Hawker Stalls · Singapore
Singapore has been a destination we’ve been aching to visit for a long time. How could we stay away once we heard it’s home to some of the best street food in the world? Since we’re in Vietnam for a couple of months, it only made sense to hop on a plane and taste all the hype for ourselves. We pretty much flew to Singapore just to eat!
The first thing to know about Singapore is that you’re not going to find “street food” on the street anymore. Instead, you head to your local hawker centre where you’ll find an abundance of stalls selling your favorite dishes. It’s a bit of a dream come true where all the food carts in an area are conveninently under one roof for your enjoyment. It also doesn’t hurt that it provides vendors with running water, seats for customers, and better hygiene for those of you out there that are scared of that type of thing (not us!).
One of our favorite Asian dishes is Chicken and Rice, and one of the best versions of it can be found in Singapore. It could arguably be one of the more popular hawker dishes, and if it was the only reason we went we’d be fine with that. We headed to the Maxwell Food Centre to try one of the most famous stalls in Singapore, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. It did not disappoint. The chicken was perfectly moist with gelatinous fat, and the rice contained so much chicken flavor that it was like eating more chicken. Locals advised us to eat the thick sweet soy sauce with the rice and the ginger sauce with the chicken. And as we always say, do as the locals do. After eating almost a whole chicken at Tian Tian, we still managed to fit another Maxwell’s must-try into our stomachs: Jin Hua’s Sliced Fish Bee Hoon. We got the mixed sliced fish and fried fish noodle soup and absolutely adored the creamy fish broth.
Sliced Fish Bee Hoon
Another favorite Singaporean hawker centre was the Tiong Bahru Market. We first heard of this place on an episode of The Layover with Anthony Bourdain where he ate a dish called Chwee Kueh from the Jian Bo stall. It was a dish that instantly intrigued me with its delicate steamed rice cake topped with preserved radishes that pack a serious flavor punch. A super comforting dish that was easily one of our favorite hawker foods in Singapore. There are so many specialties in this country that we’ve never heard of, let alone tried. It was our goal to experience as many different local dishes as we could.
Jian Bo Shui Kueh
At the Tiong Bahru Market we were also introduced to Fried Carrot Cake (actually not carrot, but radish cakes stir-fried) and Bak Chor Mee (a dry noodle dish with varied meats including pork liver). One particular night after admiring the Supertrees and night skyline, we had one of our “it’s after dinner but I’m still hungry” moments. We decided to walk over to the Singapore Food Trail to make sure we didn’t miss a dish I really wanted to eat, Fried Oyster Omelette. As a Taiwanese-American, I’m very familiar with a similar dish in Taiwan, so I was intrigued by the Singapore variant. If you’re an oyster lover, one that likes a really strong oyster flavor, this dish if for you. The egg omelette works as a perfect carrier of the oysters, and thanks to wok-cooking everything comes out piping hot!
Bak Chor Mee
Fried Carrot Cake
Marina Bay Sands
Fried Oyster Omelette
What I loved most about Singapore is that you don’t feel crazy about being a food lover. It truly is a country filled with like-minded food appreciators. All in all, a lot of the dishes felt familiar in that I’ve had something similarly flavored before, but unique in the way it was prepared. If you follow us on Instagram, you know we post our daily going-ons there. We were pleasantly surprised upon landing in Singapore that our followers not only offered up amazing advice, but also wanted to meet with us and show us the ropes. So a big thank you to Lisa, Laura, and Melissa for giving us a locals perspective on food and life in Singapore. It made the trip truly special.
Maxwell Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore
Tiong Bahru Market
83 Seng Poh Rd, Singapore
Singapore Food Trail
30 Raffles Avenue, #01-09/12 Singapore Flyer, Singapore