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Singapore Street Food - Part 1

The island nation of Singapore welcomes more than 10 million visitors a year. The city state offers visitors an experience which includes a distinctive amalgamation of Eastern cultures and Western amenities. Singapore is also a great shopping destination and attracts hordes of overseas visitors to its shores each year for the annual Shopping festival called the Great Singapore Sale, which is usually held between the months of May and July each year.

Singaporeans are especially proud of their local food sources and no visit to Singapore is complete without a trip to a local culinary institution, the hawker stand. Why the name? Well, they are called hawker centers, named after the hawkers (callers) who used to go around the neighborhood crying out to advertise the food that they had to offer ("get your fresh fishball noodles here!!"). In more recent times these mobile food vendors were legislated and localised to a specific food stall for inspection purposes, among other things. Each center consists usually of about 15-50 stalls offering various Chinese, Indian, Muslim and occasionally other foods, such as Japanese, vegetarian or Italian.

To order, first reserve a The Great Singapore Saletable by parking a friend by the table, note the table's number then place your order at your stall of choice. They'll deliver to your table, and you pay when you get the food. Note that some stalls (particularly very popular ones) have signs stating "self-service", meaning that you're expected to get your food yourself. At almost every stall you can also opt to take away, in which case they'll pack up your order in a plastic box/bag and even throw in disposable utensils.

Every district in Singapore has its own hawker centers and prices decrease as you move out of the central city. For tourists, centrally located Newton Circus (Newton MRT), Gluttons Bay and Lau Pa Sat (near the River), are the most popular options. If you are a seafood lover, do not miss Newton Circus, lots of BBQ seafood stalls can be found here. There are also many varieties of food, including Hokkien Prawn Noodles, Fish Porridge, Chicken Rice and many more. Night owls will love the colourful hustle and bustle of Newton Circus, you can feast almost round-the-clock outdoors.

Here are some of the famous Singaporean local foods that are a must-try for your next trip to Singapore:

Hainanese chicken rice: this is essentially steamed chicken with fragrant pandan rice served with minced garlic, chilli and black sweet sauce.      ...continued Part 2

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