Tourist in Singapore Finds Cheap and Delicious Meals in ‘World’s Most Expensive City’

Tourist in Singapore Finds Cheap and Delicious Meals in ‘World’s Most Expensive City’

Singapore may be known as the world’s most expensive city, but that does not mean that there are no affordable and tasty food options for tourists. A US tourist named Grif discovered this when he visited the Tiong Bahru Market, a popular hawker centre in Singapore, and tried various meals under US$5.

Grif, who runs a YouTube channel called Grif’s Food and Travel, posted a video on Monday (Feb 18) where he documented his food adventure at Tiong Bahru Market. He said he did some research before coming to Singapore, and found out that Tiong Bahru Market was one of the best hawker centres to visit.

He was amazed by the variety and quality of the food stalls at the market, and the low prices of the dishes. He said he was used to paying US$10 to US$15 for a meal in the US, but in Singapore, he could get a satisfying meal for US$4 or less.

He tried several dishes from different stalls, such as:

  • Curry rice with breaded pork chop and braised pork from Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice, which cost US$4. He said the curry was very flavorful and the pork chop was very tender.
  • Hokkien mee with prawns and squid from Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee, which cost US$3. He said the noodles were very moist and the seafood was very fresh.
  • Chestnut and sugarcane drink from Guan Huat, which cost US$1. He said the drink was very refreshing and sweet.
  • Wonton noodles with char siew from Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Noodle, which cost US$4.50. He said the noodles were very springy and the char siew was very juicy.
  • Peanut and coconut pancakes from Tiong Bahru Mian Jian Kueh, which cost US$0.75 each. He said the pancakes were very light and fluffy, and the fillings were very generous.

He enjoyed all the dishes he tried, and said he was very impressed by the food quality and the service at the market.

Singapore’s Reputation as an Expensive City

Singapore has been ranked as the world’s most expensive city for eight consecutive years by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), based on factors such as the cost of living, housing, transport, and food. The EIU’s latest report, released in March 2023, showed that Singapore was 20 per cent more expensive than New York, and 43 per cent more expensive than London.

However, Singapore’s reputation as an expensive city does not mean that there are no budget-friendly options for tourists and locals. Singapore has a vibrant and diverse food culture, with many hawker centres, food courts, and cafes that offer cheap and delicious meals. According to the EIU, a typical meal at a hawker centre in Singapore costs US$3.50, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant costs US$15.

Singapore also has many attractions and activities that are free or low-cost, such as visiting the Gardens by the Bay, the Botanic Gardens, the Merlion Park, and the Esplanade. Singapore also has a efficient and affordable public transport system, with buses and trains that cover most parts of the island.

Singapore’s Appeal as a Tourist Destination

Despite the high cost of living, Singapore remains a popular tourist destination, especially in the post-pandemic era. According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Singapore received 18.7 million visitors in 2023, a 15 per cent increase from 2022, and a 35 per cent increase from 2019.

Singapore’s appeal as a tourist destination lies in its diversity, safety, cleanliness, and innovation. Singapore offers a variety of experiences and attractions for different types of travelers, such as culture, nature, shopping, entertainment, and food. Singapore is also known for its high standards of hygiene, security, and technology, which make it a comfortable and convenient place to visit.

Singapore’s food scene, in particular, is one of its main attractions, as it reflects the multicultural and cosmopolitan nature of the city-state. Singapore has a rich and varied culinary heritage, influenced by the cuisines of China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other countries. Singapore also has a vibrant and creative food scene, with many chefs and entrepreneurs who experiment with new flavors and concepts.

Singapore’s food scene has also gained international recognition and acclaim, with many Michelin-starred restaurants and Bib Gourmand stalls. Singapore also hosts many food festivals and events, such as the Singapore Food Festival, the World Gourmet Summit, and the Singapore Hawker Culture Festival.