Top 10 Culinary Tours
Singapore’s food culture is distinguished by its unique blend of Chinese, Indian, and Malay flavors as well as the popularity and high quality of its street cart eats. Some 40 years ago government officials literally moved all the food vendors off the street and into regulated, sanitary hawker centers. Today there are over 120 such stations, each containing about 150 stalls. Each stall specializes in just one or two dishes, such as fish-head curry, grilled stingray, or spring rolls of stewed turnips. In turn, every Singaporean approaches eating with a sports fan’s fanaticism, each pledging fierce allegiance to this stand or that vendor.
Yet there is one person’s opinion that carries more sway than others’ and that is K.F. Seetoh. Seetoh has addressed the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and gorged on shark heads with Anthony Bourdain. He’s taught Martha Stewart how to prepare laksa and breakfasted on pork rib soup with The New Yorker’s Calvin Trillin. He’s also the founder of Makansutra (www.makansutra.com), Singapore’s street food and restaurant bible.
On the side, he organizes culinary tours of the city’s top hawker stands. Even with a guidebook, finding these spots would be near impossible since many lack official names and clear addresses. “This culinary tour is about an experience that the uninitiated would otherwise find hard to put together,” says Seetoh. On top of the eating fest, his company can arrange market tours, lessons on the country’s cultural heritage, and cooking classes.
A three-hour tour costs $150 a person or more, including food and transportation.
For more trip-planning information, see our Singapore Travel Guide.