Born and raised in Singapore, Shibani is the Southeast Asia correspondent for The Washington Post. She started her career in the city, and while she is now based in Hong Kong, she still reports on Singapore and visits often to get her fix of the local food. She takes great pride in rebutting those she meets around the world who dismiss Singapore as boring.
Where I live:
I grew up in Novena, an area that is just minutes away from Singapore’s main shopping district but still very residential. Our family loves walking to the local market for breakfast. I have spent many evenings at the common recreational area serving a nearby public housing estate, watching people from all walks of life converge on free exercise machines and the paved running track.
Best way to get around the city:
The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is a source of pride for many Singaporeans, as is our extensive and comfortable bus network. Handy apps make it easy for you to plan your journey and know when trains and buses are arriving, but be prepared for rush-hour crowds.
Don’t leave without having:
Chicken rice. It doesn’t sound like much, but the combination of poached chicken (roasted varieties are more popular, but I’m a purist) and rice cooked in chicken fat — along with a medley of chili, ginger sauces and a sweet, thick soy sauce — is the definition of comfort food for locals.
But the local favorite is really:
Bak kut teh, a peppery pork rib soup that is paired with rice. It’s the local way to end a night of drinking and partying and to stave off that hangover. And trust us: It does the trick.
After moving, I most miss:
The city’s diversity. There’s truly nothing like it, especially with a new wave of migrants who have come from all over the world. Plus, of course, the food.