SINGAPORE - Singapore is known to be a food haven for its wide variety of delicacies across cultures.
The city state was ranked 1st in a World’s 50 Best Cities for Street Food survey conducted by CEOWorld magazine in 2019, beating Bangkok and Hong Kong, and even has its hawker culture on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
However, in TasteAtlas’ lastest edition of their ‘Best Street Foods in the World’ list, released in February 2023, Singapore's iconic Char Kway Teow only ranked at 100th.
The stir-fried flat rice and yellow noodle dish, a common sight in Singapore's hawker centres, is usually cooked with black sauce, cockles, eggs and Chinese sausage. It is believed to have Teochew origins from China's Guangdong province, brought over by labourers who came to the country in the 19th and early 20th century.
Meanwhile, across the Causeway, Malaysia's Roti Canai came in second, losing out to China’s guotie, or pan-fried dumplings.
Singapore had previously failed to make it to the Top 50 in the September 2022 edition of the list, in which Malaysia's Roti Canai came in first.
The latest rankings sparked a round of debates online, with some netizens agreeing that Malaysia had better street food, but some also questioned the decision to consider Roti Canai a "Malaysian" dish.
Malaysia's Roti Canai is an adaptation of Paratha, a dish from the Indian subcontinent, and is also called Roti Prata in Singapore.
The Southeast Asian version of the dish is usually made with rolled dough, and the crispy flatbread kosong version is frequently consumed with curry or sweet toppings like sugar.
It also can come with various types of fillings, such as eggs, onions, cheese and mushrooms.
Other variations have also since evolved, such as the Tissue Prata, which can sometimes come with toppings like honey or chocolate syrup.
TasteAtlas, which describes itself as "an experiential travel guide for traditional food", is headquartered in Croatia.
The 'Best Street Foods in the World' list is curated through audience votes and is constantly updated with the latest votes.