A melting pot of Asian flavours, western influences and international tourists, Singapore prides itself on the arsenal of snacks it keeps well-stocked to keep the hungry tourists (and its locals) well-fed and satisfied.
Dou hua (soy beancurd) is a Chinese dessert that reminds many of the locals the beauty of the little things in life. Made simply from freshly pressed soymilk and gelatine, a handmade dou hua is soft, jiggly and satisfyingly rich. Commonly served with ginger or sugar syrup, dou hua is best enjoyed with a freshly fried you tiao (Chinese dough fritter) and a glass of soy milk.
ANG KU KUEH
Another snack high on everyone’s to-snack list is a well-made ang ku kueh. A translucent skin is handmade with glutinous rice flour, oil and water, wrapping a traditional sweet filling of peanuts, red bean or mung bean paste. For those looking for a modern twist, there are versions with more adventurous fillings such as durian, black sesame and coconut.
A simple all-time favourite item for early morning breakfasts in Singapore is kaya toast. The dish of toasted bread slathered with humble fillings of generous kaya (coconut jam) and slices of butter can be found in famous chains island wide. If it’s your first time trying the dish, the typical value set comes with a bowl of half-boiled eggs and a tea or coffee (hot or cold according to your preferences).
If you’re doing a spot of food hunting around Singapore’s Chinatown area, chances are you’ll pass by shops selling Chinese desserts. The humble corner shops would have a variety of hot and cold desserts such as mung bean soup, black glutinous rice and baos with sweet fillings. If you’re willing to hunt down specialty Chinese desserts shop, you’ll be rewarded with a more comprehensive line-up such as snow-ice desserts and peanut paste bowls.
Spending any amount of time in Singapore, visitors will be keenly aware of the heat and humidity of the tropical island. For those fortunate enough to come across a traditional ice-cream cart, grab an ice-cream and find a shade to rest your feet. Choices include a variety of ice-cream blocks (we like raspberry and corn) enjoyed in colourful slices of bread or plain waffle. Es potong (stick ice-cream) is oftentimes also sold, with local flavours such as red bean and durian. Nobody’s judging if you get more than one serving.