Sarah Huang Benjamin notes that those visiting Singapore can enjoy Singaporean signature dish chicken rice with or without chicken.
Huang Benjamin, a prominent Singapore food blogger, told a Singapore Tourism Board webinar that she finds it “very gratifying” to see the growth of plant-based cuisine in Singapore, noting that restaurant goers can dine on chicken rice that has a plant-based chicken alternative.
And that sort of dish underscores the creativity found in Singapore’s food scene, she said.
“Singaporeans love nothing more than to eat and talk about food,” Huang Benjamin continued.
Rachel Loh, the Singapore Tourism Board’s senior vice-president for the Americas, in turn said dining is “practically Singapore’s national sport.”
Singapore’s food scene primarily results from Indian, Malaysian and Chinese influences in a part of the world that’s also a meeting point for Eastern and Western cultures, with local cooking enthusiast Ruqxana Vasanwala noting that “hybrid” dishes that borrow elements from the different cuisines are common. For instance, noodles – a Chinese offering – are now found in the other cultures’ cuisines.
“Food is so much part of our culture…,” she said. “It’s really amazing how food evolves in Singapore.” Huang Benjamin praised Singapore’s “hawker culture,” which sees food served inexpensively and quickly and recently was awarded the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage award. The destination’s numerous hawker centers offer food stalls that feature inexpensive meals. “You can find the most traditional dishes from our cultures,” Huang Benjamin said.
Michelin-starred restaurants also await those vacationing in Singapore.
Vasanwala offers visitors classes in her house that teach visitors how to prepare Singaporean dishes, stating that it’s wonderful to visit someone’s home and learn how to cook.
This year will see the Singaporean Food Festival run from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12, with those interested able to view it virtually. The festival says those attending virtually have a chance to “learn from the best.”
Huang Benjamin added that Singapore – home to the Singapore sling cocktail – also has a lively bar scene, with one option for night owls bearing the catchy name of No Sleep Club.
Loh said Singapore has vaccinated a very large percentage of its population against coronavirus and is looking forward to the return of tourists.
Vasanwala also said she’ll welcome the return of visitors, saying Singapore “feels empty” without them.