Country Name:

Republic of Singapore



710.3 sq km




Parliamentary republic

Labour Force:

3.10 million (Dec 2010)

Major Industries:

Electronics, chemicals, financial services, IT and professional services,


biomedical sciences & research


Singapore Dollar SGD


5,183.7 (2011)

Singapore Residents:

3,789.3 (2011)

Ethnic Groups:

Chinese 74.1%, Malay 13.4%, Indian 9.2%, Other races 3.3%


English is the official language.


Malay is the national language.


Most Singaporeans are bilingual in English and


a second language, commonly Mandarin, Tamil or Malay.


Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Taoism and Hinduism

Mobile Phone:

143.6% penetration rate in 2010

Int. country code:


Internet Country Code:




Singaporean cuisine is indicative of the ethnic diversity of the culture of Singapore.
The food is influenced by the native Malay, the predominant Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan and Western traditions.
Here's a quick description and illustration of the typical food you find at any hawker center or food court.
Since Singaporeans love eating, feel free to disocover the big varieties of food that this lovely city offers.


Chicken Rice



It's everywhere -- at hawker stalls, food courts, luxury hotels and even at the zoo, but Singaporeans just can't get enough of it. Chicken rice is often called the "national dish" of Singapore. Steamed or boiled chicken is served atop fragrant oily rice, with sliced cucumber as the token vegetable. Variants include roasted chicken or soy sauce chicken. Don't miss out on the dipping sauces -- premium dark soy sauce, chili with garlic, and pounded ginger. Play around with different combinations to discover new tastes.


Char Kway Teow



There is no stopping Singaporeans from indulging in this high-fat hawker favorite. Flat rice noodles stir-fried with lard (for best flavor), dark and light soy sauce, chilli, de-shelled cockles, sliced Chinese sausage, bean sprouts, Chinese chives and sometimes prawns and egg. Essential to the dish is good "wok hei" or breath of wok, the qualities and tastes imparted by cooking on a wok using high heat. Many now choose to omit the cockles but char kway teow will always be incomplete without the sinfully rich fried pork lard pieces.


Katong Laksa



This is a Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese) influenced dish consisting of thick rice vermicelli in a rich, spicy coconut gravy. The soup is thick, opaque and slightly gritty from the abundance of ground dried shrimp, which gives it the umami kick. The Katong version has noodles cut into smaller lengths, so it can be easily scooped up with a spoon alone, along with a good amount of soup.


Carrot Cake



No, not the sweet Western cake loaded with orange carrots. This "carrot" is more of a white radish (daikon). Rice flour and grated radish is mixed and steamed into large slabs or cakes. These are cut up into little pieces and fried with preserved turnip, soy sauce, fish sauce, eggs, garlic and spring onions. It's amazingly good. You can have it "white" or "black" (with sweet dark soy sauce added). Also known as fried carrot cake or chye tow kueh, this grease-laden belly warmer is available at many hawker centers.


Fried Hokkien Mee



Yet another dish favored by hardworking laborers of the past. Thick yellow egg noodles mixed with rice vermicelli are cooked in a rich seafood stock, and tossed with prawns, squid, small strips of pork belly and deep-fried lard pieces. A small kalamansi lime is always given should you prefer some tangy juice to cut through the greasiness of the dish.


Chilli Crab



Another national signature, chili crab is one of the most requested dishes for anyone who comes to Singapore. There are more than a dozen ways to do crab (black pepper, salted egg yolk, cheese-baked, etc) but chili crab remains the bestseller. It's certainly not something to be consumed daintily. The spicy chili-tomato gravy tends to splatter, but crab enthusiasts love it so much, they'll mop everything up with mini mantou buns.





This is Southeast Asia's rendition of the kebab with a few unique twists. There's the peanut dip, sweet and spicy. The marinade of local spices that totally transforms the meat. The thin wooden skewers made of bamboo or stem of coconut leaves. And the refreshing sides of chopped raw cucumber and onions, along with ketupat (rice cakes steamed in woven coconut leaves). It's a joy to watch your satay being grilled over an open charcoal fire. The aroma heightens the anticipation and the enjoyment.


Nasi Lemak



Singaporeans are in love with lemak (richness bestowed by coconut cream). The Malay breakfast dish of nasi lemak (rich rice) has rice cooked in coconut milk served with a spicy sambal, fried anchovies, fried peanuts, and perhaps an egg and cucumber slices. It's simple but satisfying. The Chinese have adopted the dish and thrown in a multitude of other side dishes like sausages, fried chicken wings, luncheon meat, fish cake, and various cooked vegetables.


Roti Prata



You will find roti prata (flat bread) in practically every neighborhood in Singapore. Watch as the Indians knead and flatten an oiled ball of dough, and flip it with practised flair until the dough is a tissue-thin sheet. This is then folded into multi-layered pancakes and griddle-fried til crisp. It's usually served with curry or a sprinkle of sugar. Nowadays, prata makers get creative with all kinds of fillings and combinations -- cheese, mushroom, durian, ice cream, honey, banana, cashew nuts, and even sardines.


Kaya Toast



Kaya is a coconut custard jam, sweet and fragrant. When slathered onto thin slices of warm toast with ample butter, the sandwich it makes is simply divine. Down it with a cup of thick black coffee. Many locals have this for breakfast supplemented by two soft-boiled eggs with soy sauce and pepper.


Bubble Milk Tea



You'll see people toting sealed plastic cups of rich, milky, ice cold tea, some with little black tapioca "pearls" at the bottom. They drink it all up with extra large straws, including the pearls which add a chewy textural joy. There are many flavourings -- hazelnut milk, green apple green tea or ice blended blueberry, to name a few. Milk-free versions are also available. The name "bubble" refers not to the pearls, but to the frothy foam created while shaking the drink in a cocktail mixer, although these days many of the teas are pre-mixed and come without foam.
Bubble tea shops are everywhere. Common chains include Sweet Talk, Each-A-Cup, Gong Cha and Koi Cafe.