Eating in Singapore

I’m going to take a break from my political rantings here and, instead write the first, but not the last, article on Singapore. I think it appropriate to start with my impressions of the local food.

Singapore is known for its wonderful cuisine. I have fallen in love with it. Eating is an art here and there are restaurants, coffee shops and hawker centers absolutely everywhere. One could never hope to try them all in a lifetime.

There are restaurants that are very much like those in the west. Often they are in the hotels or shopping malls and many are franchises of western chains. You will see Tony Roma’s, Sizzler, Kenny Rogers, etc. not to mention the fast food joints like Macs, Burger King, KFC and even a new Carl’s Jr.s. But these are expensive. The real food is found in the hawker centers and coffee shops. A hawker center is usually an open, covered food court with several food booths selling different specialties. There may be as many as 50 or more booths to a single hawker center. Here you will find different Chinese dishes, Malay food, Indonesian food, Thai food, etc.

The prices for a typical lunch is 3 dollars sing…about $2.00 US. I love the Laksa, which is a Chinese dish of noodles along with any number of other ingredients such as breaded eggs, tofu, vege’s, meats or fish all in a very spicy thin gravy. I love trying new Laksa places. Various noodle dishes are popular from beef noodles, Bee Hoon, fat noodles, thin noodles, flat or round, yellow or white. them all. I am also partial to Briyani, which is a Malay rice dish with gravy and either mutton or chicken. Beef is not eaten much here because it is expensive. Most of the beef comes from Australia and is very tough because it has little or no fat content. More popular is mutton. I have grown to love it. Very often, a hawker center will be part of a larger food market where you can buy fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, fowl etc.

Coffee shops are much like hawker centers but on a smaller scale. They too have a variety of food booths but maybe only 4 to 6. You will see people eating, drinking coffee and chatting at these ourdoor eateries any time of the night or day. They are usually very clean with electric fans all around to control the heat and any flying insects (there are very few).

At home I usually just have coffee and a roll for breakfast. A typical dinner will include homemade soup, rice, vegetables, a fish, chicken and perhaps tofu. I have that almost every nite. Maybe this is why I have dropped 40 lbs since I moved to Singapore.

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3 Comments on “Eating in Singapore”

  1. Venitha Says:

    40 lbs! No way! What in the world did you eat before you came to Singapore? I struggle daily with the weight I’m gaining in this foodie’s paradise. I found it much easier to eat healthily in the US, where cooking at home was the norm instead of eating every meal out.

  2. expatbrian Says:

    Hi Venitha, well, in the US I was eating out alot. And beef and sandwiches all the time (I was living alone, separated from my wife) Here, I eat at home all the time. But its a surprise to me too because so much of what I eat here is carb heavy….rice and noodles. But still lost the weight.

  3. Shaifudin Says:


    I came across your blog from Markashy.
    You have a nice style of writing.

    In this post however, I need to update you on 2 things.

    Laksa is not a Chinese dish but actually a Malay dish originated from Malaysia since early 1960s.

    It is a popular dish that the Chinese food-sellers have decided to learn the dish and sell it to the Chinese community as well.

    Briyani rice, is not a Malay dish but its an Indian dish originated from of course India.

    It is however the main course for any Malay weddings in Singapore. Don’t ask me why. 🙂

    I’m an avid reader to your blog and please don’t stop your rants. God bless you.

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