Malaysians Share 6 Yummy Dishes That They Miss Most In Singapore


Faruq Senin •  Sep 07, 2021

[Updated: 20 Sep 2021 The Singapore Food Festival has ended but you can still head over to their website to watch masterclasses and enjoy virtual experiences!]

As travel plans are currently on hold due to the pandemic, many of you probably miss travelling. With awesome tourist spots like Universal Studios Singapore, Kampong Gelam and Sentosa, Singapore is one destination that many Malaysians hope to return to when the borders reopen. When visiting Singapore, your trip will not be complete without savouring its mouthwatering local food. Lucky for you, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) is happening from 27 August to 12 September 2021, so you can fuel your wanderlust and reminisce about your travels in Singapore! Look out for more than 50 gastronomic experiences such as live masterclasses by well-known chefs, recipe videos, walking tours, virtual experiences and more! We’ve compiled a list of 6 Singaporean dishes which you might have missed and where to find some of them at the Singapore Food Festival!

Singapore food you might have missed (and where to find some of them at the Singapore Food Festival!)

1. Chilli crab - get your Singapore-style seafood fix at SFF

Credit: Singapore Tourism Board

Need we say more? Chilli crab is definitely one of Singapore’s most iconic dishes and the sauce is what makes it a star. This world-famous dish started off from a seaside pushcart in the mid-1950s by Cher Yam Tian when she added bottled chilli sauce to her stir-fried crabs instead of tomato sauce, her usual ingredient. With spicy, sweet and savoury flavours all in one, chilli crab is so addictive that you’ll be licking your fingers after every bite. Besides the juicy flesh of the crab that goes so well with the sauce, the mantou (deep-fried buns) are a perfect treat too.

Credit: Tiffin At Home

While you’ll have to wait till borders reopen to get a taste of chilli crab, you can still enjoy a taste of Singapore, thanks to a collaboration between Chocha restaurant in KL and Singapore’s Laut restaurant during SFF. If you’re living in Klang Valley, you can get their dishes delivered to your home as part of the “Tiffin at Home” campaign. This partnership between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Malaysia’s Tiffin brings together chefs from both countries to curate a series of collaborative four-hands menus. These pay tribute to Singapore's most celebrated culinary names with cross-cultural influences. There are two collaborations to look forward to :

a) From 9-11 September: Taking inspiration from South East Asian flavours and ingredients, the Chocha (Malaysia) x Laut (Singapore) menu pays homage to the region’s sea-faring heritage and the natural richness of her seas.

b) From 16-18 September: Meet Kikubari (Malaysia) and NOKA by Tippling Club (Singapore)—the spirited, progressive Japanese duo. Centred around the freshest produce, this menu highlights a classic yet super versatile dish, the Chirashizushi (scattered sushi), a perennial crowd-pleaser, with a delicate simplicity that represents every chef’s approach towards the sushi rice seasoning and ingredients. This menu is a playful interpretation on NOKA's chirashi kaizen don, with the Tamago that comes with the chirashi being presented as a sando.

You can pre-order your meal kit and find out more about “Tiffin at Home” on their website.

Note: The Tiffin at Home campaign has ended.

2. Kaya toast and kopi - reminisce this classic Singaporean breakfast at SFF

Credit: Singapore Tourism Board

Having kaya toast and kopi at a local coffee shop is the classic Singaporean breakfast. Picture this - you’re on vacation in Singapore and you start your morning with 2 slices of toast with a generous spread of butter and kaya (homemade coconut jam), soft-boiled eggs and a cup of hot kopi (or teh). It doesn’t get any better than this! To recreate your own Singaporean breakfast at home, check out Old School Cool: Egg Tarts and Kopi Appreciation, a masterclass on the SFF website. Learn about the laborious coffee roasting and making process from Chef Jason Soon from Singapore’s renowned coffee supplier Kim Guan Guan as well as how to make artisanal egg tarts from Chef Ana Fong of Tong Heng Delicacies.

3. Nasi Padang - relive the comforting taste of Nasi Padang at SFF

Credit: Singapore Tourism Board

Nasi Padang came to Singapore's shores from Indonesia, brought by Minangkabau settlers from the Sumatra region. However, over time it has evolved to suit local tastes and became synonymous with Singapore cuisine. Today, you’ll find Nasi Padang eateries that serve a mixture of Malay and Indonesian-style dishes eaten alongside rice. One place that still serves authentic Nasi Padang is none other than Rumah Makan Minang! With a history that dates back to the 1950s, the must-tries here are their beef rendang, paru belado, ayam gulai padang and more.

What’s more, for this year’s SFF, you can catch a live masterclass by the eatery’s third-generation business owner Chef Ariff Zin. He’ll be whipping up a fusion Padang-style burrito stuffed with traditional components of chicken gulai and acar Padang laced with green chilli balado and rendang sauce. Find out more on the SFF website.

4. Mouthwatering desserts - enjoy a taste of Singapore’s sweet treats at SFF

Credit: Uncle Chieng on Facebook

Whether it’s yummy baked goods from Konditori, cendol soft serve from Overrun or the iconic ice-cream uncle at Orchard Road, these are some things that our HHWT Malaysian readers remember about Singapore. If you miss savouring Singapore’s desserts, you can have a taste of Singapore with LiHO’s special SFF drinks from 27 Aug to 8 Oct! The bubble tea chain is Singapore’s first homegrown freshly brewed tea brand and there are 3 outlets in Malaysia: SS2 Outlet (Petaling Jaya), Mid Valley Mall (KL) and R&F Mall (Johor Bahru).

Credit: LiHO Singapore on Facebook

For a taste of Singapore in one mouthful, get their Singa-Pandan Shake, an icy pandan milkshake with salted caramel drizzle, topped with caramelised biscuit crunch. (Medium, RM10.90, Large, RM11.90)

Credit: LiHO Singapore on Facebook

If you prefer something refreshing instead, their Singa-Pandan Lime will be perfect. This mix of floral aroma and limeade tea would be just what you need to quench your thirst! (Medium, RM8.90, Large, RM9.90) To get a taste of these drinks, be sure to get them from your nearest LiHO outlet! Or join the giveaway for Malaysians on our Facebook page to stand a chance to win either of the drinks!

P.S. Those of you in Brunei will also be able to get these exclusive drinks too.

Credit: Singapore Food Festival

Alternatively, you can also be your own Chef at home and whip up some Goreng Pisang Parfait, thanks to a masterclass on the Singapore Food Festival’s website! Although Goreng Pisang is a much-loved dessert in both Singapore (and Malaysia too!), Singaporean pastry Chef Mohamed Al-Matin elevates it by topping it with parfait and salted caramel sauce. Check out Masterclass Session 10: Melt-in-your-Mouth Moments, Goreng Pisang Parfait on the SFF website.

5. Murtabak

Although variations of murtabak can be found throughout Southeast Asia, Singapore’s version is unique! This heavenly combination of dough stuffed with minced meat, eggs and onions then fried to a perfect crisp is worth travelling for. Zam Zam and Victory restaurants are unbeatable when it comes to serving some of the best murtabak in Singapore. The two household names near Sultan Mosque have been serving murtabak for generations. Some of our Malaysian readers told us they also miss the “murtabak rusa” (venison murtabak) from Zam Zam, which is a specialty of the eatery. When Malaysian and Bruneian travellers visit Singapore for your future trip, make sure that murtabak is on your list of must-try eats!

6. Hainanese chicken rice

You can’t say you’ve been to Singapore without trying its local hawker food and Hainanese chicken rice is a must-try at hawker centres! Created by immigrants from China’s Hainan, it’s regarded as one of Singapore’s national dishes. Whether you like your chicken steamed or roasted, the taste is irresistible when served with a plate of fragrant chicken rice and topped with chilli and soy sauce. For your future Singapore trip, be sure to check out Evertop, TFF Boneless Chicken Rice and more halal stalls serving Hainanese chicken rice! Malaysian and Bruneian travellers, you’ll definitely want to savour Hainanese chicken rice when you visit Singapore in the future!

7. Singapore Food Festival is happening from 27 August to 12 September 2021

Singapore’s annual culinary festival is back and just like last year, you can enjoy its offerings virtually from the comfort of your home. Learn how to create exquisite Singaporean fusion dishes from renowned chefs, take a virtual tour along Singapore’s streets or buy exclusive food products that’ll remind you of the Garden City. Plus, you can also get Singapore food delivered to your doorstep with the “Tiffin at Home” campaign, a collaboration between Singaporean and Malaysian chefs or order LiHO’s SFF-exclusive drinks.

Note: While SFF has ended, you can still catch up on masterclasses and recipe videos on SFF's website and get the limited edition LiHO drinks till 8 October 2021!

As you wait for the borders to reopen, it’s time to feed your wanderlust with the best of Singapore’s culinary experiences!

This article is brought to you by the Singapore Tourism Board.