Food in Singapore

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Curious about Singapore cuisine? Try some of these local dishes.

* Cereal Prawns. You're probably thinking, what the heck? Yes, these are prawns crusted with oatmeal or bran flakes - it sounds funny but tastes great. Try the classic version complete with shells (yes, they’re edible) at No Signboard or have the prawns pre-shelled for you at Fatty's at Burlington Square, 175 Bencoolen Street.

* Chicken Rice, or Hainanese Chicken Rice as it's sometimes known. Roasted or steamed chicken, accompanied by a flavorful serving of rice cooked in chicken broth. Chicken rice is traditionally served with three sauces - chilli sauce, pounded ginger, and a thick dark soy sauce. It's served with a bowl of soup, and sometimes includes a pile of sliced cucumber. Wee Nam Kee at 275 Thomson Road (across the street from Novena Church) is a popular place for chicken rice. Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown is another good choice.

* Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab - no first-time visit to Singapore is complete without trying these huge Sri Lankan crabs. Don't miss the yummy Chinese buns, called mantou, that traditionally accompany chilli crab. We like the crab at Jumbo and No Signboard.

* Durian. It's impossible to be ambivalent about this fruit, you either love it or you hate it. As one tourist described it - "tastes like heaven, smells like hell." The durian smell is so strong, it's banned in hotels and on public transport. And don't even think about taking one on a plane! Most Singaporeans are crazy about durian, though, and will happily take you to try some if you mention you've never tasted it. For the less adventurous, you can also try durian in less potent forms - in durian cakes, tarts, puffs, candy, and ice cream. The Geylang area is known for durian stalls (and, well, for other things too...)