Top 5 ways to eat like a local in Singapore

Last updated 12:19 28/03/2014
Tian Tian Chicken Rice
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SIMPLE BUT DELICIOUS: Chicken Rice from Tian Tian.

Chef Tetsuya
TETSUYA'S TIPS: Chef Tetsuya at Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.

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Been to Singapore? Had the chilli crab and Singapore Noodles. You've missed out. According to celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda those dishes are "overdone."

So what should you eat? Luckily Tetsuya has given us a list of the tastiest places to try fresh local Singaporean food - from street food to five star dining.

Here are his top tips. Just don't tell everyone.


Simmered chicken with rice and sauce with ginger, chilli and garlic. The best part? This dish will only set you back about $4-$5 and you can dine outside.

"It so simple but so delicious," Tetsuya says. "The Tian, Tian food court is the best try it."


Soy sauce goose with fried tofu or steamed fish. These dishes are a little more expensive, but they are worth it, says Tetsuya.

Singapore's Chinese cuisine comes mostly from the Teochew region of China while at home it's mainly Cantonese.

You've never had Chinese like this.

"It's much more delicate, lighter. Go to Imperial Treasure on Orchard Road... It's inside the Japanese Department Store Takashimaya," Tetsuya says.

The cost for a full meal will be about $40-$50 per head.


If you really want to get a taste for Singapore then you should try eating breakfast like a local. Leave the fried eggs on the room service tray and head out to the market place.

"Opposite Tiong Bahru market there is a old bak kut teh house. It's a breakfast place. Bak kut teh is traditional cooking braised.

"Try the pork spare rib in clear soup for breakfast with rice or vegetables or steamed fish, what ever you like. It is a national dish. Traditional dish." says Tetsuya.


Fast food in Singapore can be really tasty. Avoid McDonald's and head to Toast Box. Local coffee comes strong with a dash of condensed milk but most locals go here for the Kaya Toast.

"It's fast food but properly cooked," Tetsuya says.

"There's toast, Kaya on top and then a slice of butter on top of that. The Kaya is made from reduction of coconut and pandan leaves. That's traditional Singapore toast. Not overly sweet, much less sweet than regular jam."


If you still have a hankering for Singapore crab, Tetsuya recommends ditching the chilli and adding some black-and-white pepper.

"You can taste more of the crab. You can get it everywhere but the best is East Coast in all the food courts. Every shop has it. I have been to many places, it is never terrible."

For more information on Tetsuya's real Singapore, please visit

Do you know of any more food gems in Singapore? Leave a comment.

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