Singapore’s Fabulous Food
Are you in the Halloween mood for pancreatic tissue, liver cells and stomach lining in a hearty broth? If the answer is yes, you will feel right at home in Singapore where locals seem to dig exotic pig organ soup. But not to worry. Even culinary wimps who don’t want to venture too far into unknown kitchen territory can skip the tricks and find a treat that can soothe their Western palates.
From Asian-style barbequed chicken wings and fiery sambal stingrays to Indian masala dosas and German sauerkraut and sausages, there’s nothing you cannot find in Singapore. Food is everywhere. While some dishes here are similar to those we found in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, others are distinctly different. It is obvious that Singapore’s chefs are quite experimental, many using unusual ingredients and spices to create fantastic fusion cuisine.
Savory pumpkin cakes with black-eye pea and sticky rice is one of the unique local dishes we came across on our first day in the city. Topped with sweet soy sauce and chili, the delicious combination of seemingly unrelated items has quickly become Tony’s preferred lunch time special at the Bugis mall food court. Yum! (Now we know what to do with all those old Jack-O-Lanterns.)
Another one of our favorite dishes here is katong laksa. The rich and creamy coconut-based soup is served with rice vermicelli, prawns, fishcake and lots of chili paste. We tasted several takes on this delicious soup, some with chicken, others with mussels (my favorite). I’m afraid this delicious dish gives Penang’s famous assam laksa a serious run for its money.
Other Singapore specials include fish head curry, satay, frog leg porridge, oyster omelettes, Hokkien mee, and chili crab … the list could go on and on. But rather than just rambling about my own personal favorites (and there are many), I’m including a link to CNN’s “40 Singapore foods we can’t live without.” It’s a great collection of food items and a description of where to find them. What didn’t make it onto the list was the pig organ soup – a dish the author can obviously live without.
By the way, you don’t actually have to dine in expensive restaurants to sample any of the dishes mentioned. In fact, the cheapest katong laksa we had in a food court was actually the most delicious. Every mall in town has a food court offering excellent dishes at cheap-for-Singapore prices. The food court at the Marina Square mall even offers an additional bonus – a sweeping view over the bay and the Marina Bay Sands. As far as hawker centers go, try the one at the waterfront north of the outdoor concert stage at the Esplanade. It’s an excellent place to watch the sunset while having a feast.