One of Singapore’s favourite pastimes is enjoying great food — and that means great access to food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Featured as a Food Culture Mini-Build gift with purchase promotion in Singapore by LEGO, this unique food culture and national identity of Singapore is made available from June onwards across various stores each week featuring a different build. What’s more important is that these snacks and dishes not only taste good, but their LEGO incarnations look pretty sweet, too!
The pushcart food stall is a scene you see less often these days with the modernisation of a bustling city. Because of its size, this portable ‘kitchen-on-a-cart’ basically hosts all ingredients to prepare and dish out a particular type of local delicacy or snack. Imagine a row of these parked side by side — with choices like these during your lunch break, you’ll never go hungry.
If you’re wondering what’s so significant about a set of a seating area, this little build deserves a little explanation and is one to definitely be aware of if you ever step on this city island! In public food courts or hawker centres especially where it’s rush hour and insufficient seating space, there is an unwritten rule where if you leave your tiny packet of tissues on the table, it’s a sign that these seats have been territorially ‘reserved’ while you go get your food from the stalls. In short, your seat is guaranteed when you have your hands full and ready to dig in! In local lingo, you use the word ‘chope’ as in “to reserve”.
I’ve yet to hear of a guest in town that I’ve entertained who didn’t enjoy Chilli Crabs in Singapore. It’s so famous that it’s actually a National Dish promoted by the local Tourism Board. It’s a must-try on your list of things to do if you step foot in town to tingle your taste buds. The crabs are stir-fried and served with a chilli-based gravy that’s guaranteed to make you want more. And though it’s labelled as chilli, it’s actually not as spicy as one would imagine but leaves a sweeter, yet savoury lingering taste.
This next set of savoury snacks is made of colourful layered soft rice flour pudding, also better known as “Kueh Lapis” or in literal translation Layered Cakes, which come in a multitude of colours. The red oval has a more interesting direct translation basically known as the “Red Tortoise Cake” or only known as Ang Ku Kueh locally. Its outer skin is made of glutinous rice flour which is soft and sticky with sweet fillings in the centre.
The final set of dishes is typically served for breakfast, but can be consumed any time of the day as a light snack. A cup of local coffee, two half-boiled eggs, and slices of bread served with a spread of kaya’ whose ingredients are made of coconut milk, eggs, sugar and pandanus leaf extracts and a slab of butter. Yummy!