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14 Regular Foods And Their Singaporean Counterparts

There's no such thing as "regular food" in Singapore. Like its neighbour to the north, Singapore has cuisine that boasts strong Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, making its food some of the most delectable and diverse in the world. Go taste it, and let Far East Hospitality take care of the rest.

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1. Instead of bread...


...Roti Prata

Jonathan Lin (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jonolist

Instead of bread, Singaporeans eat a ton of roti prata. This flaky, Indian- and Pakistani-inspired flatbread is subtly sweet and perfect with eggs for breakfast. You know what else it’s perfect for? Pretty much anything. It’s good as a savoury dish with curry and as a dessert with fruit or chocolate or ice cream…or all of the above.

2. Instead of soup...



Soon Koon (CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: koonisutra

Laksa is a curry-flavoured, coconut-based noodle soup, which also goes by the name of curry mee in Malaysia. This spicy dish features sambal chilli, shrimp, fishcake, cockles, and, in Singapore, cut-up rice noodles (as opposed to yellow mee noodles in Malaysia). If you’re looking for the best one in Singapore, go to the Katong neighborhood and check out a couple of the stalls battling it out for the number-one laksa.

3. Instead of rice...


...Nasi Lemak

Jerine Lay (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jerine

Nasi lemak is a simple, fragrant breakfast dish. Rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves is served with cucumber slices, nuts, fried anchovies, and a hard-boiled egg. The combination of textures and flavours makes it a delicious and flavourfully balanced dish.

4. Instead of snow cones...


...Ice Kacang

rubberduckee (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 40509048@N00

Ice kacang is basically a Singaporean ice cream sundae version of a snow cone. Shaved ice drenched with colourful syrups and condensed milk sits atop red beans, sweet corn, and palm seeds. Other toppings include aloe vera jelly and fruit cocktail.

5. Instead of skewers...



Alpha (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: avlxyz

Chances are, you’ve had some version of satay before, but truly authentic satay is a world apart with a delicate balance of flavours. Skewered chicken, beef, mutton, or pork is seasoned with turmeric and perfectly grilled over an open flame. It’s then served with its signature peanut dipping sauce.

6. Instead of crab...


...Chilli Crab

May Wong (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: maywong_photos

One of the most popular dishes in Singapore is chilli crab, which is, counterintuitively, not very spicy. What really makes this dish is what these mud crabs are cooked in – a sweet and savoury sauce made of chillies and tomatoes with ribbons of egg. The sweet crabmeat is actually a pretty decent accompaniment to this fluffy sauce.

7. Instead of carrot cake...


...Chai Tow Kway

Ruth Ellison (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: laruth

Chai tow kway isn’t exactly carrot cake. It’s savoury, and it’s actually more of a radish cake. OK, so it’s 100% radish cake, but the word for "carrot" and "radish" is the same in Chinese. This dish consists of cubes of steamed rice flour and daikon radish, stir-fried into a kind of omelette with eggs and spring onions. This popular comfort food is a must-try in Singapore.

8. Instead of chicken and rice...


...Chicken Rice

Charles Haynes (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: haynes

In Singapore, this is simply called chicken rice or Hainanese chicken rice. It is arguably the national dish of Singapore, and although it might not look particularly flavourful, it is delicious. The balance and textures of the moist, spice-steamed chicken and the flavourful and chewy, oily rice will make you a believer of this bland-looking lunchtime dish.

9. Instead of wraps...



Soon Koon (CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: koonisutra

An un-fried, un-steamed spring roll, a popiah is basically a Singaporean burrito originating from the Fujian province of China. The skin is made from wheat flour, and it is often filled with finely chopped steamed vegetables, Chinese sausage, hardboiled egg, and shrimp. This healthy wrap is served with a sweet, bean-based sauce.

10. Instead of teabags...


...Bags of Tea

Kojach (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: kojach

In Singapore, a whole host of beverages come in bags. This means that tea comes in a bag and not from a teabag. Juices, soft drinks, and even coffee can be served in to-go bags with straws and lanyards for easy carrying. Try a teh tarik, a sweet milky tea!

11. Instead of pasta...


...Char Bee Hoon

Jeremy Keith (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: adactio

This is the true name for the famous dish known around the world as Singapore Noodles. It's a simple stir-fry of rice vermicelli with soy sauce, veggies, and seafood. But in Singapore, this dish is notably different than you might expect elsewhere -- the biggest difference being no curry seasoning. Additionally, char been hoon is mostly eaten only during breakfast and lunch in Singapore.

12. Instead of stew...


...Sup Kambing

Irwandy Mazwir (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: irwandy

Sup Kambing is a mutton stew invented by the Muslim Indian community in Singapore. It's made with goat meat, onions, tomatoes, celery, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and various vegetables and herbs. A hot, filling dish that is spicy and deeply flavourful, it's a fitting meal when you've worked up an appetite.

13. Instead of toast...


...Kaya Toast

The Integer Club (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: integer_club

Regular toast with butter could never stand up to the Singaporean breakfast staple that is kaya toast. It’s white bread spread with butter and kaya, a custardy jam made of eggs, sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves. It’s especially good with a coffee or teh tarik over breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

14. Instead of fried rice...


...Nasi Goreng

Matt Weibo (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 21065622@N08

So maybe nasi goreng is just fried rice, but it’s a tasty Singaporean version with a kick. Pre-cooked rice is fried with shallots, garlic, tamarind, chillies, chicken, prawns, and kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce. A nice, fried, sunny-side-up egg is the icing on the cake which makes it a perfect breakfast dish.

And these are just a small selection of what Singapore has to offer.

Take a mouthwatering trip to Singapore, and let Far East Hospitality take care of your accommodations.