If you’re at a food court, head to the drink and desserts stalls for options both cold and refreshing. You’ll find drinks unique to the region, like sugar cane with lemon juice: a sweet, citrusy drink perfect for when you need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
As an alternative, give bandung a go for some cold condensed milk with rose syrup. And for a much-needed caffeine boost? Kopi peng (iced coffee) and teh peng (iced tea) are ideal - also feel free to experiment with a number of coffee and tea options.
The desserts section in a food court is an experience in itself. Look for the legendary and Instagram-worthy Ice Kacang, a mountain of shaved ice with colourful sweet syrup, red beans and jelly, and sometimes nuts and sweet corn topped off with condensed milk.
More contemporary versions might include a scoop of ice cream or chocolate syrup to fully satisfy that sweet tooth. If you prefer your Ice Kacang without any of the nuts, beans or seeds, ask for it ‘kosong’, which mean ‘empty’.
Other Asian desserts to try at Singapore food courts are chendol (shaved ice with coconut milk, palm sugar and red beans), cold cheng tng (a sweet soup with ice, barley, lotus seeds and longans), and red ruby (a striking Thai dessert with water chestnut, evaporated milk, ice and a bright pink rose syrup).
Then there’s the always-popular mango pudding, usually served chilled on its own or sometimes with a side of vanilla or mango ice cream. Great for a quick, easy perk-me-up just the right amount of sweetness.
Not in the mood to experiment? If it's just ice cream that you’re after, at least try the Singaporean version! You’ll see ice cream vendors with carts along busy strips like Orchard Road. Venture closer, and you’ll discover that it’s not your usual way of serving ice cream.
Expect to receive a block of ice cream in your chosen flavour sandwiched between two thin wafers or enclosed in a slice of sweetened, multi-coloured bread. And to really try a uniquely Singapore version, ask for red bean flavoured ice cream.
If you fancy a healthier option than any of the above, don’t forget that most Singaporean food courts contain a fresh fruit stall with a wide range of tropical fruit at surprisingly low prices.
Ask for any combination of your favourite fruits to be juiced, or simply buy pieces of fruit and ask them to be cut into small pieces - they’ll be served on a platter with ice cubes to keep them cool. A local favourite is the ABC juice: apple, beetroot and carrot. Refreshing and delicious.