Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. And in Singapore, one of the most delicious! Greasy sausages and crunchy cereals are off the menu here in Southeast Asia, with breakfast showcasing Singapore’s rich mix of cultures and foods. Hawker centres (as food courts are known here) open early as businessmen, school children, families, and elderly locals flock to grab delicious bites from the many stalls. Here are some of my top pics for starting your day the (true) Singaporean way…
It’s not cake. There’s no carrot. Heck, it’s not even sweet, but this tasty concoction of steamed rice flour and white radish fried up with egg, and then garnished with spring onions is simply not to be missed! You can choose from ‘white’ or ‘black’ carrot cake, the latter simply meaning it has a sweet black sauce thrown into the mix… my personal favorite!
Yes, it’s toast, we’ve all had that before, but this is one of Singapore’s greatest breakfast traditions. After all, it’s what’s inside that counts, and Kaya is absolutely delicious! It’s a green-colored sweet spread made from coconut and eggs which they smother on toast with a thick slab of butter, then serve up with half-boiled eggs (everything’s runny) and a hot cup of kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). You cannot visit Singapore without trying this.
A South Indian fermented pancake made from rice batter and lentils served alongside or wrapped around all manner of things, the best (in my opinion) being Masala Dosa which has a tasty potato curry inside. You can find it throughout Little India and at many other places in the city, but get there early as you may be laughed out of the store if it’s past 10am (they always run out)!
Translated from Chinese it means ‘water rice cake’, and you will not have a hawker breakfast in Singapore without spotting someone munching these tasty morsels. Rice flour and water are mixed and steamed in small saucers to create little ‘cakes’ which are topped with diced preserved radish and chilli. You eat them off wax paper with thin wooden sticks that are smaller than chopsticks… admittedly I have yet to master this skill!
Another Indian influenced breakfast dish. This flour-based pancake is delicious dipped into curry, or when filled with cheese, onion, egg, banana, condensed milk, or chocolate (not all at once, of course!)
This traditional Malay dish can vary a lot depending on where you pick it up, but the most typical version will be a mound of rice cooked in coconut milk surrounded by sambal (chilli sauce), ikan bilis (anchovies), peanuts, and boiled egg. Honestly, why would you ever want cornflakes again…?