Last updated by jenifer f at 2013-11-5
One of the most attractive elements of Singapore is the gastronomy that brings visitors from all over the world. In addition to the traditional food of the three major ethnic groups—Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian—there are dishes of many European styles, such as French, Italian, British, and many more. A wide variety of Chinese cuisines can be experienced in Singapore, such as Cantonese, Chiu Chow, Fujian, Sichuan, Shanghai, Beijing, and more styles. To find the best Chinese food, visit the luxurious Xiang Dian (for Cantonese fare), uniquely designed Song Yuan (for Beijing fare), or the fine but inexpensive West Lake Food (for Sichuan fare). To try Malaysian dishes and Indian meals with distinct flavors, visit the lavish and unique Alkcaff Mansion, an old-style and graceful Malaysian canteen with a harmonizing atmosphere; Muthu's Curry Restaurant which is famous for its fish head curry; or the curry restaurants that can be seen everywhere on the street.
For those who wish to try all kinds of delicious food from all over the world, make way to the Singapore Food Festival and World Cook Carnival held in April every year. During that time, famous cooks from all over the world get together and strut their stuff, bring incredibly varied and tasty food to the people of Singapore. To experience the open air food markets at the hawker centers, go to the food centers which are popular with visitors, such as the China Town Food Street (Bullock-cart Water Street), Lau Pa Sat district, and Katong Food Block.
In Singapore, Chinese people amount to most of the population. As a result, the variety of Chinese food is much richer than that of others and is extremely popular among Singaporean people. Among them, the most popular is Cantonese cuisine which is famous for its dramatic taste and creative efforts in producing new dishes. All the Cantonese food, from simple roast pork noodles to the elaborately-made shark fin soup and crispy BBQ suckling pig, can add an edge to your dining palate. Many restaurants in Singapore will conclude meals by bringing you Cantonese deserts, whose distinguishing feature is that they are mostly steamed or fried. In addition to Cantonese fare, there are other kinds of typical Chinese food to be found, such as crammed Beijing duck, Shanghai eel, Chiu Chow cold spiced duck, Hainanese chicken rice, Kenong Stuffed bean curd with mashed pork and shrimp, spicy Sichuan cuisine, and so on. Restaurants which are famous for its Chinese food include Xiang Dian (for Shanghai cuisine), Ming Jiang Sichuan Restaurant (for Sichuan cuisine), Yangtze River Shanghai Restaurant (for Shanghai cuisine), and Song Yuan (for Beijing cuisine. Beside, to be found are Malaysian, Indian, and Nonya food each with their own distinguishing characters. A number of Japanese restaurants can also be found, and in recent years, Thai food, famous for its spiciness, Vietnamese food, Taiwanese food, and Korean food are all gaining popularity as well.
As for seafood, Singapore is blessed with warm tropical seawater which brings about large numbers of different kinds of seafood, all of which are delicious. Visitors can enjoy lobsters, crabs, shrimps, mussels, cuttlefish, and many other kinds of seafood to their taste. Seafood is so popular that many canteens supply seafood only. Generally speaking, the seafood centers along the eastern coast sell much cheaper dishes than the restaurants in the urban areas. It can be said that the most popular seafood is chili crab, which is made by mixing the crab with chilies and tomato juice before stirring them.
In Singapore, afternoon tea is quite a popular cultural tradition. As a former British colony, cakes, sandwiches, deserts, and black tea have remained popular since the colonial times. To Singaporeans who attach great importance to food, the demand for afternoon tea is growing at a high speed. As such, the variety of afternoon tea is becoming much richer with deserts including elements as wide and varied as pastries, pizza, fried chicken, and Malaysian deserts. Different drinks include Chinese tea, black tea, coffee, soymilk, and so on. The long list reflects the uniqueness of the Singaporean food culture.
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