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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 Cuisines in Singapore – Singapore, a Foodie Haven
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Cuisines in Singapore – Singapore, a Foodie Haven

Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures, and this has helped it become one of the world's best spots to visit for foodies. Here are the top 5 cuisines in the country.


Chinese Cuisine

No doubt Chinese cuisine falls at the top of the list. With the majority of the population being of ethnic Chinese origin, it doesn't come as a surprise that this is one cuisine that is well-represented in Singapore. Most Singaporean Chinese have ancestral links to the Hainan and Canton people of China and this heritage is often reflected in their food. Examples of hallmark dishes are Char Kway Teow which is made of stir-fried flat rice noodles and Char Siew Bao. The latter is a BBQ pork steamed bun which is a frequent highlight of Dim Sum cuisine. Another iconic Singaporean-Chinese dish is Bak Kut Teh, which translates into pork bone tea. This peppery broth contains pork ribs which have been stewed with generous amounts of garlic, pepper and salt. This process results in a rich soup that is most often accompanied by rice and tea.


Malay Cuisine

A lot of Singaporean food is heavily influenced by its neighbour, Malaysia. Dishes such as Laksa and Nasi Lemak which are of Malay origin, have made their way into the hearts of Singaporean citizens for centuries. Stop by even a simple food court in the country and you'll be sure to find this staple dish without any hassle at all. One point to note is that Malay cuisine is generally halal and does not feature pork. In startling contrast, pork-based dishes are often the highlight of Chinese cuisine.


Indian Cuisine

Due to the sizeable number of Singaporeans who trace their ancestry back to India and other South Asian countries, you can expect to easily find dishes like rice and curry, biriyani and roti paratha as well. If you are a fan of South Asian cuisine, make a trip to Little India which is located right across the water from Chinatown, on the opposite side of the Singapore River.


European Cuisine

As a major Asian player in the thriving global economy, Singapore also caters for Western palettes. Many leading restaurants, as well as 5 star and 4 star hotels in Singapore such as the Park Hotel Alexandra among others, specialise in whipping up hearty European fare. Diners can expect to enjoy classics such as succulent meat roasts and deliciously wobbly fruit trifles. Iconic dishes like these are sure to evoke fond memories of cooler climes where juicy Sunday roasts and soothing jelly and custard are often a highlight of the week.


Singapore's Flagship Cuisine

There are some dishes that have transcended the borders of their ethnic culinary origins, whatever they may be. They have earned their place in the hearts of people worldwide as part of Singapore's signature cuisine. You may have heard of some of these dishes before. Let's start with the humble Kaya Toast. Kaya, made from a sort of sweet, coconut-flavoured jammy-custard is a favourite accompaniment for warm toast slathered with butter. The Singapore Chilli Crab is another firm favourite. It is a popular dish which features in menus of Chinese restaurants throughout Asia. It has been found to be among the most sought-after dishes by tourists who visit Singapore. Then there's the simple, yet, wholesomely flavoured Hainanese Chicken Rice which is one of the best Asian comfort foods around. Singapore has no shortage of winning dishes in the global arena, and thanks to its multicultural heritage, fusion cuisine is a given.