Singapore’s rich multicultural heritage shows up in its plate, mirroring the place’s cultural diversity with generous portions of Peranakan, Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisines. Taking a stroll around the city means sniffing in delicious smells of South Indian thalis, Malay food, biryani, Peking duck, Cantonese dim sum, popiah or spring rolls and Hokien mee – a kind of fried noodles from Fujian Province in China.
Chinese cuisine is the dominant one, with the food representing the Chinese philosophy of perfectly balancing the food’s yin and yang notes. The edibles are symbolic, with oysters served for good fortune, noodles for longevity and fish for prosperity. Do order the dim sum and double boiled soups. The Szechuan spicy dishes and flavorful chicken rice are the highlights of Singaporean Chinese dishes.
If you love Indian food, order Indian Muslim dishes like parathas, nasi biryani and murtabak. Ask the waiter for a cup of the tarik or pulled tea to end the delicious meal. Malay dishes incorporate a bounty of chillies, curry leaves, galangal, lemon grass, shrimp paste or belachan and turmeric. The cuisine is deliciously spicy without being hot.
Singapore’s unique Nonya or Peranakan food provides a mix of Indonesian, Malay and Chinese flavors, mixing spices and aromatic herbs to cook a delectable world of curries, stews and braised dishes. Do try ayam buah keluak, a dish made of chicken, buah keluak nuts and also the laksa, a dish made of rice vemicelli, coconut milk garnished with chicken or seafood.