Food in Singapore

The evening I was in Singapore a few weeks back, I met up with a group of friends to go to a Zhap Chai Peng place.  “Zhap Chai Peng” means “mixed dishes with rice”, referring to pre-made dishes.  It is colloquially known as “economy rice” because of its affordability.  The one we went to is in the Tiong Bahru neighborhood.


The clean, well-lighted shop is open-air, with the attention focused on the row of more than two dozen prepared dishes.


The selection runs the gamut from curries to stir-fries, to stews.  Meat dishes sit shoulder to shoulder with vegetarian ones.  And the influences of Singapore’s many different cultures can be seen.


Bonus points if you can guess what this is.  Answer at the end of the post.


Boiled peanuts with Chinese five spice


Goose braised with soy sauce


Stir-friend squash – very beautiful color


Otak – a steamed fish mousse with spices.  The Thai counterpart to this is called hor mok and the mousse is steamed in little cups made of banana leaf and it is topped with some coconut cream. 


Bitter gourd with garlic


Salted cabbage with pork belly


Scrambled eggs with tomatoes

As for the mystery dish?  That’s fried SPAM.  All in all, a tasty and inexpensive meal.  Very similar to khao gaeng shops in Bangkok, about which I’ll be writing soon.


0 thoughts on “Food in Singapore

  1. @Senlin – In theory yes, in reality no. The English they speak here is called “Singlish” and it’s got a very different tonality and sometimes interesting grammatical constructions. *sigh*

  2. Oh I think I’ve passed by that place in Tiong Bahru when I was there but I ate just once in one of the stalls. I should try eating more hawker center food when I come back.

  3. OK I need to know – the peanuts – Are those in the shell? And if so what do they taste like (texture???) The rest well no thanks to the eggs and tomatoes. My mother always put catsup on scrambled eggs (gross). In the first photo is that red curry with the spoon in it? It looks yummy anyway.

  4. aha! i thought that was spam (although the curved shape threw me for a bit). spam’s practically a staple in hawaii; i love it! =)i also love boiled peanuts. haven’t had that in such a long time… my grandparents used to make it.

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