Singapore is a melting pot of cuisines, incorporating a rich heritage of food dishes consisting of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian influences. If you are a local Singaporean, you would have seen these dishes in the hawker centres below your void deck, in the food courts of shopping centres and in the quaint shophouses that are decades old.
These are the real dishes you need to eat in Singapore before you die. I know there are still dozens of dishes in Singapore that are true to our heritage, but if I were to cover them all, this list would take you two years to finish reading.
As a Singaporean, there is no excuse not to try these dishes we all grew up with. As a tourist, this is a good check-list of authentic local cuisine in Singapore that you must eat when you visit.
1. Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶 lit. Meat Bone Tea/ Pork Ribs Soup)
One of the many stories of the invention of Bak Kut Teh is that during the olden days of Singapore, a poor, starving beggar came by a roadside pork noodle store to beg for food. The stall owner was in poverty but wanted to help him.
He boiled some of the leftover pork bones and added whatever cheap spices he had to flavour the soup, including star anise and pepper which created a soup that resembled tea in terms of colour. Thus, pork bone tea was born. Another story claims that it was a tonic invented to ‘reinvigorate’ the Chinese coolies who worked in the Clark Quay area.
Bak Kut Teh has been around in Singapore since we were still a developing country and deserves its recognition as a simple, humble dish. Most of the Bak Kut Teh here are of the pepper variety with mild use of herbs like star anise.
Choose pork rib meat in your soup for a more tender bite. The other variant would be the Klang Bak Kut Teh, a dark and highly flavoured herbal soup originating from Malaysia.
Best Bak Kut Teh Stalls: 7tc2a0