Will there ever be a better reason to tour a nation than to taste the street food it has? Maybe you could try to compete that reason with exploring the wildlife, or hiking up mountains etc. However, taste is one of the most powerful senses we have, we experience so much just through our taste buds that the joy of great cuisine is something you won’t forget. It’s never been more important to try out different food, the world is becoming more advanced when it comes to export trading. You can buy any kind of meal you want at home that is inspired by cultures thousands of miles away. Yet, it’s never going to be the real thing. The real chewy, meaty, succulent dishes that Singapore has to offer can never be replicated to the exact measurements. Forget about the restaurants for a minute because yes, there are some of the most exotic and marvelous 3-star Michelin restaurants in the world that exist here. But, the street food in Singapore is easily right up there in flavor and tradition. One might even say that some street foods are better in every way compared to some restaurants. Here is a guide to what you can find down at ground level in the streets of Singapore.
Heading down to Chinatown
As you could have guessed, China has a large influence on Singapore. There are many Chinese people that have made this independent city-state their home. With them they have brought many dishes and cuisine cultures that have been implemented by the locals. In fact there’s an area called Chinatown Food Street where there are many street food vendors all in one place. Based in the Hawker Center, there is al-fresco dining everywhere you look. The building is cosy, and benefits from proximity to an opera house as well as an art gallery closeby.
At the center you will find seafood stalls that will serve you fried crab with spices and herbs from the valleys in China. Fried crab can also come in a soup, that has cayenne pepper, dried chilis and ginger as the base flavors. Filling and warm, the seafood at such street food stalls can be eaten as taken to go, or sat at one of the tables that are out in front of the stall itself. At Ci Yan Organic, you’ll find vegetarian street food where balls of rice are fried in soy sauce and vegetables then topped with roasted tofu. Maybe you would like a spicy root and bean burger topped with a secret recipe chili sauce. And of course the center wouldn’t be complete without vendors that serve spicy and sweet fried chicken with egg fried rice. There are many options here for both vegetarians and meateaters alike.
Staying close by
Singapore has many surprises for those that haven’t ever visited this great city-state. The food is one thing but the hospitality is another. If you would like to have a holiday that is totally free and up to your time schedule then you must consider planting a flag. Hotels and other forms of staying are maybe a bit too financially unfeasible, and can make you feel like you need to hurry up and end your travels. But in order to enjoy the full length and breadth of what Singapore street food has to offer you might be better of consider a condo for rent singapore. Fantastic if you’re travelling alone or in a group, condos are superb at providing living space for multiple people. You may want a condo all to yourself which is also more than feasible. For one thing there are halls of residence that specialize in bachelor pads, and others that have a more family oriented vibe. Regardless, you can get a great condo that can fit 2 or 3 people for around $600 a month. Some of the finest in the city that are located just a few minutes away from a food scene can reach up to and above $1,000 a month. If you just want something that’s nice and cosy then you may also find condos that go for $500-400 a month.
‘Bah kut teh’
Every now and then you will come across dishes that are known everywhere in Singapore. Some of them will be loved more than others and so you’ll know which one sticks out the most. Bah kut teh is a dish that is seen everywhere in Singapore. It’s almost on every street, every alleyway, every street food stall menu and quite rightfully so. As you may know the Chinese cuisine brings along with it many dishes but chief among them are recipes of pork. This dish also comes from Chinese immigrants. The story is that a chef accidentally made this from scratch while attempting to feed a poor man and using any of the ingredients he had that would not alert his master if went missing.
The dish is pork ribs simmered in a herbal broth for multiple hours until they are soft, succulent and just falling off the bone. Then the meat is taken, chopped finely together and mixed with heaps of garlic, cinnamon, fennel and dang gui. Then once shaped into small wafer is moulded as sheets. These sheets are then fried in hot oil until crispy golden. Finally drizzle with a dark soy sauce to give it that extra punch and you can eat it with rice, in a pork broth, with grilled vegetables or simply on it’s own. You can expect this kind of dish with this much detail to be everywhere in Singapore. There are variations of it and every single one of them are delicious.
Singapore is a blend of different cultures. With that you can expect cuisines that overlap, contrast each other and also give inspiration to chefs around the city-state. The fried crab is particularly popular in the Hawker Center so you may wish to try the 3 or 4 street food stalls that cook it. Stay close by to get the full experience and consider a condo of your own while you’re here. If fried pork in garlic and spices hasn’t got you excited then perhaps you need to try the various vegetarian options that street vendors will gladly offer you.