Singapore is a city at the crossroads of the spice route. With a vibrant mix of Chinese, Indians, Malays and a smattering of Europeans it is little wonder that it offers some of the best street food in the world. Wickedfood Cooking School visits the city and samples some of its mouthwatering flavours for ideas for future cooking classes.
It’s a sticky tropical evening, slight relief being provided by the overhead fans. The air is filled with the aroma of grilled meat as cooks fan the little charcoal barbecues for a more intense heat. As the sun dramatically sets, and darkness threatens to engulf the sidewalks, the trees suddenly become ablaze as a hundred thousand fairy lights sparkle to life. At 7:00pm sharp (everything is on time in Singapore) table jockeys and satay peddlers claim the adjoining street, setting up rows of foldaway tables and stools, while more barbecue food stalls are wheeled into position. This is the scene every night at Lau Pa Sat Hawker Center, in the heart of Singapore’s business district. And it is not unique.
Food hawkers did not always congregate in food centres. Until fairly recently they wheeled their pushcarts through the streets of the city. With a combination of calls and enticing smells, they lured customers to purchase their daily meal, often purchasing different components from different hawkers to put together a family dinner.
Today you’ll find hawker food centres scattered throughout the city, from plush food courts with air conditioning in all the major shopping centres, to more basic, but often much more authentic little centres adjoining apartment blocks, business districts and markets. They are as much a part of daily Singaporean life as food itself is. Talk to any Singaporean and inevitably the subject will drift to food, many jokingly refer to eating as the national pastime. The standard Singaporean greeting, “Ingapore”, the equivalent of “what’s up?” means “have you eaten?”
Even before the colonization of Asia by Europe, Singapore stood the crossroads of the spice routes. And still today the city’s food reflects the cross cultural diversity of its location, encompassing dishes from China, India, Malaysia and even Europe.
This diversity has led to some deliciously mouthwatering dishes. Must try Singapore dishes
Nearly every high-rise apartment block in Singapore has hawker food stalls either in the basements or in an adjoining lot. They are cheap and safe to eat at – Singapore hawker food centres
Great Asian recipes – Click here:
Kaeng kari ka – yellow curried chicken
Phanaeng Beef Curry in sweet peanut sauce
Warm squid salad in a pineapple
For other articles on South East Asia see:
Cooking schools in South East Asia
Thai House cooking school • Bangkok • Thailand
Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School • Thailand
Red Bridge Cooking School • Hoi An • Vietnam
Books reviewed by Wickedfood on Asian food:
Wickedfood® Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.
Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these classes are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.