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Singapore / Food

Indian

All Indian cooking is characterised by its complex use of spices to make its staple curries, although there is a basic difference between the eating styles of North and South India.

South India is the home of hot curries, rice, coconut milk, rice-flour breads and the simple Hindu vegetarian fare. Visitors to Singapore enjoy eating from a banana leaf using their right hand. Fish head curry is another popular favourite.

North India depends on wheat rather than rice, more meat is eaten and its

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Malay / Indonesian

Malay food employs a galaxy of spices to give it its characteristically piquant, spicy flavour The most important of these are belacan (prawn paste), chilli, coriander, cumin, ginger root, lemon grass, tamarind, turmeric, saffron and star anise. Coconut cream and palm sugar are also extensively used. Satay, barbecued spiced meat threaded on a skewer and served with peanut sauce, is a Malay dish which is a Singapnrean favourite.

Malay and indonesian cuisines have traded influences down the centuries —Nasi Padanq (curried meat and vegetable dishes eaten with rice) originated from West Sumatra, while other popular dishes such as Gado, Gado, and Soto Ayam are of Javanese origin.

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Nonya

Nonya or Peranakan food, is the closest Singapore has to an indigenous cuisine, combining Chinese, Malay and other influences. Invented by the Peranakans,a people whose heritage stems from inter-marriages between early Chinese settlers and local Malay women as far back as the 15th century, Peranakan cuisine combines the culinary skills and tastes of these two cultures. It features Chinese ingredients —vegetables, sauces and pork - prepared with local spices such as belacan, chilli and coconut cream. Examples are laksa (a delicious noodle dish served in a spicy coconut gravy), and batik keluak (stuffed Indonesian nuts cooked with chicken). Nonya cooking requires much preparation and time - certainly not easy to reproduce in commercial quantities - although some of Singapore’s Peranakan restaurants come close to producing real Nonya home cooking.

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Seafood

Singapore has a well-deserved reputation for its fresh seafood ?anyone leaving without sampling its famous chili crab, smothered in chilli flavoured tomato sauce, is missing one of the world’s great treats.

Lobster, crayfish, prawns, huge seabass, delicate pomfret, tuna and snapper ?all are brought to the table steamed or fried and bathed in delicate sauces to bring out the fresh flavour. Squid is another favourite ?steamed or deep-fried in a special black sauce. The result is a sweet, slightly crunchy dish which is hard to resist.

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Other Asian Food

There are more than 30 Japanese restaurants in Singapore, offering traditional favourites in typically Japanese surroundings. Thai food, with its spicy fragrance, is increasingly popular and is available in many restaurants.

Other popular Asian cuisines to be found in Singapore are those of Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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Western Food

Swiss, French, Italian, Russian, Mexican, German, Austrian, American, Middle Eastern, whatever your taste in food, you will find it in Singapore and in establishments that provide everything from best food fancy dining.

The premier hotel restaurants here compare favourably with the best in Europe local chefs regularly walk away with the top awards from international culinary competitions.

However, there are more and more independent a Western restaurants opening their doors in Singapore. Italian restaurants are particularly plentiful and popular, but visitors wanting a particular cuisine need only check the local newspapers or telephone book to find out where to go.

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Hawker Food

Hawker food is the most popular cuisine in Singapore, a feast of Chinese, Malay and Indian dishes, served hygienically from tiny stalls for as little as S$2 or S$.3 a dish, although seafood is generally more expensive.

Prices of food are clearly marked and several centres operate almost around the clock. All hawker centres feature stalls selling beer, soft drinks, coffee and tea. Fresh tropical fruit is abundant and can either be eaten sliced or passed through a juicer for drinking.

Hawker centres can be found all over Singapore. There are dozens of hawker centres in and around the city centre —the Newton Food Centre at Newton Circus and the Chinatown Complex in South Bridge Road.

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Places to Eat

Many of Singapore’s finest restaurants are in hotels, but there are a growing number of independent establishments springing up all over the city ? many of them in restored shop houses, godowns and the older parts of the city. These offer a fine Singaporean ambience with the quaintness of the shop-houses and godowns enhancing the flavour of the food.

Alkali MansionThis spacious Mansion, once the party house of the wealthy Alkaff family, has now become a restaurant offering elegant dining and wonderful views of the Singapore sky line. Specialities include rijstafel, a feast of 13 spicy and aromatic courses inspired by the Indonesians and Dutch. Tiffin lunch, high tea and dinner are served in a large dining room filled with antiques. An extensive a La carte menu offers Western and Asian dishes.

Boat Quay
Dine al fresco on the banks of the Singapore River at any one of over 20 restaurants. Italian, Indian, Indonesian, American, seafood and fastfood can be found in this very popular spot.

Bugis Street/Bugis Village
A new version of Asia's most talked about street, re-created with even more attractions. Dine at a restaurant or try the excellent hawker food, either in air conditioned comfort or out in the open. Then take in the nightlife —‘live?on the streets or in one of the clubs that feature Broadway-style cabaret or sharp local humour.

Clarke Quay
From Asian to Continental and Japanese to its own Satav Club, the emphasis here is on outdoor dining. Clarke Quay has a 18-stall food court and more than a dozen outlets, ranging from full-service restaurants to an oyster bar.

Cuppage Place
Just off Orchard Road, this is one of Singapore’s oldest outdoor eating areas. Dine under the trees at restaurants housed in old Peranakan shop-houses and take your pick from Chinese, Indian or Thai fare.

Holland Village
Mexican, Spanish, Indian, French, British pub fare, plus Nonya, Indian, Malay and Chinese hawker fare ?this suburban enclave only 15 minutes from the city has an atmosphere all its own. With its upmarket pubs and wine bars, Holland Village has become a favourite haunt for ‘yuppies" and expatriates.

Katong
Long known for its old-style coffee shops located in prewar shop houses and furnished with marble-top tables and bentwood chairs, Katong is now also home to excellent Korean and Indonesian restaurants in addition to its famed Nonya delicacies.

Lau Pa Sat Festival Market
Right in the citys financial district, this Festival Market is the largest remaining Victorian filigree structure in Southeast Asia. Home to modern hawker stalls, restaurants and kiosks selling arts and handicrafts, the market is an elegant, octagonal cast-iron structure, originally constructed in 1894 from pieces shipped out of Scotland. It was formerly a fish market before becoming Telok Ayer Food Market. Lan Pa Sat now offers live entertainment, while mobile hawker stalls come out at night in nearby Boon Tat Street to sell a delicious array of food.

Malay Village
Enjoy delicious Malay and Indonesian cuisine at Medan Sate, an open air food court, or in a cosy kampung ambience at Restoran Temenggung

Orchard Road District
Apart from the many excellent restaurants to be found in the Orchard Road hotels, nearby shopping complexes have been colonised by Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Italian, Korean, Mexican and American establishments.

Peranakan Place
An "old" street just off Orchard Road which is lined with Peranakan shophouses. Seafood, Continental and Malay restaurants are to be found here.

Tanjong Pagar
An "old" street just off Orchard Road which is lined with Peranakan shophouses. Seafood, Continental and Malay restaurants are to be found here.

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