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Food & Drink

10 Wonderful Traditional Dishes You Need To Try In Singapore

Megan Zara Walsh Megan Zara Walsh - Editor

Traditional Food

Food, glorious Singaporean food.

Without a doubt, Singapore has a dominant food scene with some spectacular dishes that you must try at least once in your life. If you’re a foodie or a tourist, heading on a culinary journey across Singapore is just the thing you need to put a smile on your face. Dive into some of the most delicious local foods, from famous seafood platters to popular rice and meat dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are 10 scrumptious local food dishes you need to try on your food adventure in Singapore.

1. Nasi Lemak

This dish that originated from Malaysia is adored by Singaporeans. It contains rice steamed in coconut milk and pandan leaf to give it a sweet taste. With lots of variations, you can get your dish with eggs, chili paste, peanuts, vegetables and much more goodness. There are plenty of spots to indulge on wholesome Nasi Lemak, but you should check out places like the rave-worthy Crave Nasi Lemak by Selera Rasa for a quick fix.

2. Fish Head Curry

Fish Head Curry
Photo Credit: IVIS Peranakan Restaurant

Singaporeans absolutely adore seafood, so it comes as no surprise that fish head curry mixed with Indian and Chinese origins is a popular meal in Singapore. Normally, red snapper head is stewed in a Kerala-style curry with lots of vegetables like eggplants, peppers and more. It goes excellently paired with rice or bread. Expect to find lots of authentic and satisfying versions around Singapore. For example, IVINS Peranakan Restaurant serves up a delicious portion with creamy spicy sour gravy and half a red snapper, while The Banana Leaf Apolo caters an iconic Indian-inspired version.

3. Laksa

Laksa is a traditional spicy noodle soup that derived from Peranakan cuisine. It contains either rice vermicelli or thick wheat noodles with a spicy curry coconut milk or sour asam, served with added chicken, fish or prawns. There are many scrumptious and diverse versions available across Singapore, but for an authentic taste, visit a popular hawker stall like Sungei Road Laksa, and dive into a hearty bowl of goodness for under $3.

4. Wanton Mee

Another authentic Asian noodle dish that you can thank the Chinese for. With hundreds of flavours influenced by the original, you can delight in Asian noodles topped with vegetables, pork and stuffed with deep-fried wanton dumplings. Opt to add sauces for some extra flavour, but Singaporeans normally eat theirs dry with a smidge of sweet sauce, and a side bowl of soup. We think you’ll love the famous Char Siew Wanton Mee at  Chef Kang’s Noodle House.

5. Mooncake

Normally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, mooncakes derived from China and remain a great delicacy to share with friends. With a heavenly taste, you can bags yourself classic versions and plenty of unique flavours. Traditionally, they are made from red and white lotus paste, salted duck egg yolks, and extras such as macadamia nuts, fruits and more. Visit Ding Bakery for a unique mooncake such as Green Emerald, Dark Chocolate, just to name a few.

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6. Sambal Stingray

Seafood lovers will adore this appetizing Malaysian and Singaporean dish which is also known as Spicy Banana leaf Stingray. It is widely available at Hawker stalls, and is made by barbecuing stingray and smothered in sambal paste. Customers have argued that Chan BBQ hawker stall in Singapore dishes up the best Sambal Stingray in the world. Go check it out for yourself.

7. Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice
Photo Credit: Unsplash

With many variations of chicken fried rice across the world, nothing beats a scrumptious Singaporean-styled one. Think your choice of rice, fresh ginger, garlic, skinless chicken breast, green beans and vegetables, eggs and more. For a superb plate of chicken fried rice, head down to one of the awesome food centres for a grab-and-go meal.

8. Chili Crab

This Singapore specialty food dish commonly stir-fries mud crabs in a thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chili sauce. This meal is so iconic that it has even been listed by CNN as number 35 out of 50 of the most delicious foods in the world. It will burn a hole in your pocket, but it is totally worth it. Check out Long Beach Seafood Restaurant where you roll up your sleeves and dive into this authentic plate of delight.

9. Char Kway Teow

Another renowned Chinese-inspired rice noodle dish, widely popular in Southeast Asia. It consists of flat rice noodles stir-fried with ingredients such as shrimp, Chinese sausage, eggs, bean sprouts, chives and more. You can pay as little as $3 for a generous portion of belly-filling Char Kway Teow at Hawker Stalls. Be sure to go early to avoid queues of foodies hungry for one of the best food dishes in Singapore.

10. Fried Carrot Cake

There are lots of variants of fried carrot cake, but traditionally, the Singaporean fried carrot cake is made with radish flour and eggs, and is particularly chopped up with individual radish cake cubes. Another hawker stall specialty that’s calling your name. Indeed, it is totally worth the excess calories and one of the best food dishes to get in Singapore.

Enjoying Secret Singapore? Why not check out The Best Cheap And Cheerful Eats In Singapore.