Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by a Londoner: Stamford Raffles, who’s buried in Mill Hill. The sweltering, tropical speck at the arse end of Malaysia gained independence in 1963, but that hasn’t stopped us Singaporeans from seeking our fortune in the former heart of empire. There are 10,000 of us in London these days, and besides the strong student community you’ll also find us running hotels and restaurants, appearing on the telly and lining up for the newest restaurant opening or sample sale: Singaporeans love shopping and food with the kind of ferocious devotion other people reserve for football, and we inherited our love of a good queue from the British. Our cuisine is everywhere too, from restaurants and cocktail bars to supermarkets. Do yourself a favour and try a real hokkien mee (stir-fried noodles) or Hainanese chicken rice. And take note: our laksa is way better than the Malaysians’. Zing Tsjeng
Did you know? Singaporeans are so obsessed with food that a common greeting there isn’t ‘How are you?’ but ‘Did you eat already?’
Zing’s favourite Singaporean spots in London
Watch the cook at Roti King in Euston fry roti canai (Indian flatbread) on an oiled griddle, and wash it down with a cold Milo Godzilla: a much-loved chocolate malt drink topped with a jumbo serving of Milo powder.
For street-style food in a fancy setting, try Singapore Garden, which has a posh sit-down restaurant in Swiss Cottage. It also has a more informal takeaway branch in Chiswick.
Suka means ‘to like’ in Malay, one of Singapore’s four official languages, but it’s also the name of the Singapore UK Association: an organisation that holds cultural and networking events through the year.
The bubble tea craze started in Taiwan, but it took a Singaporean to perfect the milky drink in London. The Instagram-friendly Biju in Soho is tea brewed right, with organic milk, natural fruit flavourings, and freshly made tapioca pearls.
Singaporean-owned tailoring company Edit Suits combines Savile Row sophistication with Singaporean efficiency.
The best of Singaporean London, according to you
‘Salt’n Pepper crab shack near Chinatown.’ @Indigowoo via Twitter
‘Bugis Street Brasserie in Kensington.’ @missyhii via Twitter
‘Give Rasa Sayang in Chinatown a try: it’s owned by a Singaporean and is also halal, which is pretty unusual for restaurants around that area.’ Tonia T via www.timeout.com