Food Tips

Hawker Centres
Hawker centres are where you will find a veritable feast of Chinese, Malay and Indian treats. It is best to find yourself a seat before you order. Placing a packet of tissue on the table will signal to others that the table has been reserved. Sharing a table with strangers is fine if you cannot find a vacant one.

Place your orders at each stall, state your table number and your selections. Most hawker centres have numbers on each table, however self-service is practised in some hawker centres and food courts. It is also a good way to ask Singaporeans about their favourite food or stall. Chinese dishes are served with chopsticks, though a fork and spoon will be made readily available upon request. When ordering seafood, you should ask for the exact price you will be charged for the dish to avoid any misunderstanding.
Some favourite hawker centres in the city area include Bugis Street, Lau Pa Sat, Chinatown Food Street and Maxwell Road Market. For an in-depth taste of Singapore's hawker centres, visit the Makansutra website.

Food Courts
Food courts are basically air-conditioned, indoor hawker centres. They are popular because they offer diversity of choice in a clean, modern and sometimes even upmarket setting. As with hawker centres, it is best to find a seat before you order your food. Some favourite food courts in the city areas include Bugis Junction, Clarke Quay, Picnic Food Court, Takashimaya Food Village, China Square Food Centre and Kopitiam.

Singapore has a wide range of differently priced menus to suit the needs of travellers. Local fare found at hawker centres and kopitiams or open-fronted local coffee shops are very reasonably priced indeed while luxurious meals served at five-star establishments are still excellent value for money. For discounts, check out the Traveller's Card from OneLoyalty. With the Traveller's Card, you can get rewarded every time you spend. Earn instant cash-back of up to 19.5% off the purchase price at participating merchants. Redeem the cash-back in the form of OneLoyalty$ on your next transaction or accumulate it to shop for free. To find out more, visit the OneLoyalty website.

Dress Code
Smart casual dressing is the rule for most restaurants in the city. At open-air food centres, you'll probably find dressing in shorts and sandals far more comfortable.

Credit Cards
Most major credit cards are widely accepted at Singapore restaurants, with the exception of the more simple establishments, food courts and hawker centres, You may wish to call ahead to confirm that your card will be accepted.

Service Charges
Most hotel restaurants and dining establishments levy a service charge of 10%, a government tax of 4% which will increase to 5% in 2004 and a cess tax of 1%. Some suburban eating places and most hawker centres and food courts do not levy this charge. Tipping can be practised at your discretion.

No Smoking
In the interests of public health, smoking has been banned in most air-conditioned buildings and restaurants.

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  Information provided by Singapore Tourism Board.


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