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Food and Drink

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Along with shopping, eating ranks as the Singaporean national pastime. An enormous number of food outlets cater for this obsession, and strict government regulations ensure that they are consistently hygienic. The mass of establishments serving Chinese food reflects the fact that Chinese residents account for more than three quarters of the population. North and South Indian cuisines give a good account of themselves too, as do restaurants serving Malay, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese food. The closest Singapore comes to an indigenous cuisine is Nonya , a hybrid of Chinese and Malay food that developed following the intermarrying of nineteenth-century Chinese immigrants with Malay women. Several specialist Chinese restaurants and a number of Indian restaurants serve vegetarian food , but otherwise vegetarians need to tread very carefully: chicken and seafood will appear in a whole host of dishes unless you make it perfectly clear that you don't want them.

Singapore's burgeoning bar and pub scene means there is now a wide range of drinking holes to choose from, with the Colonial District, Boat Quay and Orchard Road areas offering particularly good pub crawl potential. With competition hotting up, more and more bars are turning to live music to woo punters, though this is usually no more than cover versions performed by local bands. Clubs also do brisk business; glitzy yet unpretentious, they feature the latest imported pop, rock and dance music, though don't expect anything like a rave scene - Ecstasy isn't in the Singaporean dictionary.

Edit by: DougW
East Timor
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