For taste and value, the inexpensive cooking served up by stalls in hawker centres and at the roadside diners called kopitiams simply can’t be beaten. While not the healthiest food you could eat – much of it is fried, and cooks use salt and sugar liberally – it is likely to form an abiding and highly favourable impression of Singapore cuisine.

Perhaps the most basic meal is mixed rice (nasi campur in Malay), widely served up by Chinese, Malay and some Indian stalls; you’ll instantly recognize it by the trays of stir-fries and stews behind the glass. Order simply by pointing at what you fancy, and expect plenty of entertaining culinary cross-fertilization – the Chinese stalls all serve curry, the Indian stalls have tofu, and so on. It’s best had at mealtimes when the dishes will be freshly prepared, though food never really goes cold in Singapore’s climate, so will be palatable at any time of day.

Otherwise, stalls offer literally dozens of classic one-plate rice and noodle dishes, plus other, more elaborate dishes.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Singapore features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to stay in Singapore: an area by area guide

Where to stay in Singapore: an area by area guide

An easy entry-point for first-time visitors to Southeast Asia, the absorbing city-state of Singapore has evolved from a colonial port into a slick shrine to wea…

22 Oct 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: 17 things not to miss in Singapore

Video: 17 things not to miss in Singapore

Singapore has many sides. You can take in Little India, Arab Street and Chinatown before heading for a cosmopolitan night out hosted by some of the world's top …

04 Feb 2015 • Site Editor videocam Video
20 unforgettable things to do at night on your travels

20 unforgettable things to do at night on your travels

Twilight ballooning in Albuquerque, New Mexico Few sights are more magical than hundreds of tethered, glowing hot-air balloons illuminating a dusky night sky. …

12 May 2014 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month