It’s no secret Singapore is a food-lover's paradise, with its diverse culinary scene that reflects our tiny red dot’s multicultural heritage. From hawker centers to high-end restaurants to boutique cafes, there's no shortage of delicious bites to try in Singapore.
But if you're feeling adventurous and willing to step outside your comfort zone, there are also some truly unusual and bizarre foods to be found here. From durian (the famously spiky-looking, pungent fruit that you either love or hate) to lamb brain soup, Singapore definitely has a range of weird yet tasty eats that are not for the faint-hearted. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the weirdest foods to try on the island (if you dare).
Besides crocodile meat, black chicken, and pig trotters, you’ll also find a highly unique and popular delicacy at this hawker stall at Berseh Food Centre: turtle soup. The dish is comprised of chewy turtle meat that has been cooked and simmered for hours, which in turn creates a rich and flavourful broth that’s both sweet and savoury. According to a quick Google search, turtle soup also possesses many health benefits, including being nutrient rich and improving your skin.
Location: The Very Lucky Turtle Soup in Berseh Food Centre, 166 Jln Berseh, Singapore 208877
Opening Hours: Daily from 11am-8:30pm; Closed on Wednesday
Contact: 6292 0851
The thought of this organ may be very off-putting to digest (figuratively and literally), but at the Haji M. Abdul Rajak stall in Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre, it’s a well-loved menu item. Cooked and served as bowls of soup, the chunky lamb brain floats around at the top. Described as tender, creamy, and silky by other visitors, its texture is supposedly similar to eating lobster. At this eatery, nothing goes to waste, and its menu features a variety of mutton soup items such as tongue, ribs, and innards.
Location: Haji M. Abdul Rajak Stall Soup Kambing, 17 Upper Boon Keng Rd, #01-03, Singapore 380017
Opening Hours: Open daily from 11am-11:30pm; Closed on Tuesday
Contact: 8581 1114
Deer Penis Soup
It isn’t news that Singaporeans love their herbal soups—not only for its flavour, but most importantly, the countless health benefits these liquids can provide. One peculiar soup at Imperial Restaurant is deer penis (lu bian) soup, which contains slices of deer penis, dried seahorse, large pieces of pork, and a variety of fragrant herbs. Expect the cooked deer penis to have a jelly-like texture, without much flavour on its own. However, the soup is supposed to taste a bit sweet and sour, with the latter due to tonic wine adding during the cooking process. Customers can also purchase the ginseng deer penis wine on the restaurant’s website, ranging from $30-$638.
Location: Imperial Resaturant at Four Points by Sheraton Level 2, 382 Havelock Road, Singapore 169629
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8am-9pm, and Sunday from 9am-10pm
Contact: 6337 0491
Lor Mee 178 at Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre has been on the Michelin Guide for years, and one of its signature dishes is the yellow noodle gravy-laden soup topped with a healthy serving of crispy fried shark fritter. Fresh and golden, the battered shark meat has a fantastic crunch and isn’t too tough when you chew. Upon first bite, some say the shark meat texture is similar to eating barramundi fish. And even when the batter has been soaked in the thick gravy for some time, it remains extremely crispy.
Location: Lor Mee 178, Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-48, Singapore, 168898
Opening Hours: Daily from 7am-1:45pm; Closed on Wednesday
Chicken Rice Gelato
We’ve probably all eaten a plate of chicken rice by now, which is considered by many to be Singapore’s national dish. But have you ever tried chicken rice gelato? It is offered on Butterknife Folk’s rotating menu, an artisanal gelato shop located inside Funan Mall. Characterized by notes of chicken stock, garlic, ginger, dark soya sauce, and chicken rice chili, this sweet yet savoury frozen dessert is something you don’t see every day. If you’re looking for ice cream with home-grown twist, it doesn’t get any more local than this.
Location: Butterknife Folk at Funan Mall, 107 North Bridge Rd, #02-02, Singapore 179105
Opening Hours: Daily from 1pm-9:30pm
Contact: 6980 9151
Pi Pa Gao Milk Tea
Launched on April Fool’s at Koi, you’d think the combination of the Chinese herbal syrup Pi Pa Gao and Koi’s classic milk tea was just a prank—but it’s not. The pairing of the soothing and minty black syrup with sweet, honey milk tea is a limited-edition drink combo we never knew we needed. Available in cold and hot options, the differing temperatures of the bubble tea will deliver a different experience. If you want to elevate this drink even more, be sure to add Koi’s signature golden bubbles or black pearls.
Location: Various locations
Opening Hours: Depends on location
Durian is a fruit that divides opinion in Singapore, to say the least. Some people think it smells fragrant and delicious, while others liken it to a dumpster mixed with sewage. Some people love its sweet, custard-like flesh and distinctively pungent aroma, but many find its smell overpowering and offensive. Known as the "king of fruits," durian is widely available in Singapore and is a popular delicacy among locals and visitors alike. Its spiky exterior belies the creamy, yellow flesh inside, which has complex and nuanced flavours depending on the variety. For those brave enough to try it, durian can be found in many hawker centers and markets throughout the city. Just be prepared for the strong smell—you won’t be able to escape it.
Location: Various fruit stalls and markets