LET'S GO ON A FOOD ADVENTURE
Singapore is renowned for its rich, multicultural food scene, no less because Singaporeans are passionate about all sorts of food, from local hawker favourites and ethnic fare, to gourmet cuisine and dining experiences that engage the senses. Many are equally enthusiastic about keeping age-old recipes and culinary traditions alive, evident in a new generation of young hawkers serving heritage dishes and the popularity of long-standing eateries dishing up well-loved classics. For visitors looking to enjoy a taste of Singapore, here’s a round-up of food tours offering some delicious—and enlightening—experiences.
MAKAN MAKAN: LET'S EAT BY A+B EDU TOURS AND TRAVEL
Aside from the opportunity to sample popular local bites such as otah (spicy fish paste) and popiah (spring rolls), the four-hour Makan Makan: Let’s Eat tour (S$90 per adult; S$70 per child below age 12) leads participants to various parts of Singapore to appreciate the origins of hawker centres, as well as learn how owners of food businesses source for ingredients (spices, in particular).
Other intriguing behind-the-scenes discoveries for foodies include the tradition of roasting and preparing kopi (local coffee), as well as the crimping and baking of curry puffs (local savoury snack)—this is an anchor stop that’s not be missed.
CHINATOWN FOOD WALK BY BETEL BOX
With a special focus on an area once described in the 1823 Singapore Town Plan as “Chinese Town”, the Chinatown Food Walk lets visitors explore the cultural precinct that is now a prime tourist destination.
Visitors interested in the heritage behind traditional Chinese foods can learn about the beliefs and meaning behind more than 10 popular traditional Chinese dishes and street foods (and of course, sample them, too). The four-hour tour (S$50 per person; discounts are available for large group bookings) will also reveal the process of sourcing, selecting, and preparing Chinese foods. Stops along the way include Chinatown Complex, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Banda Street, Maxwell Food Centre, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s City Gallery, where visitors will learn about land use, development, and housing programmes. Discounts are available for large group bookings.
MAKAN MAKAN FOOD TOUR @ KAMPONG GLAM BY WOK 'N' STROLL
The Makan Makan Food Tour @ Kampong Glam (S$90 per person) takes participants on a three-hour immersive experience around Kampong Glam—an area that began as a fishing village and was once home to Muslim royalty. Today, the Muslim ethnic enclave is the go-to place for some of the most authentic Malay and Indian-Muslim cuisines in Singapore. An example is 2016’s Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee, Hjh Maimunah Restaurant, which was founded in 1992 by Madam Mahiran Abdul Rahman, who started with recipes from her late mother and today runs the kitchen with her dedicated family. Passionate about what they serve at Hjh Maimunah, the family is up preparing the day’s dishes as early as 2am.
On this tour, visitors can indulge in snacks like kueh (the Malay term for cakes) and curry puffs—they'll also get the chance to go behind the scenes and see local tradesmen at work and learn about the kinds of ingredients that go into these delights.
Besides food, participants will be guided through the area’s rich heritage and the unique architecture of its landmark buildings. For big groups, discounts are available.