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10 Local Singapore Dishes We Bet You Didn't Know About

10 Local Singapore Dishes We Bet You Didn’t Know About

10 Local Singapore Dishes We Bet You Didn't Know About

No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article

  • Hawker Heaven: Singapore offers a delectable array of local hawker dishes, tempting your taste buds on every corner.
  • Unique Fusion Flavors: Enjoy a blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Peranakan influences in dishes like Laksa, Hainanese Chicken Rice.
  • Seafood Spectacle: Dive into Singapore’s culinary ocean with Fish Head Steamboat, a flavorful and communal hotpot featuring fish head.
  • Oyster Omelette: Try the savory Teochew-style Oyster Omelette, crispy on the outside, soft inside, and brimming with flavor.
  • Culinary Masterpiece: Hakka Abacus Seeds, a labor of love, transforms simple ingredients into intricate, chewy, and flavorful morsels.
  • Culinary Time Machine: Peranakan Chap Chye, a captivating dish, offers a delicious journey through the centuries of Singapore’s history.


Singapore, a melting pot of cultures, is renowned for its culinary diversity. From hawker centres to Michelin-starred restaurants, the food scene here is nothing short of spectacular. But beyond the usual Char Kway Teow and Hainanese Chicken Rice, there are dishes that are less mainstream but equally deserving of your attention. Ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure? Let’s dive in!

1. Fish Head Steamboat

Fish Head Steamboat is a comforting dish that warms the soul, especially on rainy Singaporean evenings. Unlike the typical steamboat, this one features a fish head as the star ingredient. The broth is meticulously prepared, often with a blend of secret herbs and spices, and allowed to simmer for hours. The result is a rich, flavourful soup that perfectly complements the tender fish meat. This dish is a testament to Singapore’s culinary ingenuity, turning something as simple as a fish head into a delicacy.

2. Hakka Abacus Seeds

Hakka Abacus Seeds, or “Suan Pan Zi,” are a lesser-known Singaporean dish with a rich cultural history. Made from yam and tapioca flour, these chewy “seeds” are often stir-fried with minced meat, mushrooms, and various vegetables. The dish is not just a feast for the palate but also a nod to the abacus, symbolising prosperity and wealth. It’s a dish that perfectly encapsulates the fusion of tradition and flavour that Singapore is known for.

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3. Teochew Cold Crab

Teochew Cold Crab is a dish that may raise eyebrows but is a hidden gem in Singapore’s culinary landscape. The crab is steamed to perfection, then chilled and served cold, allowing the natural sweetness of the meat to shine through. Often accompanied by a tangy dipping sauce, this dish is a refreshing change from the usual chilli or pepper crab. It’s a must-try for seafood aficionados looking for something different.

4. Peranakan Chap Chye

Peranakan Chap Chye is a mixed vegetable stew that showcases the intricate flavours of Peranakan cuisine. The dish combines cabbage, mushrooms, bean curd sticks, and prawns in a tamarind-based gravy. The medley of ingredients creates a complex flavour profile that is both sweet and sour, with a hint of spiciness. This dish is a beautiful representation of Singapore’s multicultural culinary heritage.

5. Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun

While Dim Sum is no stranger to Singaporeans, the Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun remains an underrated star. The bun is soft and fluffy, but the real magic lies in the molten salted egg yolk custard that oozes out upon the first bite. The combination of sweet and salty creates a flavour explosion that is simply irresistible. It’s a dish that proves that sometimes, the best things come in small packages.

6. White Pepper Alaskan King Crab

The White Pepper Alaskan King Crab is a luxurious take on the traditional white pepper crab. The use of Alaskan King Crab elevates the dish, making it a decadent treat. The crab is stir-fried in a robust white pepper sauce that complements its natural sweetness. It’s a dish that’s perfect for special occasions or when you’re in the mood to indulge.


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7. Oyster Omelette “Orh Luak”

Oyster Omelette, locally known as “Orh Luak,” is a dish that’s often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts. The omelette is crispy on the edges but soft and gooey on the inside, filled with plump, juicy oysters. The dish is usually served with a tangy chilli sauce that cuts through the richness, making each bite a delightful experience.

8. Bak Kut Teh with Sea Cucumber

Bak Kut Teh is a familiar dish, but have you tried it with sea cucumber? This unique combination adds a new dimension to the herbal or peppery pork rib soup. The sea cucumber not only enhances the texture but also infuses the broth with additional nutrients. It’s a comforting dish that’s both delicious and nourishing.

9. Mee Sua with Pig’s Kidney

Mee Sua with Pig’s Kidney is a dish that may not be for the faint-hearted but is a delicacy in its own right. The thin wheat vermicelli is served in a clear, flavourful broth, accompanied by thinly sliced pig’s kidney. The dish is often consumed during special occasions and is believed to have health benefits.

10. Thunder Tea Rice

Thunder Tea Rice, or “Lei Cha,” is a Hakka dish that’s both nutritious and delicious. The dish consists of rice served with a variety of vegetables and topped with a green tea-based soup. The soup is made from a blend of tea leaves, herbs, and nuts, creating a unique flavour that’s both refreshing and invigorating. It’s the perfect dish for health-conscious individuals looking to try something new.


So there you have it—10 local Singapore dishes that you probably didn’t know about but absolutely should. Each dish tells a story, a tale of cultural fusion, culinary innovation, and the sheer love for food that Singaporeans have. The next time you find yourself navigating through the bustling food scenes of Singapore, why not take a detour and try one of these hidden gems? Trust us; your taste buds will be in for a treat!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are some must-try local dishes in Singapore?

A: Singapore boasts diverse local delicacies like Fish Head Steamboat, Mee Sua with Pig’s Kidney, Chilli Crab, and more.

Q: Where can I find these lesser-known Singaporean dishes?

A: You can savor these dishes at hawker centers, local restaurants, and food stalls across the island.

Q: Are these dishes suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

A: Some, like Rojak and Kueh Tutu, are vegetarian-friendly, but many local dishes feature meat or seafood.

Q: What is the average cost of these local dishes in Singapore?

A: Prices vary, but hawker centers offer affordable options, with dishes typically ranging from SGD 3 to 15.

Q: How can I find the best places to try these dishes in Singapore?

A: Tropika Club Magazine offers a comprehensive guide with recommendations and reviews of local eateries.

Q: Are there any unique beverage options to pair with these dishes?

A: Yes, you can pair your meal with local drinks like Teh Tarik, Kopi, or a refreshing glass of sugar cane juice.

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Tropika Club Magazine – Tropika Club Magazine is a Singapore-based publication that features articles on a wide range of topics with a focus on local businesses and content for the region. The magazine emphasizes supporting local businesses through its #SupportLocal initiative, which includes coverage of everything from neighborhood hawker stalls to aesthetic clinics in town. In addition to highlighting local businesses, Tropika Club Magazine also covers a variety of local content, including beauty, lifestyle, places, eats, and what’s on in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.

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