Singaporeans love our food, and many of us are self-professed foodies. When the pandemic hit, one of the enduring topics commonly brought up is how to preserve our hawker heritage. Light was also shed on non tech-savvy elderly hawkers who struggled with reaching consumers during these two years.
It's probably difficult to choose the top item from a long list of food available in Singapore, but if online searches are any indication of favouritism, then these data will tell you what Singaporean's favourite (or at least top searched) food are!
We delved deep into our data this year and here are the top 10 food and drinks related searches, according to Yahoo readers in Singapore.
1. Nasi Lemak
The top search term for 2021 is Nasi Lemak, and part of us wonder if it's because of the news of a Telegram group named SG Nasi Lemak distributing obscene materials that dominated news for a while, or if it's the powerful draw of the piquant dish.
Think fragrant coconut and pandan rice, proteins of choice whether fried or in rendang form such as fish, chicken, beef, add an otak-otak and egg, sprinkle peanuts and ikan bilis and pull it all together with a dollop of sambal. Okay, we think it's the latter after all.
Coincidentally, nasi lemak is also the top 5 most searched food of our Malaysian counterpart!
2. Bak kut teh
Which do you prefer? The herbal bah kut teh or the peppery version? There's no right or wrong answer, because it's all good in the eye (or the tastebuds) of the beholder. The ones found in Singapore tend to be more peppery, and for rainy weather, it's truly the perfect comfort food.
Oh, if you haven't already, check out this article where Bruce and Chef Bob reviewed a halal bah kut teh stall in Circuit Road.
3. Bubble Tea
I have waxed lyrical about my love for bubble tea, here and here, and many times over my entire career in Yahoo. So, am I even mildly surprised bubble tea is within the top 10 most searched food item in Singapore? Nope!
These umami-laden savoury pieces of meat, grilled over charcoal and served with savoury peanut sauce, flanked traditionally by onions, ketupat and sometimes pineapple hit all the right spots. It is, after all, the food that was disputed and widely discussed after a short cameo on Crazy Rich Asian!
It looks unassuming, but the Chinese traditional popiah is packed to the brim with stewed turnip, radish, hei bi (dried shrimps), peanut, sweet sauce, chilli and more, depending on the recipe. Regardless, it's a popular dish that has been around for very long.
6. Hokkien Mee
When you say Hokkien Mee in Singapore, people might either think of the one filled with prawns and other seafood, or the one slathered with soy sauce. The latter is a tze-char favourite while the former is a hawker favourite. Both are worth their weight in salt.
7. Carrot Cake
Like the popiah, this dish consists primarily of turnips as well as other additions, but it's usually steamed before being fried to perfection.
High in calories, also high on people's search terms; the laksa is a noodle dish usually served with a thick lemak gravy. It's a heavenly combination, but are usually associated with being heavier on the palate.
9. Chilli crab
The iconic chilli crab is lower on the list than I would have expected, but this mud crab in a spicy tomato gravy does not usually disappoint!
10. Hainanese chicken rice
Chicken and rice, there's really very little things that can go wrong with that combination. There are several types of chicken rice in Singapore, but Yummy! producer Bruce explains it better.