From an island with limited resources to a Southeast Asian hub for multi-cultural cuisines – Join James Seah as he recollects and rationalises how Singapore became an international haven for foodies. 

Scotts shopping centre under construction. Photo credit: under constructionScotts shopping centre under construction. Photo credit: James Seah

This is not a “foodie blog”.But food is in the mouth of everyone and everyone must eat all over the world to be alive and survive, whether rich or poor. For people to “eat to live or live to eat” is a different matter all together. It is obvious why people eat, but how people eat and the choice of food of the individual’s personal preference as and when available basically depend on the culture and within the budget affordable to spend.

Hawker centre. Photo credit: James SeahHawker Centre. Photo credit: James Seah

There is no such snobbish social status as “high-class” or “low-class” food which some people imagined. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”…this topic later towards the end of the blog to express. Vegetarians are exempted because their food is meatless.

As the society becomes affluent, people eat for pleasure and luxury…the rich appreciates good food to enjoy at whatever price. Food is a necessity to nourish the body and the mind, and to live. Healthy and diet food doesn’t mean it will be costly though.

Singapore is an international haven for foodies. There are many tourists who visit and love Singapore for the widest varieties of food, local and international cuisines, all under one roof and everywhere. Foreign “food talents” are welcome too! Recently, the topic on food is an increasing talk of the town over the radio talk, TV, magazines, newspapers and other social media blogs.

Food court. Photo credit: James Seah
Food Court. Photo credit: James Seah

Singapore is a democratic, multi-food preference, harmonious society…nobody is forced to eat what they like as long as they are edible and available within their budget. No country in the world can legislate this into law, except for reasons of religion or health. To each his own choice and favorite food, how much to spend for food. The Ministry of Environment in Singapore and other government authorities also license the hawkers and food handlers to ensure the safety of the consumers.

Singapore is an international haven for foodies.

Children who are fussy about food should not complain to parents who are too busy sometimes to prepare food for them. The cooked food in Singapore is cheap and good for a quick meal for just a few dollars…fast to cook and good to eat instant noodles. When I was young, my mother often recollected to me about food rationing as food was scarce during the Japanese Occupation days; and our daily meal was cooked with watery porridge with sweet potatoes, tapioca or porridge with dark sauce.

The cooked food in Singapore is cheap and good for a quick meal for just a few dollars…fast to cook and good to eat instant noodles.

Lets pray for a peaceful and stable Singapore for our food and place to dine at our own choice to enjoy in comfort, environment and hygiene.

Dine at our own choice to enjoy in comfort, environment and hygiene. Photo credit: James SeahFood Court. Photo credit: James Seah

James Seah’s  story first appeared here on the Singapore Memory Project portal. Share your memories with us today!

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