Divine tales of deliciousness from Makansutra's first e-book
Here are some of the gems featured in the food guide's inaugural online edition
Despite an unsettling year with the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore obtained Unesco recognition for our hawker food culture.
Getting onto the world body's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is about more than just delicious hawker food.
It is also about you, me and an organic industry that thrives on this relationship we have.
So in the year ahead, do pay attention to the elements in our food culture that are beyond deliciousness - it's the least we can do to honour the hawkers who gave us this culture in the first place.
This is also the year local food guide Makansutra launched its first-ever e-book edition, given out free.
Head to makansutra.com/ebook to check out the videos and let your fingers hunt down a meaningful meal for you.
Here are some of the divine tales of deliciousness we've uncovered, with ratings of five chopsticks (or what we term "Divine") out of a maximum six ("Die Die Must Try").
Masakan Anak Bujang, 1 Bedok Road, #01-25 Bedok Corner Food Centre
Opens 9am to 9pm, closed on Tuesdays
Herman was an office worker before he upped and left for Kelantan to learn the ways of cooking nasi kerabu, a light coconut rice coloured by blue pea flower.
It's "not colouring", he reminds us, as he uses the bunga telang for it, with chopped raw herbs and vegetables, spooned over with budu (a fermented anchovies sauce from Kelantan), serunding (roasted grated coconut) and a tangy and refreshing vinegar-ish sambal.
He serves exactly that in this stall, which opened last year.
You can choose to top it with fried chicken or fish, or both, or even solok lada - a fish and grated coconut paste with pepper stuffed in a grilled green chilli.
Those pieces of fish crackers are so right for the whole dish too.
One Mouth Noodle, 51 Yishun Ave 11, #01-12, Yishun Park Hawker Centre
Opens 9am to 8.30pm daily
Here we have a local boy, Mr Yeow Kin Mun, doing a Hong Kong-style wanton mee.
It's a rare treat to see hawkers making noodles on site from scratch, from opening the pack of flour, sieving it, mixing it with eggs and a pinch of salt, then folding, kneading and repeat.
It's all arm power.
When done, his little noodle machine turns the dough into fine al dente and springy wanton noodles. He blanches the noodles and sauces it with a simple soy sesame blend.
He also makes his own char siew in a little roaster at the back of the stall, and it turns out moist with bits of burnt edges. He also makes his own wanton with some fat and cartilage that lend so much flavour to it.
Chendol Melaka, 15 Upper East Coast Road, Soy Eu Tua Coffee Shop
Nasi Ulam available only from 10.30am to 12.30pm, closed on Mondays
This may well be the only hawker stall left in Singapore offering the delightfully complex nasi ulam dish.
Nyonya Daisy and her husband Colin run Chendol Melaka, which was a collaboration with the late Kenny Chan of Melaka, a culinary treasure from Malaysia.
More than 10 raw herbs and spices are finely chopped then folded into the rice, and tossed with a special rempah. The result? A magnificent little plate of aromatic herbed rice, eaten simply with a dollop of their homemade and very spicy sambal.
They don't make a lot of it daily as Colin mans the stall alone on most days.
Just go early and finish it off with a bowl of their signature Chendol, made with gula melaka from Melaka of course.