1. Hainanese chicken rice
Steamed chicken served with rice cooked in chicken stock. This all-time favorite dish makes for a quick, fulfilling lunch. The quality of chicken stock is crucial to this dish, and you can tell by the steamed rice oozing with flavor and a fragrant aroma. Pour some dipping sauce over the chicken and give it a go.
2. Chilli crab
Hard-shell crabs cooked in semi-thick gravy with a tomato chili base. The steamed crabs are partially cracked, then lightly stir-fried in a paste comprising of chili sauce, ketchup, and eggs. Despite its name, chili crab is not all that spicy. Bread is normally ordered to soak up the gravy, so dig in with both hands!
Rice noodles in spicy coconut curry soup with shrimp, fish cakes, egg, and chicken meat – a cross between Chinese and Malay cuisine. Laksa also has many variants, but the one in Singapore is Katong laksa, with cut-up noodles. Cockles and tofu puffs are sometimes added.
4. Char kuay Teow
Broad white noodles fried with black Soya sauce, bean sprouts, fish cake, clams, and Chinese sausage. You will find this dish in hawker centers and restaurants. Skilled chefs will add a smoky taste to the dish by cooking the noodles at a high temperature.
5. Hokkien prawn mee
Stir-fried Hokkien noodles with prawns, slices of chicken or pork, squid, and fish cake, seasoned with soy sauce, vinegar, and chili. Each serving comes with sambal sauce and a lime wedge, to tone down the oily taste. The Singapore version uses thick, flat egg noodles.
6. Barbecued stingray
Originating in the streets, barbecued stingray has become a popular seafood dish served at hawker stalls. The classic version features stingray meat slated in thick sambal sauce – a spicy condiment with diced tomatoes, chilies, and shrimp paste as base ingredients – then wrapped in banana leaf to be cooked slowly on a grill.
7. Fish head curry
A huge fish head and vegetables cooked in a curry and served with rice or bread. Usually accompanied by a glass of ‘calamansi’ or local lime juice. Its origins are in South Indian, with Chinese and Malay influences. In some versions, tamarind juice is added to give a sweet-sour taste.
Skewered grilled meat served with rice cake (ketupat), peanut sauce, and cucumber-chili relish. This popular side dish makes an excellent starter or party platter. It has a strong turmeric scent and flavor, as this spice is the key marinade ingredient. Choose from pork, chicken, beef, or mutton.
9. Char siew meats on rice or noodles
Char siew meats make a popular Singaporean dish of Chinese origin, made up of barbequed red pork and roasted pork belly in a thick sauce. The meat is chopped in front of you and laid out on either rice or noodles.These were used mainly as an ingredient in fried rice and just about any noodle dish. The most popular was of course the Char Siu Wonton Noodles which always came with several slices of this red “rimmed” meat. Good Char Siu should be moist with a sweet and salty taste combination.
10. Oyster omelette
An egg omelette mixed with flour and fried with a generous helping of small oysters garnished with coriander leaves, crispy bean sprouts, and a sweet, spicy sauce. Depending on how you like it cooked, your oyster omelette can be soft or crispy.
The dish consists of an omelette with a filling primarily composed of small oysters. Starch (typically sweet potato starch) is mixed into the egg batter, giving the resulting egg wrap a thicker consistency. Pork lard is often used to fry the resulting omelet. Depending on regional variations, a savory sauce may then be poured on top of the omelette for added taste.
Spicy or chili sauce mixed with lime juice is often added to provide an intense kick. Shrimp can sometimes be substituted in place of oysters; in this case, it is called shrimp omelette