Singapore The island city-state obsessed with food

Notes from the road

“Five days is far too much.”

That’s the unsolicited advice I was continuously given when telling people how long I planned to stay in Singapore during my last visit. In their defence, they don’t really know what kind of person I am. I’m the kind of person that has to bite my tongue instead of correcting their grammar (“five days is far too many”). I’m the kind of person with a painstakingly researched Google spreadsheet listing 67 places to eat, excluding hawker centres and bars. The kind that maybe (definitely) sends said spreadsheet to Singapore natives for second opinions. Five days is nowhere near enough when travelling stomach-first in Singapore, one of the greatest places to eat on Earth.

Everyone who lives there plans their day around food. They might stop in at a hawker centre for congee on the way to work, argue over which auntie or uncle makes the best chicken rice or laksa, meet up with friends over chilli crab and will make sure the last stop of a night out is one that soaks up all that booze.

Singapore is home to some of the world’s best places to eat across the entire dining spectrum, from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Michelin lists to mom-and-pop, hole-in-walls that will feed you for loose change. Its residents have migrated over the decades from China, Malaysia, India and beyond, and you can taste it whenever you dine out. All of them are eaters, and that’s why I’ll always jump on a plane at a moment’s notice to visit.

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