Below are a list of food questions I’ve compiled to help you negotiate the world of food in Singapore.
1. What currency is used in Singapore? Singapore’s official currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD). Prices found on Singapore Foodie are quoted in SGD. To find the latest value of your currency against the SGD, click here
2. Can I use a credit card in Singapore? Most restaurants in Singapore will accept major credit cards. The exception is at Hawker Centres where you will need Singaporean Dollars.
3. What is a Hawker Centre? A Hawker Centre is the traditional eating place for Singaporeans. Many years ago the government made it illegal to sell food directly on the street, so they created ‘centres’ where food sellers had a stall and sold their food in one place. Traditional Hawker Centres are not air conditioned and are generally exposed to the elements (there will be a roof but that’s about it). The exception is for Hawkers that are in a more modern mall.
4. What is different about eating at Hawker Centres? Aside from the point above regarding cash payment, you should also be aware that you pay for your food as soon as it is brought to your table. If you have ordered multiple dishes, they may arrive at different times, so eat your food as soon as it arrives to get the best flavours!
5. Is alcohol legal in Singapore? Yes, but it is generally quite expensive. At hawker centres you’ll only be able to buy a beer (but if you’re sneaky you can take your own wine and cups!). Some restaurants offer a BYO (Bring Your Own) option, but usually they will charge corkage of between $20 and $35.
6. Is Singaporean food the same as Chinese food? Singaporean food is a testament to its Asian roots. Many Chinese emigrated to Singapore during the 19th and 20th centuries and the cooking in Singapore has taken on some traditional Chinese elements. The styles and flavours have been adjusted over time and influenced heavily by all the immigrants that have made a home here.
7. Can I find international foods in Singapore? Absolutely! Singapore offers diners food options from almost every part of the world. You can read this guide to shopping in Singapore to get a flavour.
Please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions 🙂