Singapore has become such a cosmopolitan place that it has become a challenge to find truly authentic Singaporean food beyond what is being served by hawkers. What follows is a list of local Singaporean restaurants that still remain true to the country’s culinary origins.
Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh
If you’re visiting Singapore for the first time, you can’t leave without tasting the famous bak kut teh. And the best place to try it is at Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh. Bak kut teh means pork bone tea. It’s basically pork rib stewed in tea and is considered by some as the country’s national dish. Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh has been making the classic dish since the 70s and already enjoys iconic status. And though there are plenty of restaurants serving bak kut teh in Singapore, locals always go back to Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh because of the consistent way they cook the dish: peppery and with a balanced broth and tender meat.
Beng Hiang Hokkien Restaurant
Beng Hiang has been around for a long time and is already a part of Singaporean history and culture. It was originally located on Amoy Street but was recently relocated to its current spot at Jurong East. The restaurant specializes in Hokkien cuisine. It’s a place you should go to if you’re craving for some authentic Chinese food in Singapore. And if you’re there, don’t forget to order hae cho or prawn rolls and the Hokkien mee. They also have contemporary dishes such as the stewed chicken stuffed with lotus nuts. It’s a popular place so come early.
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Hainanese chicken rice is another dish that you must try in Singapore. And the best place to taste it is at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. The restaurant achieved global recognition recently when it was included by Michelin in their guide for 2016 and 2017. The restaurant was already a popular spot even before the Michelin inclusion. But after that, its popularity simply exploded. So to have a taste of the world-famous dish, you need to stand in line for a considerable length of time. It will be worth it though once the plate of steamed chicken with oily rice is already in front of you.
Don’t know where to get the best chili crab in Singapore? Then why don’t you go to where it all began. According to Mr. Roland of Roland Restaurant, the famous dish was actually a creation of his parents, Mr. Lim Choon Ngee & Mdm Cher Yam Tian. He also said that they are one of only a few restaurants in Singapore who are serving the authentic version of the dish, which doesn’t have eggs and sambal. So you really can’t say you’ve tried authentic chili crab until you’ve tried the one from Rolan Restaurant.
If you really want to know Singapore then you must acquaint yourself with Peranakan culture. Peranakans are the first Chinese people to settle in Malaysia and Indonesia. Sinpopo specializes in Peranakan cuisine. They are also famous for their cakes and desserts. The owners of Sinpopo are on a mission to preserve Peranakan cuisine by serving authentic Peranakan dishes.