Singaporean cuisine is a conglomeration of several Asian cuisines owing to its multi-lingual, multi-racial and multi-religious society. Chinese, Indian, Malay and Peranakan dishes are loved, accepted and are considered Singaporean delicacies.
In last 50 years, Singapore has grown unbelievably and have attracted people from all parts of the world, which has paved the way for International cuisines to enter the country. Today, you can get any cuisine here. Chinese, Indian, Malay, Taiwanese, Peranakan, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Middle East, Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish, Mexican.. the list is never ending. You name it and you will find it!
When there are so many varieties to choose from, what do locals eat normally? More than 80% of the people in this country do not cook at home and are dependent on the hawker centers or restaurants for their daily meals. Hawker centers are closely intertwined with the country’s culture that a day does not go by without visiting one! be it for a quick bite or ta pao (take away) or just for a quick catch up with a friend. Every morning locals line up the stalls to ta pao their breakfast – nation’s favorite Kaya butter toast with kopi. They would normally choose to grab a quick lunch from a hawker center, soup or salad corner. Singaporeans prefer to keep their lunch light and have an early dinner not later than 8. People carrying ta pao back home in MRT (local metro) is a common sight during evenings.
There is a extremely positive attitude towards hawker centers among locals which has resulted in a very healthy eco-system of hawker centers and food courts through out the country. Unlike other countries, these are not sidelined for poor or working class rather, is frequented by everyone. Hawkers are very respected and lovingly referred as ‘Aunty/uncle’. These stalls are so popular that finding a spot during lunch & dinner can be difficult. Locals have come up with a ‘chope’ solution to tackle this. People use a packet of tissue / a visit card to reserve their table in the food court while they buy food. It is amazing how everyone respect this that no one even thinks of taking over those spots. It is like an unspoken, unregistered agreement between everyone!
No one can deny the fact that Singaporeans love to eat and eating is an important aspect of their culture. The food streets, hawker centers and restaurants are fully crowded over the weekends. They don’t mind travelling across the island or even to surrounding countries to find their favorite food. People here travel to Malacca, Hong Kong or Taiwan just to eat!
Not just food courts & hawker centers, Singapore also has great local restaurants, international food chains and high end fancy restaurants serving Gourmet foods from all over the world. Taiwan’s Michelin star soup dumplings store is just one example! You can find such amazing authentic restaurants across the island.
You can find yummy food everywhere in Singapore, from hawker centers to food stalls in the shopping mall, street carts to high end fancy restaurants. The cleanliness of all the restaurants (including the stalls) and the ingredients used are strictly monitored, which assures the food hygiene and nutrition along with the taste. Also, the food is priced very reasonable, in fact, it is the place to go for the cheapest Michelin star meal! You heard me right, few hawker stands and food carts in Singapore have earned a Michelin star! So, next time you are in Singapore, you can go on a self-guided food tour hogging all the yummy food without any worries.
Check out Singapore authentic delicacies & best place to try them here