Is a Durian fruit considered only perfect during its season or is it perfect all year round? Let’s not get stuck on Durian, but when is food considered perfect or ‘the best food in Singapore’? Is it objectively possible to say? It seems like an impossible task – but let’s try anyway.
Imagine yourself sipping a lychee martini in one of Singapore’s rooftop pools (my dream scenario) and overlooking the skyscrapers. What would be the first food that comes to your mind? What is the best food that will paint your perfect picture?
Being a city-state known for having a wide variety of good food, what is being considered the best food in Singapore is often very objective and personal. To some people, consuming ethical and healthy food such as organic vegetables are considered best, others might prefer enjoying good food over a glass of wine during a fine dining session.
For working adults, enthusing about various kinds of food and past travels are often conversation topics that would get the ball rolling that’s why food is the life of Singaporeans. Almost everyone has experienced different trendy foods being circulated on social media platforms on a seasonal basis (admit it, we all have that one or two Facebook friends that are ever enthusiastic to share about the food they have eaten on their respective news feed); think lobster rolls, salted egg themed dishes and truffle fries. With so many seasonal “Best Food in Singapore” around, which ones are the legitimate best?
As the Saying Goes – Health is Wealth
A common understanding of what’s best for a person might not be the best for other people. If there is food that greatly benefits the overall wellness of a person, can it be considered as the best food in Singapore? Healthy eating is a factor often overlooked among working adults with hectic schedules. Upon realising sudden weight gain or an ill feeling, one might partake in a detoxification diet, supplements and/or a juice cleanse diet.
In this direction, acai berry or chia seeds should be considered as few of the best foods around. As opinions in different tastes for food are subjective in general, one would not be able to deny the benefits of health food and that classification of food could jolly well be the ultimate best food for the inner health and wellness gurus in Singaporeans (although the taste factor of healthy food might be slightly off the chart).
With the use of unique ingredients from different countries, creating a perfect dish that will match a person’s palate is not an impossible task. Situated in tropical Singapore, would the majority consider the combination of passion fruit juice, pineapple puree, papaya sorbet and coconut crisp a series of best foods suitable to satisfy the sweet tooth?
With top-notch private chefs creating more masterpieces than they ever did in the past century, fine dining in Singapore has been booming in the recent years. The ambience, service, quality of the food, the art of plating and the techniques executed on the dishes are the definition of perfection on the plate. Perfect dinners are however no longer restricted to restaurants.
Perfect Food at Home
The food industry is becoming more and more specialised, with technology being an increasingly important factor. Enjoying the food of an excellent chef is available at home too. Food delivery of the next level in changing consumer behaviour in Singapore. Ordering a chef to come to your house – dining in – has become very accessible as well as affordable.
When it comes to good food in Singapore, one also has to ask chefs that make the food. As a chef the most important aspect of cooking is always quality. If you are a chef you want your guests to go away with a smile. Working in the restaurant, the chef actually doesn’t see any of it.
Dining in at people’s homes has therefore become a favourite activity amongst chefs – for different reasons. Chefs cannot only see the direct reaction of a guest eating his food, but chefs have also more room to push the culinary creations to the next level.
One might expect that the dining-in trend is a hassle for the chef, but they actually love it. Jean-Philippe Patruno, who is a well-established executive chef in a famous restaurant here in Singapore, says that “going to people’s house to cook is a beautiful and intimate experience for them as well as me”. Chefs can actually fulfill their culinary dreams and be creative, while having direct contact with the people that eat their food.
Must the food to be necessarily sophisticated to be considered as best food in Singapore? For myself, I would have to go with a no. In a diversified city like Singapore where healthy eating habits and healthy food are widely available, the notion of best food varies from person to person. While some working class adults might prefer a mean A5 grade Ohmi Wagyu steak their choice of best food, older folks might just prefer their good ol’ bowl of ‘Laksa’.
For someone like myself, I felt guilty to admit that I would weigh the taste of the food over its health benefits; a fiery plate of buffalo wings over a smoothie bowl anytime, hands down. To decide what is the best food for yourself, would you weigh in terms of the food’s aesthetic qualities, the textures, the bold combination of contrasting flavours or the health benefits it provides?
Think about it, the best food you thought was perfect when you were 15, French fries and hotdogs; do you still think the same about them now? ‘Roti prata’ meant best food for a 70 year old Indian grandpa who has worked all his life having it for lunch and having truffle shavings for supper could be considered the best food for an 18 year old boy who lives off his rich parents. What is truly the best, it involves one’s emotions and feelings, and his or her’s financial status. The best food for me will always be the soya sauce pork that my late grandma made for me when I was a kid.