Singapore's Cuisine

The choice is yours


Thanks to its diverse, multicultural heritage, Singapore's cafés, restaurants and food stalls serve up Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine plus much more to suit every palate. Foodies flock to Singapore to eat oyster omelettes in casual hawker centres and modern, innovative creations in stylish restaurants with city views. For something authentically Singaporean, head to the Katong quarter to taste Peranakan cuisine, a sophisticated blend of Chinese and Malay flavours.

Chilli Crab

This saucy crab dish is a lip-smacking, sweet and savoury national obsession. Mud crab is stir-fried with tomato, egg and a chilli sauce flavoured with cumin, curry powder and rice vinegar. The sauce is perfect for dipping, so chilli crab is usually served with toasted bread or steamed or fried mantou buns. If you see this on the menu, be sure to snap it up.

Chicken Rice

Another contender for Singapore’s national dish consists of steamed or poached chicken served on fragrant, oily rice cooked in chicken stock. Dipping sauces of dark soy, chilli, garlic and ginger add extra wow factor. Yet another dish you must try during your visit.


Contender number three is laksa, a spicy noodle soup that appears on most menus. Ingredients vary but this steamy, coconut-based curry broth typically contains thick rice noodles, prawn, egg and often chicken, as well as tau pok (beancurd puffs), fish cake or cockles.

Street Food

When the food is this good, you just want to try a bit of everything. Bringing together countless stalls selling a variety of inexpensive food, Singapore’s hawker centres are the perfect way to sample a huge range of tasty local delicacies. With a multitude of stalls and one common seating area, you can pick and mix a feast of Asian delights. As a general rule, the longest queues seem to bring the greatest rewards. Be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean, fresh and cooked right in front of you.

Carrot Cake

Not exactly the carrot cake we have at home, this Singaporean version is made from daikon (‘white carrot’) and rice flour dough fried with egg, garlic, chilli and spices. There are two kinds of carrot cake; black, made with thick soy sauce, and white, an eggier, omelette-like dish.


This tasty mish-mash of ingredients blends potatoes, eggs, tofu and prawns, fried in batter and served with a hot chilli sauce. Fruit rojak, on the other hand, contains sweet pineapple, crispy jicama (a root vegetable) and crunchy fried dough tossed in a sweet shrimp sauce.


Brought to Singapore with the Chinese immigrants, popiah is a thin crepe filled with meat, seafood and vegetables and rolled up like a spring roll. Think minced pork, lap cheong (Chinese sausage), shrimp, egg, jicama, braised vegetables and fried garlic mixed with a thick sweet sauce.