Singapore's hawker centres are a feast for all five senses. You can taste a mind-boggling range of flavours, all freshly prepared to order by small vendors, and now Deliveroo brings those flavours to you. Here are a few of our favourite hawker dishes to tempt you.
We'll start the list with a dish that features heavily in hawker centres and upscale restaurants alike. Chilli crab is often said to be the national dish of Singapore, beloved by just about everyone here. Traditionally, black mud crabs are used. These crabby fellows are cooked down in a chilli sauce that somehow manages to be sweet, salty and just a bit sour all at the same time. Some add tomatoes into the mix for an added hit of umami, along with blended-up chillies. At JUMBO Seafood, you'll find one of the best versions of this dish anywhere. It's spicy without overpowering your taste buds, letting the sweetness of the super-fresh crab really shine through.
Another dish that's (thankfully) everywhere is hokkien mee. This fried noodle specialty has its roots in the Fujian province of China, but local hawkers love to riff on it with their own unique recipes. The basic building blocks of a killer hokkien mee is a blend of yellow egg and white rice noodles. These are fried with egg, along with a mix of seafood and bean sprouts to give it a bit of crunch. Treat yourself to the best of the best at Geylang Lorong 29, where the chef uses charcoal fire to give it an irresistibly smoky edge. At Geylang, they don't skimp on the seafood like some other hawker stalls. You'll get a generous portion of squid and prawns to fill your belly.
The key to the addictive quality of Yu Kee Duck Rice's braised duck must lie in the super-secret braising sauce made from over 10 herbs and spices. However, the secret's closely guarded so we can only guess as to what makes this dish so delish. Chilli, garlic and tender cuts of duck are a good start. This saucy duck is dished up with your choice of rice or handmade noodles, along with bean curd, salted vegetables, peanut and an egg. That's a protein-packed plate of goodness that draws throngs of visitors to Yu Kee's various stalls throughout Singapore.
You don't know carrot cake until you've tried our local variety. It's quite a bit different from the Western confection: no cream cheese icing here. To start with, chai tow kway is savoury rather than sweet. Then there's the other small matter of there not being any carrots in this cake. Instead, it's made with daikon radishes, rice flour, and eggs. A savoury fried delicacy, it manages to be both crispy and gooey all at once. You'll find the cake at every hawker centre worth its salt, but for a real treat you can order it for breakfast at Killiney Kopitiam. Pair it with kaya butter toast and a coffee for a real taste of Singapore.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
If you're on the hunt for some simple comfort food, Hainanese chicken rice has got your number. This combo of tender boiled chicken, jasmine rice and soy-based sauce is easy to overlook in favour of more exotic hawker dishes. Yet it packs a strong flavour punch that will bring you back for more. The recipe at Chatterbox is a real crowd-pleaser, with a perfectly balanced chilli, ginger and soy sauce.
Get Singapore's most beloved street eats delivered straight to your door. Order from Deliveroo and you can skip the hawker centre queue.