Yes, Singapore, East Asia‘s archetype of blandness had to find something to lure in those flying the Kangaroo route, and that something is most likely food. Or, a gentle reminder of where you are. No, it’s definitely food.
If Collateral Lettuce’s aim wasn’t clear enough, food is a priority for me. During my first visit to Singapore in 2004, I had what is still easily one of the best dishes I’ve eaten while there, chili crab with fried mantou. Since then, because I don’t like southern Chinese (namely, Fujian and Guangdong provinces) cooking, my culinary tour has centered on Little India, kaya toast and a Japanese-style food hall at the Ngee Ann City shopping center.
But there’s one place I left out- hawker centres, the open-air cheap food complexes in which the city-state prides itself. In other words, if there’s a storm passing through, you (and your meal) will know about it. You know what else you’ll quickly learn after a visit to these Singaporean staples,? They definitively aren’t street food vendors.
Where is the street food anyway?
THAT is rare evidence of street food (from October 2006), consumed across the street from Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay. That Bay Area-influenced slice of Wonder Bread was unusually folded around a brick of mango ice cream, which disappointingly also reeked of durian. I never came across it again, so maybe the joke’s on me.
I expected to see street carts all over the place, but in a city (somehow) well-known for being sanitary, their presence might defeat the purpose. In any case, for a city so fond of eating, as with Hong Kong, sometimes all I want is rotisserie chicken on-the-go.
Familiar with the Singapore food scene?