This page contains the list of reference materials used for this research project.

Books (Scholarly Materials) | Books (Reference Materials) | Online Material (Formal) | Online Material (Informal) | Videos | Museums & Galleries

Other links:
Project Write-UpURECA Poster Research Paper


Books (Scholarly Materials)

Tan, Sylvia. Singapore Chronicles: Food. Co-Published by Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore; Straits Times Press Pte Ltd, Singapore Press Holding, 2016.

Celebrating SG50, NUS’s Institute of Policy Studies launches Singapore Chronicles, a series of 50 books detailing different aspect of Singapore nation-building. In this particular book written by food expert Sylvia Tan who has also written Singapore Heritage Food and gave courses on Singapore food heritage to museum curators, she distill complicated information into text that is easily understood by the general public.

Ting, Kennie. Singapore Chronicles: Heritage. Co-Published by Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore; Straits Times Press Pte Ltd, Singapore Press Holding, 2016.

Another book in the Singapore Chronicles series, this book specifically talks about the heritage of Singapore from 19th century to current time. It is written by Kennie Ting, a director at the National Heritage Board.

Tan, Terry. Stir-Fried and not Shaken. Singapore: Moonsoon Books Pte Ltd, 2008.

A memoir by TV Chef and food writer Terry Tan. This book provides “insights into a very different Singapore that existed from the 1940s to 1970s”. As food is a product of the culture of its time, having some background knowledge of how people lives during those time would shed some light on why certain dishes were done this way or why they were invented.

Wong, Hong Suen. Wartime Kitchen: Food and Eating in Singapore 1942-1950. Singapore: Editions Dodoer Millet Pte Ltd, 2009.

This easy-to-read book documents the life and struggles of the local population during the Japanese Occupation. It covers many areas including the social-political landscape, creativity and inventions during wartime and of course, food. It deals with how “people adapted to shortages”, asking questions like how rationing food work, the social order turned upside-down, and the aftermath of food supplies after Japan surrendered.  In “reconstructing the history of food and eating in wartime Singapore”, this book provides many useful information during the short “dark chapter” in Singapore historical narrative.

Leong-Salobir, Cecilia. Food Culture in Colonial Asia. Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2011.

An academic book detailing the “social history of colonial food practices in India, Malaysia and Singapore” while also how the development of dishes contributed by Asian domestic servant between 1858 and 1963. Given part of Singapore cuisine originated overseas, it would contribute as to why and how certain dishes are created.

Duruz, Jean; Gaik Cheng Khoo. Eating Together: Food, Space, and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore. Selangor: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (SIRD), 2015.

On a topic closer to home, this book explores the “connections of food, space, and identify within everyday spaces of “public” eating in Malaysia and Singapore”. With food closely tied to the history coffee shops and hawker centres in Singapore, knowing the past and present of how eating spaces is being utilized give us a more holistic view of understanding of the concept of food.

Kong, Lily, editor; Sinha, Vineeta, editor. Food, Foodways and Foodscapes: Culture, Community and Consumption in Post-Colonial Singapore. Singapore: World Scientific Punlishing Co. Pte Ltd, 2016.

This book is a collection of essays by academics that provides insights into Singapore dishes and food culture, specifically in Post-Colonial Singapore. It covers a variety of topics, some more useful to this research than the others.

Tarulevicz, Nicole. Eating Her Curries and Kway: A Cultural History of Food in Singapore. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2013.

This is a book by Asian Studies academic on the topic of Singapore food and how it relates to its culture, both in the past and present. The useful part of the book are covered in the beginning chapters.

Kong, Lily. Singapore Hawker Centres: People, Places, Food. Singapore: National Environment Agency, 2007.

Lai, Ah Eng, editor; Collins, Francis L., editor; Yeoh, Brenda S.A.. Migration and Diversity in Asian Context. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2013.

While mainly a sociology book, chapter 8 of this book discuss about Kopitiam and its history of immigration in Singapore.

Back to Top ^

Books (Reference Materials)

Temasek Polytechnic. Singapore Hawker Classics Unveiled. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Cuisine, 2015.

While this book appears to be a generic cookbook, it does contain a collection of 25 dishes that are deemed important to Singapore’s cultural and historical narrative. More over, this SG50 book done collectively by Temasek Polytechnic’s Culinary Science faculty contains brief introduction to each of the dishes along with variations of the dish. This is important as some dishes do change and evolve as they are adapted into different countries and ethicities.

Low, Eric, contributor; Teo, Eric, contributor. City Haker Food Hunt: The Hawker Guide to our 50 Local Favourites, SG50 edition. Singapore: City Gas Pte Ltd (as Trustee), Shin Min Daily News, 2015.

A local food guidebook done for SG50 made for the general public. It contains brief introduction of 50 different Singapore dishes as well as having a section on Hawker Centres. It may look uninspiring, but it does complement previous information on which common daily dish are considered a ‘Singapore dish’. 

Tay, Leslie. The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries. Singapore: Epigram Pte Ltd, 2010.

Written by local food expert, Dr Tay’s book is written in his signature blog-like style and provides many gems of information not usually covered by more academic-based publications. This is because Dr Tay would take his time to talk to the hawkers to learn of their stories and histories while providing his own commentaries. Moreover, this book provides insights to some of the more famous stores on this sunny island (basically map-able information). This would prove useful when tracking down hawkers to interview.

Loh, Johan. One Kopi at a Time. Singapore: Invasion Studios Pte Ltd, 2015.

Yet another book made just in time for SG50 celebration. This book is seemingly targeted at upper primary and lower secondary kids and can be completed in one sitting, but it is still pack with useful information regardless. While not every in-depth, it covers the surface of many areas such as the types of coffee beans, kopi socks, the popularity and rise of drinks stalls across the island, the social and economic landscape of that time and even the chairs and tables and why and how it came about. This book will serve well as a complementary reading to the history of Kaya Toast and Coffee Shop culture. 

Tan, Sylvia. Mad About Food. Singapore : Times Books International, 2002.

Chan, Fiona, editor. Café|sg : a café lover’s guide to Singapore. Singapore: Straits Times Press, 2016.

Lee, Lizzy, author; Tan, Ivan, photographer. 巴刹 Pasar: The Personalities of Singapore’s Wet Market. Singapore: National Library Board, 2014.

Tan, Alvin. Wet Market: Community Heritage Series II. Singapore: National Heritage Board, 2013. 

Back to Top ^

Online Matierals (Formal Source)

National Archives of Singapore. Accessed 30 September 2016,

BookSG. Accessed 30 September 2016,

Singapore Infopedia. Accessed 27 September 2016, Accessed 18 February 2017,

Back to Top ^

Online Matierals (Informal Source)

Back to Top ^


Post Name Video Name and Link
Introduction of Project Exploring the Cuisine of Singapore:

Singapore Discovered – Channel NewsAsia:

Draft List of Singapore Chinese Dish Chicken Rice:

Satay Bee Hoon @ Redhill Food Centre:

The History of Bak Kut Teh:

National Museum of Singapore Field Trip Singapore – Crossroads of the East:

Singapore – The Lion City 1957:

Singapore Awakening 1983:

National Narrative, Personal Stories The Singapore Food Story:

BCC News – Can Singapore’s Food Heritage Survive:

Dying Local Trade:

The Migrant Kitchen The Migrant Kitchen 1-Hour Special:

Back to Top ^

Related Museums and Galleries

Back to Top ^