Traditional BreakfastsTraditional Breakfasts


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 25 Apr 2019  


When fantasizing about sampling the local cuisine while on holiday, we tend to picture long lunches and dinner feasts. Be glad to know, then, that Singapore serves up a delicious variety of breakfast options - and plenty with a local twist on things. You're almost obliged to start a day of activities in Singapore the local way with these traditional favourites. In fact, how about trying something different each day you’re here?


Toast Box
Photo: Toast Box

One of Singapore’s most beloved breakfast combos can be found all over the island: strong local coffee (kopi), soft-boiled eggs with soy sauce and kaya-butter toast. Here, kaya, an egg-based jam, is spread generously with melted butter over slices of of bread, then freshly toasted until they’re crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Drop by Toast Box to savour this local favourite, which can also easily be found at roadside stalls and shopping malls alike all over the country. And to shake things up, look to choices such as a kaya or butter only spread or butter and sugar spread, accompanied with teh (tea) instead of kopi


Nasi Lemak

For something a little heavier, wander over to any Malay stall (find these in coffee shops and food courts) and try nasi lemak for breakfast. Expect a plate of fluffy, fragrant rice cooked with cononut milk, a piece of crisp fried fish, fish cake or chicken wings, crunchy ikan bilis (small anchovies) and roasted peanuts, a sunny-side-up egg, and some spicy sambal chilli paste.

While the ingredients you end up with may differ slightly depending on where you go, this hearty dish is found easily enough throughout the island-nation. And why not? It's a great breakfast choice to keep you fuelled up to continue your exploration of the rest of Singapore!



When it comes to porridge, some are of the opinion that it's only for the ill. We beg to differ, though: porridge is food that is great for all seasons, especially if you're looking for something lighter, less oily and not as spicy as the majority of popular local food.

In Singapore, porridge also goes by the name of congee, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the large variety of options to choose from. This more watered-down version of porridge exists in variations depending on which region of China the recipe is from. Expect additions such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggs, fish cake, vegetables, meat and tofu.



If you’re planning to spend time in Little India, check out one of the many restaurants open in the morning for a traditional South Indian breakfast. Maybe even try a thosai (a crisp crepe made from fermented rice and lentil batter) or idli (a savoury rice cake), both of which are served piping hot with spicy chutneys and a lentil-based curry.

Thosais come in almost endless variations - check out the menu for a heads-up or boldly ask the restaurant if they're able to give you additional cheese, onions, potatoes, mint or just an extra indulgent pat of butter! Wash it down with strong Indian filter coffee (kapi) or masala tea.


Roti Prata

And of course, no discussion on Singaporean breakfast is complete without mentioning roti prata, a savoury pancake which is usually served with a lentil or meat-based curry. Watching roti prata being made is a spectacle in itself: the dough is flipped into a huge, tissue-thin sheet before it’s folded and pan-fried until it’s golden brown. With Malay and Indian influences, roti prata also has almost limitless variations: you can ask for eggs, cheese, vegetables or even fruit to be added!

Now that you have a great breakfast under your belt, perhaps it’s time to check out some of the other fun things to do in Singapore…until lunchtime, when you can continue your gastronomic adventure!


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