Growing up, our family visited Singapore every year, stopping by for a few days before continuing our journey to Taiwan. I remember the humidity; sweating on the beach in Sentosa park, the smell of the trees right before the afternoon storms. Even more fondly, I remember all of us sitting on the floor of our aunts house and eating chicken rice, using the brown paper bag it came wrapped in as our plates.
It had been a while since I last stepped foot in Singapore, and while there were lingering traits of the island from my memories, it felt like a whole new city when I visited again almost a decade later.
I was excited to see the new Singapore, while also revisiting the incredible food scene.
Quick jump to sections
- Char Siu Rice
- Biryani in Little India
- Chicken House Chicken Rice
- Scissor Curry Rice
- Bak Kut Teh
- Hawker Chan
- Plain Vanilla
Char Siu Rice on OG Street
My first full day started with a food tour led by my cousin that lives in Singapore. We walked over to Bugis street where there was a bustling market and multiple hawker stands. Nearby stood a temple, with street vendors selling flowers, paper to burn, and other ornaments for prayer.
We walked over to an unassuming stall where a man was bringing his knife down on some grilled pork. Hanging on the hooks were long strips of char siu, chicken, duck, and more.
We ordered the grilled pork for 5SGD ($3.50USD), it came with a heaping amount of meat, a special sauce drizzled all over it, and a small bowl of soup. The meat was soft, while the ends were deliciously charred.
🍖Choo Chiang Roasted Ducks & Cooked Food
🗺 180 Bencoolen St
Biryani in Little India
Right after our meal at the hawker stand we decided to walk around Little India. I’ve actually never visited growing up, but was taken in by all the colors and culture of this neighborhood. We walked around the markets, looking at all the decorations and clothing being sold. We eventually decided to follow our stomachs and headed towards the food stalls.
After perusing through every single stand, we made a final choice of Biryani rice. From a giant vat of rice, they scooped a generous serving, before scooping out the meat that’s been cooked in the same vat. From another metal pot they used a ladle to pour curry all over the rice, and served it all with a warm lentil soup on the side.
I luckily had my cousin show me around, but Klook offers a Little India Walking Tour if you would like someone to give you a tour of the neighborhood!
🍛Hanifa’s Biryani Specialist
🗺 665 Buffalo Rd, 256, Tekka Market and Food Centre 01, Singapore
💰Mutton Biryani for $5.5SGD
Chicken House Chicken Rice
This was easily a must-have on my list when visiting. We went all the way up to Chicken House where they serve fresh Kampong chicken. This type of chicken is a breed native to Indonesia and Malaysia where they are allowed to roam freely and eat as they wish. They forage naturally, eating bugs, seed, anything besides chicken feed, so they tend to be naturally smaller but their meat a lot more fragrant. With all the leftover bones, they make a soup and serve it with the chicken rice.
Something about the food in Singapore makes everyone smile. I loved chatting with all the stall owners and cooks and talking about their experience with the food.
🗺 255 Upper Thomson road, Singapore (has several locations)
Scissor Curry Rice
This just happened to be near where we stayed so we stopped by, but it turned out to be one of the best meals I had in Singapore. At the stall, pick the sides you want: grilled pork belly, fish cake, fried chicken, tofu, bean sprouts, string beans, fried egg, etc, which they then cut up for you at lightning speed. All of that is thrown on top of your rice, which is then drowned in two types of curry and sauces. The end result is a uniquely gooey flavorful curry rice with each bite a different taste of the toppings you picked.
I highly recommend this place.
🍛Beach Road Scissor Curry Rice
🗺 229 Jln Besar, Singapore
💰$1.50SGD per meat, $1 per vegetables
Bak Kut Teh
We wanted to try this because Taiwan has their own version of pork bone soup that I love. Singapore’s pork bone soup used a huge piece of pork bone in a broth that is flavored with several spices and has a much peppery taste compare to Taiwan’s version.
We ordered vegetables, and soft pork. This is a popular restaurant, but ended up being pretty pricy. I would recommend trying a hawker style bak kut teh soup. (I ended up getting one in the airport before I left and it was pretty good too!)
Bak Kut Teh spice packets can be found in supermarkets if you ever feel like making some at home.
🍲Legendary Bak Kut Teh
🗺 42 south bridge road, Singapore
One of the most famous hawker stores turned chain is Liao Fan Hawker Chan. We stopped by after walking around the galleries all day. It was an easy meal with buddy pricing (bundles for eating with friends).
🍗Liao Fan Hawker Chan
🗺 North Bridge Road, Singapore
💰$18 for their buddy meal: 2 mains, 2 drinks, 1 side vegetables
Plain Vanilla Bakery
As a bonus spot, I’m adding this cupcake shop that we stumbled upon after checking out Books Actually. Would recommend both these spots and spending some time walking along the boutique stores. Also bought a book from a mystery book vending machine. A great place to buy small arts and crafts as souvenirs.
🍰Plain Vanilla Bakery
🗺 1D Yong Siak St
A full map of all the places we visited in Singapore
Some other links that might helpful for your trip to Singapore