Eating in Singapore

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Singapore is well loved for its range of ethnic food available. There are Chinese, Indian to French, Italian to Malay food. It may be a small country but the choices of food available is always an eye opener for first timers to Singapore. In this page you can find information and guides on Singapore food, includes buffets, coffee shop, hawker centers, restaurants & supper place.


One of the best things about being in Singapore is undoubtedly the food. It is no secret that Singaporeans eat and drink with a passion. For the newcomer, deciding where and what to eat can be an intimidating, yet at the same time, exciting experience.

Singapore’s multi-cultural diversity is reflected in the variety of local cuisine it has to offer, from Chinese to Malay, Indian to Peranakan. Singapore cuisine has influenced one another for decades. Foreigners who visit Singapore ought to try out some of our local delicacies.

Some of Singapore delicacies include Satay (Originated by the Malays, but also sold by Chinese these days), Roti Prata (Indian "pizza"), Fried Kway Tiao (fried black noodles- normally served with cockles), Hokkien Noodles (seafood noodle delight), Hainanese Chicken Rice, and some of our local desserts like Ice Kachang (flavoured ice with ingredients like red bean and jelly), Chendol (coconut based dessert), Grass Jelly (a refreshing black jelly that cools down on a hot day) and Tao Suan (bean in sticky paste, topped by fried dough). 

But if you choose to dine in a fine restaurant, it's definitely more with the comfort and ambience to go along with. We have a list of the recommended restaurants here in Singapore, if you can't decide where to eat, here's where we're to help.

Local Favourite Food

Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh is a Chinese pork ribs soup cooked in herbs like five spices, star anise, cinnamon, clove, fennel seeds, dang gui, pepper and garlic.

It is eaten with rice and other accompaniments including fried dough and salted vegetables. It is also sometimes served with Chinese tea, as many believe that Chinese tea (particularly Tieguanyin) dissolves the copious amount of fat consumed in this pork-laden dish.

 

Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow is a savoury sweet noodle dish.

It consists of yellow noodles and broad wide noodles cooked together with pork lard, sweet sauce, dark sauce, bean sprouts, eggs, Chinese sausages, fish cakes and optional cockles.

 

Chilli Crab

Crabs that are being cooked in thick tomato and chilli based gravy. The crab is covered with plentiful of gravy and the crab meat is best eaten with the gravy. A pleasant accompaniment is the fried ‘man-tou” (fried buns) which is best eaten with the thick gravy.

Many seafood restaurants offer this delightful dish.

 

Hainanese Chicken Rice

This dish is originated by the people in China, Hainan Island and has since then been Singaporeans regular dish eaten usually for lunch or dinner. It is mainly cooked with garlic, scallion and ginger and the rice is cooked till fragrant.

It is commonly found in hawker centres, coffee shops and restaurants.

 

Hokkien 'Mee' (Noodles)

This dish is originated by the people in China, Hainan Island and has since then been Singaporeans regular dish eaten usually for lunch or dinner. It is mainly cooked with garlic, scallion and ginger and the rice is cooked till fragrant.

It is commonly found in hawker centres, coffee shops and restaurants.

 

Kaya Toast Breakfast

This is a traditional local breakfast for the young and old which consists of kaya spread (made from screwpine leaves) on toasted bread and accompanied with soft-boiled eggs and coffee or tea. This traditional breakfast dish can be found in many places like modern food courts, food centres, hawker centres and specialty cafes.

 

Fish Head Curry

Fish Head Curry is a dish where the head of a fish, particularly red snapper is semi-stewed in thick curry gravy and lady’s’ fingers, brinjals are added to the dish. It is best eaten with white rice.

 

Fried Carrot Cake

Fried carrot cake is a favourite dish among many Singaporeans. It is flour mixed with radish and fried with dark sauce, turnip and sweet sauce and topped off with spring onions (‘black’ version), or fried without the sweet sauce (‘white’ version).

 

Rojak

A tasty local infused salad consisting of fruits, fried dough fritters, turnips, bean sprouts, cucumbers topped off with prawn paste and crushed peanuts. The gravy has a unique flavour that will entice one’s appetite for more.

Rojak can sometimes be found at hawker centres and coffee shops.

 

Roti Prata

Roti Prata originates from Southern India and is a type of Indian pancake made of flour. It comes with a variation of fillings including egg, cheese, banana, onions, meat or even topped off with a scoop of ice cream. It is served with hot curry gravy. Some people prefer to eat it with sugar.

 

Satay

Satay is a dish consisting of bite-sized pieces of meat grilled on skewers. They come in chicken, mutton, pork and beef. It is served with a flavourful spicy peanut sauce, slices of cucumbers and onions.


Places to Eat


Cafes

A growing favourite with the young working crowd. Designer coffee places like Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Coffee Club have become the in places to hang out with friends. Most cafes serve Western food like sandwiches, pizzas and pasta.

Coffee Shops

These can be found in most housing estates outside the city and are usually located on the ground floor of apartment blocks or in 2-storey. Even till today, Singaporeans gather at coffee shops not just to eat and drink, but also to chat or even play a game of checkers. Although the older coffeehouses are slowly being phased out, they are still the place to go if you want to get cheap and good food served with a slice of true Singapore life, not forgetting the thick, black local coffee that comes in a porcelain cup.

Fast-food

A favourite with children and teenagers, fast food arrived in Singapore in the late 70s and is today a familiar sight everywhere. There’s McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Pizza Hut, Burger King, MOS Burger and much much more.

Hawker Centers and Food Courts

Together with hawker centers, food courts are the people’s main eating choice when dining out. You can find hawker food widely available here, a meal averagely costs about $3 or more. Food courts are usually found in shopping malls, and are air-conditioned and thus more expensive. For example, a plate of noodles that cost $3 in a hawker center may cost $4 in a food court. The choice of food is also more cosmopolitan, with some food courts even offering Italian, Korean, Japanese and Greek cuisine all in the same place. Be warned: at the more popular food courts, you could find people waiting behind you for your seat; so if you like to take your time, go during off-peak hours. Unlike hawker centers, you have to carry your own food to your table.

Food courts generally can be found in most shopping centres. There are usually at least one hawker centers in every HDB housing estates. Like Ang Mo Kio, Ghim Moh, Marine Parade, Old Airport Road, Whampoa. Enjoy your Singapore food discovery! For hawker centers, refer to some of the popular ones below:

Adam Road Food Center

This hawker center was recently upgraded. With a new facade and more parking space, it is very popular with lunch time crowds. More than 50% of the stalls serve Malay or Indian food. Good Nasi Goreng, Roti Prata, western food can be found here. Do not miss the BBQ seafood and the famous Nasi Lemak stall!

Location: Junction of Dunearn Road and Adam Road.

Chomp Chomp Food Center

Located at Serangoon Garden, this hawker center was recently upgraded. Wide variety of food at a reasonable price. Many stalls from the Botanic Garden hawker center had migrated here.

Location: Serangoon Garden.

Lau Pa Sat Food Center

Lau Pa Sat is the largest remaining Victorian filigree cast-iron structure in Southeast Asia. Located in the heart of Singapore's business district, it is a favorite meeting place of the locals. Built in 1894, Lau Pa Sat was a wet market and has now been restored and converted into a food centre offering a wide variety of local food.

Location: Boon Tat Street, Shenton Way, Robinson Road.
Getting There: Take the MRT to Raffles Place Station (EW14) and walk towards Robinson Road.

Newton Circus Food Center

The most well known hawker center in Singapore. If you are a seafood lover, do not miss this place, lots of BBQ seafood stalls can be found here. There are also many variety of food, including Hokkien Prawn Noodles, Fish Porridge, Chicken Rice and many more.

Location: Newton Circus, entrance at Cavenagh Road.
Getting There: Take the MRT to Newton Station (NS21).

Zion Road Riverview Food Center

People working around Orchard and Great World City usually drive or walk to this hawker center for lunch. You can find a wide variety of food here.

Location: Zion Road, directly opposite Great World City.

Restaurants

Restaurants

These range from the cheaper and more informal, like Spaggedies or La Smorfia (Italian) and Ponderosa (Western) to the decidedly posh and budget busting, like The Pinnacle. Whatever the cuisine, the budget or the occasion, there’s definitely more than a few to choose from. Craving to have a hearty meal but don't know where to dine?:

Browse - Restaurants in Singapore

We also have a hearty list of selected (only the best) restaurants and hotels which serves up good buffets:

Browse - Buffets in Singapore

Supper

Supper Place Recommendations

Looking for food in the middle of the night? We have a list of recommended supper places provided by Singapore Expats forum members. Note: we do not have the exact address.

Supper Places (sorted by famous food)
Ba Cho Mee (mince pork noodles soup) - Bedok Block 85 near the police station.
Ba Kut Teh - Balestier Road.
Beef Hor Fan - Geylang.
Beef Noodle (dry) - Lavender Food Square.
Duck Rice - Marine Parade hawker center, beside Parkway Parade.
Fish Soup - River Valley Rd. Near to the Boon Tong Kee chicken rice restaurant. Fish soup is good.
Frogs Legs Congee - Geylang.
Nasi Lemak - Boon Lay Shopping Centre opens only from 23:30pm. Food is hot, chilly is nice and not too spicy and price is good.  Order the $2 Nasi Lemak package.
Nasi Lemak - Brighton Cres.
Nasi Lemak - Changi Village.
Nasi Lemak - Chong Pang, Yishun.
Nasi Lemak - Punggol.
Nasi Lemak - Fong Seng, near NUS, Pasir Panjang Road.
Or Mee Sua (Mee Sua in black soup) - Kembangan, Changi Road the Shell Station.
Paper Chicken - Ulu Pandan Road near Sunset Way, Clementi.
Roti Prata - Alif Restaurant, Bukit Gombak opposite Gombak MRT.
Roti Prata - Jalan Kayu.
Scissor Curry Rice - Kitchener Road.
Taiwan Porridge - Oasis, Kallang.
Teochew Porridge - Beo Cres.
Tissue Prata - West Coast hawker.
Wanton Noodle - Kok Kee, Lavender Food Square.
Wanton Mee - Old Airport Road hawker center.

Supper Places (sorted by restaurant)
Adam Road Food Centre - Lots of Indian stalls. Try the Roti Prata.
Airfield Restaurant (Kopi Tiam) - Changi Village, located opposite the Shell Station, good western food, Fishball noodles, ample parking behind the coffeeshop, opens 24 hours.
Cafela - Jalan Kayu. They serve fantastic Nasi Lemak, best chicken wings and chilli you can find aorund. Also try their 'Dinosaur' drink- lots of Milo powder for the chocolate freak.
Coffeebean - Changi Airport Terminal 2.
Crystal Jade Kitchen (beside Orchard Emerald) - Good noodles and congee there. Try their US Beef noodles with ginger or Scallop congee.
Jalan Teck Whye - Under MSCP. Cheap and nice food. Jalan Tech Whye is in between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang.
Khattriya Restaurant - Jalan Kayu. Great paper Prata and thin crispy Prata. Also try the local version of Cappuccino, ‘Kopi-cino’ and ‘The-Cino’.
Mr Bean - Holland Village or Selegie.
NYDC - Holland Village opened till late on weekends only.
Swensen - Crown Prince Hotel, Orchard Road.
Thasevi Food Eating House - Jalan Kayu. They serve fluffy small-sized Prata, which is very crispy.
Yu Tiao Da Wang - 239 Geylang Road. Home made Bean Curd and Soya Milk. Taiwanese snacks like Carrot cake, Yu Tiao (fried cruller) and Mee Suah with oysters.

Find more eating places in the Expat Forum - Food, Leisure and Entertainment in Singapore.

Related Page

   
Re: 1gb fibre required

Strong Eagle:
Good luck getting one gig in and out of Singapore.

Re: House Prices could drop by a Quarter?

JR8:
There is nothing wrong to aspiring to be a home-owner but many people appear to be enslaved by false expectations. For example as seen in the London market people starting out their working lives can have a sense of entitlement. They can believe that being graduates of any kind of degree (and 'who isn't a graduate in the UK these days') is an entitlement to live in a place of their choosing. If you point out that historically saving for one's first home has always been an epic struggle over years, requiring huge sacrifices (no holidays, no gadgets, no 'this seasons' fashions, no eating out, etc) they don't seem to accept that. If you point out that they can afford a place, just in 'Zone 4', they are prone to attack. They appear to have an outlook of 'I can have it all (with little or no sacrifice), now, live in an area of my choosing, and I'm entitled to it'. By no means all, but a sizeable segment of people starting out their careers appear to think this way.

I follow various web discussion boards, including one re: property markets, direction of prices, affordability etc., and have done so for around 15/+ years. The thinking I outline above is what I witness from perhaps 70% of posters on a daily basis, on that one forum, every day across those years. One of the 'logical extensions' voiced almost as frequently is that everyone that went before had it *easy*, and since the typical poster in question can't afford to buy what he wants and where he wants it, the market is 'clearly doomed and heading for a crash. I'm going to wait to buy and all you home-owners are going to get burned and I'll buy for 1/2 what you paid, you wait and see - hahaha!'. I've seen certain posters repeat that line (in an increasingly frenzied way) for even a decade, during which their refusal to compromise yesterday's expectations vs today's reality has meanwhile seen the market double.

That kind of thing :)

Why 'is it a lie'? There is no right to own your own home. Never mind located where you would wish, and of the size that you'd like. In say the London market look at how population has changed since 'those landlords (bought)'. Factor in the ripple-out of gentrification, how run down areas tend to improve over time and become desirable once again. There is no way in he11 one of the typical aspirant house-hunters (as above) would buy what was my first home as it was when I bought it. By way of illustration it had crack-ho's outside each night. Ditto drug-dealers; it was located about 500M north of what was known locally as 'The Front Line', rough territory, esp after dark. It was positively pretty dangerous at times back then. The flat had a toilet but no seat, a broken bath, and the kitchen was a sink hanging off the wall at 45 degrees. I don't recall there being any kitchen cabinets, cooker, fridge etc. In retrospect it's surprising I was advanced a mortgage on it as I doubt it was legally habitable until perhaps 6 months after moving in.

That property was located in what was then quite a highly undesirable location. Plenty of friends raised their eye-brows when I told them where it was located. But esp. in London this is how gentrification renews run-down neighbourhoods. That was on the fringe of Zone-2. What with population growth etc an equivalent today might be buying a 1-bed wreck at auction... don't know somewhere around Zone 4/5. Tell me, why wouldn't a person starting out these days entertain buying their first home in say Zone 4/5, or even outside of London?

p.s. 'The Front Line' was Westbourne Grove, 25 years ago. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if you think I am outright making that up! I can assure you I'm not though. Today some youngsters see that a generation before people of their current approx profile could buy there. Understandably they cannot conceive how the area has changed, nor the sacrifices those early movers made to buy there. I can understand it's hard to visualise and accept, but the reality of the situation won't change.

Yes, your anecdote from the office is the same as the kind of mind-set I describe above.

Re: 1gb fibre required

Pinshot:
Great thanks for your help

Re: 1gb fibre required

x9200:
Im due to move to Singapore and will be giving up my 1gb fibre connection here in London. I wish to have the same level of connectivity in Singapore and i understand this is common.

yes, pretty common

I would like to know what to look for and ask when browsing for apartments. Its easy in the UK as we have lots of information provided.


Well, when visiting the flat you just look if the fibre terminal is installed. You can do a check on some web pages if the fibre is in the building, but I am not sure if you can do the same for the individual flats.

Are there also issues with landlords if i wanted this service added to my apartment? If the apartment is pre wired is this easier? How old are fibre ready apartments compared to none fibre and is a premium charged for this?


The general, country-wide fibrezation happened ca 3-4y ago so building of that that age or younger should already have it. If an apartment doesn't have the connection it will costs ca S$200 to have it hooked up unless the whole building is not connected, what I think is an extremely rare case. The only issue with the landlords I can think about is that the terminal and fibres are installed with just surface trunking. This does not look too good but I believe most of the local homeowners don't care.

Any help welcome.

Thanks

24M Australian looking for buddies to explore SG with!

somethingwitty:
Hi all!

My name is Leon and I'm travelling in SG for a week. (14th Feb - 21st Feb.

I'm an Australian with parents from GZ, HK. I work in finance by day and run a startup by night! (http://www.conversationcollective.com)

Looking for some buddies to hang out with for the week in SG. I'm here with my sister (21F) as well!

Give me a buzz on wechat: i642531 if you've got time to hang.

Best way to find a job as an architect

orsolyam:
Hi everybody!

I just graduated in The Netherlands at the Delft University of Technology, Master of Architecture and I would like to start working as an architect. I have already worked in China for 6 months during my Master studies and now my plan is to go back to Asia, but this time to Singapore. There are nice architectural offices and I would like to learn Mandarin.

I have already started applying for jobs, sending my motivation letter, portfolio and CV directly to architecture firms. I was wondering if there are any smarter ways to apply? Do you know any good agencies? Is that common to apply from Europe and after signing the contract going there?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Orsolya

Re: Couple just moved to Singapore looking for friends

Ildy:
Hello, we are also new to Singapore, would be happy to meet new friends. We have a 5 year old son.

Re: House Prices could drop by a Quarter?

gunrock:
JR8, what' s wrong with aspiring to be a house owner instead of paying the mortgage on someone else's house for them? Why is it a lie? Are you suggesting that young people should just accept the fact that they can't achieve what the landlords who rent them their properties have achieved?

Totally with you on the location expectations thing, though. I hear young people in my office moan about not being able to find anywhere they can afford and they seem perturbed if you ask them why they are only looking in Zone 2 or 3 and not further out.

Re: Photoshop request

Ildy:
I use PS Element, if it's not too complicated I might be able to help you, just let me know.

1gb fibre required

Pinshot:
Im due to move to Singapore and will be giving up my 1gb fibre connection here in London. I wish to have the same level of connectivity in Singapore and i understand this is common.

I would like to know what to look for and ask when browsing for apartments. Its easy in the UK as we have lots of information provided.

Are there also issues with landlords if i wanted this service added to my apartment? If the apartment is pre wired is this easier? How old are fibre ready apartments compared to none fibre and is a premium charged for this?

Any help welcome.

Thanks

Re: HELP NEEDED - Refused Entry to Singapore - Can I Still Enter?

BBCWatcher:
I was not limiting my remarks solely to Singapore. As with most visa enforcement, it's (as I wrote) a "rule of thumb." Tax residence is quite similar in many countries with the same "rule of thumb," by the way. A rule of thumb is not universal, by definition. It's merely a "sanity check."

The entire Schengen Area makes their less-than-half-time "rule of thumb" quite explicit, to pick an example. Tourists cannot exceed 90 days out of any/every 180 day period, period. They must be outside the Schengen Area at least as long as they're inside it. Schengen border control officers are allowed to question and limit entry further if they wish.

To pick another example, in 2013 Malaysia publicly announced they'd haul "tourists" in for questioning on their third quick turn (suspected visa runs), many to/from Singapore. Malaysia routinely grants 30 day stay permission to most tourists, so the third turn would actually be a bit less than half time (measured within a 365 day period).

Like most countries, Singapore won't tell you what patterns of "tourist" stays cross their line(s). But if you're spending half or more of your time in Singapore on STVPs, chances are quite excellent nowadays that ICA will flag you down in due course. As you yourself have explained in previous threads.

....Or less than half time. Rules of thumb are rules of thumb.

Re: HELP NEEDED - Refused Entry to Singapore - Can I Still Enter?

sundaymorningstaple:


Interesting. In my 33 years here and the last 20 of them in HR roles, I've never read or heard that at all. Where did you pick up that tidbit?

I'm not questioning it, but rather surprised I'd not heard it before, as I was a typical Oilfield expat for the 1st 11 years - doing the occasional 'visa run' as and when necessary, as I lived here, had one wife, two children and three cars here all while on a bog standard 30 day tourist visa during that time! (before the advent of the 90 visas for selected countries). And an anecdote, I wish you had seen the face of the ICA officers (2 - when doing the PR interviews back then as they still did face-to-face interviews before you went through the finalization process) when I related the above to them. I received my PR 2 weeks later.

Re: Character Referees?

elle90:
hey thanks for ur reply!

the form only states "character references" as the subject head followed by "please provide 2 charactee referees (non-relatives) whom reference can be made"

can i provide my ex-colleague's details (not my manager) and a friend? since they require 2

Re: LTVP+ questions

spia1189:
Thanks for the comments all, this has been very helpful.

x9200- I suspect in finance my employment prospects are reasonably solid. But the main objective is to be with my fiance, our plan is be in Singapore long-term, hence the desire for LTVP.

Re: House Prices could drop by a Quarter?

JR8:


An overnight opinion/comment re: the stock/currency-markets:
-----
'China still has over $3 trillion in reserves, but it cannot continue burning them up at the rate of $100 billion a month or they will be gone in less than three years.
On August 11, 2015, China Joins Currency War With Surprise Devaluation, Biggest One-Day Move on Record.
That surprise devaluation was supposed to be a “one time” affair with the yuan subsequently stable. In August, following the devaluation, I received a reader question: Is China a currency manipulator?
Of course China is. So is the Fed, ECB, bank of Japan, and every other central bank.
China and the National Bank of Switzerland manipulate their currencies with pegs. The ECB, Fed, and Bank of Japan manipulate currency with interest rate interventions and QE. The Bank Japan also intervenes directly.'
http://mishtalk.com/2016/02/07/china-bl ... -pictures/
-----
And of course SG has a currency peg, which directs the country's interest rate policy. The majority of the population live in government provided housing, the value of which is 'manipulated' via control of new supply and measures such as additional SDLT etc.





One notable local cultural aspect is about striving to own your home. Isn't it verging on taboo to be a SGn adult and rent your home? Strange that when you think about it. Stranger still when compared to stats from the UK where say 100 years ago only 10% owned their homes, and the rest rented. You see this shift in the UK where young people now seem to have this notion that they have a right to own their home; and many are very angry to find that they can't. Not only that, but the home must be in a nice, convenient and preferably fashionable area. Who sold them this lie?
Even today in Germany there is only a 43% owner-occupation rate, and Switzerland is lower still. That is curious given they're arguably the two richest countries in Europe. -> http://qz.com/167887/germany-has-one-of ... hip-rates/ How can such successful people be content to rent for life?
Mebbe indebted SGn citizens are controllable citizens, in hock (debt) to the government for their working lifetimes.




Well, hehe, that requires a whole cultural shift that would encompass freedom of expression. A new paradigm. The metaphorical cheese appears to have moved - but where, does anyone know? Until they do they can't begin finding a path towards it.