24 Hours: What To Eat In Singapore

As Singapore turns 50 this month, our nation is in a grand party mood.  And one of our favourite ways to party is to indulge our palates.  We are in love with our food, and fussy to a fault when it comes to eating.  And you can hardly blame us.  Most of our dishes are born of our multi-racial culture, and the best dishes are Singaporean-ised over the years to perfectly suit our taste buds.

So if you are in Singapore for a short visit, join me on a food trail that is sure to impress.  This is 24 Hours: What To Eat In Singapore:

Prata for Breakfast

Roti Prata picture from Your Singapore (http://www.yoursingapore.com)

Roti Prata picture from Your Singapore (http://www.yoursingapore.com)

When I’m up bright and early, I usually make a beeline for roti pratas.  When done right, this South Indian flat bread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the perfect morning nosh.

My personal favourite is what we call prata ‘kosong’.  ‘Kosong’ means ‘zero’ in the Malay language and refers to plain prata, which tastes best when dipped with fish curry.

However, if you are craving something a little more sweet or savoury, many prata stalls also offer modern variants such as cheese, onion, chocolate and bomb pratas – a flakier dough with margarine, sugar and condensed milk.  Enjoy these with strong local coffee for the perfect early morning pick-me-up.

Chicken Rice for Lunch

Chicken Rice picture from Your Singapore (http://www.yoursingapore.com)

Chicken Rice picture from Your Singapore (http://www.yoursingapore.com)

Though chicken rice has its roots in the Hainan province in China, it is widely hailed as our national dish.  In fact, it’s rare to walk more than five kilometres anywhere in Singapore without passing a chicken rice stall with a row of cooked chicken hanging from the stall front.

While this may seem a little shocking to tourists at first, it adds to the distinct flavour of the cuisine.  In fact, Singaporeans tend to like to see our meat in its entirety, and associate this with freshness and wholeness.

Quirks aside, Singaporean-Hainanese Chicken Rice is very different from the original version from China, which tends to feature a bonier fowl with green chilli dip.  In Singapore, we prefer tender spring chicken served with fragrant rice steamed with chicken stock and ginger.  This is accompanied by a tangy red chilli dip, minced ginger paste and thick sweet soy sauce.

Widely available at humble hawker centres and renowned restaurants, this national dish has inspired our nation so much that we have named movies such as Chicken Rice War after it!

Kaya Toast for Tea

Kaya Toast picture from https://yakuntoast.wordpress.com - a national favourite

Kaya Toast picture from Ya Kun (https://yakuntoast.wordpress.com) – a national favourite

As far as Singapore’s tea culture goes, the Kaya Toast probably sums it up.  Kaya is a local jam made from coconut milk, eggs, sugar and pandan leaves, which lends it a unique fragrance and distinctive green hue.  Served with toasted bread and generous slivers of butter, it the perfect mid-day energy booster.

Singaporeans love enjoying a Kaya Toast even when we’re not hungry.  It is most commonly savoured with local milk tea, or what we call ‘teh’ during a casual catch-up with friends, especially on a lazy weekend.

Chilli Crabs for Dinner


Whenever I host overseas friends for dinner, I love to take them for some authentic Singaporean chilli crabs.  Usually served with the shell intact and drenched with a savoury chilli-tomato gravy, this is a messy eat.  Be ready to get your hands dirty, and expect a lot of splatter.  However, if you ask any Singaporean, this simply adds to the flavour of the crabs, and makes it a unique bonding experience for diners.

My three tips for enjoying the iconic chilli crab: 1) Never wear white or pricey clothes for this unless you are prepared to go home with stains.  2) Request for a female crab if you enjoy roe.  3) Always order mantou (fried buns) to soak up the chilli gravy after you’ve polished off the main!

Satay for Supper


Think of this as the Southeast Asian version of the ubiquitous kebab, marinated in a piquant bouquet of local spices.  Satays tend to be sweeter than your regular kebabs, and served with a distinct sweet and spicy peanut dip.  Usually available as bite-sized chicken, beef and mutton sticks with a side of raw cucumbers, onions and ketupat (rice cakes), they are my favourite after-dinner snacks!

Since the best satays are freshly grilled over an open charcoal fire, they are usually only available from evening till late night.  Bear in mind that you can’t order one or two sticks of satay – nor should you.  Stall owners offer satay beginning from 8-10 sticks. And believe me, once you’ve tried it, you’ll wish you had ordered more.


Capella Singapore serves many of these delightful local cuisines.  Alternatively, if you are spending time around town, ask your Personal Assistant for recommendations.


Detoxing Tip: Cocoa Tea

Happy New Year from Capella Ixtapa!  How was your holiday season?  I have to admit, mine was fabulous!  But after enjoying the holidays surrounded with my family and dear ones, savoring many of our traditional dishes at home and at the resort, I think it is time for a thorough detox inside and out.  Fortunately, Alex Branch, Executive Chef has offered to share his favorite detoxing tip: Cocoa Tea!

To help detox our body after a holiday season, Alex recommends enjoying a Cocoa Tea.  Besides it’s amazing smell, this delicious tea is filled with antioxidants.  Cocoa is rich in magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E.  Cocoa can increase the level of serotonin, which can contribute our feelings of wellness and happiness.  It is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body’s own dopamine and adrenaline.  Cocoa can even help to keep blood pressure low.

Cocoa Tea

Cocoa Tea Recipe

2 Tbsp            Ground Cocoa Beans
2 pieces         Clove
1 stick            Cinnamon
2 oz                Vanilla Extract
4 pieces         Black Peppercorns
4 oz                Ginger
12 oz              Water

Heat water to a boil, add cocoa beans and boil for 5 minutes.  Then turn off heat and add remaining ingredients.  Allow mixture to steep for 8 minutes, pass through a sieve into a mug.  Serve hot.

Tip De Desintoxicación: Té De Cacao

Feliz Año Nuevo de parte de Capella Ixtapa!  ¿Cómo estuvo tu temporada de celebraciones? Tengo que admitir, ¡la mía estuvo fabulosa! Pero después de disfrutar estas celebraciones rodeada de familia, y seres queridos, saboreando muchos de los platillos tradicionales en casa y en el resort, creo que es hora de una profunda desintoxicación interna y externa. Afortunadamente, Alex Branch, nuestro Chef Ejecutivo nos ha ofrecido compartir su secreto favorito para desintoxicar: ¡Té de cacao!

Para ayudar a desintoxicar nuestro cuerpo después de la temporada navideña, Alex recomienda disfrutar un té de cacao. Además de su maravilloso olor, este delicioso té está lleno de antioxidantes. El cacao es rico en magnesio, zinc, hierro, potasio y vitaminas A, B1, B2, B3, C y E. El cacao incrementa los niveles de serotonina, la cual contribuye a nuestro sentimiento de bienestar y felicidad. Es también antidepresivo y un estimulante similar a la propia dopamina y adrenalina del cuerpo humano. El cacao puede incluso auxiliar a mantener baja la presión sanguínea.

Cocoa Tea

Receta para Té de Cacao


2 cucharaditas         Granos de Cacao molidos
2 piezas                     Clavo
1 ramita                     Canela
2 onzas                      Extracto de Vainilla
4 piezas                     Granos de Pimienta Negra
4 onzas                      Jengibre
12 onzas                   Agua

Calentar agua hasta hervir, añadir los granos de cacao y hervir por 5 minutos. Apagar el fuego y añadir el resto de los ingredientes. Dejar reposar la mezcla durante 8 minutos, servir en una taza colándolo a través de un tamiz o filtro. Sírvase caliente.

Afternoon Tea at Breidenbacher Hof

Now that Autumn has arrived and temperatures are cooling down, I am really getting into the mood for a cup of hot tea, cakes and cookies. It is simply the time of the year where I like to relax inside, not only by myself, but also with good friends. And to be honest, is there anything cozier than an Afternoon Tea session (especially afternoon tea at Breidenbacher Hof!) in a comfortable environment? I don’t think so!

As I am regularly in charge of organizing get-togethers among my friends, I thought it would be nice to meet at Breidenbacher Hof for tea. I have never had Afternoon Tea at our property before and was just as excited as my friends to experience the service and enjoy our time together.

Afternoon tea at Breidenbacher Hof is served in our Lobby Lounge space.  It is the ideal setting because it is both warm and inviting.  Perfect for lounging, talking, and of course, enjoying tea!

Speaking of, service begins with the tea selection.  I was quite impressed by the enormous selection of different blends – in total there are about 24 different Ronnefeldt teas.  If you find yourself overwhelmed, don’t worry! A box with a small sample of each variety is provided for you to smell.  After choosing our teas, we each received our very own teapot with a little hot plate to keep it warm.

Next a display of tea sandwiches, cakes and scones was placed on our table.  What a treat!  It was wonderful to snack on the finger food as we shared stories and chatted the afternoon away.   In fact, the afternoon was such a hit, that we decided to repeat our little gathering during Christmas season when all holiday treats are available!