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Joachim Textor
featured chefs joachim textor on the food ofsingapore
Singaporean Food
What is Singaporean food? Briefly, It has its origin in Malaysia, Indonesia, China and India. Many claim that there is no such thing as Singapore food for that reason. In my opinion - they are only partially right. The food styles have blended over the centuries to become what we proudly call Singapore's food style.

What I'd like to highlight is that there are many equally wonderful but less acknowledged cuisines that have their origin in Southeastern China. Apart from Cantonese Cuisine that is famous the world over, what is special in Singapore is the Southern Chinese cuisine. It is not commonly found elsewhere. If you're really into tasting something new, this is the cuisine that I recommend You won't find anything quite the same elsewhere, certainly not so convenient anyway!

Singapore has a wide variety of fine restaurants to choose from, much like many other cosmopolitan cities. What excites Singaporeans about food is very simply the quality, the spontaneity, the coziness, the convenience and most importantly the affordability of eating out.

As a large portion of the population are Muslims, halal food is available everywhere. There are Malay Muslim and Indian Muslim food, you'll know when you see one as there's always a sign written in Arabic prominently displayed. Nasi Padang, a style of cooking originated from Sumatra and popular in Singapore is a must try for the visitor.

While you may find at least one Chinese or Indian vegetarian food stall in every food center, you're not likely to come across fine elaborate dishes, especially Chinese vegetarian food. Good Taoist/Buddist vegetarian food seems less easily available. One simple reason is the complexity in vegetarian food preparation. Unlike Indian vegetarians and vegetarians in the West, Taoist/Buddist vegetarians do not eat garlic, onion, leek and those related vegetables. Vegetarian food, in this case, does not mean cooking with only vegetables, but rather, the art of shaping and texturing flour into mock meat and fish dishes.It is worth the trouble to give it a try, for good Chinese vegetarian food is rare, even in Singapore. If you're lucky, you may come across a Chinese temple that serves vegetarian food(only on certain days).

Indian Muslim food, or the so called Mamak food, is very popular in Singapore, roti prata, mee goreng, Indian rojak, nasi padang, mutton soup are some of the more popular dishes.

Seafood is of course a social food that tops many people's list. Seafood eaten the local style is a noisy affair. Chili crabs, black pepper crabs, drunken prawns and deep fried baby squids are just some of the endless tasty dishes that one shouldn't miss. Lobster glamorous as it may sound, is not as popular or as fun as Chut Chut(a kind of cone shaped sea shell that has to be sucked) or raw cockles (despite the risk of hepatitis). And eating barbecued sting ray from a piece of banana leaf at a food center is definitely a truer Makan experience than having Salmon on China at Maxim's. If you do not know where to begin, East Coast Seafood Centre is worth a visit. If you know your way in Johore Bahru, it's definitely much cheaper!!

Before I end, I must not forget to mention Cristang cuisine, or so called Eurasian food started in Malacca of Portuguese origin. Unfortunately, no Cristang restaurant exists as far as I know. So if you're fortunate enough to have a friend of Portuguese descent, do invite yourself for dinner as that will be a truly be a rare and memorable occasion!

Read about Joachim's trip to China

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Joachim on Singaporean Food
Joachim Goes To China
Joachim Goes To Korea
Asia 2002 Culinary Challenge
Joachim Goes To Hong Kong
Poached Turbot
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