Forget the colonel and the clown: if you want food that’s fresh, fast and overflowing with flavor, make a beeline for the foodie hotspots of Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai. From chili crab in Singapore to camel burgers in Dubai and coconut ice cream in Bangkok, there’s a world of flavors ready to be discovered in these capitals of culinary exploration. Trust us: your taste buds will thank you for it!
When a city has a reputation for being the Street Food Capital of the World, you know that your taste buds are in for a real treat. Not only that, but Bangkok’s street food vendors serve up delicacies that are super-fast and ultra-cheap, so there’s no need for fine flavors to damage your wallet.
Make your way to the massive Chatuchak Weekend Market, where mouth watering specialties to watch out for include papaya salad, grilled honey pork with sticky rice, fried noodles and coconut ice cream.
Alternatively, over in Bangrak—which is also known as the ‘Village of Love’ because it’s where people come to register their marriages—there are a host of mom-and-pop eateries that have been feeding the happy locals for decades. Be sure to check out Prachak Pet Chang, which is famous for its crispy and juicy roast duck.
Or spend an evening exploring the stalls and small restaurants of Yaowarat, where you’ll find a delicious mix of Chinese and Thai dishes to try. Barbecued seafood is an especially popular choice here, as is dim sum, satay and pad Thai. And when the sun sets this district gets particularly lively, as neon street signs light up the night and the local eateries spill out onto the street.
From small-time street vendors to high-end bistros, Singapore is a city that likes to eat—and it’s a city that loves to eat its chicken rice.
Hainanese chicken rice—chicken served with chicken stock rice, tangy chili sauce and ginger paste—is a staple in Singapore. Check out Wee Nam Kee, which has four outlets in the city. You can choose what sort of chicken you want there, be it poached, fried, roasted or cooked with soy sauce. It’s also famous for the quality of its dipping sauce.
Another local favorite is chili crab. Prepare to get messy as you dive into this divine dish of crack-open crab and spicy-sweet sauce. Order a side dish of mantou (buns) to go with it because you’ll definitely want to mop up all of that delicious sauce. Try Crab Party on Yio Chu Kang Road, where the chili crab is served up extra spicy.
Or get a real taste of Peranakan cuisine (Peranakan is a term that refers to ‘local born’ people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage) at Kim Choo Kueh Chang in Joo Chiat and dive into some sticky nonya rice dumplings. A big hit with Singaporeans, this store has been using the same recipe for 45 years, so it’s obviously doing something right!
Yes, Dubai is home to some fabulous celebrity chef restaurants, such as Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen at Atlantis The Palm and Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes W1 at Dubai Marina—but eating out in the city doesn’t necessarily have to cost a small fortune.
Make your way to 2nd of December Street in Satwa, which is home to a plethora of eateries that celebrate both international and local flavors. Check out the traditional Pakistani fare on offer at Ravi, a Dubai institution that specializes in Peshwari mutton and traditional biriyanis. Or head to Firas Sweets for a generous portion of hot kunafa—a soft cheese that’s topped in rosewater-soaked vermicelli.
Alternatively, make a beeline for Fishing Harbor 2, where you’ll find the no-frills fish shack Bu Qtair. There may be some big line-ups, but tasting the fresh fish of the day with curry sauce is totally worth the wait. Or, if you want to try a camel burger, stop by Bareburger on Al Safa Street, where you can order a ‘Nomad’ burger in a brioche bun.
Do you dream of sampling papaya salad at Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market? Of chasing sticky nonya rice dumplings around a plate in Singapore? Or of taking a big bite out of a camel burger in Dubai? Yes? Then come with us to Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai. Not only will you have the foodie experience of a lifetime, but you will also have a sophisticated itinerary that has been lovingly-created by Indus’ travel experts. To find out more about our tours, please feel free to contact us at any time.
About the Writer: Vickie Sam Paget
Vickie is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not creating dynamic travel or tech content, globetrotting or gazing at the North Shore Mountains, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or sipping a pint of the good stuff in her local Irish bar.