(SPOT.ph) You almost can't run out of places to eat in Singapore. It is paradise for anyone with a voracious appetite, what with its long history and multicultural population that make for an especially diverse national cuisine. It's only right that it be celebrated—for which reason the country holds the annual Singapore Food Festival, aiming to shine the spotlight on Singapore's rich culture of all things food and drink.
With help from the Singapore Tourism Board, the SPOT.ph team got to fly to Lion City and try some of its edible icons.
These classic dishes are a great intro to Singaporean food:
We got to hit up Keng Eng Kee a.k.a. KEK Seafood, the famed zi char spot that's gotten the thumbs-up approval of the likes of Anthony Bourdain. Here, fresh and succulent crabs are transformed into punchy plates of Black Pepper Crabs and Chili Crabs, both brimming with flavor in their respective directions (i.e. peppery and soulful-spicy). Another must-try is the Coffee Pork Ribs, where a sticky coffee glaze lends its robustness and sweetness to the juicy pork within. And for your dose of noods—the food kind, we mean—the Moonlight Hor Fun is bound to satisfy. For this unctuous dish, chewy rice noodles are tossed in glossy, deeply savory sauce, then given extra richness with a raw egg you're meant to stir in while it's hot. Mix them all together and slurp away.
For a taste of a quintessential S'porean breakfast, hitting up Ya Kun Kaya Toast is a must. Kaya toast, of course, refers to the dish of toast sandwiching a filling of butter and kaya—the Southeast Asian spread of coconut milk, sugar, and egg. Here comes the plot twist: while the toast bit is on the sweet side, its usual partner-in-crime comes in the form of soft-boiled eggs in all their velvety glory. Crack them into a bowl, drizzle soy sauce and sprinkle white pepper over, and get dipping with the toasts—you'll see how savory and sweet worlds come together into a surprising whole.
And for a savory nightcap, you can't miss the street food scene at Lau Pa Sat. Folks of all ages and backgrounds flock to the hawker center come night time for their satay—we're talking everything from prawns to beef to chicken, all grilled such that the interiors are juicy and the outsides are subtly smoky.