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10 Surprising Facts About Singapore Foods You Need To Know

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As a top gastronomy destination worldwide, Singapore has made its name. And Singapore’s foods diversity is unrivalled.

A stop for Singapore foods could not be missed in our search to explore the local and authentic flavours.

Singapore is also known as the Lion City or Garden City and is a city-state and just one of the world’s three city-states. Monaco and Vatican City are the other two city-states.

Singapore is referred to by The Economist as “the only completely working city-state in the world.”

Singapore is very clean, very organised, safe and easy to get around, unlike other countries in Asia. Regardless of the time of day, even late at night, we still felt protected. Singapore is known as “Asia for beginners” by many.

Everywhere, in unique and unexpected ways, you find Singapore food. Here are the 10 surprising things to know about Singapore food for your trips to Singapore.

# 1- Hawker Centers: Singapore’s Heart and Soul Food

The Hawker centres are a special feature of the culture and lifestyle of Singapore. The heart and soul of the local food scene are these food centres. You’ll find cheap food and local people who eat and mingle together.

Usually, hawker centres with several stalls selling a wide range of dishes are open air complexes. They are conveniently situated close to huge residential complexes where people live.

The best places to consume local Singapore food are hawker centres in Singapore. The centres are scattered across the various districts, with some providing more food stalls than others.

# 2- Hawker Centers Spotless

In contrast to hawker centres and street food in the neighbouring countries, Singapore hawker centres are very clean.

Before and after your meals, you will find a washing station to wash your hands. And toilets, which are readily available.

To regulate the standard of hygiene, the government of Singapore scores the stalls from “A” corresponding to “super clean” to “D” corresponding to “not appropriate level of hygiene.”

Among local Singaporeans, there is a saying that the cleaner a food stall, the less interesting the food is! And the importance of the scores is: “A” means “Stop” and “D” means “Delicious”!

# 3- Inside Hawker Centers Singapore Food Specialities

You can find each stall selling its own specialty in the Hawker Centers. Just one dish emblematic of Singapore food will be the subject of a vendor.

This is valid for beers, too. Drinks are sold by various vendors separately. A separate seller will come and take your order for either fruit juice, soda, beer or coffee, once you order your food.

And finally, if you’re a lover of sweets, you’ll also have your pick of sweets to select from the various dessert stalls.

Eating at hawker centres is an excellent way to sample the various available local specialties. You get to see right away what food you can taste in Singapore to sample the local flavours.

# 4- Multicultural, Multi Racial & Multi Faith Singapore Food

Singapore is a land that is racially diverse. You will find a Chinese majority (74%), a substantial minority of Malays (13%), Indians (9%) and 4% of others.

Singapore is also the most religiously diverse country in the world, according to Pew Research. Around a third of the population of Singapore is Buddhist, followed by large percentages of Christians , Muslims and Hindus.

In Singapore food, this blending of cultures and religious beliefs is reflected. Traditional dishes from each of the various ethnic groups are found. And moreover, in dishes such as Peranakan rice, which is a marriage of Chinese and Malay cuisines, a blend of flavours.

President Obama made the following introductory remarks in 2016, the first official visit to the U.S. by a Singaporean Prime Minister in more than 30 years.

We call ourselves a “melting pot” of various races, sects and values in the United States. In Singapore, various parts of Rojak are joined in a harmonious whole, Obama said. “We’re bound by the conviction that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it, no matter who you are.” Rojak is a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish named after a mixture word from Malay. More details please visit Best Singapore foods

# 5 Menus of the English Language

It’s pretty easy to find your way around Singapore because Singapore’s official language is English. This ensures you will be able to read the menus and order your dishes quickly.

We loved being able to grasp the menus coming from Vietnam , Cambodia and Thailand, where we struggled to order food.

We also discovered Singlish with English (short for Singaporean English). This is a lovely slang spoken by locals consisting of English mixed phrases, Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and Tamil. In casual contexts, even around food, it is spoken.

We also discovered Singlish with English (short for Singaporean English). This is a lovely slang spoken by locals consisting of English mixed phrases, Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and Tamil. In casual contexts, even around food, it is spoken.

Here are some simple words and phrases for your food trips to Singapore that you may want to try out as you explore Singapore:

English           Singlish

Eat Makan

Oh my gosh!                                         Walao!

Reserved Chope!

Delightful! (usually used to describe dishes) Shiok!

Coffee +condensed milk Kopi

Coffee +evaporated milk +sugar Kopi Si (Kopi-C)

# 6-Must comply with the rules

Walking down Singapore’s streets, you can’t help but note surveillance cameras everywhere. Big Brother keeps watching continuously.

In addition to the cameras, on several famous pedestrian roads, there are massive billboards screaming “Crime Warning”. These point out the particular crime that has taken place in that area, such as theft of bicycles, which then puts you on high alert.

Consumption of liquor from 10:30 pm to 7:00 am is not tolerated in public areas.

Alcohol can not be consumed between 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and 7:00 a.m. the following Monday in some regions, such as Little India.

Big billboards will remind you of the alcohol laws just in case you forget. The legal drinking age is 18 years and when buying alcohol, a photo ID must be presented.

Singapore also issues hefty penalties for littering, chewing gum and vomiting on the sidewalks to uphold its impeccable cleanliness.

You want to be on the right side of the law while travelling to Singapore for food. Singapore is also known as “Fine Area,” due to the many fines levied by the government.

# 7- Food Prices in Singapore

Compared to the other Southeast Asian nations, Singapore is very costly. Singapore food, particularly at hawker centres, remains affordable, however.

For price ranges at the various food venues in Singapore, here’s what you can expect.

Most dishes at hawker centres are usually under $10 Singaporean dollars.

The prices range from around $20 to $50 Singaporean dollars for restaurants & Tze Char (local “restaurants” with various Chinese dishes).

Restaurants with fine dining range from $100 + Singaporean dollars.

The Singaporean dollar was equal to around $0.72 USD at the time of publishing.

# 8 Singaporean Habits of Feeding

Generally speaking, at any time of the day, finding food in Singapore is easy. The hawker centres are buzzing with activity all the time.

Some dishes may not be accessible at certain times of the day, or certain parts of the centre may even be closed. You’ll always find food, regardless of the time of day, but not always the dish you like.

There were two findings that stood out about Singaporeans and food.

Chopping with

In Singapore, kleenex packets or tissues serve more than one purpose. They are used at hawker centres as the “unofficial table reservation” method. “Chopping” is called this method.

You should leave your packet of tissue paper in order to reserve it if you find an empty seat. As you will need it to position your order, you want to take note of the table number, so that the vendor can bring you your food.

Interestingly, when they were off getting their food, we saw people’s keys and even cell phones. A genuine declaration of how safe Singapore really is.

Bagged Drinks

Drinks to go are not brought in styrofoam cups, but are served with a straw in plastic bags instead. You see locals walking around with Kopi (coffee) or afternoon teh tarik (pulled tea with milk) sipping on straws in the mornings or afternoons. Surprisingly, both hot and cold drinks make the bags work.

# 9- Singapore Grocery Stores and Markets

Usually, Singapore markets are situated next to hawker centres. They are also very clean and organised for each product or item, with a designated portion.

In air-conditioned malls as well as supermarkets, grocery stores are usually located inside. Usually, convenience stores such as 7-Eleven sell certain grocery products as well. At MRT (Metro) stations, you can find food stores as well.

One form of popular market in Singapore, however, will not be found in corner stalls or small mobile markets. Most of these sites are sites inside particular buildings because of hygiene constraints.

Nevertheless, specialty stores can still be found, including cookie stores in Chinatown or bakery-style stores in Singapore.

# 10-High-end international cuisines and restaurants

Singapore is a top gastronomy destination with three Singapore restaurants, which were named among the top 10 restaurants in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Asia in 2017.

Singapore draws many foreign chefs willing to make a reputation for themselves. As a consequence, you will find foreign cuisines largely available outside Singapore food.

At this time, we see French cuisine with an Asian touch trending among the top gourmet restaurants. Joël Robuchon, the famous French chef who has the most Michelin stars in the world, has also set up restaurants on the island.

Even Michelin Guides shocked the world last year by awarding two Singapore hawker stalls a single Michelin Star. Needless to mention, a must-stop for any food traveller is Singapore.

In Summary

In several respects, Singapore is special. The diversity of the food is linked to the different cultures and societies that live together harmoniously.

At the hawker centres, the hubs for local food events take place. Various local specialities deliver these lively hubs. They are, more than that, hubs of relations. Where the locals come together and break bread.

Whilst in Singapore, adapt to the local rhythm and enjoy the culinary delights. Drink bagged coffee, explain your Singlish phrases and search for special local experiences. We think this is best done when you go through the local food. 

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