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20 MUST-TRY Local Food In Singapore And Where To Try Them

Food & Drink

Published on 23 Jul 2018

by WorldRoamer® Travel Team

20 MUST-TRY Local Food In Singapore And Where To Try Them

Food & Drink

Published on 23 Jul 2018

by WorldRoamer® Travel Team

You have to try local food to get a taste of Singapore. Here is a list of 20 MUST-TRY foods and where to go to get the very best that will not disappoint.

In Singapore, a phrase to note is: “die-die-must-try” which is usually followed by a colloquial term “shiok”. In a cosmopolitan melting pot like Singapore, a multicultural state, you can expect its food offerings to be just as richly diverse. In this listicle, we’ve taken great pains - and calories - to narrow the absolutely must-try local dishes down to 20. Here they are:

1. Bak Chor Mee

Bak Chor Mee Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Bak Chor Mee quite literally means ‘minced meat noodles’ in the Chinese Hokkien dialect. WorldRoamer® Pro Tip: - flat yellow noodles (think fettucine) are called ‘mee pok’ and skinny yellow noodles (like slightly skinnier spaghetti) are called ‘mee kia’.

Typically served with minced meat, pork slices, pork liver, stewed sliced mushrooms and meat balls, the true magic lies in the sauce – a blend of black vinegar and chilli. It’s a flavour orchestra, and you’re the maestro. Mix it all up and expect to taste a symphony of flavours.

Where To Go:

Hill Street, Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Address: 466 Crawford Lane, Tai Hwa Eating House #01-12, Singapore 190465
Opening Hours: 9:30am to 9:00pm, closed every 1st and 3rd Mon of every month

Yan Kee Noodle House
Address: 21 South Bridge Road, BK Eating House, Singapore 058661
Opening Hours: 24 hours, closed Sun

Ah Kow Mushroom Minced Pork Mee (Hong Lim)
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Food Centre, #02-42, Singapore 050531
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 5:00pm, closed Mon and Tue

2. Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Locals have been known to argue over where to get the best Bak Kut Teh – an extremely popular pork rib soup dish cooked by boiling the pork ribs in a herbal or peppery broth that is infused with regional spices. It is accompanied by a serving of rice and You Tiao – Chinese dough crullers.

A WorldRoamer® tip – dip the meat in a side condiment dish of dark soy sauce containing cut chili and have it with your rice for a tasty treat!

Where To Go:

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
Address: 133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point #01-04, Singapore 059413
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 9:30pm, closed every 1st and 3rd Mon of every month

Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
Address: 208 Rangoon Road, Hong Building Singapore 218453
Opening Hours: 7:00am to 10.30pm, closed Mon

Tuan Yuan Bak Kut Teh
Address: Block 127 Kim Tian Road, #01-01, Singapore 160127
Opening Hours: 8.00am to 3:00pm, closed Mon

3. Beef Noodles

Beef Noodles Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Singapore’s popular style of beef noodles is cooked in a Hainanese manner, generally made with thick rice noodles / vermicelli – ‘chor bee hoon’ or ‘flat kway teow’. Typically served dry with freshly sliced meat, bean sprouts, preserved vegetables and chopped spring onion, all doused in a savoury gravy.

An ideal complement is the beef broth served with beef balls. If you feel like having a heartier meal, simply request for a $1 additional serving of the beef or beef balls.

Where To Go:

Hong Kee Beef Noodle
Address: 7 Maxwell Road, Amoy Street Food Centre #01-42, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 11:00am to 7.30pm; Sat to Sun, 9:00am to 2:30pm

Zheng Yi Hainanese Beef Noodles
Address: 47 Tai Thong Crescent, Singapore 347867
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 6:00pm, daily

Scotts Hwa Heng Beef Noodles
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, Food Opera @ ION B4-03, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: Sun to Thu, 10:00am to 10:00pm; Fri to Sat, 10:00am to 11:00pm

Hock Lam Street Popular Beef Kway Teow
Address: 51 Old Airport Road, Old Airport Road Market & Food Centre #01-22, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 8:30pm, closed Mon

4. Carrot Cake (White)

Carrot Cake (White) Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

A dish which originated from Teochew cuisine, this savoury dish is affectionately known as ‘Chai Tow Kway’.

Not to be confused with the western version of the same name, Chai Tow Kway is essentially made with bite-sized pieces of soft white radish cake stir fried with eggs, preserved radish and spring onion to create a delicious combination.

WorldRoamer® tip – request for the chilli version if you’re a fan of spicy food. You’ll thank us for it!

Where To Go:

Ke Shuan Xing Fried Carrot Cake
Address: 861 North Bridge Road, North Bridge Road Market and Hawker Centre #01-104, Singapore 198783
Opening Hours: 6:00am to 6:00pm, closed Mon

Ghim Moh Carrot Cake
Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, ABC Brickworks #01-140 Singapore 150006
Opening Hours: Early morning-9pm, closed Mon

Fu Ming Carrot Cake
Address: Blk 85 Redhill Lane #01-49 Redhill Food Centre Singapore 150085
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat, 3:00pm to 1:00am; Sun, 6:00am to 1:00am, closed Thu

5. Char Kuay Teow

Char Kuay Teow Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

‘Char’ literally means ‘stir-fried’ in the Hokkien dialect, and this rice noodle dish is fervently stirred with light and dark soy sauce, bean sprouts, prawns and egg, with the option of cockles.

You may spy crispy cubes which taste heavenly (or not) especially if served traditionally – with pork fat. It’s an occasional (necessary) indulgence for most Singaporeans!

Where To Go:

Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
Address: 70 Zion Rd, Zion Riverside Food Centre, #01-17, Singapore 247792
Opening Hours: 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 11:00pm, daily

Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, Hong Lim Food Centre and Market, #02-17, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 6:00am to 4:30pm, closed Sun

Guan Kee Char Kway Teow
Address: 20 Ghim Moh Road, Ghim Moh Food Centre #01-12, Singapore 270020
Opening Hours: 9:30am to 2:30pm, closed Mon and Fri

6. Char Siew & Siew Yok Rice

Char Siew & Siew Yok Rice Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

‘Siew Yok’ refers to an Asian-style roast pork with a crispy outer layer. ‘Char Siew’ is a method of barbecuing pork in Cantonese cuisine. Both roast meats are served up with a sweet gravy and rice, usually leaving meat-lovers with a real happy belly.

Where To Go:

Hong Kong Jin Tian Eating House
Address: Blk 3014B, Ubi Road 1, Stall No 11, Singapore 408722
Opening hours: 9:00am to 2:00pm, closed Sat and Sun

Tiong Bahru Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru Food Centre #02-60, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 9:00am to 8:00pm, closed Thu

Toh Kee Roast Duck
Address: 32 New Market Road, People’s Park Cooked Food Centre #01-1016A, Singapore 050032
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 7:00pm, closed Mon

Foong Kee Coffee Shop
Address: 6 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089114
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 7:00pm, closed Sun

7. Chicken Rice

Chicken Rice Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Hainanese chicken rice is a classic favourite in Singapore. Some might argue it’s a national icon in itself! The chicken meat is served with a fragrant rice unique to the dish, cucumber slice and coriander. Many locals swear by the dark soy and garlic chili sauce being the hero ingredients – with some mixing both sauces into the rice as they eat. A must try!

Where To Go:

Tian Tian Chicken Rice
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Maxwell Food Centre #01-10/11, Singapore 069184
Opening Hours: 10:00am to 8:00pm; closed on Mon

Chin Chin Eating House
Address: 19 Purvis Street, Singapore 188598
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu, 11:00am to 9:00pm; Fri to Sun, 11:30am to 9:00pm

Boon Tong Kee
Address: 425 River Valley Rd, Singapore 248324
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 4:00am, daily

Yet Con Hainanese Chicken Rice
Address: 25 Purvis Street, Singapore 188602
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 9:30pm, daily

8. Chilli Crab

Chilli Crab Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

To many, stir-fried chilli crabs come up on top of the list as Singapore’s numero uno dish, famously served in a thick sweet chilli gravy – made primarily of sambal, eggs and tomato paste.

All of us here at WorldRoamer® can’t help but re-order extra portions of ‘man tou’ – deep fried bread which accompanies the chilli crab dish. We dip the bread into the gravy, finishing every drop of it.

Where To Go:

Longbeach King Seafood
Address: 25 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249670
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 1:00am, daily

No Signboard Seafood
Address: VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, #03-02, Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 10:30pm, daily

Momma Kong’s
Address: 34 Mosque St, Singapore 059512
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 5pm to 11pm; Sat and Sun, 11am to 11pm

9. Laksa

Laksa Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

If you’re into spicy food, there’s a high chance you’ll like the Singapore laksa. With its origins mainly from Peranakan cuisine, thick rice noodles are typically served with a tasty, spicy creamy broth made of curry and coconut milk.

Here’s a tip from WorldRoamer® – for that additional kick, mix a spoonful of sambal chili into your laksa!

Where To Go:

328 Katong Laksa
Address: 51 East Coast Road, Singapore 428770
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 10:00am to 10:00pm; Sat, Sun & PH 9:00am to 10:00pm

Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa
Address: Blk 531A Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, #02-66, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 4:30pm, closed Sun

Glory Catering
Address: 139 East Coast Road, Singapore 428829
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 8:30pm closed Mon

The Original Katong Laksa (Janggut Laksa) Address: 331 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534949
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed to Sun, 10:00am to 9:30pm; Tue, 10:00am to 4:00pm

10. Fish Ball Noodles

Fish Ball Noodles Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Fish ball noodles are an integral part of Singapore’s street food culture. Cooked across a variety of rice or egg noodles, the dish can be served in a savoury, dry gravy combination of black vinegar and tomato sauce or in a bowl of soup containing fishballs and fishcake.

Where To Go:

Song Kee Fishball Noodle
Address: 128 Tembeling Rd, Singapore 423638
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 9:30pm, closed Wed

Eng Huat Fishball Mee
Address: 22B Havelock Road, Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre stall 26, Singapore 161022
Opening Hours: 6:30am to 9:00am; 11:00am to 1:00pm, closed Sat and Sun

Teochew Fishball Noodle
Address: 462 Crawford Lane, #01-29, Singapore 190462
Opening Hours: 8:00am to 3:00pm, closed Sun

11. Lor Mee

Lor Mee Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Lor Mee can be considered to be a flavourbomb of a Hokkien dish. It consists of thick egg noodles placed within a rich, starchy gravy and is usually served with braised pork, black vinegar and minced garlic.

A WorldRoamer® tip – you may ask for more garlic if you’re a garlic lover. It’s a shoo-in!

Where To Go:

Yuan Chun Famous Lor Mee
Address: 7 Maxwell Road, Amoy Street Food Center #02-79, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: 7:30am to 2:00pm, closed Thurs

178 Lor Mee
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre #02-23, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 7:00am to 8:00pm, closed Mon

Tiong Bahru Lor Mee
Address: 51 Old Airport Road, Old Airport Food Centre #01-124, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 8:00am to 3:00pm, closed Fri

12. Hokkien Prawn Mee

Hokkien Mee Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

The Hokkien prawn mee is a popular stir-fried dish with rice and egg noodles mixed in a large wok with garlic, prawns, sotong (squid), egg and its unique prawn stock. This results in a fragrant aroma from a flavourful dish.

Where To Go:

Havelock Road Blk 50 Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee
Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, ABC Brickworks #01-100, Singapore 150006
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 10:30pm, closed Tues

Tiong Bahru Yisheng Prawn Mee
Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, ABC Brickworks #01-13, Singapore 150006
Opening Hours: 3:00pm to 10:45pm, closed Wed

Hainan Hokkien Mee
Address: 505 Beach Road, Golden Mile Food Centre #B1-32, Singapore 199583
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 2:00pm, 3:00pm to 9:00pm, closed Wed

13 & 14. Popiah & Kueh Pie Tee

Popiah Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Popiah could quite possibly be Singapore’s national snack! Simply put, it is a type of fresh spring roll wrapped in a thin pancake-like skin. The variety of ingredients include lettuce, garlic, bean sprouts, hard-boiled egg pieces, prawn, parsley and turnip.

Kueh Pie Tee Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Kueh Pie Tee contains a similar filling, but is housed in a crispy flour cup reminiscent of Peranakan cuisine.

Where To Go:

Ann Chin Poh Piah
Address: 24 Sin Ming Road, Jin Fa Kopitiam, Singapore 570024
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 6:00pm, daily

Glory Catering
Address: 139 East Coast Road, Singapore 428829
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 8:30pm, closed Mon

Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah
Address: 54 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427778
Opening Hours: 9:00am to 2:00pm, daily

15. BBQ Sambal Stingray

BBQ Sambal Stingray Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

If you’ve been acquainted with sambal belachan, chances are you’ll be a massive BBQ Sambal Stingray fan.

Topped with a generous layer of its signature sambal belachan post-grill, the juicy, tender meat of the stingray complements it just perfectly.

Where To Go:

A1 Barbeque Fish
Address: 500 Clemenceau Avenue, Newton Circus Food Centre, Singapore 048582
Opening Hours: 5:30pm to 12:00am, closed Sun

Star Yong Kwang Seafood
Address: 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Alexandra Village Food Centre #01-04, Singapore 150120
Opening Hours: 4:00pm to 11:00pm, daily

16. Satay

Satay Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Satay stalls are a staple in most hawker centres and a definite food favourite in Singapore.

Seasoned pieces of chicken, beef or mutton are skewered, grilled and served with purple onions, cucumbers and Ketupat – a Malay rice cake. Dip a satay stick with all of the above into its accompanying peanut sauce for a taste of Singapore’s malayan heritage.

Where To Go:

Satay By The Bay
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, #01-19, Singapore 018953
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 1:00am, daily

Heron Satay
Address: 1220 East Coast Parkway, East Coast Lagoon Food Village stall 55, Singapore 468960
Opening Hours: Tues to Fri, 3:00pm to 11:00pm; Sat to Sun, 12:00pm to 11:00pm; Closed Mon

Lau Pa Sat Satay Street
Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Lau Pa Sat stall 7 and 8, Singapore 048582
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 7:00pm to 1:00am; Sat to Sun, 3:00pm to 1:00am

17. Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

A key aspect of the Nasi Lemak dish is its signature fragrant coconut rice, cooked with the aromatic pandan leaf.

Served with fried chicken, otah, sambal belachan, cucumber, fried anchovies and peanuts, a good plate of Nasi Lemak goes a long way.

A WorldRoamer® tip – try not to go overboard with adding the assortment of available sides…it could add up to a hefty sum.

Where To Go:

Adam’s Nasi Lemak
Address: 2 Adam Road, Adam Food Centre stall 1, Singapore 289876
Opening Hours: 7:00am to 5:00pm, closed Tues

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
Address: 2 Adam Road, Adam Food Centre stall 2, Singapore 289876
Opening Hours: 7:00am to 5:00pm, closed Fri

The Coconut Club
Address: 6 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069787
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat, 11:00am to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 9:30pm; Sun, 11:00am to 3:00pm

18. Roti Prata

Roti Prata Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

In the Hindi language, ‘roti’ means ‘bread’. Roti Prata is a local instant go-to delicacy, a crispy South-Indian flatbread which at its most basic, is served plain with a delicious chicken or fish curry.

At its most fancy, you can have a mushroom cheese Prata or try out another popular combination, egg with onion.

Here’s a WorldRoamer® tip – if you’re a foodie who goes by ‘the crispier, the better’, request for the ‘Tissue Prata’.

Where To Go:

Casuarina Curry Restaurant
Address: 136 Casuarina Road, Singapore 579526
Opening Hours: 7:00am to 12:00am, daily

Thohirah Cafeela Restaurant
Address: 258 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799487
Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

19. Rojak

Rojak Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Rojak means ‘a mixture of’ in the Malay language and it was used to coin this Chinese dish, because that’s exactly what the dish is.

A mixture of savoury, tangy and sweet all at once – with cucumbers, fruits, tau pok (flat fried beancurd with a spongey centre), you tiao (fried dough crullers) and peanuts mixed in a base sauce of prawn paste.

Voila, rojak!

Where To Go:

Rojak Popiah & Cockles
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Maxwell Food Centre #01-56, Singapore 069184
Opening Hours: 12:00pm to 10:00pm, closed Wed

Tow Kwar Pop Rojak
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru Food Centre #02-06, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 12:00pm to 8:00pm, closed Mon

Balestier Road Hoover Rojak
Address: 90 Whampoa Drive, Whampoa Wet Market & Food Centre #01-56, Singapore 320090
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 4:00pm, closed Mon and Tues

20. Indian Rojak

Indian Rojak Article Photo WR Resized Source: WorldRoamer®

Rojak, meaning mixed, is the basis of the Indian Rojak dish. It’s a mixture of a variety of fried dough balls filled with prawns, vegetables, potatoes, egg and grated coconut. In addition to their in-house fried dough fritters, there are a whole lot more choices such as fried tofu, fish cake, cuttlefish, fish cutlet and sausages, to name a few.

Simply pick the items you like, place them on a platter and hand them over. These items get a quick fry once more, resulting in a hot crisp exterior where it is garnished with sliced red onion, cool cucumbers and sliced green chilies.

The sauce is made from sweet potatoes, peanuts and chillies, resulting in a delicious, sweet and mildly spicy dipping sauce for the fried selection.

Where To Go:

Temasek Indian Rojak
Address: Blk 665 Buffalo Road, Tekka Food Centre #01-254, Singapore 210065
Opening Hours: 9:00am to 9:00pm, closed alternate Mon

Addhus Salam Rojak
Address: 503 West Coast Drive, Ayer Rajah Food Centre stall 73, Singapore 120503
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 11:30pm, daily

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