Nasi lemak is the No. 1 food-related search in Singapore… again

PHOTO: 123rf

For the second year in a row, Nasi Lemak has topped Singaporeans' food and drink-related searches - on Yahoo's Year in Review 2021, that is.

On Google's Year in Search 2021, the top spots went to food promo app Oddle Eats and the ever-hyped Eggslut. Meanwhile, the top five spots on Deliveroo's Top 30 Trending Dishes in Singapore all went to burritos, burrito bowls, and salads. 

Why so different ah? While that likely comes down to differences in data-collecting methodologies, or the specific tastes of each platform's demographic, it only made the question of which was THE definitive food trend of 2021 all the more confusing. 

I called upon my trusty colleague and fellow foodie, Farhan, to analyse these results. 

Farhan: Hey Diane, all this talk of makan lists is making me hungry. I should really hop on to some of these recommendations. I must say though, I'm starting to sense a pattern forming from each platform, can you see it?

Diane: Yeah I think it's pretty obvious that each platform has a different target audience. Let's review the Google one first, shall we? Since you did a whole feature on it and everything.

Google's trending F&B searches

1. Oddle Eats
2. Eggslut
3. BTS Meal
4. Lim Chee Guan 
5. Orange and Teal 
6. Koma Singapore
7. Bober Tea
8. Hainanese Chicken Burger
9. Vivocity Food 
10. Buffet Town 

Farhan: If I had to give this a theme, I would call it the quintessential 'Gen-Z food list'. A new Western join with lots of social media buzz? Check (Eggslut). A K-Pop inspired Happy Meal that satisfies an entire fandom? Check.

An upscale sushi bar that lets you be fancy for the 'gram? (Koma Singapore) You get the idea.When it comes to makan hacks, seems like Google-rs love a good discount. The Oddle Eats app I'm guessing is a popular download among foodies? Totally FOMO-ing right now because I had no idea it even existed!

Diane: BTS Meal, Eggslut, and Orange and Teal I can understand, because those were all newsworthy, but Oddle Eats?

Umm, paid searches, anybody? Jk. But out of all of these, "Vivocity Food" makes the most sense to me because choosing something to eat in that labyrinth of a mall is almost as hard as navigating the mall itself. 

Yahoo's top 10 food/drinks-related searches in Singapore

1. Nasi Lemak
2. Bak Kut Teh
3. Bubble Tea
4. Satay
5. Popiah
6. Hokkien Mee
7. Carrot Cake
8. Laksa
9. Chilli Crab
10. Hainanese Chicken Rice

Farhan: This is definitely the "Heartlander's Food List". You can find every dish featured here on any hawker centre in Singapore.

Either we have a bunch of tourists searching for our country's top local fare or there are a bunch of uncles and aunties still using Yahoo as their search engine. Yahoo, please don't come at us. 

Denise: I agree with you Farhan, but if your latter theory is correct, then I'm a little befuddled at the absence of Lim Chee Guan on this list (and its high ranking on the Google one). Either way, I'm craving hawker delights rn. 

Deliveroo's top 10 trending dishes in Singapore:

1. Burrito Bowl from Guzman Y Gomez
2. Regular Bowl from The Daily Cut
3. Mediterranean Bowl from VIOS by Blu Kouzina
4. Chicken Burrito from Stuff’d
5. Fish Burger from MOS Burger
6. Croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery
7. Whopper from Burger King
8. Salad Bowl from SaladStop!
9. Cavendish Banana from Giant
10. BBQ Black Pepper Chicken from Cold Storage

Farhan: What an atas list! It seems like Deliveroo is a favourite among PMETs with disposable income huh? With that said, I am a huge fan of Stuff'd.

Great for a post-workout snack. A healthy, convenient burrito that lets you fill up your daily calories. Totally worth the price. But sorry, can't afford frequent meals from any of the top three food shops on my meager writer's salary.

Denise: This is by far the healthiest list of the three — I mean, even a banana made it into the top 10. And I am a die hard fan of The Daily Cut's healthy, yet hearty bowls (especially the seasonal charred cauliflower!). But as a fellow writer who is rapidly approaching auntie status, I'm feeling Yahoo's list a lot more. 

Now, if only Grab and Foodpanda could release a list so we could settle which food (and food-related search) reigns supreme. But in the meantime, we're headed to the heartlands to stuff our faces with the best nasi lemak we can find. 

This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.