Exploring Singaporean Flavors in Hanoi

    Experience a taste of Singapore right here in Hanoi; a new restaurant has just opened in the Ha Dong District, serving up authentic Singaporean cuisine.

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    One cold rainy afternoon, while strolling around Singapore, I stumbled upon a shop selling bak kut teh. Despite feeling tired, hungry, wet, and cold, all of those discomforts vanished after my first sip of the traditional Singaporean soup.

    Years later, on a cold autumn day in Hanoi, I experienced that same feeling again when I tried bak kut teh at Sing Chiak, a Singaporean restaurant. Located on Nguyen Van Loc Street in Mo Lao Ward, Ha Dong District, Sing Chiak is a newly opened eatery that attracts Singaporean, Chinese, and Korean expatriates.

    Sing Chiak is a corner of Singaporean cuisine. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

    The owner of Sing Chiak, Pham Hang, explained to me that the name means “Let’s go eat.” The menu of the restaurant lives up to its name, offering authentic flavors at affordable prices.

    I started with the bak kut teh, also known as meat bone tea, to warm up my stomach. This delicious dish, a favorite on rainy days, is made from meaty pork ribs and various herbs simmered for hours. The broth is rich with herbs, and the meat is tender, easily falling off the bone.

    Next, I had the chili crab, an iconic dish of Singapore’s culinary culture. At Sing Chiak, the chili crab is prepared with exceptional flavor. Fresh crab is stir-fried with chili sauce, eggs, and tomatoes. The combination of fresh crab meat and the legendary chili sauce of Singaporean cuisine makes it truly appealing.

    Crab chili, the iconic dish of Singaporean cuisine. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

    Another must-try dish at Sing Chiak is the frog porridge. Cooked in a clay pot with a rich and flavorful sauce, the frogs are served with plain porridge.

    Frogs are cooked in a rich, flavour-packed sauce in a claypot, and served alongside plain porridge. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

    If you still have room for one more dish, I highly recommend trying the Hainan chicken rice. The chicken is prepared using the traditional Hainan method, which involves boiling the whole chicken and using the chicken stock for the broth.

    Fresh cucumbers are boiled in the chicken stock and lightly sprinkled with soy sauce and sesame oil when eaten with the chicken rice, adding a rich and addictive flavor.

    The dipping sauce that accompanies the rice is a mixture of black soy sauce, freshly ground ginger, red pepper, and minced fresh garlic.

    Hainan chicken rice. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

    If you want to take a piece of Singaporean cuisine home, be sure to try Sing Puff. This famous snack is made of curry sauce, chicken, potatoes, and eggs, all mixed together, covered with a doughy shell, and then fried. The crispy crust and flavorful filling make it truly craveable and unforgettable.