Forget the alley cafes of Melbourne — most of Singapore’s coffee is sold in the local hawker centres, where the coffee is strained through a filter that resembles a sock. Fear not: the results are toe-curlingly sublime.
To order, you will have to master some local lingo — the most important being kopi, the Singlish term for coffee with condensed milk. Kopi C will get you a strong brew with evaporated milk while Kopi O is midnight black with sugar — both equally as delicious. Pair it with kaya (sweet coconut jam) and toast for an authentic start to the day.
For a strangely wonderful experience don’t be afraid to try frog leg porridge or savoury carrot cake (no cream cheese frosting to be found here). These dishes abound at Singapore’s hawker centres, which can be found on almost every corner. Some of the best for variety are Maxwell Food Centre; Tiong Bahru Market and the heritage architecture of Lau Pa Sat, where the adjacent Boon Tat street comes alive each evening with dozens of stalls selling freshly prepared satay. Even the unique pull of the prickly durian fruit is not to be sniffed at. Try some of the best varieties at Balestier.