If you Google Singapore one of the first things mentioned on any website is how it is famous for food. Now, while I like Asian cuisine in the UK I was a little nervous about the food in Singapore, particularly because I am not a fan of fish or seafood so I anticipated this “amazing food” was perhaps not catered towards me.
Truthfully I am still getting used to the food in our campus (we have no cooking facilities so must buy our food). There is quite a large selection and the food is REALLY cheap (I’m talking about less than £2 for most meals) but I’m not convinced the meat is of particularly great quality, but then it is a canteen after all.
After sampling this I have also ventured to a “Hawker Centre”. This is an area usually alongside a massive shopping centre that contains many little stalls which serve something like streetfood, all local cuisine. Some of the things on offer seemed rather daunting, with things like turtle soup and stingray, so I opted for Char Kway Teow, a popular noodle dish. This dish contains flat noodles (they look like tagliatelle) stir fried with a mixture of ingredients such as chilli, soy sauce, oysters and a few others that I couldn’t even guess at! My friends had a few other dishes, for example fried carrot cake (not as bad as it sounds, there are no carrots and it’s more like an omelette!) and sugarcane juice.
While the food at the Hawker Centre was okay, I still wasn’t convinced this was the best food in the world. I managed to join a small group of international students that visited a local’s house to have a true Singaporean home cooked meal. Here I finally found some local food I really enjoyed. Indian food is quite common here and we were served Indian curry with spicy rice. I don’t want to be the stereotypical Brit that loves curries but this was one of the best meals I’ve eaten here! Furthermore there was melon soup and baby squid which I was less keen on. Another soup, mutton soup, I fell in love with. It is a spicy Indian soup containing mutton, meat from a sheep.
Other than these dishes we were also served desserts, which unsurprisingly turned out to be one of my favourites. We were served a dish that reminded me of rice pudding back at home, except the rice was black. The dish is called Bubur Pulut Hitam and the rice is boiled for several hours, palm sugar is added to sweeten the dish and then coconut milk is poured on the top. It was delicious. Furthermore we were able to taste some of the local fruits for example longan, dragon fruit, star fruit and my personal favourite mangosteen, which is very sweet.
Finally to top off the night we had local ice cream, potong. These are just like regular ice lollies, except they contain pieces of food that they are flavoured with inside. Not knowing what any of the flavours were, I chose chendol and red bean, which had pieces of bean inside. I found this quite strange so I wasn’t the biggest fan of this dessert, but some of my friends tried sweetcorn flavour, with actual pieces of corn inside, so I guess I could have chosen worse!
Overall I don’t think I have comepletely adjusted to the food here yet, but I have definitely found a few favourites items I would love to be able to cook at home! Perhaps if I can find a local Chinese supermarket…