Singapore has no national dish – but that’s because it has any number of dishes that could happily qualify for that title. As many travellers never graduate beyond extremely predictable fried rice and noodle plates, here’s our selection of five of the best things to try.
Satay A mainly Malay dish of mini-kebabs on twig-like sticks, barbecued over coals and eaten dipped in a peanut-based sauce, accompanied by glutinous rice cakes and cucumber and onion slices.
Fish-head curry Many Indian restaurants offer this fiery stew containing a large fish head – eyes and all; the cheeks are the best bits.
Chicken rice Widely available at hawker centres, this Hainanese speciality features steamed chicken served atop rice cooked in chicken stock, served up with chicken consommé – the simplest of concepts, but incredibly satisfying.
Chilli crab Whole crabs wok-fried and served in a gloopy gravy made with tomato, chilli, garlic and a little egg. It’s mainly served at seafood outlets, though some ordinary Chinese restaurants offer it too.
Laksa A Peranakan classic of rice noodles, prawns and other morsels steeped in a rich, spicy, curried coconut soup; not hard to find at hawker centres and food courts.

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