By Mary Puglisi
Bak Kut Teh is a meat bone tea/pork ribs soup dish that has been a part of Singapore’s culture since it was a developing country. This simple dish is mostly found in Singapore in the pepper variety that uses mild herbs. When ordering this dish if you want a more tender meat, order the pork ribs option. Some of the best places to grab Bak Kut Teh include Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh, Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup, and Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh.
This Singapore dish was most likely influenced by the cuisine of Hong Kong, but has since become a Singapore culture staple. There a two variants of this dish, spicy or non-spicy. The spicy version uses chili and the non-spicy version uses tomato sauce. The Singapore version of Wanton Mee is normally eaten drenched in a light sweet sauce, with slices of pork char siew and wanton dumplings filled with pork and come with a small bowl of soup on the side. The best local places to pick up some Wanton Mee include Fei Fei Wanton Mee, Kok Kee Wanton Mee, and Parklane Zha Tun Mee House.
Carrot cake is often associated with the sweet American dessert; however this Singapore dish is far from that. Fried carrot cake in Singapore is made with eggs, radish and white radish flour cake which resemble a white carrot, which is how this dish got its name. This dish can be ordered in a couple of different ways. One way which it can be ordered is the “black” version which includes a sweet molasses sauce added on. The other version is a crispy version that has a cake fried on top of a beaten egg. However, neither of these versions are the ones most commonly seen in Singapore. The most commonly ordered version of fried carrot cake in Singapore is the chopped up version that has individual radish cake cubes on top. Check out one of the following places to pick up this local dish: Fu Ming Carrot Cake, Hai Sheng Carrot Cake, and a store that is literally called Carrot Cake.
By Ruth Ellison from Canberra, Australia - Chai tow kway, CC BY 2.0,
The only well-known traditional Singapore breakfast dish is kaya toast with soft boiled eggs. The classic version is made with a rectangular white loaf of bread that is toasted on a grill, it’s lathered with coconut or egg kaya and then a slice of butter is put within two slices of the warm bread. However, there are other variations of this dish that include using thinly sliced brown bread, round buns or a French baguette type of bread. The dish is seasoned with pepper and a dark or light soya sauce. The best local stores to get this traditional breakfast include Killiney Kopitiam, Chin Mee Chin, Good Morning Nanyang Cafe and Ya Kun Kaya Toast.
Photo of Toast Box Esplanade Mall is courtesy of TripAdvisor
A minced meat noodle dish, bak chor mee is typically made with either pork, liver, meatballs or fish balls, fish cake slices and a signature vinegar braised sauce. In Singapore, it is normally ordered “dry” in order to get the full flavors of the sauce. Customers are able to choose between chili or ketchup and are also able to decide what type of noodle they would like, either a flat noodle (Mee Pok) or a thin noodle (Mee Kia.) Some versions of this dish include a soup only version with homemade noodles. Some of the best places to chow down on this authentic dish include Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, 58 Minced Meat Mee, Seng Hiang Food Stall (for the soup version,) and Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodles.
Mary Puglisi is a 23-year-old with a passion for writing, adventure seeking and finding the beauty in the everyday things around us.