There’s no better way to get acquainted with Singapore’s many cultures than through food. Whether you’re heading to a Michelin-starred establishment or a local coffee shop for your fill of nasi lemak (fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, accompanied with an array of side dishes like omelette, fried fish and anchovies), you are bound to find something that suits your taste buds. Don’t worry about missing the food once you leave the city, though. Sign up for these cooking classes in Singapore, where you will learn how to make your very own version of local delicacies.
You’ve probably been to the various hawker centres in Singapore, even tried our Michelin-starred hawker dishes. Now it’s time to take a piece of that home. Palate Sensations’ ‘Tourist’ classes will have you working the wok in no time. As the name suggests, the classes are designed for travellers who want to return home with a slice of Singapore, sharing recipes and techniques that you can replicate in the comfort of your own kitchen. So the next time you host a dinner party, you’ll be able to lay out a spread of sambal (a chilli paste) squid, sambal kangkong (water spinach stir-fried in a spicy sauce), chicken rice, and laksa (spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup).
Chromos at Biopolis. 10 Biopolis Road #01-03, Singapore 138670. +65 6478 9746.
Visit Palate Sensations’ website to see its schedule of classes.
The folks at Bollywood Veggies, a farm with an in-house bistro, will show you how they do farm-to-table at their Bollywood Bhanchha class (“bhanchha” is the Nepali word for “kitchen”). Bollywood Veggies grows its own herbs and ingredients, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘local’ cuisine—all their dishes began life in their own gardens.
Bollywood Veggies has a library of recipes to share. Vegetable-filled wraps and exotic salads made with farm-fresh produce are the healthier options, while dishes such as chicken curry and deep fried moringa leaves tip the scale towards the more decadent. Local desserts such as goreng pisang (deep fried banana fritters) are also on the cards. There are culinary classes tailored for children from the age of eight (fret not, parents: there’s no flame cooking involved). If the whole family wants to join in, you can book a private class in the comfort of an air-conditioned show kitchen.
Bollywood Veggies. 100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore 719026. +65 6898 5001.
Visit Bollywood Veggies’ website to book a class.
Gather your family and friends and sign up for CulinaryOn’s Gorgeous Singapore cooking class, where you’ll whip up local dishes such as chilli crab with mantou (fried or steamed buns), Peranakan* seafood plates, and even sweet treats such as pandan chiffon cake with Milo (chocolate malt drink) ice cream. Besides the Lion City nosh, CulinaryOn holds classes on baking bread and assembling desserts from the world over, as well as workshops for kids to unleash their inner master chefs.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
One Raffles Place. 1 Raffles Place, Tower 2 #04-63, Singapore 048616. +65 3159 1702.
Visit CulinaryOn’s website to see its schedule of classes.
Just like the Singaporean dish rojak (mixed fruit and vegetable salad), Singapore’s cuisine also reflects our mishmash of cultures. To get a taste of all of them, join the Cultural Cooking Class at Food Playground. You’ll learn to cook Chinese, Malay, Peranakan and Indian dishes in just three hours, at the same time discovering more about the country’s heritage and the role food has played in promoting diversity.
Some of the dishes you can look forward to preparing are laksa (spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup), chicken rice, roti jala (net-shaped crêpe), and small snacks such as hoon kueh (jelly made from coconut milk, corn and mung bean flour) and ang ku kueh (also known as red tortoise cake, an oval-shaped Chinese pastry with soft sticky glutinous rice flour skin wrapped around a sweet filling in the centre).
Food Playground. 24A Sago Street, Singapore 059020. +65 9452 3669.
Visit Food Playground’s website to see its schedule of classes.
Tools of the Trade (ToTT)
Join chef Julie Yee as she dishes out the secrets to making the perfect kueh (Nonya pastries). The Peranakan chef cut her teeth baking French bread and pastries in kitchens around the region, but this cooking class honours her first love, kueh, which she learnt to make as a child while helping her grandmother. During the Peranakan Kueh class at Tools of the Trade (ToTT), try your hand at making lapis sagu (a nine-layer rainbow glutinous rice flour cake), kueh dadar (a pandan crêpe roll with toasted coconut flakes) and muah chee (a glutinous rice flour snack tossed in peanuts).
Sime Darby Centre. 896 Dunearn Road #01-01A, Singapore 589472. +65 6219 7077.
Mon-Thu 11am-8pm; Fri 11am-9pm; Sat & Sun 10am-9pm.
Visit Tools of the Trade’s website to see its schedule of classes.