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How did Nasi Lemak become the #1 food-related search in Singapore in 2020?

How did Nasi Lemak become the #1 food-related search in Singapore in 2020?
PHOTO: Instagram/grandmas.singapore
Singaporeans love and adore food, especially our favourite local delicacies that we crave for all the time. Admit it, we proudly view ourselves as "local-food connoisseurs". And the #supportlocal mindset is clear from how 7 out of the Top 10 food-related searches this year are all “local” foods (except Dalgona coffee, bubble tea, and aglio olio).
Here's the full list:
  1. Nasi lemak
  2. Dim sum
  3. Bubble tea
  4. Dalgona coffee
  5. Bak kut teh
  6. Popiah
  7. Satay
  8. Fish head curry
  9. Muah chee
  10. Aglio olio

Nasi lemak in the top spot? How?? Why?? Bubble tea and Dalgona coffee, yes. But muah chee?? While we absolutely cannot fathom how random things like popiah and satay made the list, we hazard guesses for some of the other items.


1. Nasi Lemak

A few reasons why we think this dish made it to the top of the list:

  • can eat any time of the day. Who can resist that combo of aromatic rice infused with coconut milk and pandan leaves, deep-fried fish or chicken wings, otah, fried ikan bilis, peanuts, eggs, cucumber slices, and sambal. Sedap!
  • cheap and budget-friendly
  • easy to quickly ta bao and run back home to Covid-free safety


2. Dim Sum

What better way to bond than through food? And we usually think of dim sum as a dish shared among family and friends. While it might be sian that we cannot travel and have to WFH, it also means more family time.

It's no surprise that this family-friendly dish remains popular with many Singaporeans. We can see how when Phase 2 was announced, people flocked online to search for places to share hot plates of delectable xiao long baos and siew mais.


3. Bubble Tea

Predictably, bubble tea is in the top 3. Remember that mad rush for bubble tea when the government announced the impending closure of bubble tea shops for a period of time back in April? 

Snaking queues and huge crowds left many disappointed as they were unable to get their #bbt fix. 

But food delivery services saved the day when we could get our bbt fix dropped off at our doorstep - ohhh... so that's what accounted for all the searches.

ICYMI, we even had an article on 2019 food trends and foresaw that the #bbt craze would be eternal. Looks like we're right!


4. Dalgona Coffee

Many of us enjoy our regular kopi-o from select coffeeshops. But with the Dalgona coffeecraze during the Circuit Breaker, you best believe many Singaporeans have tried making it at home (with varying degrees of success) just cuz #trending.

We're certain that's the reason the search engines went cray-cray with everyone looking for videos showing us how to make our own cup of Dalgona deliciousness.


5. Muah Chee

Soft, stretchy, and lepak. Singaporeans definitely identify with this dish because that's what WFH all day every day for 10 months of the year in home clothes made us feel like, and, therefore, think of, and therefore, search.


6. Aglio Olio

Notably, aglio olio is the only non-local food item that made the list this year. Even though - or maybe, because - it's quite an easy dish to put together, we guessing that's why people searched online for the best recipes to impress bae or the family with.

This article was first published in

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