A Singapore food tour! Oh my goodness! I can’t believe we have not thought to do these tours when travelling before now. Food is such a big part of our travels. We learn and experience so much through the different foods that we try and what better way to do this than through a food tour?
On our very first full day in Singapore we participated in a Singapore food tour through SingaBites, a local food tour company specialising in showcasing the amazing food that Singapore has to offer. To say it was amazing would be an understatement! For 3 whole hours we were guided through the Katong area of Singapore by Su Ling, a local to the area. Her knowledge of the local foods and culture, paired with her warm and friendly personality, made the tour exceptional and one we are sure to never forget.
We met Su Ling, along with two other tourists joining the tour from England, outside the ‘Curry Puff House’ – a small shop specialising in all manner of curry puffs. After introductions, she gave us a quick run down of what we could expect over the next three hours. She also gave us a brief history lesson on the background of the Katong dristrict and the Peranakan Chinese who were Chinese immigrants and traders who married Malay women and settled in, and established the area. She handed us each a bottle of water and we dove straight in to our first tasting – what many claim to be the best curry puffs in the world. I think I had one bite, then was distracted by one of the kids for a minute, and when I turned around they were all gone! Obviously they really were worth the acclaim if our kids devoured them that quickly!
For our second stop we sat outside a little restaurant and sampled some of Singapore’s famous Chicken Rice. Along with chicken broth and a variety of sauces, we ate our tasty chicken rice while Su Ling explained the origin and variations of the dishes to us. Our kids devoured every mouthful and left me wondering if they would have room for all the other many dishes we had ahead of us.
A little further down the street we stopped at a little shop selling a variety of different kinds of Bakkwa (Chinese pork jerky). It was super tasty and to me, tasted very much like well cooked bacon. Big hit for the kids! So much so that they had no qualms in asking for more! Cheeky…..
At our next stop we not only got to try some Popiah (Chinese style fresh spring rolls), but we were able to watch them being made right in front of us first. So interesting to watch and amazing how fast they come together. Peter opted for chilli in his which he shared with 10 year old Anna. It amazes me how well she can handle spicy food. I had one tiny bite of theirs and my eyes were watering and lips burning! I will admit though, they were very, very tasty!
I think that our next stop was the kids favourite of the whole tour. Here, at a little Indian eatery, we were able to watch Roti Canai (an Indian influenced flatbread) being prepared and cooked. Seeing the dough being worked and all the little air pockets being created, we could see just how they get them so light and fluffy. Even after saying they were already getting full, the kids devoured every piece that was brought to us. On top of this we learnt about and sampled Teh Tarik, a sweet tea that Su Ling referred to as ‘starbucks tea’. Teh Tarik (meaning ‘pulled tea’) is made with condensed milk and perfecting it is an art form. To make the perfect Teh Tarik the tea is poured (pulled) from one vessel to another at a lengthy distance which creates an optimum amount of foam. Would you believe there are actually Teh Tarik pouring championships in Malaysia?
At this stage in the evening it was beginning to get dark and as the sun went down we welcomed a slight drop in temperature. Walking and eating sure can work up a sweat! We made our way to a local Hindu temple where, after taking off our shoes and washing our feet, Su Ling took us inside and explained to us the Hindu beliefs and the traditions and history of the temple. The temple was absolutely beautiful and we felt very honoured and touched to be welcomed in and shown around. As we were leaving Peter bought a coconut which he smashed into a barrel sitting at the front of the temple. This ritual is believed to rid yourself of ego!
Our second last stop for the evening was to try some of the world famous Katong Laksa at 328 Katong Laksa. I can’t say I’m an expert on laksa, but from what we tasted I can understand why they received a Michelin award in 2016. The restaurant walls are covered in photos of Asian celebrities who have eaten in the restaurant and right above our table was a photo of the owner with none other than Gordon Ramsay. Apparantly Gordon came here and competed with the owner to see who could make the best Laksa. Gordon lost!
As we headed down the road back toward our starting point, completing our 1.5km walk, our tummies almost bursting, we had one last stop. A small, family run shop joined on to a traditional Peranakan Chinese house. Here we sampled Otah (grilled fish cakes wrapped in coconut leaves) and Kueh Lapis (a colourful layered soft rice flour pudding). As tasty as they were, none of us had much room left to fit them in and were very happy to be handed plastic bags to bring them away with us.
As we said our goodbyes to our fellow tourists and to Su Ling, feeling as though we didn’t need or want to eat again for a week, we could not have been more satisfied and happy with our Singapore food tour! Su Ling is an absolute testament to SingaBites and made our evening such a fun, informative and all round special experience. She was absolutely fantastic with our children who, ranging in age from 2-10 years old, learnt so much, and I truly believe they got just as much out of the tour as the adults!
To anyone heading to Singapore, whether it’s your first time and you want to discover the amazing food that this wonderful country has to offer, or you are a seasoned visitor looking for a greater insight into Sinagpore’s famous food culture, do yourself a favour and book a tour with SingaBites. I guarantee you will be talking about your amazing Singapore food tour for years to come!
For more information and bookings visit SingaBites
Disclaimer: We were sponsored guests of Singabites. All experiences shared and opinions expressed in this article are our own.