Uniquely Jumbled Up
Singapore food's melange of flavours will have you coming back for more
Issue: Aug 2009
Rojak is a homegrown Singapore salad made of beancurd cubes, turnip, pineapple and cucumber spears, with sweet prawn paste and spicy peanut sauce.
Like rojak, typical Singapore fare is a jumble of flavours which results in a masterpiece. Walk into a food court and what looks like a hodge podge of bewildering choices is actually distinct cuisines with signature dishes.
This sweet and sour local salad is a tease to the taste buds.
Photo credit: Anthony Hoo W.T.
Getting the stomach rumbles late in the night is never cause to be miserable in Singapore. Numerous food centres and restaurants dot the island, and many are open 24 hours.
For starters, a century egg and pork porridge will hit the spot. The smooth and light-tasting congee goes well with the succulent pork cubes. And the exotic taste of these preserved quail, duck or chicken eggs is rather addictive.
Strangely, rumour has it that the eggs are soaked in horse urine to produce that taste. But fret not, they're actually preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, lime and straw for several weeks to months.
No need for utensils - just dive for the crispy pancake with your fingers and savour its rich flavour
Photo credit: Lim K.M.
Craving for something more filling? Satisfy your hunger pangs with a plate of aromatic Hainanese chicken rice. This is one of the most popular Chinese dishes which can be found in almost every hawker centre there is. The rice is not your average white rice. It is boiled in chicken broth till its fluffy.
Are your taste buds itching for a little 'manhandling'? Indian cuisine is the answer. Try roti prata, a crispy pancake bread served with Indian curry. Forget the cutlery - use your fingers to tear the prata into pieces, dip them into the rich gravy, and deliver them to your mouth for a truly authentic experience.
You won't forget the distinctive taste of this Peranakan dish Ayam Buah Keluak.
Photo credit: Loke See Wah
Peranakan cuisine is one of the unique facets of the Singapore flavour. With the blend of Malay and Chinese culture - through union of Chinese migrants with local Malays in the past - one can have the best of both worlds in the food department. Spices are the star ingredients in Peranakan food. Expect fieriness, fruitiness and fragrance.
Ayam Buah Keluak is a peppery and tangy chicken stew which is the test of a good Peranakan cook. 'Buah Keluak' is a black nut which gives this dish its unique taste. Many online reviewers have deemed the taste indescribable, but distinct and memorable. You'll have to order a bowl to decide for yourself. Have it with white rice.