In Singapore, open-air restaurants are packed with noodle-slurping patrons around the clock, and lively hawker centers churn out plates of chicken rice nonstop. Dive into the city's culinary scene to discover the multicultural influences shaping Singapore's distinctive palate, sampling everything from Chinese delicacies to Indian specialties and Malaysian treats.
Kick off your tasty tour beneath the hanging lanterns of Chinatown. Your guide helps you navigate the 226 stalls of Chinatown's hawker center, the largest in Singapore, making sure you leave no rice cake or popiah (Fujian spring roll) untasted. Dig into a plate of the Singaporean favorite, chicken rice, and learn exactly what gives this simple-seeming dish its complex flavor. Try a chwee kueh (steamed rice cake), and wash it down with a glass of ice-cold sugar cane juice.
As you dine and stroll, ask questions of your guide and hear about the ingredients and preparation behind each dish you try. Walk through the wet market to see exotic produce and ingredients, and hear what old-fashioned infrastructure led Singaporeans to call their Chinatown Niu Che Sui, which means "bullock cart water." Pass by the city's oldest Hindu temple, and then continue your tastings with a cool glass of calamansi lime juice and some succulent barbecue pork. Before your tour concludes, be sure to pick up pointers from your guide on other places to try authentic local dishes and satisfy your culinary cravings during your stay.