If you see a snaking queue of locals outside a stall that serves bak kut teh, you might want to join them. Bak kut teh is a pork rib soup usually served with rice or noodles. The fragrant broth is a multi-layered blend of spices and herbs, and many Singaporeans will tell you that the long waits are worth it! For a robust, peppery soup that will pekr you right up, give Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh a go - right here at Rasapura Masters.
Noodles are, of course, a staple of Chinese cuisine. You may see variations of noodles: la mian (handcrafted long noodles), ban mian (flat handmade noodles), mee hoon (rice vermicelli noodles) and you mian (thin noodles), all of which are served in various iterations that include soups, vegetables, meat and seafood.
In the market for something lighter? A popular choice of local snack to be enjoyed any time of the day is popiah, a dish with Teochew origins. This fresh roll is stuffed with seafood, lettuce and stewed turnip (among other ingredients) and is generally served in succulent slices at your local coffee shop. These slices fall apart in your mouth in an explosion of flavour and textures that will leave you wanting more.
For the ultimate Chinese comfort food, look no further than fish soup bee hoon, where pieces of fried fish head and oodles of rice vermicelli are served in a creamy, hearty soup — locals will tell you that it’s a great way to spend a rainy lunch hour in Singapore! And if you want to be a little more adventurous, try pig’s organ soup, which combines a variety of pig offal in a broth, served with a spicy chilli sauce.
Yusheng salad is an interesting one. It's a major part of Chinese New Year celebrations and consists of raw fish and other ingredients, each with a symbolic meaning (for example, health, prosperity, or luck). The word yusheng itself means raw fish, but is a homophone of ‘abundance’. The salad is tossed by all the diners at the table with chopsticks, and it’s said that the higher you toss it, the better your luck! Hint: Din Tai Fung serves up a great rendition of yusheng that's relatively easy on the wallet to boot.
Finally, one of the most accessible ways to enjoy Chinese cuisine is through dim sum, which is a collection of small dishes to be shared - very similar to Spanish tapas. These sweet and savoury dishes are normally served with tea. Check out our dim sum guide to learn more about this unique way to eat!