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
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!!