There are just a handful of cities I can think of that are truly synonymous with food. When I say “truly synonymous”, I mean it’s the first thing you think of when you hear that city’s name. Osaka is one. So is Penang. Singapore is another.
In a serious food city like Singapore, a hawker stall that’s been serving the same iconic dish for decades is every bit an attraction as the Merlion for people who fly for food. So I hopped on the internet and did some research. I consulted trusted Singaporean food blogs, restaurant review sites, and “best of” lists to find out exactly what we should eat and where we should go for the most delicious examples of those dishes. The result is this food guide on 21 delicious things to eat in Singapore and where to try them.
I hope you have as much fun reading this guide as we did eating our way through it. Research has never been so delicious. 🙂 For your convenience, I’ve pinned all the places mentioned in this guide to a map at the bottom of this post.
NOTE: Under each listing is the address of every restaurant or hawker stall mentioned in this guide. If you scroll down to the end of the list, you’ll find a link that will take you to our Singapore itinerary on Sygic Travel. It’ll pinpoint exactly where each eatery is on a map. You can also download our Singapore itinerary in editable Word format by subscribing to our newsletter via the signup form at the bottom of this post.
1. Kaya Toast
Kaya toast is a popular breakfast dish or snack that’s prepared by spreading kaya — a jam made with coconut, eggs, and sugar — between charcoal-grilled or toasted slices of bread. It’s served with either coffee or tea and is usually accompanied by two soft-boiled eggs sprinkled with a bit of dark soy sauce and white pepper. You stir the eggs into a rich sludge and use it as a dipping sauce for the kaya toast. The crunchiness of the toast together with the sweetness of the jam and saltiness of the egg mixture is wonderful.
There are many chains known for kaya toast in Singapore but none are more popular than Ya Kun Kaya Toast. We went to their outlet at Ang Mo Kio MRT station en route to Singapore Zoo. If you plan on going to the zoo, then this is a great place to have breakfast and try this dish. I had the traditional Kaya Butter Toast Set while Ren went for the Kaya Peanut Steamed Bread Set. Both were excellent.
Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Address: Ya Kun has over 40 outlets across Singapore. We went to the one at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. Visit their website for a complete list of Ya Kun Kaya Toast branches.
Operating Hours: 7AM-10:30PM, Sundays to Thursdays / 7AM-11PM, Fridays and Saturdays (Ang Mo Kio MRT)
What We Paid: SGD 4.80 per Kaya Toast set
How to Get There: Take the subway to Ang Mo Kio MRT station. The restaurant is located inside the station.
2. Roti Prata
Another popular breakfast dish or snack is roti prata. Known as parotta in Southern India and roti canai in Malaysia, it’s a fried flour-based pancake cooked over a grill and served with a curry dipping sauce. It can be served plain or filled with sweet/savory ingredients like cheese, onion, banana, mushroom, and egg.
The beautiful, glistening specimen below is a butter roti from Ar Rahman Royal Prata. Crisp and chewy, it was slathered with butter and sugar so it had a good balance of sweet and savory when dipped into the curry sauce. It was delicious.
Admittedly, Ar Rahman Royal Prata wasn’t our first choice. The stall we wanted — Prata Saga Sambal Berlada — was closed for Ramadan but we were lucky to find this one just a few spaces away. We ate here at Tekka Centre food court a few times and this stall always had a long queue of people waiting for its roti. That’s always a telling sign in Singapore. 😉
Ar Rahman Royal Prata
Address: Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, Stall #01-248
Operating Hours: 6:30AM-10PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 2 (Butter Roti Prata)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-248.
3. Chwee Kueh
This was one of the most interesting dishes we had on this trip. Chwee kueh is a type of steamed rice cake topped with diced preserved radish and served with a side of chili sauce. The texture of the rice cake is similar to Filipino maja blanca except it’s silkier and not as dense. The kueh itself is good — it’s soft and mildly sweet — but the preserved radish topping is what really makes this dish sing. It’s hard to describe because it’s unlike anything we’ve ever had, but it has a strong sweet/savory flavor that’s loaded with umami. Mix it with the hot chili sauce for the ultimate flavor bomb. WOW.
Located at historic Tiong Bahru Market, many Singaporean bloggers agree that Jian Bo’s chwee kueh are some of the best in Singapore. That isn’t surprising considering they’ve been selling chwee kueh and nothing else for over 50 years! The stream of people lining up in front of their stall and getting packets of chwee kueh for takeout was endless.
Jian Bo Shui Kueh
Address: Tiong Bahru Market, 83 Seng Poh Rd, Stall #02-05
Operating Hours: 6AM-9:30PM, closed on Mondays
What We Paid: SGD 2 (5 pcs), SGD 2.40 (6 pcs), SGD 3.20 (8 pcs), SGD 4 (10 pcs), SGD 8 (10 pcs)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Tiong Bahru MRT station. Head east on Tiong Bahru Rd toward Jln Membina. Turn right on Kim Pong Rd. Turn left on Lim Liak St. Turn right on Kim Cheng St. Turn left on Seng Poh Rd and Tiong Bahru Market will be on your left. Look for stall #02-5 on the second floor.
4. Curry Puff
Similar to an empanada, a curry puff is a small, half-circle shaped pie stuffed with a variety of ingredients in a deep-fried or baked pastry shell. Though traditionally filled with chicken curry and potatoes, many variants exist today that are loaded with all kinds of delicious fillings like beef rendang, chili crab, tuna, sardine, and yam. Curry puffs are a popular snack enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia.
Here’s a classic chicken curry puff with egg. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about trying Singaporean curry puffs at first. I’ve never been too fond of empanadas in the Philippines because I always found the pastry shell to be too thick and hard. I assumed all would be like that but one bite of this curry puff from 1A Crispy Puffs told me this was a different animal. It was crisp but still light and delicate. It was really good. We had the chili crab as well (filled with crab stick) and that was even tastier.
I learned about 1A Crsipy Puffs from popular Singapore food blog sethlui.com. We went to their stall at the Takashimaya Shopping Centre food court on Orchard Road. Cited by sethlui.com as one of the best curry puffs in Singapore, we tried a few others during this trip and we did find theirs to be the most delicious. The difference, for us, was in the pastry shell.
1A Crispy Puffs
Address: 1A Crispy Puffs has several branches but we went to the one at Takashimaya Shopping Centre along Orchard Rd. Visit their website for a complete list of 1A Curry Puffs outlets.
Operating Hours: Mall hours (Takashimaya branch)
What We Paid: SGD 1.50 (Crispy Curry Potato & Chicken with Egg)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Orchard MRT station. Turn right onto Orchard Rd after exiting the station. Walk straight until you see Takashimaya Shopping Centre on your right. The 1A Crispy Puffs stall is in the basement food court.
If you like roti prata, then chances are you’ll love murtabak. Originally from Yemen, it’s basically roti prata that’s stuffed with egg, onion, and your choice of meat before being crisped to a golden brown. Pictured below is a plate of mutton murtabak from the legendary Singapore Zam Zam, a heritage restaurant that’s been around since 1908. (Yes, that’s over a hundred years!) 😯
We were on a food crawl that morning so Ren and I just shared this small order which turned out to be pretty big! The murtabak was delicious — it was crisp and chewy with lots of flavors and spices going on. Like roti prata, it’s served with a side of curry dipping sauce for more punch. Aside from the mutton, which is one of their most popular, they also offer other fillings like chicken, beef, sardine, and deer. Deer is the most expensive.
As described, Singapore Zam Zam is an institution in Singapore and one of the best places to try murtabak. Pictured below is one of the murtabak-making maestros plying his craft. You can watch them transform balls of dough into delicious parcels of murtabak through the shop window.
Singapore Zam Zam
Address: 697-699 N Bridge Rd
Operating Hours: 7AM-11PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 5 (small Mutton Murtabak)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Bugis MRT station. Head northeast on Victoria St toward Ophir Rd. Turn right onto Arab St. Singapore Zam Zam will be on your left on the opposite side of Sultan Mosque.
6. Nasi Lemak
Ren and I love nasi lemak. It’s a dish of Malaysian origin that’s typically eaten for breakfast but often enjoyed throughout the day. (We do) Strictly speaking, the term nasi lemak refers to the fragrant rice which is cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It’s served with a spicy sambal along with a variety of garnishes like fresh cucumber slices, ikan bilis (small fried anchovies), roasted peanuts, and hard-boiled or fried egg. When eaten as a more substantial meal, like for lunch or dinner, it’s accompanied by heavier proteins like ayam goreng (fried chicken), sambal sotong (cuttlefish in chili), or small fried fish.
Served with fried chicken and some really hot sambal is how I like to roll. When paired with all the sides, the combination of flavors, textures, and temperatures is incredible. I could eat this everyday. 😀
We were planning on having breakfast at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak — said to serve some of the best nasi lemak in Singapore — but the Adam Road Food Centre was closed that morning. Aaaaargh! 👿
Thankfully, Ren found this place just a few minutes’ walk from our hotel in Little India. Nasi Lemak Kukus is on popular food blogger Dr. Leslie Tay’s Must Try List. He gives its nasi lemak a solid 4.5/5 rating. Check out our post on Nasi Lemak Kukus for more pictures and information.
Nasi Lemak Kukus
Address: 229 Selegie Rd
Operating Hours: 10AM-11PM, closed on Sundays
What We Paid: SGD 4 (Signature Chicken Wing Set)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Head southeast on Sungei Rd toward Serangoon Rd. Turn left on Serangoon Rd. This will become Selegie Rd. Nasi Lemak Kukus will be on your right.
Laksa is one of Singapore’s most popular dishes. It’s a spicy noodle soup of Peranakan origin which consists of rice noodles or vermicelli with chicken, prawn, or fish. It’s soup can be based on either a rich and savory coconut milk, a fresh and sour asam (tamarind, gelugur or kokum), or a combination of the two. In Singapore, the most popular version is the coconut-based curry laksa.
We had this bowl at popular heritage stall Sungei Road Laksa on Jalan Berseh. The curry was creamy and fairly mild in flavor until we mixed in that dollop of spicy sambal which really kicked it up a notch. Topped with slivers of fish cake, blood cockles, and some Vietnamese coriander, this laksa didn’t blow us away at first but it’s one of those dishes that really grows on you with each bite. I was loving it by the end.
There are many popular laksa stalls in Singapore and everyone seems to have their favorite. Even the Grab driver who took us here had his own suggestion. We chose Sungei Road Laksa on the strength of Singapore street food expert KF Seetoh’s recommendation to CNN Travel. They’ve been serving this same bowl of curry laksa for over 40 years!
Legend has it that the secret recipe was given to them by a mysterious customer who wanted to help their struggling food cart business. Customers started pouring in soon after and this benevolent customer was never to be seen or heard from again. Heavenly laksa indeed! 😯
Sungei Road Laksa
Address: 27 Jalan Berseh
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-5PM, closed on Wednesdays
What We Paid: SGD 3
How to Get There: Take the subway to Lavender MRT station. Head southwest on Kallang Rd toward Kallang Walk. This will become Victoria St. Turn right onto Jln Sultan. This will become Syed Alwi Rd. Turn left on Jln Berseh. Sungei Road Laksa will be in a food court on Jln Berseh.
8. Bak Kut Teh
Another popular dish in Singapore, bak kut teh literally translates to “meat bone tea”. Despite its name, no tea is actually used to make this dish. Instead, the name refers to a strong oolong Chinese tea which is usually served with the soup to help wash down the fat.
Based on the way bak kut teh is described, it sounds like a comforting dish to many Singaporeans, something they can’t go too long without. We enjoyed ours with a bowl of rice and a side of braised mushrooms. Like the aforementioned laksa, it didn’t blow me away at first but it really grew on me in the end. A comforting dish that’s perfect on a rainy day, I could see myself enjoying this while suffering from a bout of the sniffles.
Many local bloggers, including sethlui.com and Dr. Leslie Tay, recommended Ng Ah Sio as a great place to try bak kut teh. Open since 1977 on Rangoon Road, Ng Ah Sio has four branches in Singapore. We went to the one at the swanky Rasapura Masters food court in Marina Bay Sands.
Ng Ah Sio
Address: Ng Ah Sio has four branches but we went to the one at Rasapura Masters food court in Marina Bay Sands. Visit their website for a complete list of Ng Ah Sio branches.
Operating Hours: 10AM-11PM daily (Marina Bay Sands)
What We Paid: SGD 8 (Signature Spare & Pork Ribs Combo Soup)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Bayfront MRT station. Make your way to the Rasapura Masters food court at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
9. Braised Duck, Pig’s Head, and Tofu
As Dr. Leslie Tay puts it: “When you talk about braised duck, this is the one stall that is a bit of a legend in Singapore.” It isn’t hard to understand why since the old man behind Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice has been selling braised duck for over 60 years! Ren and I love duck and pig’s face so I was so happy to learn that this heritage stall was located just a short walk from our hotel at the Tekka Centre food court in Little India.
This dish was delicious. The sauce was really tasty and the meats juicy and flavorful. I loved soaking the rice in that sauce! I enjoyed everything about this dish but my favorite part was the pig face. I just love its texture. If you’ve never had it, it’s got a unique texture that’s a little chewy and gummy but with snap. We ate many delicious things on this trip and this was easily one of my favorites.
The old man who started this stall is now retired, but he’s turned over the reins to younger blood to keep the tradition alive. If you visit Little India on your trip, then I suggest looking for this stall.
Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice
Address: Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, Stall #01-335
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-2:30PM, closed on Mondays
What We Paid: SGD 6
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-335.
10. Bak Chor Mee
We made it a point to visit the most popular hawker stalls on this trip, so as expected, many had long queues. This legendary little noodle shop on Crawford Lane had the longest by a mile. I waited over an hour for this bowl of bak chor mee, which is a vinegar and spicy sambal pork noodle dish made even more delicious with lard.
Served dry with a light broth on the side, it was topped with a myriad of ingredients like thin pork slices, meatballs, liver, dumplings, minced pork, and a sun-dried sliver of fish. All the toppings were wonderful and added much texture and flavor to the dish. But what makes this bowl of noodles really stand out is that it’s vinegar-based, giving it a uniquely tangy and spicy flavor that’s unlike anything we’ve ever had. It was really delicious and worth the wait!
Did I lie? 😆 Though the line may not look very long, it moves at a turtle’s pace but no one seemed to mind. A heritage stall that first opened in 1935, I learned about Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle from KF Seetoh in his recommendations to CNN Travel.
UPDATE (28 July 2016): According to this article on The Straits Times, Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle was just awarded a one-star rating in the first-ever Singapore Michelin Guide. Woohoo! That’s a remarkable feat considering that Tai Hwa is a humble hawker stall. All the more reason to fall in line and not miss this place when you visit Singapore!
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Address: Block 466, Crawford Lane, Stall #01-12
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-9PM, closed every first and third Monday of the month
What We Paid: SGD 6
How to Get There: Take the subway to Lavender MRT station. Head northeast on Kallang Rd. Turn right on Crawford St. Turn right on North Bridge Rd. Turn right on Crawford Lane and the food court will be on your right.
11. Hainanese Chicken Rice
Hainanese chicken rice is one of Singapore’s core dishes. You can’t visit this country without trying it at least once. Following traditional Hainanese methods, it’s prepared by poaching whole chickens at sub-boiling temperatures. The resulting stock is then skimmed off while some of the fat and liquid, along with ginger and garlic, is used to cook the rice. The result is an oily, flavorful rice sometimes known as “oily rice”.
Hainanese chicken has always been surprising for me. It looks colorless and bland but it’s actually quite tasty. Served with a trio of dipping sauces that include pureed ginger, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), and chili sauce, it’s an unexpected explosion of flavor. It’s one of my favorite dishes.
Five Star uses kampong chicken which is a breed native to Indonesia and Malaysia. From the sign outside their restaurant that says “Kampong Chicken is NOT Oily”, I’m guessing these smaller indigenous chickens are similar to hormone-free “native” chickens in the Philippines.
It seems that every Singaporean has their favorite Hainanese Chicken place. We went to Five Star based on my friend’s recommendation. He’s been living in Singapore for many years and he loves to eat so I trust his judgement. He was right. The Hainanese chicken rice here was delicious.
Five Star Hainanese Cuisine
Address: 419 River Valley Road
Operating Hours: 11-2AM daily
What We Paid: SGD 16 (Five Star Kampong Half Chicken)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Orchard MRT station. Head southwest on Paterson Rd. This will become Paterson Hill. Turn right on Grange Rd then make an immediate left on Hoot Kiam Rd. Turn right on River Valley Road and Five Star Hainanese Cuisine will be on your left.
12. Prawn Mee
Also known as hae mee or Hokkien mee, prawn mee is another noodle soup dish that’s popular in Singapore. It consists of egg noodles served in a dark, flavorful soup stock with prawns, pork slices, fish cake, and bean sprouts. It’s topped with fried shallots and spring onions and is usually served with chopped red chilis in a light soy sauce with lime.
You can choose between a dry and a soup version. Dr. Leslie Tay recommended both but we went with the latter based on his slightly higher rating. (4.25 vs 4.5) Bold with a deeply flavorful broth that tasted heavily of prawn, it was one of Ren’s favorite dishes from the trip.
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles is located at Tekka Centre food court in Little India. According to Dr. Tay’s blog post, the owner is a third generation hawker whose grandfather started selling prawn mee from a pushcart in the 1920s.
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles
Address: Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, Stall #01-326
Operating Hours: 6:30AM-1PM, closed on Saturdays
What We Paid: SGD 3 (Prawn Mee Soup)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-326.
13. BBQ Chicken Wings
We chanced upon these BBQ chicken wings at the Rasapura Masters food court in Marina Bay Sands. They were delicious so I wanted to add them to this list as non-local food that you may want to try when in Singapore. It wasn’t until I saw this list of Best BBQ Chicken Wings on sethlui.com that I learned they were actual Singaporean hawker fare! Coolness!
Unlike the wings I’m accustomed to, the skin on these bbq chicken wings from Huat Huat are crisp but delicately thin. Paper thin in fact. It feels like it was stretched taut over the wing and crisped! There’s no heavy batter or thick sauce, just flavorful marinated chicken wings cooked over charcoal and served with lime juice and a spicy chili sauce. They’re really, really good and highly addictive.
There’s Ren waiting for our order of bbq chicken wings. I’m drinking beer while I write this post and how I wish I had an order of these right now!
Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wings
Address: Huat Huat has a few branches but we went to the one at Rasapura Masters food court at Marina Bay Sands. Visit their website for a complete list of Huat Huat branches.
Operating Hours: 10AM-11PM daily (Marina Bay Sands)
What We Paid: SGD 6.60 (3 pcs)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Bayfront MRT station. Make your way to the Rasapura Masters food court at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
14. Chili Crab
Often referred to as the country’s national dish, chili crab is synonymous with Singapore and is considered one of its greatest culinary inventions. It’s probably the country’s single most important dish. It’s prepared by stir-frying crabs — commonly mud crabs — in a thick, tomato- and chili-based sauce. Egg is often added to make the sauce thicker and richer. Despite its name, chili crabs aren’t very spicy at all. They’re more sweet and tangy with just a hint of spiciness. In my opinion, no trip to Singapore can be complete without trying this iconic dish.
L: Chili crab is often served with fried mantou bread to mop up the sauce. The fluffiness of the mantou with the sweet tanginess of the chili sauce was wonderful. The sauce is very flavorful so be sure to try it with some plain rice as well.
R: The best part of any crab? The sinful roe in its shell, of which ours had tons. 😈 Instead of the usual Sri Lankan mud crabs, Red House uses Scottish brown crabs that are said to be less pungent and very meaty.
According to my friend who recommended Red House to us, chili crabs are delicious throughout Singapore so it doesn’t matter as much where you go. He specifically recommended this restaurant because they’re equally known for their black pepper crabs. We didn’t get to try them this time but we will for sure on our next visit. Red House is situated at Robertson Quay right by the water so it makes for a lovely evening out.
Red House Seafood Restaurant
Address: Red House has two branches. We went to the one at Robertson Quay. Visit the Red House Seafood website for complete details.
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What We Paid: SGD 138.60 (one chili crab, 2 pcs fried mantou, mee goreng, rice, and drinks)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Clark Quay MRT station. Head west along the Singapore River. Cross Akaff Bridge into Roberston Quay. Continue heading west along the river until you reach Red House Seafood Restaurant.
15. Fish Head Curry
Fish head curry is a Singaporean dish with Indian and Chinese origins. It’s prepared by stewing a whole sea bream’s head in a Kerala-style curry with assorted vegetables like okra and eggplant.
We tried this interesting dish at The Banana Leaf Apolo in Little India, a legendary restaurant that’s been open since 1974. We complimented our waiter on the fish head curry and he told us how they make it with a secret blend of 18 spices. Exactly which spices he didn’t say, but I do remember it had a wonderful sourness and depth of flavor that’s all coming back to me now while I write this post. Yum!
Served on banana leaves, the fish head curry here is available in small, medium, or large sizes. We got the medium which was more than enough for us. The best parts of the fish were the eyeballs, jaw, and what I believe to be the fish’s tongue pictured here on the right. 😈 Be sure to pair this dish with rice. It’s best enjoyed with rice, naan bread, or both. That’s what we did.
The Banana Leaf Apolo
Address: 54 Race Course Rd
Operating Hours: 10:30AM-10:30PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 28 (medium)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Head northeast on Race Course Rd toward Buffalo Rd and you’ll see The Banana Leaf Apolo on your right.
16. Smashed Fried Chicken
Ayam Penyet Ria is a restaurant chain that serves Indonesian food. Their signature dish, ayam penyet, literally means “smashed fried chicken”. It’s prepared by lightly pounding fried chicken with a mortar and pestle (or mallet) to make it softer. It’s then topped with kremes (crispy spiced flakes) and served with rice, sambal, cucumber slices, fried tofu, and tempeh (soybean cake).
I learned about this restaurant when I was searching for a good place to eat along Orchard Road. Ayam Penyet Ria fit the bill nicely. The chicken tasted great but I’m not sure it was softer than “unsmashed” chicken. Ours seemed a bit dry as well. Loved the sides and the texture of those crispy flakes.
Ayam Penyet Ria
Address: Ayam Penyet Ria has a few branches but we went to the one at Lucky Plaza Mall along Orchard Rd. Visit their website for a complete list of Ayam Penyet Ria branches.
Operating Hours: 11AM-10PM (1st Floor Lucky Plaza)
What We Paid: SGD 7.90 (Smashed Fried Chicken with Rice)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Orchard MRT station. Make a right and walk along Orchard Rd. Lucky Plaza Mall will be on your left.
17. Sup Tulang
Ren’s been wanting to try this bone marrow dish for the longest time. When KF Seetoh described MA Deen Biasa’s sup tulang as “the most desperately delicious”, I knew I found the right place to try it. Served with slices of baguette to mop up the sauce, spices and tomato paste are imparted to chunks of bone and marrow to create this devilish-looking dish. 😈
L: Be warned, this dish is delicious but incredibly MESSY. It’s impossible to slice off the meat and tendon with utensils so you’ll need to hold the bones in your hands and gnaw at them with your teeth. Be sure to have a fresh packet of napkins ready cause you’ll need them to wipe the tomato sauce off your hands, face, hair, shirt, and pants.
R: The bones used in this dish are narrow so it’s customary to suck the marrow out with a straw. This was one of the tastiest and most fun dishes we had on this trip so I strongly recommend you try it. Just don’t tell your cardiologist that you did. 😉
MA Deen Biasa
Address: 95 Jalan Sultan
Operating Hours: 2PM-5AM daily
What We Paid: SGD 20 (medium)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Lavender MRT station. Head southwest on Kallang Rd toward Kallang Walk. This will become Victoria St. Turn left on Jln Sultan and MA Deen Biasa will be on your right.
18. Peranakan Cuisine
You’ll come across the word Peranakan a lot when you visit Singapore. It refers to descendants of Chinese immigrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore, and Indonesia between the 15th and 17th centuries. They inter-married with local Malays and produced a unique culture that blends Chinese, Malay, and other influences. This intermingling of cultures is best showcased in their food. They integrated Chinese ingredients with local spices and cooking techniques to create Peranakan interpretations of Malay food that are distinctly tangy, aromatic, spicy, and herbal.
I like to plan for at least one nice restaurant on every trip, and when I saw that Candlenut served modern Peranakan cuisine, I knew this was the place to go. Pictured below are the mains from tonight’s fantastic set menu. What makes Candlenut so interesting is that there’s no ala carte dinner menu. Similar to omakase-style dining, Chef Malcolm Lee creates new dishes each week and serves them family-style. Read our post on Candlenut to see the full line-up of dishes.
Candlenut is located on the ground floor of Dorsett Residences. Ren follows many prominent chefs on Instagram and she suggested we eat here after seeing it pop up on their feeds.
UPDATE (28 July 2016): According to this article on The Straits Times, Candlenut was just awarded a one-star rating in the first-ever Singapore Michelin Guide. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!
Address: Block 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 12NN-3PM / Sun-Thurs, 6-10PM / Fri, Sat, Public Holidays: 6-11PM
What We Paid: SGD 60++ per person (set dinner menu)
How to Get There: The closest MRT station to Candlenut Kitchen is Commonwealth MRT Station, but it’s still about 2.6 km from the restaurant. From there, you can take Uber or Grab to Candlenut Kitchen.
19. Bean Curd with Fried Doughsticks
I was searching for good breakfast places in Singapore and this dish caught my eye. It’s basically just hot bean curd served with a side of fried doughstick for dipping. Though more of a snack than a typical breakfast dish, I wouldn’t mind having this every morning of the week.
L: I LOVE hot bean curd so the addition of the fried doughstick got me super excited to try this. As I thought, the bean curd doesn’t really stick to the dough but it didn’t matter. The chewiness of the doughstick with the silkiness of the bean curd was a joy to eat.
R: We went to Beancurd City after reading about it on sethlui.com and Dr. Leslie Tay’s blog. As Dr. Tay puts it, this is “probably as good as bean curd gets in Singapore”.
Address: 133 Jalan Besar
Operating Hours: 12NN – 10PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 3.80 (hot bean curd, fried doughstick, egg tart)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Rochor MRT station. Head southeast on Rochor Canal Rd toward Prinsep St. Turn left on Jln Besar. Walk straight and Beancurd City will be on your left.
20. Kueh Lopis
If I understand correctly, the term “kueh” is a general description that refers to bite-sized snacks made with rice. They come in many different forms and can be either sweet, like this kueh lopis, or savory like the chwee kueh described near the top of this post.
I added this kueh lopis to our itinerary after seeing it on Dr. Tay’s Must Try List. Made with glutinous rice, banana leaf, gula melaka, and shredded coconut, he described it as having “a sublime texture [with] a superb balance of sweet, salty and savory flavors”. It’s very similar to Filipino suman latik which is sticky rice with sweetened coconut sauce. I’m a proud Filipino who enjoys good suman, but I have to admit that this kueh lopis may be better. It’s not as dense, it’s syrup isn’t as sweet, and it’s dredged in a shredded coconut/sugar mixture which gives it another layer of texture. Damn you Singaporeans. 😆
We also tried these other types of kueh called kueh salat and kueh bingka jagung (if I remember correctly). Kueh salat is made with pandan and tapioca while kueh bingka jagung is made with corn pudding and palm sugar. Both were equally delicious.
Simple Delite is located at the Tekka Centre food court in Little India. According to Dr. Tay, they usually sell out by noon so be sure to come early.
Address: Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, Stall #01-219
Operating Hours: 6:30AM – 2PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 3 (4 pcs)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-219.
Rounding out this list are croissants. Now croissants may seem an odd choice for a Singapore food guide but these are an exception. Opened in partnership with Parisian Chef Gontran Cherrier, the croissants at Tiong Bahru Bakery are to die for. In fact, some say they’re even better than the croissants in Paris! I’ve never eaten one in France but we had the green tea almond croissant here and it was divine.
Tiong Bahru Bakery is a stylish space just a stone’s throw away from Tiong Bahru Market. If you’re in the area, then this is a great place to have breakfast. Check out our post on Tiong Bahru Bakery for more pictures and information.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
Address: 56 Eng Hoon Street
Operating Hours: 8AM – 10PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 17.50 (Green Tea Almond Croissant, Kouign-Amann, 2 coffees)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Tiong Bahru MRT station. Head east on Tiong Bahru Rd toward Jln Membina. Turn right on Kim Pong Rd. Turn left on Lim Liak St and walk straight. This will turn into Eng Hoon St and Tiong Bahru Bakery will be on your left.
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If still images aren’t enough to whet your appetite, here’s a video featuring thirteen of the delectable dishes listed on this post.
I have to admit, we were exhausted after this trip. We didn’t expect to do so much walking! Looking at all these restaurants and hawker centers on a map, they don’t seem that far from each other but they frequently are, at least on foot. So bear that in mind if you plan on visiting many of the eateries mentioned in this guide. If it’s too far to walk but not far enough to take the metro, then you can always use Grab or Uber. In our experience, it cost around SGD 5-7 to use Grab to cover a distance that would have taken 15-20 minutes on foot.
To help you understand where these eateries are in relation to one another, you can check out our Singapore itinerary on Sygic Travel. It’ll show you exactly where each restaurant is on a map, as well as every attraction we visited in Singapore. Sygic Travel is a free travel planning app that I use to plan all our trips. You can read more about it by going to my Sygic Travel post.
If you’re interested in just the eateries mentioned in this guide, then you can refer to the map below.
With so many delicious things to eat in Singapore, this list is by no means comprehensive but I do hope it helps you plan your trip. You can also download a copy of our 6-day Singapore eat-inerary in editable Word format by subscribing to our newsletter below. You’ll receive the download link via email shortly after as you click “subscribe”.
Thanks for reading and have a delicious time in Singapore! 😀
For more Singapore travel tips, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Singapore
JB and Renée are the Traveleaters behind Will Fly for Food, a travel blog for the gastronomically inclined. They enjoy experiencing food from different cultures so they’ve made it their mission to try every country’s national dish. Read more about them and their National Dish Quest here.