Top 5 Things to Buy and Try in Singapore

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(photo by Alvin Tan)

1. CHILLI CRAB

Talk about finger-lickin’ good! Described as “sensuous” and “sweet, yet savoury”, with a “fluffy texture”, Singapore’s world-famous chilli crab – ordered with a healthy round of fried mantou (buns), of course – is about as good as it gets, if seafood is your thing. Some of the best places to frequent are Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, No Signboard Seafood Restaurant, Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, and Red House Seafood Restaurant.

2. SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX

The first street circuit in Asia and the first night race, Singapore’s Grand Prix is one of the most exciting fixtures on the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar. The three-day event has also become one of the biggest party events on the island and tickets are always sold out. Concerts by big names such as Madonna, Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5 and Beyoncé have headlined the event, making this race the place to be in September.

3. BAKKWA

Eaten with rice or bread, or simply on its own, this addictive Chinese salty-sweet dried meat product similar to jerky is a year-round favourite, although sales tend to increase sharply during Chinese New Year. When Chinese immigrants brought this delicacy over to Singapore, it began to take on local characteristics. A notable example lies in the preparation, where the meat, which was once air-dried, is instead grilled over charcoal, imparting a smokier flavour. The Singaporean versions are also sweeter than their Mainland Chinese counterparts, with many different variations adapted to suit the local palette, including chilli bakkwa.

4. PERANAKAN ARTS AND CRAFT

With a culture so unique, the material extension of the Peranakan people has exceeded the current dwindling legacy. Yet, its heritage in the form of porcelain wares, sarong kebayas and kasot manek (Peranakan beaded slippers) remains a crucial element of Singapore’s history and distinctiveness.

5. ELECTRONICS

As Southeast Asia’s premier shopping mecca, Singapore offers some of the best deals on quality electronics goods anywhere in the world – and that’s even before you pocket your GST refund at Changi Airport. Head to Funan DigitaLife Mall, Sim Lim Square and even Mustafa Centre for the latest gear and gadgets from all the top brands.

Check out the rest of this article in Asian Geographic No.113 Issue 4/2015 here or download a digital copy here

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