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Spicy, Strange, & Scrumptious Top Exotic Food in Singapore

Spicy, Strange, & Scrumptious: Top Exotic Food in Singapore

We can’t deny that Singapore is a foodie’s paradise. You get Michelin-starred food at a fraction of the cost, diverse cuisines a few blocks away from each other, and many interesting flavours that you can only find in the Lion City. 

But are you a true foodie if you haven’t dared to explore Singapore’s exotic culinary offerings? Amidst the seemingly odd and unappetising appearances, there’s a world of surprisingly palatable and unique flavours waiting to be discovered.

So, if you have guts of steel and an adventurous palate, here’s a list of exotic foods in Singapore that you shouldn’t sleep on during your trip! 

Pig’s Organ Soup

Pig’s Organ Soup

From kohbrotherpigsorgansoup

Pig’s organ soup is for foodies with guts of steel, and if you have the guts to try something unusual for a change, we recommend starting with this local delicacy. 

Pig’s organ soup is basically a clear soup cooked with various pig organs like the intestine, heart, stomach, gizzard, and more. It’s not appetising to hear or see, but if you go past the looks and smell, you’ll be treating yourself to a hearty and delicious meal. 

But, pig’s organ soup isn’t just plain boiled organs. Most hawker stalls, especially the famous Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup stall, infuse the broth with vegetables, spices, and other aromatics like onion leaves and garlic to bring out more flavour. 

Where to get it:
Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup, 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-29, Singapore 168898

Soon Lee Pig’s Organ Soup, 70 Zion Rd, Singapore 247792

Ri Tao Fu Teochew Pig Organ Soup, 1 Jln Kukoh, #01-11, Singapore 161001

Price: $4.50 to $6 per bowl 

Crocodile Paw or Foot

Crocodile Paw or Foot

From thedragonchamber

Crocodile meat, a traditional part of Southeast Asian indigenous diets for centuries, is now less widespread as a protein source. However, some communities still value it for perceived healing properties.

In Singapore, crocodile paw or foot is still a crowd-favourite in very select restaurants and hawker stalls because of its gelatinous texture, chicken-like flavour, and alleged medicinal qualities. They’re best served wholly braised or stewed! 

Where to get it:
East Treasure Chinese Restaurant, 470 Lor 6 Toa Payoh, #01-72, Singapore 310470

Imperial Herbal Restaurant, 382 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169629

The Dragon Chamber, 2 Circular Rd, Singapore 049358

Price: $16 to $32 per serving 

Turtle Soup

Turtle Soup

From kent.thong_turtle.soup

Turtles are a delicacy in Southeast Asian cuisine, especially in Singapore! Turtle meat is mainly served as a soup dish in many hawker stalls, and its consumption is heavily regulated by the Singapore Food Agency. 

Traditionally, turtle meat is coveted for its nutritious benefits and protein content. The meat is somewhat gelatinous but not fatty, making it a favourite for people who want to get more macronutrients in their diet. 

Turtle meat soup is usually clear and cooked with leafy vegetables. Some versions include the turtle unchopped and boiled in a spiced broth until the fats emulsify, making the soup milky and slightly opaque. 

Where to get it:
Havelock Turtle Soup, 22A Havelock Rd, #01-04, Singapore 162022

Tai Seng Turtle Soup, 2 Jln Lokam, #01-56 Kensington Square S, Singapore 537846

Kent Thong Turtle Soup, 335 Smith St, #02-188, Singapore 050335

Price: $17 to $58 per bowl 

Shark Lor Mee

Shark Lor Mee

– From singapore.foodie

If you’ve ever had sharks fin dumplings, then the next level to that is the shark lor mee (and this time, with actual shark meat)! Popularly served in hawker stalls in Tiong Bahru, shark lor mee is a thick noodle dish served with dark gravy and fried shark meat. 

Lor mee is a popular noodle dish that’s often paired with chicken or pork, but some famous stalls in Tiong Bahru like Soon Heng Food Delights and 178 Lor Mee are best known for serving shark meat as their main topping option. 

The shark meat is cut into bite-sized pieces, covered in a flour batter, then deep-fried. If you find yourself in Tiong Bahru, don’t miss out on trying real shark meat for the first time! 

Where to get it:
Soon Heng Food Delights, 6 Tanjong Pagar Plz, #02-19, Singapore 081006

Tiong Bahru Shark Lor Mee, 82 Telok Blangah Dr, #01-40, Singapore 100082178

Lor Mee, 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-23, Singapore 168898

Price: $4 to $6 per bowl 

Sup Otak or Goat’s Brain Soup

Sup Otak or Goat’s Brain Soup

From singapore.foodie

If you plan on dressing up as a zombie for Halloween next time, consider bringing a bowl of sup otak or goat’s brain soup as a prop. Kidding aside, sup otak or goat’s brain soup is a delicious jelly-like soup dish cooked with a whole goat’s brain! 

The sight of an actual brain in the middle of your soup may not be super appetising, but the taste and burst of flavour outweigh the looks. Sup otak is usually simmered in spiced soup for hours to achieve an emulsified broth. 

The brains are either cut into smaller pieces or served whole, with leafy garnish like parsley and cilantro. The soup is fantastic, but the brains are better––they taste just like semi-firm tofu but with so much flavour as you chew on them.

Where to get it:
Haji M. Abdul Rajak Stall, 17 Upper Boon Keng Rd, #01-03, Singapore 380017

Iqbal Soup Kambing, 1 Geylang Serai, #02-128, Singapore 402001

Bahrakath Mutton Soup, 2 Adam Rd, #01-10, Singapore 289876

Price: $4 to $6 per bowl 

Deer Penis Soup or Wine

Deer Penis Soup or Wine

From irfansview.official

At this point, we won’t be surprised if you think we’re being ridiculous for featuring deer penis soup as a top exotic food in Singapore, but we’re not kidding. It’s an actual herbal delicacy that can only be found in one Chinese restaurant on the island! 

Deer penis is an important ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, especially when taken as a soup or wine. It’s a natural aphrodisiac and is used to treat people with low libido.  

Deer penis soup consists of sliced deer penis, pork meat, dried seahorse, and lots of Chinese herbs, cooked in a sweet and sour broth of water and tonic wine. The actual deer penis doesn’t have that much flavour, but it’s jelly-like like a goat’s brain! 

Where to get it:
Imperial Herbal Restaurant, 382 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169629

Price: $35 per bowl 

Goose Web

Goose Web

From imperialtreasuresg

Goose web or braised goose feet is a popular dish that hails from Hong Kong. You’ve probably heard of chicken feet before, and if you’ve tried it and liked it, then we’re certain you’ll love Cantonese-style goose web.

The large goose feet are braised in a sweet and savoury sauce, often served with roasted duck. Goose webs are slightly larger than chicken feet but share the same gelatinous and tender texture. 

In some restaurants, goose web is also served with a side of goose tongue. Basically, you can order almost every part of a duck or goose, either braised or roasted, in some Chinese restaurants in Singapore! 

Where to get it:
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, 290 Orchard Rd, #05 – 42 / 45, Singapore 238859

Lei Garden Restaurant, 30 Victoria St, #01-24 CHIJMES, Singapore 187996

Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine, 190 Keng Lee Rd, #01-02 Chui Huay Lim Club, Singapore 308409

Price: $16 to $22 per plate

Pufferfish or Fugu

Pufferfish or Fugu

From guenpin

Pufferfish is notorious for being one of the most difficult dishes to prepare, owing to its high toxin content that has no antidote when consumed. For pufferfish to be safe for consumption, chefs must go through years of training and earn a licence to prepare it. 

Pufferfish is a delicacy in Japan, but you don’t need to fly all the way there to try it out. In Singapore, several upscale Japanese restaurants serve pufferfish, either raw or cooked in several ways like fried, steamed, or in soups. 

There’s a Japanese restaurant along Maxwell Road, Guenpin Fugu and Kani, that specialises in pufferfish dishes. Though expensive, the meticulous preparation by skilled chefs justifies the price, promising a dining experience with a hint of risk in every bite.

Where to get it:
Guenpin Fugu and Kani, 069115

Singapore, Maxwell Rd, 32, Maxwell Chambers, #01-06Mieda, Level 10 OUE Tower, 60 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049322

Kappou Miyako, 360 Orchard Rd, #01-09/10 International Building, Singapore 238869

Price: $25 to $40 per plate

Fish Sperm 

Fish Sperm

From dosukoi_x_donpachi

Another exotic dish that you’ll find in many Japanese restaurants in Singapore is fish sperm or shirako. This white, brain-like dish actually consists of both the male fish genitalia and sperm! 

Fish sperm is usually eaten fresh on a bed of soy sauce or grilled on its own with little seasoning. It’s likened to the fish roe you find on top of sushi, so if you can stomach regular fish roe, you might be able to stomach fish sperm. 

Its flavour is light and creamy, with the soy sauce complementing the faint taste of the ocean. The sperm and genitalia are often harvested from cod, pufferfish, and anglerfish, but many Japanese restaurants in Singapore source them straight from Japan! 

Where to get it:
Dosukoi x Donpachi, 5 Koek Rd, B1-23/24/25 Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796

Sushi Masaaki, 26 Beach Road, Beach Avenue, B1-17 South, Singapore 189768

Keria Japanese Restaurant, 5 Koek Rd, B1-28, Singapore 228796

Price: $18 to $25 per serving

Pig Trotter Jelly

Pig Trotter Jelly

From eatdreamlove

Pig trotter jelly is a Singaporean exotic dish with Teochew roots. Mainly served in hawker stalls across Singapore, pig trotter jelly has been a staple dish among veteran hawkers and the older generation on the island. 

The dish basically consists of diced pork meat and pig skin, cooked in a spiced broth and then chilled. This results in a gelatinous and jelly-like blob of savoury diced pork cubes or strips typically eaten with ice. 

It’s weird to pair pork meat, broth, skin, and ice together, but we’re certain that if you try pig trotter’s jelly at least once during a visit to a hawker centre in Singapore, you’ll like it! If you can’t stomach eating it by itself, use it as a side dish or topping to noodle dishes.

Where to get it:
Lao Liang Pig Trotter Jelly and Shark Meat, #02-37 Jln Berseh, Food Centre, Singapore

Lin Ji Pig Leg Rice, 270 Queen St, #01-113, Singapore 180270

Grandma’s Pig Trotter Rice, 26A Chai Chee Rd, #01-405 9A, Singapore 461026

Price: $5 to $10 per serving

Salted Egg Yolk Ice Cream

Salted Egg Yolk Ice Cream

From tomspalettesg

Singaporeans have embraced the salted egg yolk craze in their cuisine. However, the idea of turning it into an ice cream flavour might seem odd due to the term “salted.” 

But locals aren’t shy about experimenting with flavours!

As an ice cream flavour, salted egg yolk is surprisingly balanced––not too salty, gives off the “eggy” taste, and bursts with creaminess and a slight sweetness. The blend of savoury and sweet becomes highly addictive to the palate. 

Although you can’t bring salted egg yolk ice cream back for your friends and family, you can still purchase other salted egg snacks for them after your trip. We locals love everything with salted egg, so it won’t be hard to shop for them! 

Where to get it:
Tom’s Palette, 51 Middle Rd, #01-01, Singapore 188959

Hundred Acre Creamery, 109 Clementi Street 11, #01-37, Singapore 120109

Price: $4 to $6 per serving

Turtle Herbal Jelly

Turtle Herbal Jelly

– From koongwohtongherbaljelly

If you enjoyed turtle soup, you might fancy turtle herbal jelly for dessert! This Chinese herbal concoction is pretty controversial because the main ingredient they use to make the jelly comes from the golden coin turtle, which is an endangered species. 

Due to the tight regulations surrounding the dessert, Lingzhi or fungus powder is often used as a replacement. The dish is made of powdered turtle or tortoise shell and seasoned lightly with herbal additives like Smilax. 

The result after boiling, pulverising, and cooking the turtle shell powder is a very dark, almost black jelly that’s served chilled. It has a slightly bitter taste, but we recommend adding a dash of honey to balance the bitterness! 

Where to get it:
Koong Woh Tong, 180 Bencoolen St, Singapore 189646

Original Herbal Soup, 414 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329806

Price: $10 to $16 per serving

Bird’s Nest Soup

Bird’s Nest Soup

From imperialnests

Try the exquisite bird’s nest soup, a revered Chinese delicacy found in upscale restaurants across Singapore. Crafted from edible swiftlet saliva, the soup transforms into a jelly-like consistency through steaming or boiling. 

Lightly seasoned with salt and sugar, it boasts a unique sweetness. Authentic Chinese restaurants would cook it with rock sugar to add a bit more flavour to the broth, but some locals also prefer warm milk instead! 

While its premium cost reflects the intricate farming process (traditionally harvested from mountain caves at daunting altitudes), the dish now sources nests from swiftlet farms which are dedicated to farming nests for consumption.

Where to get it:
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia’s Summer Pavilion, 7 Raffles Ave., The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore 039799

Imperial Nests, 35 Kallang Pudding Rd, Singapore 349314

Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant, 317 Outram Rd, Singapore 169075

Price: $40 to $130 per bowl 
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