destinations, having a wide variety of influences from different cultures like Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, and Indian. If this is your first time to visit the country, take note of these five food items that you must definitely not miss.

Bak Kut Teh

This hearty dish, which is literally translated as “pork bone tea” has simple ingredients–pork ribs, loads of pepper, and garlic–that come together to form a flavorful dish that will fill you to the gills. This hearty dish is best paired with tea (thus the name) to wash the grease brought about by the pork, and usually eaten with rice.

Must-try: Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh, 22 Sin Ming Road, Singapore 570022

Chicken Rice

Go to a place that specializes in Chicken Rice and you’ll find people from all walks of life eagerly line up. Originating from Hainan immigrants, this is another simple dish that is a hit among locals and tourists alike. It’s very simple, but has very unique flavors elevated with ingredients like rice that’s been cooked with flavorful chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, and some chili. It’s not easy to look for this dish, as most hawker centers and local restaurants have it.

Must-try: Tian Tian Chicken Rice, 1 Kadayanallur St, #01-10/11, Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184

Nasi Lemak

A Nasi Lemak plate has a lot of things going on, so you’ll know that you’re in for something unique and interesting. This filling dish–the national dish of Malaysia, is made up of hearty ingredients like rice cooked in coconut and pandan leaves, anchovies, an egg, cucumber, chili paste, sambal sauce, and peanuts. It’s also usually served with a piece of protein like chicken, fish, and beef.

Must-try: Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak, 221B Boon Lay Pl, Singapore 642221

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Laksa

Love curry? You’ll most probably go crazy for this one. Having Malay and Chinese influences, Laksa is a spicy dish of creamy coconut curry soup with noodles.The complexity of flavors come from ingredients like slices of fish, chicken, and shrimp on top, as well as some chili, onions, and tofu. This one has different variants, so if you enjoy it on the first try, you can do some exploring and try other versions as well.

Must-try: Queensway, Queensway Shopping Centre, Singapore 149053

Satay

Satay is skewered grilled meat (pork, beef, chicken, or mutton) grilled served with peanut sauce and some cucumber relish. This dish, with Indonesian origins, is excellent if you’re looking for some light meals (best paired with some rice balls), or something to munch on as you have a beer.

Must-try:  20 Bukit Batok Crescent, #11-17 Enterprise Centre, Singapore 658080

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/// Written by Lia Tizon