If you fancy a Chinese meal in Singapore, you can look forward to an incredible menu of choices. While Chinese cuisine includes more than 80 different styles of cooking, these can generally be divided into four or five main regions of China.
Cantonese food is known for its light, creative cooking and subtle flavours. Signature Cantonese dishes include Shark's Fin soup, crispy deep-fried chicken, Won Ton soup, and roasted suckling pig. One of the most popular items is dim sum – which includes steamed or fried buns, dumplings and pastries stuffed with meat, prawns, sauces and herbs.
A favourite on the Hokkien menu is the fried hokkien mee – a tasty dish created with a rich mixture of wheat flour noodles and rice vermicelli fried with garlic, prawns, pork, sliced squid, bean sprouts, eggs, and Chinese chives. Served with thick chilli paste and a tiny lime, it is most fragrant when served in an opeh leaf (a species of palm). Another much-loved dish is popiah or spring rolls, which are rolled crepes filled with shredded Chinese turnips, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, prawns, eggs and Chinese sausage, seasoned with garlic, chilli paste, and sweet bean sauce.
If you are in the mood for something lighter, opt for Teochew food which is usually roasted or steamed, with very little animal fat and seasoning, such as steamed seafood, clear soups and healthy porridge. You can also take your pick from fiery Szechuan dishes characterised by their generous use of hot chilli peppers, dig into mouth-watering Hainanese chicken rice, or treat yourself to the famous yong tau fu, or bean curd stuffed with fish paste from the Hakkas.
No matter which form of cooking you enjoy, and whether you dine at a restaurants such as Hai Tien Lo and No Signboard Seafood or food centres around Singapore, you’ll discover that rice forms a staple addition to their menus. Most Chinese restaurants also serve noodles made of flour, cooked in a host of different styles. In general, most Chinese meals offer you rice accompanied by small portions of several types of meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables.
Come down to Chinatown to learn more about Chinese culture, and sample some varieties of Chinese cuisine, available in various eateries and restaurants in the area.